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, 14 October 2011

11th - 14th October. Carrick, Leitrim and the Shannon - Erne Waterway

We spent the night at the end of the Jamestown Canal, always one of our favourite moorings.

Catkin does not really mind where we moor, so long as she can have her daily roll on the mown grass. Waterways Ireland certainly look after their moorings well.
From Jamestown we sailed up the River Shannon to Carrick, stopping on the end of the finger pontoon mooring. There was a barge moored just upstream of us, which protected us from the flow on the river, and it was a quiet place to be. There were no passersby, but it was over 200 yards to dry land, and grass, along the jetty, so Catkin was unimpressed!
We took the bikes to shop at Tesco, as it is about a mile from the mooring. After that Andy set off with the trolley and empty gas to a garage he had found, which was even further than Tesco! We use propane, while most boats in Southern Ireland use butane, which is not compatible with our gas regulator. The fitting on the propane cylinders is different in the South too, so we have one of each, which works fine, so long as we can find a supplier who sells propane! They have been few and far between.

Sailing on from Carrick, it is really noticeable how much more water there is in the River Shannon. It is starting to come out of its banks into the surrounding fields.
At Leitrim we leave the River Shannon to join the Shannon - Erne Waterway. The floating pontoon is at least a foot higher than it was earlier in the year, with the connecting bridge being nearly level. We are quite glad to be on quieter waters now.

We met Angela, who told us how, two years ago, the water level at Leitrim rose so much that an extra section had to be welded on to the pillars which hold the pontoon in place. Look closely at the black section to see the join!

Plenty of water can still be found, coming from the side weir below Tiermactiernan Lock to push The Puzzler sideways.

The local stone has been used to great effect in creating this boat, beside the towpath, part way up the Kilclare Locks.

Andy sails on to Kilclare Upper Lock. The green light behind indicates that Kilclare Middle lock is ready for a boat to come down.

By the time we reached the top of these eight locks to the summit level, it was a glorious sunny afternoon.

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