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Old 03-28-2015, 12:57 PM   #1
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IRELAND TO THE MEDITERRANEAN, Part 1

Hello,
We've been planning for a while to cruise from Belturbet, Ireland to Port la Nouvelle on the French Mediterranean coast.
Part 1 of the journey will be too Dunkirk in Northern France, dependant on the weather it's estimated to be a 4 month trip before wintering over in Dunkirk.
Part 2 Will be leaving from Dunkirk in the spring to Belgium, Holland, Germany and back to the French Mediterranean coast via the European canals.
I will put up maps & photo's for anyone who wishes to follow our progress.
By nature it will be a long post and I hope you won't find it boring or monotonous.
Of course if anyone has any questions I will be happy to answer them if I can.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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Sounds good, looking forward to reading about it and pictures.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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This is the Broom 42 boat we bought second hand , amongst many other criteria the boat had to be, affordable, solidly built by a reputable builder, comfortable, able to go to sea in suitable weather, navigate the European canal system and have a good resale value..Click image for larger version

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Old 03-28-2015, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Rambler View Post
This is the Broom 42 boat we bought second hand , amongst many other criteria the boat had to be, affordable, solidly built by a reputable builder, comfortable, able to go to sea in suitable weather, navigate the European canal system and have a good resale value..Attachment 38662More photo's to follow as they become available.
Hi IR,

Good luck on your adventure, sounds like fantastic fun.

Those brooms have a reputation as good sea boats, although you only ever come across them on rivers. Built like tanks, and keep their value for decades.

Which engine do you have, and what cruise speed will that give you to cross the Irish Sea?

PS : does it have a low window in the transom?
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Have you considered starting a blog and posting the links?
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:52 AM   #6
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Irish, how about getting one of those DeLorme things like Richard on Dauntless used when he crossed the Atlantic? He was able to send us text messages and we could follow him all the way across the Atlantic on a web page.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:01 AM   #7
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Looks like fun! Please post pics and/or start a blog....
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:01 AM   #8
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Hello Rusty barge and Donsan.
Yes the Broom does have the windows on the back, we fitted a bow thruster and when we cut the holes we discovered the hull is damn near an inch thick, we're heading back to Belturbet on the 28th of April as we've loads to do to get her ready, this year's the 50th Erne Boat Rally and as an ex commodore we've been invited and after a week to sort ourselves out we'll be leaving on the 14th of June so we'll stop and say Hello ! when we pass through Athlone.
I'd normally cruise at displacement/hull speed of 7 knots for economy and use the tides for the extra free miles.
Donsan,
To be honest I don't know how to set up a blog, I did set up a web address 'cruisinginretirement@webs.com but they closed it without warning and I'm trying to resurrect it at the moment.
Because we'll be travelling through 3 countries getting Wi-Fi access can be patchy, hopefully the webs address will come good if not I'll have to call for help from you guys with IT savvy to set up a blog.
Not to be rude but when were in Ports I want to be up and around checking out things of interest as I'm writing a book of this journey but don't want to spend all day on the Laptop as the Master and Commander might not be best pleased.
We're travelling with another couple who are experienced boaters on the lakes and rivers but newbies to tidal sea cruising so I'll be holding their hands too.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:20 AM   #9
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Hello Parks, Alaskan SeaDuction and Rusty barge,
We're still in the 'work up, fitting out' mode and it's a bit difficult to organize everything as we're still down in the South of France due to other commitments until the 28th of April, then we'll have the old Merc and trailer packed to the gills for the 1,000 k journey North to catch the Irish Ferry from Cherbourg.
Were cruising with another couple and we're not sure what they are bringing to the equation as they are also busy transferring the family business to the siblings and they have their hands full with that at the moment.
If my navigation is OK we should be in Port at night and hopefully get Wi-Fi but that's not guaranteed in the small ports so I think we'll get by OK.
The engine ? Sure you know me by now ? it's a venerable Perkins 4236 M90, reliable, economical, easy fixed etc. I've already done some mods when we first got the boat from Emerald Star, fitting a bow thruster with new engine controls courtesy of Parks at Hopcar, painted the hull, spin on fuel filter conversion with built in hand primer, a paper element air filter rerouted to quieten down the intake roar, a new Bosch alternator(easy spares all over Europe) and a Adverc alternator controller, 880 amps of deep cycle batteries, new freezer, new cooker, new washing machine, new shore power connections and ring main with RCB, fuel tank removed, cleaned and extended up to 500 litres(110 gallons) and a new calorifier
I'll post more photo's as we progress as it'll get really hectic in the final stages of departure, we have to stick to schedule no matter what to catch the best weather window for a safe passage.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:24 AM   #10
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Wow, please post some pics of your refit; sounds very interesting!

