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.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

4th - 10th August. Clonmacnoise to Meelick on The River Shannon


As we sailed on down the River Shannon, later in the day, Clonmacnoise Monastery came into view. It is an impressive sight.

Near to the monastery can be seen the ruins of St John's Church, which was built in 1214 by the English Judiciar, John de Gray. The ruins are of the gatehouse, courtyard and keep, which were destroyed by an explosion, many years ago.

On walking round behind the ruins, it seems amazing that this piece has not fallen down completely.


Once again the sunset, seen behind Clonmacnoise moorings, was stunning.


66M, a former Guiness barge, was behind us on this mooring. She makes The Puzzler look small!
Phoenix, was also here for the night. She was once a Victorian Gentleman's launch, being formerly steam driven, and was launched in 1876. Currently she is carrying mini cannons, as she is the starter boat at the annual sailing regattas on Lough Ree last week and Lough Derg this week.

Shannon Princess II passed by. She is a hotel boat, which we saw being repainted in April at Quigley's boatyard, ready for the season. She is an extremely smart boat.
Clonmacnoise was a monastic settlement founded by St Ciaran in about AD 545. It grew to be a great monastic city, famed throughout Europe, but suffered attacks by the Vikings during the 8th, 9th and 10th Centuries. It was also attacked by Irish Kings and then by English soldiers in 1552, and the churches were in ruins by the end of the 16th Century.


There are several 9th century crosses at Clonmacnoise. The Cross of the Scriptures stands in front of the ruins of the Cathedral. 




However, to keep these graceful and well preserved crosses safe and in good order, the originals are now kept under cover, inside the museum.


As we left Clonmacnoise, to continue our way down the Shannon River, the cloud formations were lovely to behold. This part of the river meanders through low lying farmland, with no hills to be seen.
After a shaky start to the year, when high winds would have threatened anything on the roof, we have managed to find some flowers which do not mind being continually wet! The original Busy Lizzies expired soon after being planted, but hopefully these Michaelmas Daisies will survive. The French Marigolds have no problem with the Irish climate. With four pots all tied together, they should not blow away either.


After arriving at Meelick mooring, we had an afternoon mini heat wave, so some of the crew did some sunbathing.

We walked to see Meelick Abbey, which was built in 1414 AD and is the oldest church still in current use in Ireland.


The wires here were full of birds, possibly starlings. They did not seem to be migratory birds, despite the gathering.

1 comment:

  1. Love the flowers - glad you have some again, as they look great on the roof. Dad and Catkin look very comfy on the grass! Great to chat yesterday :) Miss you loads. Love Debs xx

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