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.

Friday, 19 August 2011

17th - 19th August. Mountshannon and Inishcealtra on Lough Derg

Catkin liked the mooring at Drummaaan so much that when her lifejacket was put on, ready for her to sail, she went on strike! She lay down on the bankside, and refused to move! Only when stern words were used did she deign to climb back on board. It could have been that she anticipated another rough passage.

However, it was a lovely day as we sailed on down Lough Derg to Mountshannon, which can be seen ahead, in the distance.

We managed to moor just inside the harbour wall, so had an interesting view of all boat comings and goings.

This is the view from our galley window, looking across Lough Derg, to the hills beyond.
The harbour at Mountshannon is very picturesque.
There are about 40 yachts at anchor near to the main harbour. As an anchored boat will always face into the wind, it has been interesting when the wind changes direction, seeing all the boats gradually move round. Smaller boats seem to be quicker to react to a change.

The beach at Mountshannon is a blue flag beach and is very attractive with grass all round it. This sculpture, which has been cut out of stainless steel, overlooks the swimming area. A lifeguard is on duty all day, every day, even though there are few swimmers this week.

There is an attractive village park at Mountshannon, which made for some pleasant walks.
 We took our dinghy, now named Mini Puzzle, for its first major outing to Inishcealtra, which is also known as Holy Island. It can be seen  between the two yachts at anchor, and lies just over a mile from Mountshannon harbour. It can only be reached by dinghy. We left Catkin on The Puzzler.

Looking back from Inishcealtra to Mountshannon at the far side of the bay, we realised how far we had come! There was another dinghy approaching the island but we saw no-one else there during our visit.

The name Inishcealtra means The island of the burial place. St Caiman founded a monastic settlement here in the 7th century and his church is the largest on the island, seen here with the round tower behind it.

There are remains of four churches on Inishcealtra. St Brigid's Church is a Romanesque church, with a thirteenth century round-arched gateway leading into the stone enclosure.
We returned safely to Mountshannon. Next morning brought more wind, with the water outside the harbour wall being rather rougher than the sheltered water inside it. Several waves did break over the wall to soak The Puzzler though. Catkin enjoyed the wind, but we had to be quick at times to avoid these waves.

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