After a few days at Ardhowen, we returned to the centre of Enniskillen, to top up on essentials for the long summer cruise in Southern Ireland. It is so easy to shop here that we probably bought too much!
Debbie, our younger daughter, joined us in Enniskillen for a week. Debbie and Matt are taking a break from their trip to South Africa, so follow their adventures On the road with Toad. There is a link to their blog in our blog list.
We cruised on to Devenish Island, going back to Devenish west mooring this time, as the weather was calm. We went to revisit the ruins and climbed up inside the tower at St. Mary's church to see the view over the island.
Some of us climbed on the walls of St. Molaise's Church too!
This insect came to visit us. Does anyone know what he is?
We cruised back to Enniskillen, and on to Ardhowen Theatre mooring. The Puzzler is hiding behind all the big cruisers!
Walking over the road from the theatre, we explored the grounds of Castle Coole. It is an impressive house, but looked very shut up. The walking is good though.
We sailed on along the River Erne and moored at Tullyinishmore, where this family of swans came to see us. Inish means island in Ireland, and Inishmore is a large island which divides the River Erne at this point.
Debbie helped Dad with the steering.
The cattle which graze on the islands in Upper Lough Erne in the summer are transported on this ferry.
As we turned on to the Shannon-Erne-Waterway, Toad took his turn at the tiller.
At Skelan lock, a swallow's nest was built in the wall, near to the stern of the boat. Opposite us, Mrs. Swallow waited to feed her youngsters.
On our return we kept to the other side of the lock,
and could see the baby birds, waiting patiently for their next meal.
Here it comes!
Mother seems to feed the baby who shouts loudest. She only feeds one mouth at each visit.
We carried on to Haughton's Shore for lunch, mooring just before an afternoon of torrential rain. Next day it was fine, so we revisited Church Island, in Garadice Lock, to find these foxgloves in full bloom.
Debbie and Mum took over the steering for now, on the way back from Church Island.
We made our way back along the Woodford River and, having passed Ballyconnell, decided on this "wild mooring". Catkin did not like it at all!
However the impressive sunset gave us some super reflections.
We sailed back to Upper Lough Erne and took Debbie to see Castle Crom.
This herd reflects the contented life led by these Irish cattle. We passed them on Galloon Island before heading south up the River Erne to Belturbet, where Debbie left us.
These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight 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, returning to Roanne for a second winter.