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.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

!st - 4th August. Lough Ree and Athlone

From Portrunny we sailed south to go round Inchcleraun, which is also known as Quaker island, then made our way over to the east side of Lough Ree. We had to detour to the North to avoid Iskeraulin shoal, which is very shallow, before heading south into Barley Harbour. We pulled in to the shelter of the high wall at first. There were steps by the bows, but they were quite steep for Catkin.

We moved over behind the cruisers, being careful to avoid an underwater rock by coming in behind it. Catkin found these steps much easier. Barley Harbour is a delightful, secluded mooring and we were the only boat there overnight. Access to this mooring is difficult in high winds, due to the risk of being blown on to the rocky shore, so we headed south to the inner loughs on Tuesday. Wind is forecast for later in the week.

The inner loughs are at the South East corner of Lough Ree. We passed Quigley's boatyard, where we were launched on to the Irish Waterways, four months ago, and continued part way up Killinure Lough.

Taking the first right, we went into Coosan Lough, which is very quiet. It is surrounded by reeds and we went into a small inlet at the far end to wind.

This is the exit from Coosan Lough, back on to Killinure Lough.
We carried on to Lakeside marina to buy a dinghy, so that we can anchor and thus visit inaccessible islands on the loughs. Andy launched it by the slipway.

We returned to the narrows which led to Coosan Lough and moored on a peaceful bank mooring.
Andy tried out the new dinghy, which has an electric engine, so is practically silent. We both went for a sail back to Coosan Lough in it.

These cattle came to have a look at us on our mooring, from the far bank.
They brought all the rest of the herd to see us, and then played " Let's try and push each other in the water". Fortunately none of them succeeded! They went away quite soon to leave us in peace.

However, at 10pm that evening, a cruiser arrived with a large crew of young people, to moor opposite us on this narrow stretch of water. They proceeded to party the night away, very loudly, until 3am. It certainly did not prove to be a peaceful mooring after all!

In the morning four of them set off in one of their dinghies at 8 am, looking dreadful. They had only gone about 20 yards when their engine stopped, so they had to row back, and transfer to the other dinghy. The tricky transfer completed, they set off again, looking even worse, if that were possible! Presumably they had to work that day, but could they?

On Thursday we explored the rest of Lough Killinure, and Ballykeeran Lake, another small body of water. Glasson Hotel and Golfcourse overlook Killinure Lough and look very impressive.

We returned to moor at Quigley's boatyard, and had a peaceful night, although we rocked gently all night, as the wind blew up Lough Killinure, creating quite choppy water.

This kayak was out in the worst of it, with a very small passenger in the bows. They start them young here!

There has been a regatta on Lough Ree all of this week. The yachts made a beautiful scene as we passed them on our way to Athlone.

The Castle and Cathedral in Athlone look impressive, across The River Shannon.

This Dragon boat does River Trips, both up into Lough Ree and downriver to Clonmacnoise, where we are heading next.

1 comment:

  1. The dinghy looks great. Hope you explore lots of places in it. I am sure Catkin would get used to it! Athlone looks interesting. Happy sailing. Love Debs, Matt and Toad xx