The Broom line of models is very confusing, and a lot of info on the broom owners site is wrong; they list twin seagoing boats as Displ. Ect etc....

Here's your boat:Broom Owners Club - 42 Shannon Class

Is it semi-d or just full displ?

I'm interested as I'm looking for a Med cruising boat as well that could manage coastal cruising, and the odd bit of offshore to cross the channel etc in good weather.

Are you going to cover over the low windows with plywood for the Irish Sea crossing?
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:32 PM   #11
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Hello Peter, Yes that's the boat, Broom called it the 42' Charter as it had 7 permanent berths and 2 on the sofa, you know the hire boat company's sell their holidays with bums on beds so for 2 of us with occasional visitors it'll be grand. The Master and Commander saw a single berth and immediately claimed it for a wardrobe ! sheesh..
The rear double cabin en suite toilet/shower is now a double cabin with en suite utility room, we did away with the ancient toilet and found a 4kg Candy washing machine fitted perfectly. We found a couple of modern 12v toilets from SVB24.com to replace the ancient Blake's.
The hull is semi displacement which is fine, the Birchwood is the same and apart from coming here we've been up to Bordeaux and out along the Med coast to Italy and down to Barcelona in Spain so it's well proven.
There's 2 ways of looking at sea cruising, if your working you've got timetables to adhere to and you'll maybe take a chance on the weather when it would be more prudent to wait a day, when your retired you look for comfort not speed.
The only timetable I have is to be in Southampton for the boat show in September because we have visitors coming, normally I insist that visitors meet us where were moored, like it or leave it.
I once had a call from a 'friend' who said 'I've got a cheap flight and I'm coming to visit'. No problem your very welcome, errr the flight is to Barcelona, (we were in France at the time) the person said I can't manage the trains or buses, if anything happens to me it's your fault you'll have to collect me. It entailed 4 days cruising including a night passage.
Now if people wish to visit they are welcome but the rule is you come to us, no negotiation.
Sure we'll drop in on the way past and we'll be happy to show you around to show you what we've done.
The posts may seem a bit premature but it'll get crazy as the countdown progresses and I might not get chance until were underway.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:54 PM   #12
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Size:  15.5 KBHere's an update as we get closer to our departure from France en route to Ireland as we won't have ready access to Wi-Fi.
If you look at the attached map we're leaving from Narbonne which is about 20 miles to the west of Beziers on the map, going north to the little unmarked spur in the North, which is Normandy. More photo's from there as we pass. American's are still remembered and honoured for their sacrifice at Normandy on 'D-day in WW2

On our way we will cross the Millau 'Sky Bridge' designed by Englishman, Norman Foster the bridge is reputed to be the tallest in the world at 987 feet, 2,460 metres long, weighs 36,000 tonnes and cost 524 million dollars and crosses the Tarn valley in the Central Massif in France.

Once we arrive in Cherbourg we will catch the cruise ferry 'Oscar Wilde to Rosslare in Ireland, from there it's a 6 hour drive to our new boat 'Snow Mouse'. More to follow.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:25 AM   #13
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We eventually made it to catch the ferry, only just ! The car and trailer were heavy loaded it took us 18 hours driving to reach Cherbourg, getting sideswiped 20 miles from Cherbourg by a crazy driver, fortunately no one was hurt.
The Normandy peninsula was the scene of the greatest amphibious landing in the history of man, the surrounding countryside is full of museums commemorating D Day, sadly there are also cemetery's and we called in to pay our respects at the American cemetery overlooking Omaha beach.
If any of you have military connections and have a loved one buried there, let me assure you that they are sleeping in a most pristine setting overlooking Omaha beach, not a blade of grass or leaf is out of order, it is most perfectly kept in absolute perfection, hundreds of people visit every day to remember the sacrifice they made when they gave their todays for our tomorrows.
An old English film called 'The Longest Day' give a true account of the action.
Should you ever be lucky enough to visit the area allow at least a week to take time and see it all.
It may be 70 years ago but people have not forgotten America's contribution and it's hero's.


