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, 19 August 2012

6th - 17th August. From Jamestown up the River Shannon past Carrick. Up the River Boyle to Lough Key.

We left Jamestown first thing on Monday, as we were moored on the outside of a line of boats. All boats are to leave Jamestown by lunchtime.
We sailed up the River Shannon past Carrick-on-Shannon and on to the River Boyle. In Lough Eidin we passed the trip boat, Moonriver, out for a cruise. She is based at Carrick and does very good business.

It was lovely to see the castle again on its island as we approached the moorings by Lough Key Forest Park.

We were lucky enough to be able to fit The Puzzler in on the front of the mooring, so we can look out over the lough.
This mooring was built for 40 boats, and is a great facility to have. Previously there was only room for four cruisers to moor here. There was a pull-out article in Waterways World about the Irish Waterways a year or so ago. This mooring was described as "somewhere to get away from it all". Not any more it isn't, but it is still a great place to be!
Another barge is approaching and the skipper can be seen, out with his binoculars, to see where there might be room for his boat. It is often difficult to see spaces, until you are quite close in.

Boats keep on coming! They say that friends are strangers that you haven't met yet!

The breakwater here is another great facility for the general public, as well as for boaters. It is very popular for swimming.

The mooring is now filling up, and Donna's cruiser is alongside The Puzzler.

Sunset behind The Puzzler.

On Friday we took Mini Puzzle out. Going behind the Castle island, we carried on to Sally Island, further out in the lough.

Sally Island is covered with deciduous woodland.

It is possible to walk right round Sally Island. The trees seem to grow very tall at the other side of the island.

Apart from one family in a rowing boat from Lough Key Forest Park, we had the island to ourselves.

Sally took the opportunity for a quick dip. The weather has been fantastic all week.

Sally steered the dinghy back to The Puzzler safely.
Other boats are out sailing today, including the pirate ship, although their Jolly Roger is not up at the moment! Wait a minute though, there it is on the tiller. Click on the picture to see it more clearly. 

Sno Cat, Victor's catamaran, is also in full sail.

Another barge is approaching the harbour
at speed. Look at that bow wave!

The barges are now moored five out from the jetty.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a special birthday party on the jetty. A good time was had by all!

By Saturday evening there were 53 boats in the harbour.

Papillon sets off out of harbour, with Mick and Diana on board. Papillon is a Tjalk, which is a smart type of Dutch Barge.

The castle beyond the breakwater makes a good backdrop for the resident family of swans.

Although the weather has been kind to us this week, there have been moments when people were caught out. At least they came prepared with umbrellas!


  1. Sally Island looks lovely. Did your new dry-sac keep your camera safe and dry on Mini Puzzle? See you soon! Love Debs xxx

    1. The new blue dry-sac is wonderful! Both the camera and phone travel safely in it. It can just be seen in the front of Mini Puzzle at our island mooring. Many thanks for it. Love Mum and Dad xx

    2. I can see it in the photo now! I am very glad it does its job well. Love Debs xx

  2. As always your photographic journal is brilliant and a wonderful reflection of life on the water.
    The connections are amazing too, I met Donna and Victor yesterday.
    Woof from Tiger.
    And regards,