Inland Waterways Association of Ireland


The Voice of Ireland's Waterways


Allianz Boat Insurance

Barrowline Cruisers



Join and receive your copy of IWN!

Locations of visitors to this page

Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer

Posted by Ciaran Clinton 
This forum is currently read only. You can not log in or make any changes. This is a temporary situation.
Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 17:49
While the Rambler and crew are making their way west on the Royal recording their momentous journey we made a similar journey east to the 15th lock.

Owning the Blackthorn for over 20 years and being heavily involved in the restoration of the canal in the Kilcock area it was always dad's (Mick Clinton's) dream to one day moor her outside the his house at the 15th lock east of Kilcock. Unfortunately, he did not live to see his dream become a reality. But in keeping with the his dream we set out last Friday 17th June from our berth in Termonbarry Co. Roscommon to make it a reality, the following his a photo diary of the journey to bring Blackthorn home.

Friday 17th June
Slipped from our mooring and crossed the Shannon to Burke's Lock up to the Camlin River, we locked up the 46th lock (the first of 31 locks!) on the Royal, because it was quite late in the evening we wouldn't be able to get the two lifting bridges above lock 45 lifted by Waterways Ireland, so we retired to the Richmond Inn for some liquid refreshments after our hard evenings work.thumbs up


Saturday 18th
Departing Richmond Harbour at about 08:30 we headed east to lock 45, and above the lock keeper was waiting to lift the Bord na Mona bridge and shortly after the new Killashee road bridge.

we motored steadily on for the day even getting chased by a thunderstorm

until climbing through lock 39 and stopping at Abbeyshrule for the night.


Sunday 19th
Up bright and early the next morning and off again passing through the Ballymaglavey Bog

The bog land the Royal passes through is still wild and as nature intended compared to some of the exploited bogs along the Grand.
We stopped at Ballnacargy for breakfast, (for anybody interested we didnt have any hassle here)

While climbing through the 35th lock Waterways Ireland lock keepers helped us through the rest of the 9 locks to the summit level certainly their help made short work of it for us and we were making great time as we left Coolnahey



Up until now the canal has been in fabulous condition with plenty of depth and no problems with weed, however, progress on the summit level was slow going.
There is a lot of weed and its quite shallow for the mile or so above Coolnahay to Shandonagh Bridge. From there the canal depth improves and weed is not such a problem.
Making good progress into mullingar


East of Mullingar there is a 3 mile section where the canal was cut out of rock, its a really nice area but only being wide enough for one boat progress can be slow.
From Baltrasna Bridge to Mary Lynchs pub is an area the locals call 'Plastic Bag Alley'. If locals with outboard engines can get snagged in fertiliser bags what chance do the rest of us have?
Basically there are a couple of farmers along there and.... enough said.....

Eventually, we got as far as the top of lock 25 and overnighted there having to return to work for Monday morning.

Dejected and tired from a slow day we returned home hoping the miles ahead would be better then what we put up with today.

Monday 20th
Feeling invigorated and refreshed by the pouring rain, we descended the 8 locks of the Killucan flight without any further 'baggage' spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
There is plenty of depth and little weed down these short levels.
we passed the Rambler as we drove the towpath, Dick Warner was on the Bow.




and moored outside Nanny Quinns at Thomastown.

Tuesday 21st
Now facing the 22mile long level we set off Tuesday evening From Thomastown our sights set on Furies at Moyvalley, east of Thomastown is quite weedy at times and can be shallow we stirred up mud at times but never really touched bottom, after a few miles it widens out and good progress can be made.

Passing through the Hill of Down the canal is quite shallow but it makes you throttle back and enjoy the area



East of Blackshade Bridge seems to be quite dirty with lots of bags for 300M until the barrier.

With dusk approaching the skies clearing what else would you be doing on the longest night of the year then cruise along towards Longwood and the Boyne as the light fades.



