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.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Belturbet to Derryvore. 15th - 21st June

After Debbie left us, we returned down the River Erne to Upper Lough Erne and spent a night at Castle Crom jetty. The rest of the week was spent at Derryvore mooring, in Trial Bay, just off the main part of Upper Lough Erne. Only one speedboat came into the bay this time. Here he is “on the plane”.

Derryvore is actually in Northern Ireland. However, for internet access it is, surprisingly, in Southern Ireland. We have a 3 dongle, so went online to top it up. Having taken our card details, it needed our address, so we gave our address in England. It then needed a county to complete the address, but the choice was only of the Irish Counties! What should we do now, as we do not have an address in Southern Ireland? Andy thought that Roscommon sounded nice. Also it was a bit like Norfolk, being quite a flat county, so he chose that one. Our dongle accepted it, so we were in business again, and online!

This week was used for various boat jobs. Andy refurbished the pigeon loft, taking it completely to pieces, before using paint stripper to remove all the varnish. This had started to come away in various places. The five new coats of varnish he gave it over several days should protect the oak for a few years to come! However, the Irish rain might have a say in this!

The small brass portholes were also stripped of lacquer, then polished before relacquering.

We used the cratch table as a cover, while the pigeon loft was out of use. This kept our bedroom dry, except when the torrential rain crept in one day, and our quilt was quite damp!

Here the rain is falling so hard that it is bouncing on the water!

However the rain does have the advantage of creating impressive rainbows. This one was very low and had both ends in the water too.

While at Derryvore we had some good weather too and some stunning sunsets. Here the colour is reflected on to the clouds across Trial Bay.

Another night we walked up to the road, a quarter of a mile from our mooring, to see more brilliant reds and oranges in the sky.

One task, from the job list, was to empty the water tank, as we planned to repaint it. We duly had baths and a washday to do so. Once the tank was practically empty, we couldn’t turn the screws to open the lid! The real consolation of this is that neither of us has to climb inside the tank to clean and paint it, not yet anyway! Water is never a problem on the Irish moorings, as there are water taps on most jetties.

We went for several walks along the nearby lanes. One day we met an old Irishman, who stopped for a bit of craic. We had talked for a while when he asked us whether we were Germans. This was because he had realised that we were not Irish and so must be foreigners! Practically all the hire boaters are German, so it was an understandable mistake on his part.

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