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.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Upper Lough Erne to Enniskillen. 26th -29th April

We put the doors on the roof to dry and, having winded again, sailed on to join Upper Lough Erne. We took the first left turn into Trial Bay, just after passing an island with Gad tower, an architectural folly, on it.

We moored on the long jetty at Derryvore. Catkin is learning all about jetties, and now knows which way to go to reach the shore.

This cute beetle came to visit us.
One cruiser was there when we arrived and another came soon afterwards. Our peace was then destroyed by the arrival of two speedboats, with three more to follow. The first two used kneeling ski boards, with two people being towed at once. The other speedboats brought children and a large inflatable disc, which had a 5’ diameter and was 1’ deep. They are called doughnuts! At first they used it as a diving platform, using our boat on the jetty both as a windbreak and also as a breakwater. Later they towed the disc behind a speedboat, with three children clinging in to it. We enjoyed watching all these water sports, but it was lovely and quiet when they left. It is amazing how much wash is put up by little speedboats!

Next morning we scrubbed the roof, washed the boat sides, cleaned the windows and polished the brass. Our spring cleaning is nearly complete! Catkin is enjoying this mooring.
On Thursday we cruised back to Upper Lough Erne. We carried on past many islands, both large and small, calling in at Tirraroe mooring to exercise Catkin. This is a sheltered mooring, just off the main lough. We are making our way up the south west side of the lough this time.
The binoculars are an essential piece of equipment, to spot the markers for our route as well as viewing the stunning scenery.
Andy now has his summer look!

Sometimes the markers are far away in the distance. The hills are getting nearer too.

We called in at Knockninny for lunch. It was extremely busy here and quite awkward to get the bows in to moor. Unusually, no-one came out of their boats to help. So far we have found other boaters to be very helpful. On from Knockninny, we went to the left of Inishmore, which is the largest island in the lough, and then continued on down the Erne river, as it meanders its way towards Enniskillen. There were some stunning properties to be seen.

We moored at Culky, to experience very loud music, until the waterskiers went home! This is another pretty mooring. Andy put the front doors back on, the varnish now being hard enough, so it is good to feel secure again.

On the outskirts of Enniskillen, we stopped at the Ardhowen Theatre mooring to watch the royal wedding of William and Kate.

What a happy couple!
We sailed on to Enniskillen, which has an impressive castle by the River Erne. We liked the town very much. It is a pleasant mixture of old and new.
In Enniskillen both Asda and Tesco are quite near to the shopping centre mooring. This was very convenient, as our stocks were at an all time low! Shopping on this part of the Irish Waterways is certainly more difficult than at home, with towns and villages often far from the bankside. It just requires a little more organisation, and long term planning.

We returned to the Ardhowen Theatre mooring later to spend the night there. Again, a boat moved up to make room for us. The mooring was quite busy that night, with 14 boats moored there.

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