Boyne Aquaduct

Longwood Harbour

Lights on, Ribbontail bridge and double breech gates

Mooring in Fureys Moyvalley


Wednesday 22nd
Leaving Fureys along a beautiful stretch of tree lined canal in the evening sunlight

Blackwater Aquduct

then the approach and enfield harbour



The canal shallows again as you approach Cloncurry Bridge and for about 2 miles beyond its quite baggy and shallow. From cloncurry to Fern's Lock (17th) there is quite a lot of weed but at least the traffic the canal is seeing at present is keeping the centre channel clear. We reached the 17th and overnighted below on the landing Jetty, and only had a 5 minute drive home.... we were getting closer..

Thursday 23rd
With the excitement building we set off from Fern's at 7pm, dignitaries onboard all suitable refreshedsmileys with beer
we passed through Spin bridge

and arrived above the 16th and final lock





After visiting the O'Keeffes across from the harbour we carried on home for the final mile..


I had to walk out this morning to check it was real... Nicely tied up beside Mick Farrell


A big thanks to everyone for all their help, and most importantly to the believers who never gave up hope that someday their dream would become a reality!grinning smileysmileys with beer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24/06/2011 18:07 by Ciaran Clinton.
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 17:59


Ciaran thank you so much for posting one of the best reads and views I've enjoyed on here for years. Absoloutely wonderful post and fabulous pictures. The story of an adventure well told and brilliantly illustrated. Thanks again.



OceanFroggie Noel Griffin
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 18:52
Absolutly brilliant Ciaran, and I hope that you will continue to use and
look after Blackthorn, ironically I was only out at the 15th Lock during
the week collecting the crew of 31B, remember having many a chat and
coffee with your dad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24/06/2011 19:07 by OceanFroggie.
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 19:06
Great post and photos, it's going on my to do listsmiling smiley What a beautiful country we have amidst all the crapmoody smiley
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 21:08
Wow, fantastic post on my bucket list now smiling smiley
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 21:19
Well done Ciaran. A brilliant journey and blog.
Your dad would be very proud of you .

PJ
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 22:13
Hi Ciaran,

An excellent post with a great complement of pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's on my to-do list for the summer. I will use your post as a guide for depth etc.

By the way, Blackthorn looking amazing, Congrats.

Regards

Pioner 325
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
24 June, 2011 22:42
Great post and lovely pictures Ciaran. Once again I regret not "doing the canals" when I had a suitable boatsad smiley

Regards

Peter
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
25 June, 2011 00:50
Wow Ciaran, fantastic set of pictures. I knew your dad from when I started boating well over 30 years ago, and I had wondered where the Blackthorn had gone. Great to see her still in action with that super horn (of which I am very envious) on her roof, and looking great. For sure he would be delighted at this trip.

Well done...

Les 41M
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
25 June, 2011 13:34
wow, thanks all for the great feedback, it was a fabulous trip it is really evident that all the local RCAG groups are beeming with pride as every village is really well landscaped and tended to. While people say a canal is a canal, the land around the route the Royal takes is less developed, we even found a couple of views where you couldn't see a house or development, which is a rare sight in Ireland now!
We meant to take a few pics of other harbours on the western end but you will all have to come a see them for yourselves spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

For those of us who are horizontally endowed grinning smiley we also jotted down the majority of turning points as we passed them (none of these were checked for depth off the centre channel)
so starting from the west heading east,
Page 14, East of lock 43 before turn off for the Longford branch.
Page 13, West of Cloonbreany Bridge
Page 12, Ballymahon Harbour
Page 11, East of Bog Bridge before the Blackwater
Page 11, Ballynacargy Harbour
Page 10, Coolnahay Harbour
Page 10, Harbour above east of Ballinea Bridges
Page 9, Mullingar harbour
Page 8, Just west of Footbridge
Page 8, About Midway between Downs Bridge and Drawbridge (plastic bag alley)
Page 8, West of Footy's Bridge
Page 7, Thomastown harbour
Page 7, West of Ballasport Bridge
Page 6, Longwood Harbour
Page 5, East of Blackwater aquduct
Page 5, Enfield Harbour
Page 4, Kilcock Harbour
Page 3, Maynooth Harbour.

