I don't know how well you'll be able to see these two pictures but they show very well in the original state how gin-clear is the water in the Grand Canal passing through the Irish mid-lands. In the first pic we are looking straight down through 3-4 feet of water next to the tow-path, and in the 2nd, although you can see the reflection of the lock gate, I hope within that you can also see the actual bottoms of the lock gates and the cill 3-4 feet under water. You can see every plant growing at the bottom and even tiny 2-4 inch fishes swimming between them.
Having just come back from our own narrow boat hols in the Pennines where all the canal water is so opaque with green and with mud that you can't see down through more than a couple of inches of it in most places and you'd struggle to see through a pint glass full of it, this just plain amazed us. Whether it's down to the lack of pollution (there's certainly less rubbish and filth chucked in) or boat traffic, we didn't know but it's a credit to Waterways Ireland.
We found this, along with a surprise staircase lock as we went looking for a canal-side property in today's house close to Rathangan, Co.Kildare. We had to stop and look and take photos. Talking about this also sent Mrs S off surfing for narrow boats to buy and live on (but not too seriously). That then sent Deef's Mum off on the same track. Deef's Dad thinks the women have all lost the plot and can see the 'English' family ending up moored to some canal bank in Kildare as winter sets in.