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, 3 September 2011

26th August - 3rd September. Back up Lough Derg to Garrykennedy, Dromineer, Rossmore, Kilgarvan and Terryglass.

We set off at 8am in brilliant sunshine, just as the mist was lifting,. However the sun soon went in and the clouds descended on the river again. Fortunately we were able to pull in to a private jetty for an hour, until it was clear enough to continue on to Lough Derg. The hills were very clear once we were out on the lough.
Lough Derg was extremely calm this morning, until a cruiser went past. It is surprising how the wake of another boat moves us, even in the deep water, out on the lough.

We sailed up the lough and round the corner to pull in to Garrykennedy Harbour. The stone wall is an effective barrier which stops the waves from the lough entering the harbour.
Across on the other side of Lough Derg, we could see the Irish Laser National Championships in progress. There were 151 sailors taking part over the four days of racing, with Eoin Keller, from Lough Derg Yacht Club, winning the laser radial class. It is the first time in 30 years that a Laser sailor has won a National Championship division at their home club.

The old harbour at Garrykennedy was constructed in 1849, using some of the stones from the old castle here. It used to be an important harbour on the Dublin to Limerick route for working barges.

Behind the old harbour is a pleasant forest walk.

Part of this walk runs along the flat stones by the lough. Catkin was much braver than usual about approaching the waves for a drink.

This weekend was also the first of the Autumn races for the local yachts. By Saturday evening Garrykennedy was a harbour full of yachts of all sizes.

We saw some exciting finishes, as they tacked into the wind.

The RNLI lifeboat pulled into harbour, near to The Puzzler, to check their charts. We could see them through our porthole!

As it grew dark, they set off for night manoevres.

From Garrykennedy we sailed on to the next harbour at Dromineer. The promised shop only sold ice cream so we stayed just one night there.

Next we went across to the west side of Lough Derg to Rossmore Jetty. The outside of the jetty is not recommended in rough weather, but we are having a good week with light winds.

At Rossmore Jetty we inflated Mini Puzzle, our dinghy, and went exploring up the Rossmore River. Having an electric engine, we enjoyed a very peaceful meander upstream and back.

We went about two and a half miles before we reached the head of navigation, even for dinghies! These boulders were right across the river bed.

Tomorrow is the first day of duck shooting, which lasts until the end of January. This dinghy ( not ours!) was camouflaged in readiness for the morning.
From Rossmore we crossed Lough Derg to Kilgarvan, which was the only harbour to disappoint us. It was very run down with practically no space to moor. After a brief stop we continued north towards Gortmore Point.
This marker H lies a third of a mile off Gortmore Point. Here today it is quite calm, but this is not the place to be on a windy day, as the waves build up as they cross the lough. It is a notoriously exposed spot. Waves can build up for seven and a half miles from the SW here, two and a quarter from the west, or over three miles from the ENE.

Duck shooting may have started, but this looks like a safe haven for them, in Terryglass Harbour.

From the numbers here, these ducks know when they are well off!

Is St Augh's Eye Well here in Terryglass to help us to see the distant markers on the Lough?

We went to find Terryglass Church, as we had heard its bell chime every hour since our arrival.

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