Monday, May 28, 2012

28th May - Lowtown to Digby Bridge

Yes, another hot sunny morning again into 20sC and 70sF. Moored in Lowtown
advertised as having full services, including toilets, and showers.

Alas, these new facilities are not open. Why?
Health and Safety reasons, of course!

Apparently the cleaning contractors pulled out a couple of months ago and the tenders are still out to replace them. The process may still take another month or two.

Now what do we have here in Lowtown moorings surrounding the showers and toilets? lots of unemployed boathouse people taking up all of the avasilable mooring space who do know how to use a mop, cleaners, cloths and water. In short, I'm boggled as I have heard much about how waterways tourism is being built up on the Grand Canal.
Not while the Government is running the show.

I wonder if the boathouse people could form a tourism enterprise co-operative. It would be hard as we are considered to be the enemy. Our presence is a threat on the future of their dole money, it seems, or so they may think

11:00 am, we are through the Lowtown Lock. Jim the lock keeper there is an incredibly informative person. It was a joy to listen and learn from his tales. I wish we could have blethered longer.

A few minutes later we are passing the very peaceful and beautiful Robertstown.

Then we hit our biggest challenge so far. The weed and reeds are suddenly awful on this stretch, sticking out from the water in places, and the canal was shallow too. The fish love it. We watch huge shoals of roach rud, perch and bream darting around and a long large pike waiting to pounce.

Then ahead, three weed cutting boats creating a carpet of floating weed ...

And so it has happened. The engine has conked out
and Claire volunteers to jump in the water to untangle the prop.

It is lucky that this is, again, an unusual hot summer's day. I tried the shifting the engine into reverse to untangle weed, but it was too much.

After Claire cleared the weed we are soon on our way again, but this stretch is an endless stream of weed. The boat's weed filters are unable to cope with this. Every couple of hundred yards we seize up and Claire jumps into the water to untangle again.

Eventually, the boat engine could not take any more of this so ...

1:00 pm, we limp into the mooring on the far side of the Digby Bridge lock
and the engine has shut down.

We discover that there is a good marine suppliers just a few miles away in Naas,
We visited but they were out of stock of parts we needed, but they did immediately order them for fast delivery by Courier.

Now, all we could do is go home for awhile, Claire to Dublin, and me to Carrowcrory and attend to some domestic affairs as well as Inland Waterways affairs. Maybe its a good idea to do these among the comforts of a fitted bathroom and instantly available hot water.

If you have a Facebook account click here to view the full photo album from today

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear of the lost opportunities to put folks to work on the canal system. I can only imagine the wonderful business opportunity to have a nice stop for folks to get a hot shower, and general stopping point for canal travellers.
    I can only envision canal tourism to be a really good thing if properly managed.

    Also, sad about the old boats you have come across that have been submerged and disrepair. They only contribute to contamination of the waterway.

    Cheers to Claire for jumping into the canal!! Curious the temperature of the water, as I would think it would be quite cold.