These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Off to Ireland. 5th -6th April
We moved up to Jalsea boatyard last night, having spent Sunday evening in Northwich, where Coalboat Brian found us, by van, to fill up our diesel tank, ready for the trip.
When the boat was lifted right out of the water, we were pleased that it had been recently blacked! The crane was old and traditional, but did the job.
The Puzzler was lifted on to the lorry on Tuesday morning with the lorry stretched to fit the boat.
We reached Holyhead soon before 1pm and loaded soon after that.
As our boat was designated an "abnormal load", we were put up near the bows, on the freight deck, ready for an early exit from the ferry.
We stayed on the lorry overnight at the boatyard. In the morning Catkin took one look out at the front then went back to bed! She knew we weren't going to be up there for ever.
Quigleys' Marina is run by Peter and Brian Quigley, who were both extremely helpful. Peter used the harbour dinghy to help us out of the hoist area and we then moved round on to the outside of the marina.
All the boats here are cruisers, apart from us.
Do you get the impression that these cruisers are looking down on us?
We stayed there overnight, as the water was still too rough for us to be on the main lake, Lough Ree.( The marina was in a large inlet called Killinure Lough. )
One of them, seeing our wood neatly stacked in the cratch, suggested we varnish it and keep it as a feature! Doesn't he realise that, in winter, wood is "canal gold"?
This is the railway bridge in Athlone. It is a fine structure.
Later that afternoon we returned up the River Shannon to Lough Ree, which is enormous,by comparison to all English waterways. It is about 10 miles long and 4 miles wide at its widest point. we went a mere two and a half miles today!
The Lough is very wide here but we are keeping a straight course. Do Zoom in to see our wake. (click on the picture - for those new to blogging)