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Killaloe to Limerick

Posted by N Griffin 
Killaloe to Limerick
19 December, 2009 11:54
On a cold and bleak mid winters morn I thought I'd post a reminder of a summer time cruiser trip down to Limerick.


OF and pals from LRYC incluing goboatingnow cruised to Limerick via Ardnacrusha. Fabulous weather despite the forecast. No rain at all!!! Four Brooms no less winking smiley

LRYC vessels head down the head race canal on route to Ardnacrusha and Limerick


Vessel pass eel nets


Tail race canal


OF moored at the Custom House quay (Hunt Jetties)


View from Limerick city marina this evening


We came back up and had a fabulous tour of the powerstation, hydro electric dam, and visitor centre. This place is also one of the most amazing engineering museums and illustrates a major event in the development of our young country and the biggest civil engineering projects in europe between WW1 and 1930.

Calisto Half way up Ardnacrusha


View of the tail race exit from the back of the power station 102ft down below the dam


Calisto Passing the half way stage on the ascent


The giant 6m diameter penstocks feeding the four turbines


What are they looking at - crew of "Good Times"


Calisto passing the moorings behind Killaloe Cathedral


Grey and wet, but somewhat beautiful Killaloe as Calisto approaches the bridge


Killaloe Bridge - Canopy up, acres to spare - goboatingnow at the helm


HEALTH WARNING:
This post is about men and women in fast white boats and may risk offending some looney leftie eco-mentalist heritage peat turf and bog extermists - but not the nice sane ones who've been vacinated against outdated, blind and condescening prejudices winking smiley winking smiley

OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
Re: Killaloe to Limerick
19 December, 2009 12:01
Limerick + Kilrush

Quote:
Driftwood
I’m advised that going down stream you should plan to arrive in Limerick about 3 hrs before high tide, what do you reckon??

Well HW-3 is possibly optimal as the incoming tide will counteract and minimise the downstream flow in the abbey river, but we've never had to worry about that. We tend to arrive at times that are convienient for us within reason (ie when we have plenty of spare clearance under Balls and Mathew bridges.



Limerick Navigation Tips
* Only proceed downstream of Ardnacrusha if there is ONE or ZERO turbines running at the power station
* Do not navigate the Limerick Navigation if there is more than one trubine running (which is the norm in summer months anyway, one or zero)
* Arrive in Limerick 3hrs or 4hrs either side of LW Limerick depending on your airdraft so you KNOW you will fit under the bridges. This allows an arrival window of between 6 and 8 hours
* If in doubt and for total peace of mind reduce airdraft by dropping masts, radar arches and canopy - It's great knowing you'll definitely fit under the bridges if you get your timing or steering slightly wrong - especially for 1st time.
* Do not be afraid to use enough power to push on to maintain good steerage going under the bridges, especially O'Dwyers bridge which is offset from the flow, and Baals (ie keep under the centre arch as the current will swing you left a little around the bend)
* Arriving after LW, say 3hrs before next HW will minimise the flow due to the incoming tide. In fact on Springs there can be a reverse flow on the Abbey river as the tide comes back in
* You can arrive when it suits you either side of LW depending on your airdraft (ie LW+-3 for higher boats, or LW+-4 hrs for low vessels)
* If your worried about airdraft clearance on an exceptionally high vessel then coming down on a falling tide means slightly more flow, but in the highly unlikely event of getting stuck under a bridge you would get free fairly quickly on the falling tide
* Do NOT navigate the stretch between Limerick docks and the sea lock at Sarsfield Lock for 2hrs either side of LW Limerick as it is too shallow and dries out at LW springs. Never been a problem as we always leave for Kilrush within 2hrs either side HW, and when coming back up the estuary with the tide tend to arrive at HW+-2hrs too.
* If overnight in Limerick ONLY use the Hunt Jetties as they are quite and secure, and have shore power too!
* Swipe cards for the Hunt Jetties secuirty gates can be got from either the Ardnacrush lock keeper or Sarsfield lock keeper (for €20 returnable deposit).
* Suggest you make contact with WI's pilot and warden in Limerick Pat Lysaght who will guide you down with his dory boat and read the airdraft guages for you. He's a super guy and loves to assist boats through Limerick. Well worth a call for 1st trip and peace of mind. He's was the unofficial Pilot for the Abbey river long before he worked for WI.


