May/June 2014 Irish Inland waterways

tom.obrien's picture

May 2nd Launch Belleek slipway leave tailors sail weekend to Enniskillen.This lake has many islands and lots to see. Down masts and enter Enniskillen for shopping . Moving on south to Belturbet across border to Southern Ireland . Heading for Lough Allen at the top of the River Shannon we pass many villages and towns along the way . Drumshambo is a small town at the entrance to Lough Allen with some good Irish music being played in the local pubs.Lough Allen on to Lough Key and Forrest Park near Boyle Co Roscommon. This is a beautiful Lake with some Islands and Picnic areas that attract a lot of tourists. Still heading South on to Rooskey with the Twin Lakes and the North Shannon Yacht Clubs we meet up with some good friends and fellow sailors . Further south at Lanesboro on Lough Ree we meet more welcoming sailors some of them MacGegors . Lough Ree is the second Largest Lake on the Shannon with plenty of ports to call to . Some of witch are very remote and quiet. One hidden spot that we MacGregors use as a meeting place is Portlick near Portlick Castle on the Eastern Shore across from the Hotson Bay Hotel. There are 5 or 6 wooden style modern houses here and a meeting room with a thatched roof. Our Club AGM's and partys are held here. At Athlone on the lower side of Lough Ree we leave this great spance of water and travel on down river stopping at Clonmacnoise with its High Crosses and Church ruins. There are many places to stop on the way south before reaching Portumna at the top of Lough Derg. Lough Derg is the larges of all the lakes on the river Shannon and has a good supply of facilities at many of its Ports. Most of the facilities have been upgraded in recent years.This is a great lake for sailing and has many other activities . Killaloe is the most southern point of Lough Derg and is the end of the navigation for all hire boats on the Shannon. In order to get to Limerick City we must go through the Two Hydro Station Locks . The locks are a total of 100 ft. drop combined and at the lower side we are in tidal waters for the first time since we started out trip. Limerick with its bridges, churches and castle is a very nice city.One can tie up at the Hunt Museum for a few days free of charge and go shopping or touring . On leaving Limerick there is one Lock and two bridges before masts can go up. Kilrush with its locked marina is 40 miles down river . There is very little traffic on this river although you may come across the odd ship . From Kilrush the Shannon Estuary can be explored using it as a base but we prefer to tie up to fishing boats at Carragaholt ,Kilbaha or Qurrin and eat out in the restaurants or have a pint in the local. Kilrush to Fenit in Kerry is a nice full days sail and the Arron Islands off Galway/Clare coast can be an over night or a long days sail. There are many slipways the full length of the River Shannon and unless you use a private one all are free and in the sailing season there are no charges for the use of the waterways and the toilet facilities. If interested in joining us or for further information E mail.... Tom O''Brien