On a lighter note, we arrived at the marina to a warm welcome and we're now into the packing/cleaning/servicing/repairing that you all know so well.
I'll keep you posted as we progress.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:53 AM   #14
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Sounds like a wonderfull trip you have planned, all the best to you.

Thank you for the respect to our fallen heroes...
"If any of you have military connections and have a loved one buried there, let me assure you that they are sleeping in a most pristine setting overlooking Omaha beach, not a blade of grass or leaf is out of order, it is most perfectly kept in absolute perfection, hundreds of people visit every day to remember the sacrifice they made when they gave their todays for our tomorrows.
An old English film called 'The Longest Day' give a true account of the action.
Should you ever be lucky enough to visit the area allow at least a week to take time and see it all.
It may be 70 years ago but people have not forgotten America's contribution and it's hero's."
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:27 AM   #15
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Watched "Saving Private Ryan" again last weekend. I can't vouch for the accuracy -- only those who were there can truly do that -- but the re-creation of the landing on Omaha Beach was the best I've seen on film. Horrifying. Glad I wasn't there, but would like to visit some day to pay my respects.

Irish Rambler: I'm looking forward to following your grand adventure! Do you have a route and itinerary planned out that you can share with us?
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:47 AM   #16
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Hello roguewave & Mr Jim.
Discovered my camera is faulty and if you will excuse the terrible picture quality I'll attach a couple of photo's.
Omaha beach on the 28th of April 2015.
Garden of Remembrance.
Actual D day Tanks, now on display.

MrJim, Yes I will definitely be posting route and pics when we leave Belturbet on the 14th of June, we're finishing the fit out and have a rally to attend first, the plan is to go down the river Shannon to the Atlantic, around the South West coast of Ireland, over to Wales, around Land's end and up the channel to Dover before crossing over to Dunkirk.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #17
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Apologies again for the poor quality of photo's, hopefully that issue will soon be sorted.
Work continues, the previous owners a hire boat company, lacked in TLC but we have all the mods now coming under control. the difficulty is getting the spares here in the middle of rural Ireland to complete the work on time. But we can't complain everyone is so cheerful and helpful.
The 2 photo's attached are,
Rear double cabin en suite shower/toilet,, toilet removed and replaced with a dinky Candy 4kg washing, the shower mixer unit now feeds the washing machine with temp regulated water saving electricity.
2nd photo is an automatic shorepower/inverter changeover switch which simply wasn't able to do it's job and burnt out.
We'll now fit a manual changeover switch, as much as I want be forward thinking some people sell products big on promises and small on performance so I'll stick to tried and trusted methods.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:34 PM   #18
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I mentioned in an earlier post that once we arrived in Ireland and started work getting 'Snow Mouse' ready for our trip to France that we would take a break to attend the 50th anniversary of the Erne Boat Rally of which I was commodore in 1986.
The rally, held on the river Erne and (Lake)Lough Erne was started by a group of like minded people and despite 'The Troubles' continued as a cross border non sectarian event and has grown every year from the original 6 boats up to 78 on this years 50th rally cruise with the usual dinner dance, wine & cheese party, boat handling competitions, games for the children with various stops along the way from Enniskillen to Belleek (home of the famous Belleek pottery, maker of fine handmade parian bone china) and return to Belturbet We met many old friends and made some new ones along the way too. The previous camera problems are now resolved and I hope you enjoy 'The little taste of Ireland'.
Now the rally's over it's back to the work to finish off the work on 'Snow Mouse' before our departure on the 14th of June.
For more information and maps of the waterways of Ireland 'Google' Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:52 AM   #19
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The day for departure was set for 3.0pm on Sunday the 14th of June and of course it called for a Hooley of a party which was set for the Saturday night.
All of the marina turned out to wish us well and the night kicked of with a BBQ, then the music and dancing started along with jokes and recitations and lasted till around 4 am.
After a general clean-up of the area and several trips to the bottle bank to recycle the empties we had a gentle start to Sunday and the BBQ was fired up again for Brunch.
There were many private tearful goodbye's and a few public ones too and a boat owning lay preacher led an ecumenical service to bless the boats and crews as we prepared to cast off.
Many of the marina boats preceded us down river into a small lake and formed to give us a guard of honour as we sailed past and took the salute en route to the Erne Shannon link that joins the river Erne in the north to the river Shannon in the South.
I attach some self explanatory photo's of our departure and into the Erne Shannon link.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:04 AM   #20
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Thanks. Beautiful! Looking forward to more posts of your trip.
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