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, 21 December 2013
We were invited out for an Irish breakfast, which was extremely good. Shannon and Padi were very pleased to see each other again, but you get the impression here that Padi, nearer to the camera, is in charge. Well, it is her boat!
We are at the Killyhevlin for the St. Michael's Bridge Club Christmas dinner. After an excellent meal, it was serious bridge, but with a prize for everyone.
Next morning it was back to Enniskillen for a session of bowling practice at St Macartin's hall.
Not content with sitting on the seat, or looking into the galley, Shannon has taught herself how to beg! She thinks that cuteness attracts treats, and she could be right!
While moored here at Riverview, we have fitted the Christmas lights outside The Puzzler.
Once it is dark, then the length of the narrowboat shows clearly.
The same evening, we had a friendly bowls competition at St. Macartin's hall. It was great fun, with 34 people taking part.
After the competition, we all went into the next room, for an excellent supper. ( Sally was on sandwiches today!)
Friday, 13 December 2013
This is the picture of Shannon, just fitting into the cup, at the end of March.
She is very good about being left on her own, while we continue to play bridge and go bowling, several times each week.
Last Wednesday night the wind was very strong, so we were rocked to sleep! This small tree was blown over at the Round "O". It leans a bit further each day.
She now has a new bigger lifejacket, having outgrown her last one.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
The house at Castle Coole looks quite eerie in the mist.
Autumn colours are certainly here now.
Everyone who visits the boat remarks on the comfort of our chairs. Shannon finds them just the right size for a dog!
On 20th November the water in the River Erne, beside The Puzzler at The Round "O", was quite rough.
However two days later it was like glass. We are looking upstream to Enniskillen from the Portora Boathouse.
Portora Castle looks good in the autumn sunshine. We have been so lucky with the weather recently.
The steps up to the top of the tower are steep.
The classic Round Tower does not look so tall from up here.
Meanwhile, Sally and Shannon explored the lower levels.
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Shannon loves to stand and look out while we are sailing. There are so many interesting smells!
It needs a steady hand for this, with our homemade marl stick to help.
A tranquil sunset at the Ardhowen Theatre mooring.
Even though it is now early November, the trees are hardly changing colour at Castle Coole at all. The weather has been so mild.
There are fewer craft about now but it is not often that both Broadmeadow and the Regal Pass moorings are devoid of boats.
Shannon has found a new place from which to watch the cooking. She is a great helper in the galley.
Back to the signwriting for the final shading! It is amazing how this brings the letters to life. The tracing above is to remind me where light and dark colours go, below each letter.
At last the signwriting is complete.
Friday, 25 October 2013
We had to mask the jigsaw picture while painting, but the red and green are all finished now.
The moment of truth has arrived! Will this delicate frog tape peel properly? This is looking good!
The tape has peeled very well to leave a nice clear yellow line.
Shannon has a new friend, Padi, and they have exhausted each other. Padi is also a Shih Tzu, and is a week older than Shannon.
We have our own clippers now so Shannon is looking quite tidy again.
The water level is still quite low in the River Erne, as we pass Enniskillen Castle. There has been very little rain for a long time.