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, 31 July 2011

27th July - 31st July Down the Shannon River and across Lough Ree

The next day several boats left so we moved up into the corner of the harbour. By the evening the harbour was full again. We were penned in by three Emerald Star Hire boats, with one behind us, one alongside, and one with its stern to our bows!
The visiting crews were very friendly and invited us to an impromptu drinks party on the jetty in the rain. Two of the crews came from Germany, and the third from Switzerland.
As we approached Lough Forbes, this dredger was clearing the marked channel. We had been warned about a rock in this vicinity, which had lost its marker but, apart from the dredger, there were no obstructions to be seen.

This boat has just enough headroom at Tarmonbarry road bridge.
The bridge was raised as soon as the lockkeeper, who also operates the road bridge, returned from lunch. The last of these boats had to wait for another hour before they could enter the lock, which is 100 yards downstream of the bridge. These river locks are slow.
After passing Lanesborough, we were out on to Lough Ree. With a forecast of force 2 - 3 the lough was quite calm, though it is a place to avoid in high winds. Lough Ree has its own weather forecast for sailors each morning.

Following markers to avoid these rocks and others lower than these is very important on these loughs! Rocks can be found a long way from the shores.

We shared the lough with both yachts and cruisers today.

This is the same yacht later on. We overtook him as the wind dropped!

There is a sailing school at Hodson Bay. The harbour is to the left of the wall in this picture. We only stayed one night here as the whole area was so busy. The hotel car park, which is huge, was practically full of cars, with several campervans near to the harbour area too.

This puppy, from one of the vans, took quite a shine to Andy. Catkin was unimpressed!
On Saturday morning the lough was quite calm, although it was a bit misty. It was a case of reaching one marker before even trying to find the next one with the binoculars.
We reached Portrunny Harbour safely, to moor on the outside end of the jetty. It is horseshoe shaped, with finger jetties on the inside.

The harbour wall is designed to protect us in all weathers.

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