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Thread: Ulster Canoe Festival 2018

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

    Default Ulster Canoe Festival 2018

    Friday 31stAug to Sunday 2nd Sept.

    On the Friday I made my way to the Mothership at Noble dock near Carrybridge.
    A delightful undeveloped (unspoilt) mooring on the riverbank

    Noble Dock, just 6 boats.

    Then motored with the canoe in tow to the Share Centre near Lisnaskea.
    Having socialised for a while with the organisers and early arrivers I took an early paddle.

    The mothership on the dock at the Share Centre.

    A moment of contemplation before the madness.
    In the morning I had booked into the sailing lesson run by John Wilkinson.

    The group of trainee sailors.

    Setting up the sails and inspecting each others boats.

    The group on the water in organised chaos. There was very little wind.

    My sail is a homemade downwind sail with a paddle handle stuck into each top corner.

    A little more organised with a common direction (back to the dock for lunch )

    In the afternoon I had booked into the Safety and Rescue session run by Oisine (pronounced Osheene)
    This provided some long overdue practise in group rescue and self rescue.

    The Rescue group gets a briefing.

    The first victim (volunteer) gets to jump overboard.

    The rescue is set up.

    Oisine demonstrated a technique where the victim climbs over his own sunken boat, using it as a step, into the rescuers boat.
    Then he pulled the sunken boat across the middle of the rescue boat, rolling it over to empty the water out.
    Finally flipping the rescued boat upright and sliding it back into the water, and transferring the paddler back into it.
    This technique was surprisingly fast and low on effort required.

    Then he showed us a technique to recover a paddler if the boat was not sunk. Holding one gunnel while the victim threw a leg over the other gunnel.

    The leg hook technique.

    Oisine demonstrates the self rescue technique.

    My attempt at this just filled the boat.

    Brian demonstrates that you can paddle a filled boat. You need buoyancy at each end to do this.

    Oisine demonstrates if a person cannot be put back in a boat it helps to put them in a bivvybag while awaiting professional rescue.

    Heading back to the dock for the evenings BBQ and entertainment.

    On day two, the Sunday, I was on the all day trip run by John Wilkinson and Keith.

    The All Day Trippers gather, and a plan is made.

    Share Centre area map.
    The plan was to run downwind to the mouth of the Colebrook River, then cut across to Inishcorkish for the first tea break,
    and on across wind to Aghinish, and battle upwind past Inishcrevan and across to Trannish for a lunch break at the bothy.

    Another battle upwind to Trasna Island and under the Lady Brooke Bridge and finally a long down wind run under Lady Craigavon Bridge and back to the Share Centre.

    Setting off downwind from the Share Centre, sails up.

    My downwind sail was working well on this section.

    We follow Keith into the reeds behind Rabbit Island.

    With total faith we still follow Keith, carving our own path.

    Keith is up ahead somewhere.

    It is now too shallow to paddle.

    We discuss our progress, stuck in the mud.

    We cross the dyke into the Colebrooke River, and paddle on into another shallow area behind Creaghanarourke Island.
    Good for poling practise.

    Arriving on Inishcorkish

    Tea break on Inishcorkish

    The group arriving off Aghinish

    Regrouping after a long headwind push, on the headland opposite Bockan Island.

    The group cutting across to Trannish.

    Lunch stop on Trannish, at the Bothy.

    We had a long upwind push to Trasna Island and Lady Brooke Bridge.

    Regrouping at the end of Trasna.

    The lagoon at the West end of Trasna is shallow and large boats do not go in there, I hung back to absorb the tranquillity.

    John sailing under the Lady Craigavon bridge.

    The wind was picking up and my downwind sail was really working.

    The long sail back to the Share Centre.
    The wind was increasing all the way back and the sailing was quite lively at the end.

    We arrived back at 5pm, by 6pm there was a minor storm blowing and all boating was cancelled, good timing.
    I had a rough night on the dock, but the Mothership can handle it.
    In the morning all was calm again, and I was inspired to have a solo paddle.

    Swans off Inishcorkish

    The tea break spot from the day before, all to myself.
    I enjoyed being here with a group, and I also enjoyed my solo visit.

    A stop on the south end of Inishcorkish.

    It was a great Canoe Festival, with thanks to the organisers from the Ulster Canoe Club, Gareth and John,
    the sponsors Hou Canoes, the support of CANI, the great coaches, and the camaraderie of the attending paddlers.
    Last edited by Mr Nick; 7th-September-2018 at 10:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Nice one Nick.

    It does look like an even better event than last year's one was. Glad the weather (mostly) played ball!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Bangor, Co Down.


    Looked like a great event.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Antrim town


    For the record, and I hope you don't mind me adding - This year's event was supported primarily by Hou Canoes, but also Make Your Own Adventure, Share Discovery Village, Waterways Ireland, 50 Shades of Paddling and Valkyrie Craft Canoes. They all gave up lots of time, skills and money to make it happen so deserve to get some credit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries


    Looks like it was a good event with a decent turnout to support it as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    SW France


    Sorry I couldn’t get there this year guys but it’s good to see it thriving and less rain than my last visit.
    As it turned out, I was busy with customers anyway but I’ll get back there at some point in marginal season to annoy everyone.
    Cheers Nick
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”

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