It is clearly a co-incidence that the past five years have been dominated on the one hand by recession and on the other by the four bad summers in succession. If boat owners were not deprived of the opportunity to use their boat due to hard times and recession they were often beaten back by the weather. 2013 has been a different boating season and whilst it is a great pity that we can’t announce the end of the recession it was very satisfying to see that there was boat friendly weather and in the world of boats that meant there was opportunity to get out the under used craft. Many if not most of the Athlone branch members appear to have availed of the organised events to cruise and mingle and others were happy to organise their own cruises in company of small numbers and do their own exploration.
Athlone branch had a very successful CIC to Clondra and this was very well organised by Sheamie and Ann Carr. Clondra is such a gem in the cruising range of Athlone members for a weekend and the May bank holiday was so well spent in the refurbished facilities at this historic harbour. After a tour of the harbour area hosted by a local historian CIC competition broke out and boules kits excavated from bilges provided the big attraction, something which carried into the Saturday night’s singsong entertainment and presentation.
The June bank holiday CIC was organised by Paul and Rosie King with Barley harbour as the ultimate destination. Saturday afternoon featured an anchor out, or maybe better described as an anchor drag, but in the end all made it safely to Barley and what a BBQ and evening by simple oil lantern Paul had organised. The cruise to and tour on Saints Island with a music night in Coosan Point completed a fabulous weekend.
We also had the wonderful St Hildas day trip and some of us were involved in providing a support service to the Dublin Airport Police and Fire Service Rowing Club who rowed from Lough Allen to Foynes for charity.
‘Then there was the 53rd. Shannon Boat Rally which this year was in the North Shannon. Commodore Martin Donnelly ably assisted by Athlone Vice-Commodore and Carrick Vice-Commodore delivered a fantastic programme. Roll on the 54th Rally, next year based in the Athlone area.We still have the Puddin and Porter weekend 13th -15th September at Lecarrow, that ever improving venue and the end of season CIC to go so let’s not give up yet on what has already been a wonderful boating season for Athlone IWAI members.