May 15th, 2016
Our first full day dawned with beautiful weather (which according to the forecast would be the last sun we would see all week). We cruised down the “Upper Lough” which is very wide and very empty. Comparing it to the Norfolk broads which we visited a few years ago, not crashing into things was very easy as there were few other boats, but navigating was quite hard. We had been supplied with a book of charts of the Lough, but navigating using these involved constantly reading marker beacons for their numeric coat and cross-referencing them back to the book. R forestalled this by downloading the ordnance survey map to View Ranger and accessing it on his phone, and this worked brilliantly to the extent that this isn’t recommended by the cruiser hire companies.
While I am mentioning Norfolk – this was actually six years ago – and it interesting to reflect that the four of us then had the grand total of two electronic devices with a requirement for regular recharges i.e. two iPads (well we also had feature phones but they didn’t really need recharged often). This time the tally was nineteen – J three (two WPs and an iPad), R four (iPhone, Android Phone, iPad, Linux Laptop), Me five (WP, Android, Surface, Fire, headphones), N six (two cameras, Android phone, Android tablet, Windows laptop, toothbrush), which made it a real challenge keeping everything running to the extent that we were fighting over the plug sockets.
We visited Tully castle, which was a ruin and looked very romantic in the sunshine. The old gardens had been abandoned and had gone to seed, but the remnants of the box hedges and clumps of herbs could still be seen.
I’ve never seen such a place for wild flowers as Northern Ireland
Also the blossom has been pretty fantastic everywhere this year, but was particularly good here.
We had a nice lunch on our sundeck and then set off for our next destination – but disaster struck. When we came in to the next jetty, the bow thrusters completely failed to operate. The only engineer available from Manor Marine on a Sunday afternoon was already out on a call, so reluctantly we had to return all the way back up the Lough to where we started. We then had to moor on a jetty with thousands of jet skis while we waited until we could be fixed the next morning. Not a happy evening.