Erne to Inverness 2024

2023 was the year Drie Gebroeders really came into her own for the first time under my custodianship. After years of struggling to get crew to help me take her out, this year she was like a 24 ton magnet! The year began with a few sedate trips locally, Sunday lunches at Knockninny Country House (ideal for anyone new to barging) and Easter in Ballyconnell – our first venture into the Shannon-Erne Canal and an introduction to its automated lock system.

This wetted our appetite for bigger adventures, but a broken engine mounting on our first excursion up to the Lower Lough Erne put a halt to travels for a couple of Spring months. Nevertheless, by the end of June we were mobile again and mid-July saw us Shannon-bound with a new, and surprisingly mostly female, crew.

This epic voyage has now been entered into the Motley Crew’s Book Of Legends. Along the way we lost count of kingfishers, battled flood currents, press-ganged new friends, and squeezed into some very tight spaces. Not to mention the skipper walking on water and cutting our passage through fallen trees mid-canal! None of this would have been possible without the cheery assistance, banter and camaraderie of the crew, lock keepers, fellow boat people and all those unsuspecting day trippers who found themselves on board along the way.

So now, as we peer ahead into 2024, how do we cap that? No doubt we shall return to our favourite local haunts throughout the year, but this year’s Big Adventure will take us from Lough Erne to Inverness. What started as a “What If” conversation as Autumn ‘23 set in, has now become “A Plan”. This plan will include a return to where it all started, the Rathlin Island Maritime Festival at the end of May, followed by a tour in new territory – the Western Scottish Isles, Caledonian Canal, Portsoy for the ScottishTraditional Boats Festival and return via the Crinan Canal. All of this will be done in aid of a good cause, fundraising for the All-Ireland charity InspireWellbeing.org

To see full details of our itinerary and express interest in joining us on any part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as places are limited and expected to be snapped up quickly. To follow our progress as the year unfolds, why not check out our Social Media?

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