Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thing 39 Jump Off Ardnacrusha Bridge

There's a debate about exactly how high this is from bridge ledge to water surface. 60ft is Pony Boy's suggestion. Token Northy estimates at about 40ft. I can accurately confirm that from ledge to water is definitely "very high". The canal at Ardnacrusha has rich historical background, which began in bla bla bla... It actually is interesting, but it takes too long to get to the point. If you want to read about it, here you go... It's cool... Though we might disagree on the definition of cool...

The reason I think it's so cool, is because myself and Thorny Wire grew up not far away in the bustling metropolis of Parteen, and it was our regular swimming hole. By the time we were 10 or 11 we could swim across and back the canal. Fit little buggers that we were. It was at this stage that we started to see cool older kids jumping off the bridge. Who doesn't want to be like the cool older kids eh? It was also at this stage that I realised I was a little girl's blouse... I couldn't even look over the edge without getting scared. Honestly. Water looked like concrete from the top of that thing.

Meanwhile Thorny Wire was showing me up by the time he was 12 or 13. He'd jumped the thing several times, while his older brother settled for wading in at the steps... oh the unbearable shame. To be fair though... it's pretty high. And I don't see you jumping off it...

Pictured: A splash from a fat guy hitting the water.

I always promised myself that I'd do it. That and the top diving board at Blackrock in Galway. which I did during the Galway Races last year. So that just leaves the bridge... At 26 years old, and weighing a hefty 12 stone, having jumped from an airplane at 10,000ft, and bungee jumped off a crane, you'd imagine this one would be a stroll. You'd be wrong.

Ten year old Dan took over as I tried to swing a leg onto the bridge to set myself up. Irrational panic. It looked like a hundred foot drop, and the water still looked like concrete. Pony Boy's fearless though. Up, over, gone... to infinity and beyond... It was impressive, and made me and Token Northy, shaking like leaves look like a pair of pansies. To be fair, it saved the day, because once he's done it, it's time to man up and get on with it...

After jumping the following thoughts occur:

"Wow, that was stupid, I mean, seriously, even now, I'm dropping like a rock and the water still looks far away. Ah well, at least I'm half way down now, so i've not far to go. Holy crap, I've been thinking this sentence for ages, and I'm still not in the water... I hope this doesn't take much lon... SPLASH".

It was so much fun, I did it a second time. Take that 10 year old me...
Pictured: A majestic Northy floats through the air, like a rock...


  1. Ha ha, Welcome to the club Dan - I grew up over in Clonlara and only learned to swim a few years ago and this was one of the first things I did then - Once you do it it becomes so addictive as I'm sure you now know :D

  2. We went swimming every summer in Clonlara but I never jumped the bridge. Until one night I came back pissed as a coot and thought it would be a good idea. So you find Paul standing on the bridge, naked as a jaybird contemplating the jump. I almost did not do it but a car came around the corner and i thought there would be too many questions otherwise. I screwed by back up though

  3. And Blackrock only counts if you dived off it, not jumped. I'm just back from there. It's class in the dark.

  4. clonlara bridge is higher just saying...