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, 2 June 2012

1st June(continued) The Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour, and further on.

We follow the sign from the River Shannon on to the Grand Canal.

As soon as we turn off the River Shannon, it immediately feels like a canal.
We reach Lock 36, the first lock, which is ready for us. However, as soon as the top paddles are up and the lock is filling, our first lockkeeper arrives to take over. He firmly puts our windlass back on board, and my job is to look after ropes, and that is all. He does everything else. It seemed strange at first but I could get used to this! The gates are well balanced but the paddles are not greased and are extremely heavy to work.

Above the lock there are boats lining the towpath.

We liked the anchors on the approach to lock 35.
Beside lock 35 is a Braunston sign which was donated by British Waterways. The plaque records the twinning of Shannon Harbour, Grand Canal, Midlands, Ireland, with Braunston Marina, Grand Canal, Midlands, England on 22nd June 1996.

There is little room to moor at Shannon Harbour as there are a lot of boats there.

It was nice to see the signs of the canals heritage, with the horse lines on the bridges.

Lock 33 is a staircase lock, but it looked very strange on our approach, as both lock chambers are empty
The middle gates are open, and our lockkeeper lets in enough water to fill both locks, so that we can move forward over the cill. Once we are safely through into the second chamber, the middle gates can be closed, and it becomes a normal lock.

Judges Bridge, soon after lock 33, is an example of one of the attractive bridges on this canal.

Apparently, at one time, there used to be a great many parties at this house, which was owned by a rich Englishman. Those times are long gone here!

We were lucky to find this charming mooring for The Puzzler, above Noggus Bridge. It seems a long time since we left Clonmacnoise this morning!

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