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.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

27th March -2nd April. Around Enniskillen and Lower Lough Erne with Debbie and Matt

Our younger daughter, Debbie, her partner, Matt, and Toad came to stay. They have recently returned fron South Africa, having cycled there from the UK.  ( See their blog On the Road with Toad)
Debbie enjoyed feeding the birds at the Round "O".

The next morning it was off to The Cathedral Hall for short mat bowling. The stick, which lies halfway up the mat, can cause problems for the unwary bowler!

Sally was in good form today.

Matt did very well, having previously had some experience in Norfolk, although it was about 20 years ago. Obviously he has not forgotten how to bowl!

It was Debbie's first time on the bowling mat, and she did extremely well.

We sailed up the River Erne to the Ardhowen Theatre mooring, where the hyacinths were in full flower.

We walked in the grounds of Castle Coole. One day we must come to visit the house, when it is open.

Then it was on to moor at Culky, which was very peaceful.

Matt sits here in contemplative mood.

Early the next morning, looking back up the river towards Enniskillen, the water was like a mirror.

Coles Monument is set in attractive gardens, overlooking Enniskillen. Sadly the Monument was closed when we were there, so we could not see the views over the town.

It is quite a steep climb up to the gardens so we all had a well deserved rest by the Monument.
On Friday Andy and Sally had a full day of training and assessment for the Royal Yachting Association International Certificate of Competence (ICC). We also completed the Cevni written test, which is about European Waterways signage and buoyage. As well as manoevring The Puzzler and coming in to moorings safely, we practised retrieving a man overboard, for which a buoy weighted with a chain did service. Health and Safety prevented us from using one of our visitors for the job! We learned how to deploy the anchor too, finding a sheltered bay behind Devenish Island for this purpose. Paul McGee, our assessor, travelled to Enniskillen from Kinnego Marina on Lough Neagh. He said afterwards that he was very impressed by our boathandling skills, which was pleasing. We are both now fully qualified to take The Puzzler to the Continent. Here he spends time ensuring that we know the ropes.

Having finished earlier than expected, we had time to sail out to moor at Devenish East mooring. As the level of Lower Lough Erne is low, the jetty is lying very high beside The Puzzler.

The ruins on Devenish Island are as impressive as ever.

In the morning, we all walked across the island to Devenish West mooring. The ruins gradually rise again into view, as we return to the boat.
Carrying on beyond Devenish, we approached the mooring at the Golf Course. Despite having excelled in the test yesterday, the wind got the better of Sally, but a strategically placed marker prevented us from ending up on the rocks. You can see the relief on Matt's face here, as we eventually reach the mooring safely, Andy having come to the rescue at the helm!

Matt then showed us all how to skim stones out to the marker in the bay, after we moored at Carrickreagh.

In the morning, we awakened to thick mist, and found early fishermen on our jetty.

The viewpoint is still hiding in the mist. It lies directly above the lifebuoy on the jetty.

Once the mist cleared, we made our way up through the woods to the lookout point. Matt's good sense of balance helped here with the photographs.

The trees seem to have grown since our last visit here, but it is still a wonderful view over the islands of Lower Lough Erne.

Another photo opportunity!

Debbie and Matt took our dinghy, Mini Puzzle, out to do some exploring around the islands.

Toad decided to stay on The Puzzler. He is watching out for them, but hasn't noticed that they are now far behind him! They can just be seen in the top right corner of this photo.

The woods above Carrickreagh mooring are more impressive when seen from the dinghy.

Moving on to moor at Camagh Bay, we could walk across the sunken barge which acts as a causeway to the island of Inishmacsaint.

Here we all are by the ruins of the church on Inishmacsaint.
Debbie helped with the steering on the way back to Enniskillen, encouraged by Matt.
Next morning it rained for the first time this week, as they caught the bus to return to England. It has been a good week and we really enjoyed having them with us after so long.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely account of our really enjoyable stay with you on The Puzzler. It was so good to see you after such a long time. Miss you loads. Love Debs, Matt and Toad xxx