Quoile River


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For our third and final anchorage in Strangford Lough, we returned south from Mahee Island and anchored off the Quoile River. There we stepped ashore for the first time since leaving Stornoway two weeks earlier and took a long and enjoyable walk through the village of Killyleagh, north to the town of Shrigley and back south through the countryside to Delamont Country Park.

Killyleagh is best known for 12th-century Killyleagh castle, pictured above, believed to be the oldest inhabited castle in the UK. Shrigley grew up around a 19th-century cotton mill and has an elaborate memorial to founder John Martin near the old mill smokestack. Extensive Delamont Country park, the home of the Strangford Stone, is full of excellent walking paths with good views into Strangford Lough and the surrounding area.

Below are highlights from April 10th through 12th, 2021. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

4/10/2021
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Sena Expand
We tried our new Sena Expand headsets this morning as we were lifting anchor and really liked them. Normally Jennifer uses hand signals on the bow to communicate with James at the helm, but as with docking, the headsets made communicating so easy and natural. We could just hold a conversation as we worked and they made the whole process feel more of a team effort rather than two people working somewhat independently. They will be especially helpful when we weigh anchor at night, where communication by sight is much more limited.
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Smokestack
Smokestack from the old Shrigley cotton mill visible beyond the Island of Tagger as we proceed south in Strangford Lough to an anchorage in the Quoile River.
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Killyleagh
Cows grazing in Killyleagh with Killyleagh Castle visible beyond.
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Error
After a Lenovo update was applied to Jennifer’s laptop, her email client and several other apps wouldn’t start and instead showed this error message. Fortunately an additional reboot fixed the issue. We’ll submit this for the world’s most pathetic error message prize, but we know the competition will be fierce :-).
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Quoile River Anchorage
Our shallow anchorage on the Quoile River in 13ft (4m) on 125 ft (38m) of rode.
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Education Center
View to the Delamont Outdoor Education Centre, in Delamont Country Park, from our anchorage on the Quoile River.
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Marooned
Two horses temporarily marooned on an islet, waiting for low tide, off Hare Island near the Quoile Yacht Club.
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Myra Castle
Liam O’Hara sent us this photo he took from Delamont Country Park of Dirona with 16th-century Myra Castle in the background. We can’t see the castle from our anchorage, so were surprised to see it in the photograph.
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Tender
Our tender tied off in Killyleagh at high tide for a walk ashore.
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Dibney River
The Dibney River flowing through Killyleagh and into Strangford Lough.
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Hans Sloane
Monument to Killyleagh native Hans Sloane, a physician, naturalist and collector who is credited with inventing chocolate milk in the late 1600s.
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Shore Street
Pastel-colored houses along Shore Street in Killyleagh.
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St John The Evangelist
The church St John The Evangelist in Killyleagh dates from 1640.
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Gravestone
The graveyard of St John The Evangelist not particularly large, but is quite full. The earliest gravestone we found was this one from 1785, but the church predates that by 150 years, so likely there are earlier gravestones we didn’t see.
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Portaferry
View to Portaferry and the entrance to Strangford Lough from the grounds of St John The Evangelist church.
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Sewage Treatment
We like technology, so even a sewage treatment plant is interesting for us :-), viewed from the grounds of St John The Evangelist church.
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Edward Hinks
Plaque to orientalist Edward Hinks, rector of Killyleagh from 1825-1866. Hinks is best known for being one of the decipherers of Mesopotamian cuneiform, one of the earliest writing systems.
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Killyleagh Footballers
A surprising number of international-level footballers hail from Killyleagh, given the town currently has a population of about 2,500.
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Killyleagh Castle
Parts of Killyleagh Castle date to the 12th century and it is believed to be the oldest inhabited castle in the UK. The owners leave the outer gates open so visitors can view the castle.
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Memorial
War memorial along the outside wall of Killyleagh Castle.
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Castle Wall
Killyleagh Castle initially was built for protection against the marauding Vikings. The walls are very high and look difficult to scale.
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Cherry Trees
Cherry trees in bloom along Shrigley Road just outside Killyleagh.
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Ulsterbus
The sign for Ulsterbus is a reminder that we are in Northern Ireland. The traditional Irish province of Ulster includes all of Northern Ireland and three counties in the Republic of Ireland. We remember the name well from news coverage of “The Troubles” decades ago, with loyalist paramilitary groups carrying names such as the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association.
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Shrigley Memorial
Memorial erected in 1871 to entrepreneur John Martin who brought prosperity to the area with the construction of a cotton mill in 1824. The town of Shrigley, where the monument stands, grew up around the mill.
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Chimney
The old chimney from the Shrigley cotton mill that we passed while underway to the Quoile River anchorage.
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Clock Tower
Old clock tower at Ballytrim House outside Killyleagh.
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Black Sheep
Black sheep in the fields around Ballytrim House.
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Lake
Lake on the Ballytrim House grounds.
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Stone Bridge
Old stone bridge on the Ballytrim House grounds.
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Gate Post
This gate post on the Ballytrim House grounds looked at least a century old.
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Country Home
Country home on Tullykin Road as we loop back towards Killyleagh on a walk into the countryside.
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Hedges
Most of the roads in the area are bordered by massive hedges. These ones on Tullykin Road are a little more spaced out from the road than those on Coily Hill Road, where there was little room to let a car squeeze past.
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Spring Blooms
Cherry blossoms and masses of daffodils at a house along Tullykin Road.
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Miniature Railway
Tracks for the 20-year-old miniature railway at Delamont Country Park.
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Lambs
Cute lambs in a field adjoining Delamont Country Park.
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Strangford Stone
At the Strangford Stone, that we viewed a few days ago from the water. The stone stands over 10m high and was erected to celebrate the millenium.
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Dirona
View to our anchorage on the Quoile River from the Strangford Stone. Myra Castle is just visible in the distance.
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Shortcut
We found a shortcut back to Killyleagh from Delamont Country Park across a couple of fields. Here we climbing the steps over the final fence and on to a road.
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Shore Road
Walking along Shore Road with great views to Strangford Lough as we return to Killyleagh.
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Grazing
Cows grazing in the fields outside Killyleagh.
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Killyleagh Harbour
View across Killyleagh Harbour from the road Cuan Beach with the church St John The Evangelist prominent at center.
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Tide Level
We ended up walking a lot longer than we’d planned and the tide has gone down many feet. It’s a reminder to always leave enough slack for low tide, even when we expect to be back earlier.
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Dibney Bridge
Stone bridge over the Dibney River in Killyleagh.
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Windswept Tree
This tree we can see from our anchorage on the Quoile River looks like it gets a lot of wind.
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Sunset
Pink and orange sunset from the anchorage along the Quoile River in Strangford Lough, NI.
4/11/2021
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Dusk
Dusk from our anchorage in the Quoile River in Strangford Lough.
4/12/2021
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Morning Calm
Another calm morning in Strangford Lough. We’ve seen a bit of rain and wind, but for the most part the weather has been awesome the entire time we’ve been here.
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8,000 Hours
Our Northern Lights 12kW generator just reached 8,000 hours. It’s been running wonderfully in the 1,259 hours since the cylinder head change and the rear main oil leak has nearly disappeared entirely.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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