Look all the above makes it look much more complicated than it is, all the nonsense about the wier being covered etc is an old wives tale. There is ONE golden rule and thats the ONE turbine rule, all the rest is easy.

We try to avoid wasting a night in Limerick so just pass on through usually trying to arrive in Limerick at HW-2 or HW+2 so we can go straight through the sea lock, but still have enough airdraft to fit under Sarsfield bridge and have at least 4hrs of ebb tide to assist going down the Estuary. It's generally not possible for high boats to depart Limerick at HW because of Sarsfield bridge clearance, perhaps at Neaps. Btw the jetty in the holding basin below the lock dries out at LW springs!

Estuary tips
* Go down with the ebb tide - or most of it
* Bouyage is IALA - Green and Red, but some navigation markers are painted pylon gantry structures or masts on land, islands, or mounted on rafts. They are not obvious to the uninitiated, most folk expect to see floating can buoys, and surprised by the variety of marker structures.
* Neaps can be a little more comfortable for 1st timers in case there is a stiff W or SW breeze (ie minimise wind against tide effect at places like Tarbert race)
* Keep well clear of Beeves light house (sheehen) - foul ground 100m all around
* Watch for strong current at Tarbert drifting you sideways - don't hit the buoy, there can be 3+kt on neaps and 7kt on spring ebbs
* Watch out for the Tarbert/Moneypoint car ferrys crossing at Tarbert race, they cross every 1/2 hour on the 1/2 hour and hour, and move at a heck of a speed. They can ferry glide SIDEWAYS at 15kt due to the strong current.
* Enjoy the Dolpins, fab fun sitting at the bow watching them fly along the bow wave.
* NB - Arriving at Kilrush Creek safe water mark be sure to stay over the dredged channel into the Marina's sea lock. Do NOT use the floating buoys as a guide, but be sure instead to use the leading marks (ie two posts on the hill behind with diamond marks) to stay over the centre of the channel, by keeping them in line one behind the other. The tide is nearly always pushing you sideways. There's plenty of depth if you stay on the narrow dredged channel using the leading marks. Two pals of mine ran aground there 2 years ago because they didn't notice the sideways drift, but it was LW Kilrush which wasn't a problem as they floated off within 15mins on the rising tide which lifted them off again (soft mud). The bouys move quite a lot due to the tidal flow so not acurate for marking the centre line of the channel
* On your return trip I advise leaving Killrush at LW Kilrush or slightly afterwards so that a) if you do miss the channel you'll float off and b) you will be assisted back up the estuary on the flood tide arriving in Limerick near HW (ie assuming your at displacement speeds of say 7kt).
* Bring a camera - the scenery is fantastiic
* Watch out for ships below Foynes. They seem to move like snails but at 20+kt they can be on top of you quicker than you'd expect. There is usually very little traffic to worry about. Listen on VHF.
* Foynes is well worth a visit especially on your return trip. You can moore at Foynes YC, but only moore on the outside of the Jetty as the inside dries at LW. The lights at Auginish Alumia at night have to be seen to be beleived.
* Generally there is no swell in the estuary so sea sickness should not be a problem even if there is a breeze. The Atlantic swell tends only to be noticeable as far out as Carrigaholt, and after a settle spell is manageable anyway.
I have waypoints, a route and tracklog of the Estuary for Garmin plotters if you want a copy in MapSource format. Carrigaholt is a nice day trip from Kilrush if you get settled weather, and if it's calm, a spin out to loop head on the edge of the Atlantic is awsome.

It's a wondeful trip - enjoy!


NB - These images are NOT to be used for Navigation and are NOT suitable for navigation. I have provided them here just for information and as a rough overview.

