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Voyage into Ireland

Voyage into Ireland

*138 pages. Available as .epub

Over fifty years have past since I made the voyage that is the subject of this book. The manuscript that began as an up to the minute guide, is now an historical document. Like the canals, it is a miracle that it has survived. The manuscript twice crossed the Atlantic aboard small sailing boats, survived storms at sea and two major hurricanes. During those intervening years the inland waterways of Ireland developed beyond belief. What was then abandoned is now restored, and the navigations upon which we once sailed in solitude are now popular cruising grounds. 


Our every intention was to explore the canal route through France to the Mediterranean and, by way of a round-about return route, to include the canals that link to the Bay of Biscay and the inland waterways of Brittany. Preparations for that voyage were well underway when we learnt that the Dublin section of the Grand Canal was threatened with closure and that the River Barrow was rapidly becoming unnavigable…Four days later we tied Jessica to a bollard, so weather worn and scarred by ropes that it looked like a totem pole. We were moored at the junction of the Barrow Branch of the Grand Canal. Ahead of us lay one of the least explored waterways in Europe…It seemed strange to be listening to the shipping forecast while tied to a grassy bank in the middle of Ireland with a couple of cows grazing nearby. But Sea Area Shannon is equally as relevant there as it is a hundred miles out in the Atlantic…

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