Alexandra's Log

Winter Update

Winter Update on the Boat

Alexandra is laid up for the winter, but I still like to keep an eye on her even when she is not in use. So we dropped in before Christmas, set mouse traps, checked for leaks and damage, changed the ropes to older ones, took in some of the fenders not in use, and checked the dehumidifier. All good!

Even though it was 3.30 in the afternoon, the sun was setting and the lake was flat calm. Doesn’t it look fab? Don’t be fooled though. It was freezing cold!

Winter water levels

There has been much discussion lately about the low levels this year. Yes, they are certainly low, but apparently not exceptionally low – just exceptionally low for this time of year. Coincidentally, I was in Lakeside this time last year and the photographs I took are quite different.

In the first picture, you can hardly see Alexandra, but a year earlier, the water was lapping over the road, and you can see the jetty is considerably higher than the road.

Winter update
December 2016: Look at the green handrail, down to the floating jetty.

 

Winter update 2015
December 2015: Taken just over a year ago. Look at the same green handrail on the right. The floating jetty is several inches over the level of the road. Note also the water spilling out over the road.

 

Water levels in Belturbet

I was also in Belturbet recently, and coincidentally this time last year as well. Just look at the difference in the levels….

Winter update
December 2015: Look at the handrail, wellies needed just to get to it. Note the telegraph pole to the right. Water starting to flood into the carpark.

 

Winter update
December 2016: The same handrail. The tarmac jetty in the foreground, as well as the bank to the right were completely submerged a year earlier. Note the telegraph pole to the right.

 

A boat is just a leaky tub…

We spend so much time on boats fixing leaks. We constantly check for leaks, we mop up after it rains, and we put in pumps and float switches on the assumption that there is bound to be a small leak somewhere. Leaks on a boat are one thing. But dealing with flooding in your home is something I have only experienced once. It was a burst pipe, so the water was clean, switched off very quickly and the damage was limited. But even so, carpets were ruined, floor tiles lifted, furniture needed to be restored professionally, and of course, the walls, floors, skirting boards and doors were soaked to a height of about an inch. And we had to move out in a hurry too. We were lucky that our kind next door neighbours gave us a place to stay.

 

But a home is slightly different…

Even though industrial heaters dried out the damage fairly quickly, it was an expensive and very stressful time. So I can only imagine the horror of seeing my lovely home filled with filthy stinking water, my possessions floating around in the sludge, the washing machine quietly seizing up, and with no idea of how long it will take to drain out, much less dry out. Imagine the repairs, the cleaning, the cost, and dealing with insurance? And a year later, putting sandbags around my front door and praying it won’t happen again. And keeping wellies in the car, just in case I arrive home to the worst.

So to all my land-based friends living and working along the banks of My Lovely Shannon, I hope you are keeping dry. It is looking good so far but the winter rains aren’t over yet.

Fingers crossed.

 

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