Flooded area (lake below Killaloe) Markers are very far apart and difficult to see


Flooded Area to Ardnacrusha Note the EEL nets


Map overview from Ardnacrusha to Limerick


Aerial overview of Limerick Navigation


Estuary - leaving Limerick Avoid this stretch within 2hrs either side of LW Limerick - it dries LW springs


Limerick to Foynes


Foynes - Approaches from W and NE Aughinish Alumina and Sheehen Light house on Beeves rock


Tarbert to Kilrush and Carrigaholt


Kilrush - Approaches including Hog and Scattery Islands


Kilrush Creek Marina - Fairway to Marina Lock - Leading Marks/Lights Use buoys only as a rough guide as they move sideways with the tidal stream. Use the Leading Marks ashore to ensure you are over the narrow approach channel to the lock (ie keep them in line one behind the other and watch for drift off track with the current)


OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
Re: Killaloe to Limerick
30 December, 2009 18:25
Noel, even if I say so myself, A great post, Please consider making it an article in the next IWN , it would be fantastic

Dave
(goboatingnow)
Re: Re: Killaloe to Limerick
30 December, 2009 19:10
On a cold December night like tonight, it is wonderful to read this again.
I am housebound since Christmas Day with a terrible dose. The charts are
teriffic. I have my 2005 ones all laminated for memory sake. I dreamed of a
blast up Lough Derg this week. some hope.

Happy New Year to all of our friends up and down the Shannon and Erne
navigation and Grand Canal. May 2010 be a year for great boating.

Stephen Maher

Gerda
Re: Killaloe to Limerick
30 December, 2009 20:53
Hi Stephen, happy new year (I guess as an innoculated turf man, Froggie), and like you thought I might get a trip in this week, but 3 inches of ice has me stuck fast. Started to melt yesterday, and it was really interesting to hear the ice flows bang and reverberate against each other and echo around the harbour, only had the phone with me and took a wee video, if I manage to transfer I will post. It was the noise that was amazing. It was still melting today and the harbour is now quarter way there, but I suspect the next few days will feeze it back again. Temperature of the water under the ice was reading 33 degrees F according to the depth sounder. Also the levels are now below summer levels.

Hope we meet over the next few weeks in more clement weather.

Les 41M.
Re: Re: Killaloe to Limerick
30 December, 2009 21:08
That sound, and the call of the Curlew, will always remind me of my
childhood in Shannon Harbour ... the bleak, cold soggy or flooded/frozen
plains.

S.

IWAI forum Les Saunders wrote:
> Posted at: [www.iwai.ie]
> Les Saunders wrote:
>
> Hi Stephen, happy new year (I guess as an innoculated turf man, Froggie), and like you thought I might get a trip in this week, but 3 inches of ice has me stuck fast. Started to melt yesterday, and it was really interesting to hear the ice flows bang and reverberate against each other and echo around the harbour, only had the phone with me and took a wee video, if I manage to transfer I will post. It was the noise that was amazing. It was still melting today and the harbour is now quarter way there, but I suspect the next few days will feeze it back again. Temperature of the water under the ice was reading 33 degrees F according to the depth sounder. Also the levels are now below summer levels.
>
> Hope we meet over the next few weeks in more clement weather.
>
> Les 41M.
>
>
Re: Killaloe to Limerick
31 December, 2009 01:21
OceanFroggie Wrote:

> HEALTH WARNING:
> This post is about men and women in fast white
> boats and may risk offending some looney leftie
> eco-mentalist heritage peat turf and bog
> extermists - but not the nice sane ones who've
> been vacinated against outdated, blind and
> condescening prejudices winking smiley winking smiley

Noel ,you have a way with words that sometimes gets under my skin. Yes ,you added two smileys but ?????????????????. pj
Re: Killaloe to Limerick
31 December, 2009 08:29
Apologies PJ, that post was some weeks ago, and the comment at the end perhaps an ill advised joke, but in response to the barrage of anti "white cruiser folk" comments from a very very tiny minority who perhaps got under "my skin" at the time. Anyway the post was for the interest to cruiser folk and a respite from the fender bashing, btw fender bashing that did not come from M boat kommanders old and new. Apologies once again.

Parry and repost

Re: Killaloe to Limerick
31 December, 2009 10:33
Fair Play to you Noel . Apology accepted.

A very happy New Year to you and yours.

Looking forward to 2010 and a few joint c.i.c.s if you know what I mean.

PJN
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