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.


Thursday, 30 June 2011

On to Ballinamore, + trip back to Garadice Lough 28th - 30th June

We sailed on across Garadice Lough, going south of Church island, and on to the Shannon-Erne Waterway, heading west this time. We called in at Riversdale, Graham's marina, below Aghoo Lock, and borrowed an impact driver. Andy eventually managed to loosen the screw-slotted bolts on the lid of the water tank. A canoe joined us in Ardrum lock, clinging on beside our stern. He looked quite worried when the paddles went up and the water swirled in, but relaxed as he just bobbed up and down a bit.

Hilary and Brian joined us on The Puzzler on Wednesday, for the day, as they are holidaying in Ireland this week. We sailed back down the Shannon-Erne Waterway with them to Garadice Lough, where Brian took the tiller, having worked a couple of locks with one finger!

After crossing the lough, we had a pleasant lunch at Haughton's Shore, even picking some wild strawberries, which were very tasty. The return journey across Garadice was extremely wet, with some wind and waves to make it more interesting too! The rain was so heavy that Sally, who was steering, could not see the markers at the far end of the lough. She had gone to the south of Church Island so as to meet the waves head on, and was thus off the regular route. Eventually, using the binoculars, she spotted a few white markers, far up the lough, so headed for them. When we got nearer, they surprisingly looked more like cows, but a left turn took us safely to the two pairs of red and white markers, which by now were emerging out of the rain.



However, the rain cleared up as we sailed back along the river section. Hilary became an expert at lock working, as we returned up Ballinamore Lock.


Ballinamore is a deep lock, as can be seen from the weir alongside. Ballinamore mooring can be seen beyond the footbridge over the weir.

Brian and Hilary were pleased to see the solar panels in use, as it was they who delivered them to us three years ago, part way down Devizes Locks!

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