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, 29 May 2012

24th - 28th May. Down Lough Ree to Barley Harbour, Inny River and Quigleys' Marina

On leaving the mooring below Richmond Harbour, we have to back out and wind below the lock.
Then it is on down the Clondra canal to Clondra lock, having rung the lockkeeper to ask for a passage through the lock. The same lockkeeper also operates Tarmonbarry lock and the Tarmonbarry road lifting bridge so he is a busy person. We were told that he would be there in about an hour, which he was. We tried, and failed, to fit The Puzzler into the lock with a hireboat to pass the time while we waited.

Below Clondra lock we rejoined the River Shannon and sailed on to Lanesborough, where the bridge leads us out on to Lough Ree.

On Lough Ree all the black markers have been painted green since we were here in the autumn. It certainly makes them much easier to see.

The lough is calm this afternoon, except when boats overtake us at this speed! It is amazing how much their wash throws us about.

Barley Harbour is a lovely mooring to visit on our way down the Lough Ree.
Andy spent the rest of the day sunbathing. There were a lot of lads swimming in the harbour until quite late and they then sat and chatted loudly until 9pm. Apparently the crowd the previous evening were there until the early hours of the morning, so we got off lightly! Near Barley Harbour is the studio of Martin Casey, who made the bog oak sculpture at Dromod. He has done some lovely work.

We set off early next morning, to beat the wind, which was forecast for later in the day. Despite early sunshine, it became quite misty on the lough, and we had to go from one marker to the next, as we could not see further than that.

We reached the Inny River and found that it was much wider than expected. We had been told that we would need to back down to the lough to turn! We carried on to wind just before Red Bridge, which is a couple of miles from Lough Ree.

This is just like a river mooring in England! There has been glorious sunshine all week but we were very glad not to be out on the lough with the winds we have had.

We inflated Mini Puzzle, our dinghy, and carried on upstream beyond Red Bridge, which is the limit of navigation.

We carried on up the Inny River for about three miles.

 The yellow flag irises are in full bloom now.

These horses were surprised to see us going past.

The sun was nearly down by the time we returned to The Puzzler.
We made an early start to return to Lough Ree, as there was not a breath of wind. On this section of the lough, which is new to us, we had to be careful to follow the markers, as the safe channel winds behind Inchmore Island and back to the centre of Lough Ree, before heading southwards again.The water was like a mirror, it was so calm.

After we reached Quigleys' marina, the wind became quite strong, and it was not very comfortable, as the boat bounced up and down. However we were pinned to the jetty by the wind so had to ride it out.

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