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.

Friday, 20 July 2012

11th July 2012. The Grand Canal from Lock 12 into Ringsend Basin in Dublin.

We set off at 7am on Wednesday, and worked ourselves down lock 12 to meet Ray at lock 11. In this lock there are spaces in the walls where stones have fallen out. Let us hope that the rest stay where they are! Ray, and Dave who joined us a lock further on, will work the locks for us, and accompany us through the outskirts of Dublin. Any boats travelling down these locks do so as early in the day as possible, as you would in England, when going along the canals into Birmingham, or travelling through Leicester!

We went past the Guiness filter beds to see this sculpture called The Wave. The canal water is still used by Guiness, but only for washing purposes.
The Puzzler is 58 feet long so, as these locks were built for the 60' M barges, we are nearly full length and have to watch the cill carefully. The Puzzler was lying diagonally in the lock, to make a little extra room. However, Andy suddenly realised that the boat was caught on a stone jutting out from the side wall and was listing badly! Panic stations! Bottom paddles were lowered and the top ones re-opened in doublequick time and Andy slid off the stone safely.It can be seen here by the boat.
As there is so much water in the Grand Canal at the moment, it flows over the top gates at each lock. It can be quite wet for Andy at the back of each lock as he has to back up close to the waterfall behind him, for the bottom gates to be opened.

Lock 3 is a double lock (staircase) and it seems to be a long way down to the next chamber.

This dog could not believe what it was seeing, as the boat descended!

The tram runs alongside the Grand Canal for the rest of the way into Dublin. The yellow flowers alongside the track add a pretty splash of colour to the canal.

The Marble Arch pub looked very attractive but we did not have time to stop. It was still a little early in the day for us too!

The lockkeepers can follow us on the towpath, with their blue vans, all the way down to lock 1, where we join the Circular Line.
Portobello Hotel was opened in 1807 and became the passenger boat terminus on the Grand Canal. The fast passenger boats came down all the way from Robertstown to Dublin. This building is now an educational centre and is near to lock 7, the first lock of seven on the Circular line.

Below lock 7 is a lovely wooded section of canal, right in the town.

The canal continues to improve before lock 5, looking rather continental.

This sculpture of a horse and his boy watched us pass by.

Continuing on into Dublin, the houses are getting taller.

It was a lovely day as we sailed on through the last three locks. It was lunchtime by now and there were a great many gongoozlers at each lock.

Another part of modern Dublin. Will he make it to the top?

This sculpture is outside the BT building, right beside the canal.

The approach to Ringsend Basin takes us under the railway line. It looks to be quite a low bridge.

Yes, it is!
Once through the railway bridge, the first part of Ringsend Basin opens out in front of us. We have made it! We can see boats ahead on the safe floating mooring by the Waterways Ireland building.
We moor The Puzzler on the end of the mooring. We are joining a group of boats here to cross The River Liffey on Friday, in preparation for our journey along The Royal Canal. As yet we have only met John, who told us about their trip and so inspired us to come and find them here.We had not wanted to do the Green and Silver ring through Dublin on our own so this was a perfect opportunity.

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