The following article was taken from "Kayak" magazine January 1971:
|THE LIFFEY DESCENT BY MOONLIGHT|
- Expedition Leader
At 20.30 hours on Saturday 10th October 1970 eight canoeists - ages ranging from 14 to 20 years and all members of 5th Port Sea Scouts, Dollymount, entered the River Liffey at Celbridge, to begin our Liffey Descent by Moonlight.
Each canoeist wore a lifejacket, spray cover and had a waterproofed torch strapped to his chest or head and the canoes were well fitted with buoyancy and had a lanyarded paddle.
After arranging for a support team to follow us by car, we set off in single file. Paul took the lead and Brian was last man. The weather conditions were good, full moon and a sharp wind. Naturally we were feeling a bit excited, as this was our entry for the Scout Associatio, of Ireland Adventure Award and we were anxious to do well, especially as we had won the Trophy last year.
Our first obstacle - Castletown Rapids - took some time as we had to make a number of attempts to find a clear run through. Then began the long tedious journey across Salmon Leap Lake and our support team told us afterwards that we were like a monster glow worm wriggling across the water. At Leixlip Dam it was necessary to portage and we were escorted by an F.C.A. Unit. We had a bit of excitement on the Leixlip Rapids, some of us going down backwards and we were delayed on the job. By now our eyes had become accustomed to the darkness and we made the second portage at the Sluice Weir and our third at Lucan Weir. Excitement was growing at the prospect of Anna Liffey Weir, but we all managed to shoot this very successfully. Our first casualty was at Wren's Nest - our lead canoeist capsized, much to his annoyance, as he dislikes COLD WATER. However, he was back in his canoe within seconds and the rest of us shot this Weir successfully.
By now we were all enjoying the trip and we set out happily for Palmerstown and Glenaulin Weirs, which were shot successfully. Chapelizod Weir caused a halt and after our lead canoeist shot this, the rest of us decided to portage, as there was not sufficient water. The lakes, rapids and weirs section of our Adventure Cruise was now completed and we commenced our 8 mile trek down the river through the city centre and a "reception committee" at O'Connell Bridge showered us with rubbish of all sorts - it might have been worse! We continued to Alexandra Basin and by now the wind had freshened to Force 8. Winds North Easterly, increasing to Force 7 as we came into the open sea. The going was very difficult and we were tiring rapidly, but the thought of a good hot meal and dry clothes at our Headquarters, Crow's Nest, Bull Island, spurred us on. At last we were there and having beached our canoes, ate and changed. We slept like babies from 4.00 hours to 9.00 hours.
Sunday 11th October 1970 and we resumed our Cruise at 10.00 hours - the next section, rounding the Bull Island. We launched our canoe;; from the foreshore close to the Bull Wall and paddled with a Force 7 offshore wind against us and an incoming tide. The sea was very rough and by the time we reached Sutton Creek everyone was very tired. The original plan was to cross to Sutton, but the weather upset this and the leader decided not to go. After a short rest the journey was resumed up the Lagoon. In the meantime the wind had changed and we _found we were still paddling against it. The portage at the new Causeway proved most unpleasant and we had to wade through mud, silt, rusty cans etc. The canoes were launched on the far side of the Causeway and the final stretch of the journey tackled. Eventually we reached our H.Q. at 16.00 hours, tired, weary, but a happy lot.
Afterwards a scale model of the course was built and submitted to the examiners. Much to our pleasure we were declared the winners of the S.A.I. Adventure Award for 1970.