Wednesday, May 30, 2012

30th May - Digby Bridge to Lucan Bridge

After a day off yesterday, Claire and I are back on the boat

Repairs have been completed by the incredible Mick Kinahan, a volunteer mechanic with Inland Waterways, once manager of a huge fleet of trucks owned by Dublin City Council, and formerly a mechanic and mechanic tutor for the Irish army. An angel for us as he not only got us going but continued to check us on much of this afternoon's journey.

It is crucial for us to make it to at least, Hazelhatch this evening, but Mick advises us to aim higher and get to Lucan Bridge, a couple of miles beyond Hazelhatch as this would save us from a very early rise the next day.

4:30 pm, I arrive at the boat, still at Digby Bridge near Sallins, Claire is already here, and Mick is too. He has comleted the mechanical work needed and we are ready to go.

4:50 pm, we are making great progress but the canal section around Sallins is shallow and very weedy. We need to stop frequently to clean up the weed filter and to release the prop and rudder of weed. Fortunately that currently does not involve leaping into the water this time. Switching the engine into reverse from time to time is sorting this out for now.

Sailing over the Leinster Aqueduct is interesting. This aqueduct takes the Grand Canal over the Liffey River here ...

... and here is the Liffey River below

5:30 pm, sailing through Sallins, and the side of the canal is lovely, with several residential house boats we have to manoevre around

6:30 pm, arriving at the Devonshire Bridge area locks

Weed filter blockage needs to be sorted out sort out again, the loose weeds are still very bad around here.

Now this is a very pleasant section of canal, as it passes through the estate of Lyons House. Well manacured around here, of course, and a change of flora.

9:30 pm, we have reached Hazelhatch, which was our first intended desitnation. Here is just how we were told it is. This is quite a village of houseboats including some amazing huge heritage barge boats.

And here is this wonderful restoration by Joe Treacy, chairman of the Heritage Boat Association of Ireland.

Dick Warner's boat is the smaller boat behind him, but I did not get a close up pic of that.

9:50 pm, Yes, we have made it further than expected, as we arrive at Lucan Bridge, just as Mick had suggested we should do. Lock keeper here, John, is a very gentle smiling man, very helpful and informative. He advises us that mooring here is safe, and the area is covered by security and security cameras.

So, now it is time for a good meal, sleep and be refreshed for tomorrow,
for the water journey into Dublin

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