Oh, and Les, I did my best to try and rattle the Kilcock bridge loose with that horn on Thursday evening....its still tooting away happily!grinning smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 25/06/2011 13:36 by Ciaran Clinton.
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
25 June, 2011 14:31
Ciaran ,that list of turning points is invaluable. I remember somebody asking here on the forum for that exact information.All potential canal users should keep it for reference.

Cheers,PJN



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 25/06/2011 14:32 by pj norris.
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
25 June, 2011 15:06
Well done Ciaran,

the Royal is certainly flavour of the month, thanks to people like your Dad. Sorry I wasn't around Rambler when they passed you, but Treacy junior told me about it. Blackthorn looking great, and your pictures were fab.

Joe.
Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
25 June, 2011 19:46
Well done Blackthorn

That
was the best post I have read for ages. Sometimes , just sometimes this forum hits the spot
Thank you


























w
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
26 June, 2011 13:48
> By the way, Blackthorn looking amazing, Congrats.
>
> Regards
>
> Pioner 325

Hear Hear !!

She always had a lovely ship-like line to her, great to see her continuing
to give pleasure.

All the best...Mark
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
27 June, 2011 02:00
Excellent Ciaran, a very well told story.

To continue your list of turning points further East....

Page 3, Pike Bridge Harbour (est. 30 to 40 feet)
Page 2, RCAG Slip, Confey (est.30 to 40 feet)
Page 2, Just above Lock 12 (at least 58 feet, and 2.5 feet deep has turned here " Vazon B")
Page 1, Ashttown Quay (at least 58 feet and 2.5 feet deep has turned here "Vazon B")
Page 1, Phibsboro Hbr. (plenty of length, depth not checked)
Page 1, Jetty above Summerhill Pde. Bridge (at least 45, feet and 2 foot deep has turned here "Kingfisher")

Many thanks for your help through Lock 16 today and you really need to dig a turning point down near the house now....!!!

M(W&W)F
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
27 June, 2011 17:46
Ciaran

Wonderful read and great photographs of Blackthorn, Fran, family and friends. Thanks for allowing us to participate long distance!

Beth
Aqualegia
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
27 June, 2011 20:10
Congrats Ciaran, I am sure all the Clinton Family are delighted with the realisation of a lifelong dream. Rally intersting blog of the journey as well.

Rgds
Richard Ellis


Virginia Lady
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
28 June, 2011 12:37
Quote:
Mick Farrell
Excellent Ciaran, a very well told story.
To continue your list of turning points further East....

Page 3, Pike Bridge Harbour (est. 30 to 40 feet)
Page 2, RCAG Slip, Confey (est.30 to 40 feet)
Page 2, Just above Lock 12 (at least 58 feet, and 2.5 feet deep has turned here " Vazon B")
Page 1, Ashttown Quay (at least 58 feet and 2.5 feet deep has turned here "Vazon B")
Page 1, Phibsboro Hbr. (plenty of length, depth not checked)
Page 1, Jetty above Summerhill Pde. Bridge (at least 45, feet and 2 foot deep has turned here "Kingfisher")

Many thanks for your help through Lock 16 today and you really need to dig a turning point down near the house now....!!!

M(W&W)F

Mick, you should be passing the (not so) waterbourne dredger before Thomastown today, pump her out and send her my way, I'll get stuck into creating a turning point between Maynooth and Kilcock!


Thanks all for the great comments, we celebrated the journey all weekend long, thank god I had to go back to work yesterday, I don't think my liver could take another day or two!
smileys with beersmileys with beersmileys with beersmileys with beersmileys with beersmileys with beer
Re: Re: Blackthorn Comes Home on the Royal Canalsmileys with beer
28 June, 2011 15:28
As I write, I am alongside her. Stopped for coffee...!!

M(W&W)F

Online Users

Guests within the past 30 minutes: 9
Record Number of Registered Users (within a 30 minute window): 7 on 12 November, 2017
Record Number of Guests (within a 30 minute window): 384 on 10 June, 2017