A little while ago I read about the Viking Fleet Challenge. A trip from Lisnaskea Share Centre all the way to Athlone.

Noticing that there will be a stop in Lanesborough, I was intrigued to take up a challenge.

Photography on a Viking Boat is a huge challenge, and I hope you enjoy the photographs I took for you and the Viking team. Memories I made I won't forget. People I met I'll see again!

If you are looking for any photographs in print, feel free to get in touch :)... I'll have some printed and framed in my shop soon!

xx

On July 2nd, 2016 I got a lift from my love and my dog up to Lisnaskea. Getting my Viking gear sorted, Alison introduced me to all the Vikings. The Vikings are about keeping a part of history alive, community, bonfires and arts & craft. It's about poetry, diversity and nature.

View on Upper Lough Erne from Lisnaskea Share Centre

View on Upper Lough Erne from Lisnaskea Share Centre

When you decide to take up a challenge you might be surprised and get what you asked for. The Viking crew was gathering the night before the journey started, we were all sitting around the fire place. The night has fallen the Vikings lit a candle at the beach and blessed the sea, we asked for safe waters & calm weather.

Viking Ceremony to bless the wild waters.

Viking Ceremony to bless the wild waters.

With a tight schedule, a map and about 18 adventurous Vikings, we had an early morning! Everyone buzzing and full of excitement. This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And we didn't know just yet that it won't just be a physical challenge but also a week of meeting and making new friends, sharing stories and getting inspired.

The Happy Boat No.1

The Happy Boat No.1

The Happy Boat No.2

The Happy Boat No.2

Geaglum, Fermanagh

Geaglum, Fermanagh

If you do a trip like this make sure to bring enough food and drinks... and take a rest. There are plenty of beautiful places to more and relaxe before continuing your journey.

Wind. A blessing in disguise.

For yet unknown reasons we came off our route by about 2km. Thanks to our blessing the night before, we have received great support by the wind to make up for our lost time and could rise the sails.

While the Viking boats drifted through the Shannon we got to enjoy the beautiful scenery, kanus passing, passersby enjoying pictures views from their barges.

Bridge... some are beautiful but not high enough.

Bridge... some are beautiful but not high enough.

Campsite at Ballinamore.

Campsite at Ballinamore.

We always had a boat and a road crew. The Road crew did a fab job setting up the Viking camp for us and the visitors to learn about Viking History.

 

Back on the water... a day of Locks. Many locks!

Getting ready for another day on the Shannon. 

Getting ready for another day on the Shannon. 

Having to get through 9 locks in one day... if you have ever done a trip along the Shannon in a cruiser, barge or kanu, you might know the challenge of having to get into a lock. With 2 Viking boats and one cruiser it's all a little bit trickier... but who would have thought we actually squeezed "all the above" into one lock??!!

After a week long embracing nature, water and weather we arrived in my personal final destination - Ballyleague / Lanesborough. Calling this amazing place my home I decided to jump ship. ...of course not because of the danger Lough Ree would have imposed... a reputation of wild waters, hidden rocks and most challenging conditions. 

Ballyleague / Lanesborough, Vikings just arrived after a week of time on the Shannon from Lisnaskea.

Ballyleague / Lanesborough, Vikings just arrived after a week of time on the Shannon from Lisnaskea.

So proud of the achievement, but also about the community that welcomed us in Ballyleague / Lanesborough. Vikings did look forward to staying at the marina as they received a lot of support and huge interest from our lovely place.

 

We enjoyed a couple of drinks in Sorohan's Lifebelt pub and food from P.S.Red - A huge THANK YOU from vikings to beautiful pints and mouthwatering food. I think it's fair to say it was a perfect way to end a once in a lifetime journey.

...Having said that... I'd do it again, without a doubt!

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