The result of the recent vote to rename the boat is as follows. We'd just like to thank every one that suggested names for the short list and to everyone that took the time to vote. Much appreciated.
4 % Eva (as was the name of a boat owned by Arthur Kavanagh of Borris)
6 % Deirfiúr (Sister)
9% An Bhearú (The Barrow)
10% Lady Barrow
10% Gráinne Mhaol (after the famous Irish pirate queen)
29.5% Barrow Boy (In recognition of the men that once worked the barges. They were known as barrow boys)
31.5 % Cara (Keep the name as it is)
This came as a little surprise to us but the result was to keep the name as Cara. However, we had got one or two messages and emails from people explaining that they believed it was bad luck to change the name of a boat. This might explain the result. Either way, the name is here to stay. Cara.
Many thanks again everyone. We will pick someone at random from everyone that liked or commented on our Facebook page for a free trip over the summer.
We'd a lovely ramble today starting on the river Barrow in Athy and taking the canal up to Churchtown in south west Kildare before heading across the border into Laois to do a lap of Kellyville lake in Ballintubbert. Perfect day for snapping birds !!
Today I had the pleasure of a day out with my brother Patrick Reid of Wicklow Willow. Setting out from Athy in county Kildare at 6am, I made my way up into the beautiful Wicklow mountains and into Larragh. My only stop on the road was to briefly take in the snow speckled scenery as I traversed the Wicklow Gap and to have a look at the Ballinagee river as it flows under the Ballinagee bridge before joining the Kings river. The mountains here contained the remains of the weekends snow with Carrignagunneen high above me and buried deep in the white stuff. Picking up Paddy in Laragh, we continued to the Vartry Resevoir and then onto Newcastle. Here we spent the day harvesting willow for basket making. Depending on the size needed, two people can usually harvest up to 1000 in about 4 hours. However, today we were also collecting larger willow poles for fencing and structure making. This is a much more time consuming process as the poles need to be stripped of all side shoots and branches. In total, we collected approximately 800 rods & poles and took all the daylight hours to complete the work. This evening after the two very hungry bellies were fed and watered, we set about making some traditional Irish willow baskets. Paddy is a master of the art and I like to think of myself as the apprentice. As the baskets began to take shape, two bottle of Aldi's fine Rioja kept us company.
The work is now done, my basket is complete and the fire is blazing. Paddy is about to open another bottle!!
PS if you'd like to try you hand at basket making, check out www.wicklowwillow.ie
With traditional March weather forecast, we left the boat moored and took to the van for a road trip following some of the local rivers in Kilkenny. A grey start to the day brought a mixed bag of blinding sunshine, hail, rain, snow, sleet and vivid blue skys as the late morning unfolded. We started in the city and journeyed north west, roughly following the river Nore. It took us to Three Castles in the parish of Odagh in Co Kilkenny. Here the river had broke it banks and stretched far and wide across the green fields. In places, the Nore cut a strong flow as it pushed further out into the surrounding countryside. We parked on a dogleg bend and made our way up the moss covered steps to the Church and Castle of Three Castles. The graveyard was overgrown and the gate to the church, locked; but that didn't stop us snapping a few pic's. Picking back up the N78, we headed for Castlecomer, meeting the Dinin river at Dysart Bridge, just north of Julianstown, county Kilkenny. The river, like the Nore was in a large flood and pumping water between the old pillars which looked like they once took a rail line. A couple of yards north on the N78, a second bridge spans another river joining the Dinin. On the maps I've looked at both rivers are marked as the Dinin river. However, both travel in completely different directions so I would be interested to hear from anyone local that might be able to shed light on the situation. On google maps, the river flowing from Castlecomer is called the river Deen. But I wouldn't put much faith in google in this regard. We then made our way into Castlecomer for lunch and a local lady told me that she always knew the river as being the Comer river. We had a fantastic lunch in the Lime Tree restaurant(and will certainly be back), and afterwards as we headed north out of the town, a pedestrian crossing the bridge near Castlecomer Discovery Park informed me that the river was just called the Dinan river. He proceeded to spell it out to highlight that it is not spelled Dinin. It was back onto the google machine and we discovered this link and the map below, which explained things a little further.
We recently launched the boat in Athy, county Kildare in the hope of bringing it back down river to Carlow in the coming weeks. However, given the recent snow and lashings of rain, the Barrow is now in full flood. We've been checking out www.waterlevel.ie for the past few days now and waiting for the river to drop. Although, I think we could be waiting. So today, instead of the river, myself and the dogs decided to take a ramble around Kellyville lake at Ballintubert County Laois. This is one of our favourite spots as its full of birds and wildlife. The ducks are fed regularly and this bring in many varieties of birds to feed. Here are some of the shots I got today during both the sunshine and rain. Perfect Irish weather or as my mother would say “March of many weathers”.
Far too cold for the river so we took a ramble around the lake. However, these little fella's were glad to be home before the snow became too heavy.
This week brought the news that we are now live on a couple of more tourist websites and directory websites. The first call came from Discover Ireland. They now have us listed here https://www.discoverireland.ie/activities-adventure/boattrips-ie/97142
The next was a call from the Golden Pages and they kindly listed us in the phone directory and website here https://www.goldenpages.ie/boattripsie-carlow/
The last was an email from Ireland's Ancient East to confirm that we are now live on their website here https://www.irelandsancienteast.com/see-do/adventure/activity-operators/boattripsie
All these are now linking to this website and helping to send customers our way. Looking forward to the season ahead.
About Oscar & Cliff
This is the blog of Oscar the boat dog and his human, Cliff Reid. Oscar and Cliff own and operate BoatTrips.ie and this is a diary of setting the company up and the adventures they are having messing about on boats, river and anything else.