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, 17 August 2011
11th - 16th August. Shannon River, Portumna, Lough Derg, and Dromaan Harbour
Below Meelick we went through Victoria lock, also known as Meelick Lock. On this next stretch the Shannon River is very wide as it meanders across central Ireland.
Portumna Swing Bridge opens at set times throughout the day. We went through at 3pm with ten other boats. A mile beyond this bridge the Shannon River opens out into Lough Derg.
We turned right on Lough Derg to reach Castle harbour, which is quite near to Portumna. The harbour was very busy, but we found a space near the middle. However, The Puzzler sticks out into the centre of the harbour so, as soon as there was room, we moved on to the back wall.
Portumna Forest Park is near to the harbour so we went to explore the forest trails. On our return we found a small cruiser tied to us and another cruiser managed to squeeze in beside us too. There are over 20 boats here each night. There is a service block here, and plenty of grass, so it is a popular place for camper vans too, with almost as many of them as there are boats.
We stayed in Castle Harbour for three days, then slid out from behind the other boats. We sailed south across Lough Derg to Terryglass, which is a mooring protected by a long harbour wall, and waited there for a squall to pass.
However as this is Ireland, it did not last long and soon the sky began to darken.
Ahead of us we could see the rain approaching, but having passed Gortmore Point, we carried on.
This picture shows the contrast between the light blue of the sky and the deep blue of the water in Lough Derg, after the squall had passed.
Outside the harbour wall, Lough Derg looks calm at present, but will it stay that way?