Day 129, Weds 10 May
Just a short way up the coast from Bundoran I had to show real courage once more. At Ballyshannon, my route plan shows a turn to the right, away from the coast. But that’s not all. Not only will I have to leave my sea on the left comfort zone but today I have to leave the country. Well no, I’m not leaving Ireland but I am temporarily entering the UK. Another pair of Loughs, above and below Enniskillen to visit, in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. No border, just a polite reminder that speed limits are now in miles per hour. Long may it remain that simple.
Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne. Let me explain: From a North-South map-reader’s perspective, Upper Lough Erne is of course the large body of Island-packed water below (south of) the even larger Lower Lough Erne. From a boating perspective, if going with the flow of the mighty River Erne, the southernmost Lough is clearly the Upper Lough Erne and the northernmost is the Lower Lough Erne, being the one nearer the sea.
All clear? Good.
Today’s visit was to the brand new Carry Bridge Lifeboat Station. The Atlantic 75 is a reassuring, familiar sight but this is the first time I’ve seen the RNLI liveried Jet Ski Rescue Watercraft. A very fast, neat bit of kit, as already used by some of the RNLI Lifeguard volunteers at some coastal resorts in the UK. Today, midweek in early May, all is very calm and peaceful. Holidays and weekends are a different matter, with a huge number of leisure craft, from kayaks to big motor cruisers, often hidden from view behind one of the many Islands or along one of the many alternative courses of the split channels of the River Erne. This is a very challenging and disorientating navigational expanse of waterways.
Many thanks to Peter (Ed/Visits) and Archie (ex DLA, FR chair) for the welcome and full tour of their new pride and joy. They now have to keep up a host of new initiatives to raise funds to maintain this great new facility!
More on this and the partner station on the Lower Lough to follow later ….