Rally Roundup

Below is an outline of our Summer Cruise in Company. We are hoping to make this C.I.C. an annual event and watching it grow!

Shannon-Erne CICAugust 3-11th, 2019

(aka the Critical Incident Cruise!)

Our August C.I.C. on the Shannon-Erne went off with a bang, literally for some people! Starting in Leitrim on Saturday 3rd and finishing in Belturbet on Sunday 11th, it was amazing for a variety of reasons. The scenery was spectacular, it rained heavily, boats broke down, but we still had a ball! We planned this trip hoping to get ten or more entries but were delighted with the interest shown, the final count was twenty one boats. It was truly a combined affair with Dublin, Kildare and Royal branches contributing equally.
The plan was to stay overnight in Leitrim on the first day as there is plenty to do there. A trip to the local shooting range was to be followed by drinks and a good meal to set us up for the week. That all went perfectly to plan but before we even got started we got wind of a boat broken down and being towed to the cruise, a starter motor had failed but one was on the way. Unfortunately, just outside Leitrim the twin engined boat towing the casualty encountered a stray fender with line attached. Props were fouled, now both were dead in the water (i’m not going to name names of the casualties but we all know who we are!). A call was made and the true heroes of the week arrived, the Norton brothers, Cian and Eoghan from iwai Dublin. Cian is a diver and saved the bacon of a couple of folk with fouled props and other issues on the Royal this year, now they were doing it again! Cian was in and had it sorted quickly. We were happily popping baloons with arrows while he was groping around in the murky water at Leitrim!
Day two and we headed off up the flight of locks, we were only going up to Kilclare but with six locks and twenty boats then, it was a day’s work. Being a holiday weekend there were quite a few hireboats out too. I waited till last which left us struggling with the rain and a barge that was developing drive issues and by lock six was out of action anyway as the starter motor failed. We pulled the motor the following day but it was so old we couldn’t get parts and a replacement was a week away.
The Dolan’s on Float No.1 kindly took us in for a couple of days and we travelled to Keshkerrigan with them. The monsoon-like rain put an end to our plan to moor out on Kiltybardan Lough for a BBQ and at the last minute Gertie’s Pub offered us their covered BBQ area for a wonderful night out.
On the way to Ballinamore we had another casualty when someone hit bottom and limped back to Keshkerrigan only to have the prop drop off while mooring – again Cian was called and at nearly midnight was sitting on the bottom feeling and tapping around for a prop, he found it too.
Haughton’s Shore was a special location, the barbequees came out and the brazier kept us warm, till the rain set in again. By Ballyconnell a couple of boats had succumed to the weather and headed home and of the boats that reached Belturbet on Saturday only one ventured out on the tour of the Quivvy scheduled as an option for Sunday. Well done Niall O’Dowda who took anyone else who wanted to go with him. Another bot had sheared two engine mounts that morning which prevented them from going too.
Strangely, though a few people had issues, I think we will mostly remember the beautiful location, the laughs and sing-songs around the fire at night, not forgetting Rory Winston’s fabulous repertoire, and the unconditional help from a great group of friends – roll on next year, maybe brollies instead of plaques!

Pics: SE25; Beth finds her form; Queuing for the lock; Stunning scenery; Niall gets his Royal Burgee; Using the Phone Box; Fiona wins adults colouring comp; Ciaran Kelly wins the kids crossword and wordsearch comp.

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