The weather forecast for the weekend looked promising although a strong northerly breeze suggested otherwise. However, by the time we had sorted out boats and gear the wind had dropped and there were even moments of sunshine to be seen.

After leaving the Share centre our first stop was Innish Rath and a visit to the Hare Krishna centre. As usual we were warmly welcomed and invited to take a tour of the island and temple. Lunch was taken on the jetty after which we set off along the east side of the lough assisted by a slight tail wind.

Our next stop was the old boat house on the Crom estate with a great view of Insiherk Lodge, one of the most picturesque houses in Northern Ireland. A few head off to look at Crom castle, the stunning home and still privately owned by the Circhton family. The castle has been used in a number of TV commercials and also was the setting for the BBC’s production of PG Woodhouse’s comedy, “Blandings” . A short distance on we stopped again at the ruins of the old Crom castle with it’s two magnificent Yew trees, one male and one female. The trees are said to over 800 yrs old, the oldest Yew trees in the UK and Europe and the second oldest trees in Ireland.

After another short journey we stopped off at the Crom visitors centre to have coffee with Elizabeth Adair whose husband Alan and son Mathew were on the trip.

After coffee we headed past Crichton tower and found a campsite on the west side of Inishfendra. Camp was quickly established and everyone set about cooking their evening meal and of course a small campfire was light providing some pleasant heat later on in the evening. The usual craic was enjoyed by all around the fire until the small hours.

After a long and relaxed breakfast we were on the water heading back towards Crichton tower, the tower, said to be built, by the Crichton family to improve their view down the lough is now semi ruined and home to several species of birds.

Continuing back towards the Share in sunshine our last stop was for lunch at the boat slip on Derryvore and a visit to the Derryvore church. The church was built in 1842 and is commonly known as Crom church is a stunning victorian building at the top of the path from the slip.

The rest of the trip was enjoyed in perfect weather for paddling. We arrived back at the Share around 4pm for a well deserved ice-cream. Many thanks to everyone for making it a great weekend on the water.

Peter Dew

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