Today on Doon Lough, Co. Clare the sun was blazing and the wind was low. But we did manage to hitch a free ride with the wind.
We own a sailing boat, GP14, that was given to us by my Dad after it had been sitting unused in the garage for 24 years. The mast broke a long time ago and we are unlikely to replace it. So after some repainting and adjusting it was ready to go, in its new form as a rowing boat.
Here she is on Lough Derg last year on her maiden voyage.
We are determined not to get an out board engine as they are noisy and dirty. We get a bit of exercise from the rowing and as we are generally not in a rush anywhere we will stick to the slow option for now.
But we have discovered that the wind will push us around a bit even though we have no sail and if we are clever we can just sit back and drift to our desired destination. Today we were particularly lucky. We were out investigating a new lake which is only about 1.5 miles long and so we obviously wanted to go from one end to the other. We rowed out into the middle and as we had our lunch the boat drifted very slowly to the north. We pulled up after a while to have a snooze in the sun by the lake shore. We eventually got going again and investigated some more of this end of the lake before rowing back up it a bit.
It was time for more relaxing and so we stopped rowing for another long while. This time we seemed to be drifting south to the other end of the lake! How convenient. We just lolled about, eating more food, sunning ourselves and hanging our hands in the water until we reached the other end of the lake.
All we had to do then was row a small distance back to the slip way in order to pull the boat back out again. So, thanks to the wind for bringing us all the way around such beautiful little lake.
You'll be pleased to know that most of the modifications to the boat have followed the normal habit of reusing old items. We added a new seat to the back of the boat and for this we used old wood that we had collected somewhere.
All the ropes we use for tying up the boat and attaching the anchor etc were found washed up on beaches.
We are also experimenting with some floats that we found on a beach. We plan to use them as fenders which will prevent us from scraping off rocks and other boats etc. They may be a bit small, but we'll see. We have two bailers, just in case! There is actually a tiny leak that lets in a few cups of water every hour or so. The bailers were made from milk cartons.
We painted the boat using Auro paints which are non toxic and produced in an environmentally friendly factory. Any waste paint can be composted. It is expensive but worth it we think.