Monday, 1 August 2016

Guinness goes West

On leaving Shannonbridge we retraced our route for home and made a detour to the attractive Shannon Harbour. A place that holds fond memories for me of my early time in Ireland, for here I would visit and take a relaxing stroll along it’s banks to look at what floats in its waters. I loved and still love the sense of an ambiguous freedom that glides above the surface to permeate the very air that we breathe.



Looking West

Shannon Harbour built in 1803 is the terminus for Grand Canal which starts in Dublin and connects to the River Shannon via a lock at the western end. The GC whose waters were once used for making Guinness, also provided a means of transporting the great beverage to all hostelries en route to and including the City of Limerick. On their return journey they would bring back various cargoes such as turf (peat), potatoes and other goods. 

All types of craft moor here including a few
English narrow boats.

I have to admit to being intrigued by the name of this boat
SLY FOX which I think might have been named by a woman.

This beautiful yacht bears the name of famous Irish woman Granuaile also known as known as The Pirate Queen Gráinne Ní Mháille  or Grace O’Malley in English (c 1530- 1603)

The narrow boat SNOWBALL in the dry dock being prepared for bottom blacking.

I could not quite work out as to what the thumb-stick was for because he
seemed to be quite able to walk.

The Irish canal barges were 80 feet long by 17 feet-1 inch wide and made of iron and later of steel. Today the remaining barges have been converted into houseboats.


LOOKING EAST.
The first or the last road bridge over the Grand Canal, depending on which end you count from !






25 comments:

  1. Fascinating post and your photos are beautiful. Houseboats seem to me like a great idea.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Linda. Indeed they are a good idea and just like any property they need to be adequately maintained.

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    2. Living on a houseboat is an amazing way of life Linda, I speak from experience xxx

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    3. Hello Fran!I suppose living on a barge on a riverbank might be a less frightening experience than travelling over stormy waters feeling green in the face and hollow on the inside. I love boats but prefer to watch them from ashore. You really live on one??? In Holland they are all over, do you find it comfortable and nice??? The Irish one does look lovely.

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  2. That Irish barge is beautiful, I love her lines, so smooth and pretty. We have to get our bottom shot blasted and blackened next year which will mean moving to dry dock a few miles away. I can't say I am looking forward to the rigmarole of moving xxx

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    1. Hello Fran I am not surprised that you like the look of the green barge, I purposely showed her with you in mind :-)
      There is I think a lot more maintenance involved to living on a boat than that of living in a house. For living in a house there somethings that you can put on the long finger or ignore, that can't be ignored on a boat.

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  3. I've always quite fancied a holiday on a narrow boat.

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    1. I'm not sure that a narrow boat would suit me too many locks to deal with. Whereas a cabin cruiser on the Shannon would have less locks to deal with and the stability is better I think ?

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  4. Beautiful pictures. I have always hankered after living on a narrow boat :-) xx

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    1. Thank you for the comment Teresa, just one question would there be room to swing a cat though ? :-)

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    2. Of the nine tailed variety? There may well be :-) xx

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    3. Ooo'h sounds painful Teresa ;-) xx

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  5. Some interesting boats there. I like the Snowball, it looks like it has an interesting history. Never tried living on a boat but I guess it would be very different. Don't know if I could handle the constant swaying if they sway :)

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    1. Well now Bill you would soon find your sea legs :-)
      Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Hi Mel - it must be so fascinating to see the variety of boats docked, or working or just getting going ... what a lovely place to visit and to spend the day at ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary; there is more to see in regards Shannon Harbour sufficient for another blog post. I need a sunny day and more photo's which will be my excuse for revisiting.

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  7. Messing about on the river....what a lovely way to live. I hope to be walking the Regent Canal from Camden to Little Venice in London this weekend.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. The Regent's Canal walk will make an interesting excursion for you Bazza. For it is steeped in a great variety of history .
      Thank you for commenting.

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  8. We once spent a holiday travelling down the Thames on a boat. We have often thought of doing another similar holiday in a different location including Ireland. The cabin cruiser on the Shannon sounds wonderful. I have enjoyed reading your last two posts. Sarah x

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    1. Thank you for your comment Sarah.
      There are a number of places that you can start from though I do suggest that Portumna in Co. Galway is probably the best.
      see http://www.shannon-river.com/Town.aspx?TownID=23

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    2. Thank you for the tip I will bear it in mind if we venture this way. Sarah x

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  9. There's something magical about water and walking along it fills you in ways that just land can't. Love all the boats, I often wonder about some of the names.

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    1. Yes , Janet it is so wonderful walking by the waterside.
      As to the mystery conjured up by names, yes and I often wonder about mine too [wink!]

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  10. I've never seen an Irish barge before. It looks a lovely craft! But that's pretty big too! What size are the locks? Were they built to take just one, or could they take more? As you know, this post appeals to me a lot! I'd love to go there too... I've been to the GC at the Dublin end and followed it for a while, but never got to where it joins the Shannon. Thank you for this, Mel!

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    1. The locks length are 35 metre x 5.5 metre mainly single locks but some are doubles and certainly there are no staircase locks like they have England.
      Am not surprised that you enjoyed this blog and I knew that it would give you pleasure. I have to return to Shannon Harbour for there is more that I would like to share with you all. Then when I am done I will show some of the places along the Grand Canal and after that there is the Royal Canal - "where the old triangle goes jingle jangle along the banks..."
      Thank you for your comments Val.

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