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.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

17th March. St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday this year, and everyone is getting ready for the big day! The jetty here at The Forum is being pressure washed in preparation.
This is the time to make sure that all boat windows are closed, as our boat will be washed while they are at it!


In front of us, the Irish flag is flying proudly over  Maco's barge.


Inside Enniskillen Castle walls, there are two steam engines in steam. They both joined the parade through the streets of Enniskillen later in the day.


Sally tried out the crossbow, managing to hit the target.




St Patrick is due to arrive soon. He usually arrives by boat, but everyone has been told to watch the sky too.



When the sea plane lands, there is great excitement in the crowd.





He creates quite an imposing presence, as he emerges from the plane.



After the official photographs were over, St Patrick spent a long time meeting everyone in the crowd. It was all quite impressive.


Once St Patrick had moved away, there was a water demonstration by the Erne Wakeboarders. Here three of them are in the river, ready to go.



Once the boat accelerates, they are up on to their boards.



Each man puts up quite a wash as he weaves across the water.




They disappear off into the sunset.

 Well, they would if it was the right time of day!



St Patrick heads the parade, which goes right round the streets of the town, finishing up at Enniskillen Castle.



Ballyreagh Silver Band lead the band section of the parade.



They are followed by Trillick Pipe Band.




Lakeland Players celebrate 25 years of entertainment on their float.



Green balloons seem to dominate several of the floats, and everyone is having a great time!



On the Derrylin Boxing Club float there is a boxing match in progress. It seems to be a fight to the finish for the young contenders!


More green for St Paddy's day.




No Irish parade is complete without  machinery.
A Ferguson Brown Type A tractor from 1936 is a fine exhibit. It was Ireland's first tractor designed by Harry Ferguson fitted with a mounted plough.

The Irish certainly know how to organise a good day's entertainment.

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