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.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

4th - 8th June 2012. Continuing along the Grand Canal. Daingean and Edenberry.

We sailed on to Daingean, arriving there in torrential rain. It was nice to find a mooring but being under a wall in the centre of a small town for the night did not appeal to us, so we moved on later.
These are the first barges we have seen on the Grand Canal since Shannon Harbour. There are very few boats about at all. We have seen one boat sailing on each day on this canal so far.

We moored about a mile from Daingean. It was a very pleasant mooring, but definitely a plank one!

A lot of turf has been cut, and is now drying on this peat bog away to our right. 

Along this section the canal runs straight on, quite close to the bog. After this straight section there are trees along both sides of the canal, so we do not know how far the bog goes.
This emergency stop chamber was constructed over ten years ago. The canal guide tells us "Should a breach occur in the future, the stop-gates are designed to close automatically, limiting the loss of water from the canal and the damage to the embankments". This seems a really good idea. However the gates are chained to the wall on the far side!

Ahead of us is the junction with the Edenderry Branch, which goes for about a mile to the centre of the town.

The ducks are certainly looked after well in the harbour, with their own floating house. Mother duck and her family live here.

There is hardly room for everyone else on the other platform!
There was not much spare space to turn before leaving the harbour. We had to wait for a weed cutter to finish his run into the harbour before we could leave. There is certainly a lot of weed about on the Grand Canal. We are not having much trouble with the weed as our engine does not use canal water for cooling, as a lot of engines do. We are also less deep in the water than most boats here, as we draw less than two feet.
Mooring along the Grand Canal, except at recognised moorings, can be difficult, as the bed of the canal is usually shallower towards the banks. However, we found deep water right up to the canal bank, just before Blundell aqueduct, where the canal crosses the road to Rathangan. This is known locally as "The Tunnel". We stayed here for two days, while it rained continuously and the wind was at least force 5-6!

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