These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight 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, returning to Roanne for a second winter.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

23rd - 28th April. On down The River Shannon, across Lough Ree and into the Inner Lakes.

From Leitrim we joined the River Shannon. It is quite narrow at first but soon widens out into a seriously wide river. Going through Carrick-on-Shannon there are very few hire boats out, and there are not many private boats on the finger jetties there either. it is still early in the boating season. We go on as far as the end of the Jamestown canal, where we join Inis Cealtra, a Waterways Ireland workboat. He has been working on marker replacement.


The sloping bank above the mooring is a good place for exercise.
All the black markers on this part of the Shannon have been replaced with green ones, which are much easier to see. On the approach to Dromod there is a wide curve of green markers to follow, which keep boats out of the shallow water. However we heard of two private boats which were seen to go far inside these markers with impunity. With a depth sounder, much more of the loughs, beyond the markers, would be safe for us to explore.

When we arrived at Dromod, it was quite busy, but several hire boats left before dark, presumably being on a tight schedule.


As we sailed down the Camlin River, the weather to our left was lovely, and we were glad to be going in that direction.
Eyes right and it was a different story! We did manage to reach Clondra before the rain arrived! The weather generally is lovely sunshine then really heavy spring showers.




Shannon enjoys helping in the galley.
Coming along the cutting towards Clondra lock, we can see the hills beyond the lock. This lock at Clondra is operated by the Tarmonbarry lockkeeper, so he cycles down to find us, as soon as he is free to do so. He was disappointed not to find a Carrick cruiser there too.

At Lanesborough there was a fine collection of barges. Three of us will be making our way down Lough Ree, as soon as the wind is favourable. We had a great evening on Talitha II, with lots of good craic.

We left the harbour at Lanesborough at 6am, and enjoyed looking back to see the sun rising over the turf fuelled power station.
Waterways Ireland are making a new floating jetty off Warren Point, near to Rindoon, which can be seen on the land behind the workboat. This was the site of of a very early Norman town, dating from the early thirteenth century. The remains of a massive stone castle include the ruined tower, curtain walls and a gatehouse surrounded by a moat. It will be interesting to come here later in the year, and use our dinghy to go and visit the ruins.

The wind followed us down Lough Ree, so we had quite a comfortable crossing. The waves looked worse out of the window than they felt!

Going diagonally across the lough from marker 3, we reached the Inner Lakes within four hours, and found the narrow entrance to Lough Coosan, among the reeds. This entrance only becomes visible, once the boat is level with it, and you begin to wonder if it is still there!

We took this wild mooring, looking out on to Lough Coosan. What an idyllic place!

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