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.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

On up the River Shannon to Carrick 13-14 April

It was too windy to sail this morning, with waves going upstream past the boat. We were only about 100 yards above the lock, so they had formed very quickly. After lunch we set off and under Tarmonbarry bridge, which has a lifting section for most boats, but we are low enough to go under it.

We sailed on upstream, through Lough Forbes, and on to Roosky Lock. Below the lock is a large development of new apartments with moorings on the river. However most of both the apartments and the moorings are empty. We had planned to go further today but found an attractive mooring soon after the lock. We had our own concrete platform with a wooden edge to protect the boat. There were steps up to the quiet road from the mooring and our own water tap too. Andy washed the cratch cover, after Sally had mended it, on our own piece of mown grass.

We walked to Roosky and found this attractive church, with cherry blossom, which is reminiscent of Japan.
Today there is no wind so we sailed on through Lough Bofin, Lough Boderg and Lough Tap. All of these are quite large lakes but are still part of the Shannon navigation. We met a working tug with three barges, the first two being welded together. At Lough Nanoge, which is merely a slight widening of the river, we go left into the Jamestown Canal. This short canal cuts through to Jamestown,via Albert lock, avoiding an unnavigable stretch of river.

Albert Lock is very attractive, with a flower bed on the approach, and red bollards all round the lock.

At the north end of Jamestown we found a wonderful mooring, just beyond the bridge. The wall was a little high so that Catkin had to be lifted up, but there were benches and mown grass, with bushes in flower beds. After lunch we played boules on the grass and planned to stay there.

However our peace was destroyed when twelve youths arrived with their fishing rods and their beer. As Sally came out to untie the bows, one of the fishermen started to chat.
Fisherman "Do you like Ireland?"
Sally "Yes, it's grand" (lengthening the a in grand as the Irish do)
Fisherman "Oh, you're from Dublin then"
Sally "No,we came from England a week ago"
Fisherman "Oh, whereabouts are you from?"
Sally "Norfolk"
At this the young man turned to his friend and expressed his displeasure in colourful language. Apparently he had thought that I said, "No f***" ! However his friend corrected him and he apologised to me.
His friend then took on the conversation.
Fisherman 2 "You are two lads on a boat then. Oh no, you are a lassie, are you not?"
I agreed that I was.
Fisherman 2 "Well it's beautiful that you are then, indeed you are!"

We sailed off and left them to their fishing.

We continued up the river Shannon to Carrick-on-Shannon, past a superb riverside development.

Carrick itself was not very exciting. This was our first short jetty mooring, but by using both middle ropes to separate mooring cleats, we felt secure.

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