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.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

10th - 11th May. From lock 12 down The Grand Canal into Ringsend Basin in Dublin.

On Friday afternoon we moved on down to lock 12, with Shannon spending some time on the roof. She is very careful as she passes the logbox.

Half an hour later she is asleep on the back deck. It's a hard life, being a puppy!

At lock 12 all the boats are moored below the lock, ready for an early start down the locks into Dublin. We will leave at 15 minute intervals starting at 7am. We are the second boat in the convoy.

These are the old filter beds at the Guinness factory, which we are assured are no longer in use!

This swan does not even notice The Puzzler as she glides past.

There are several lockkeepers working us down the locks, so each lock is filled as soon as we leave it. As there are no by-flows on this part of the Grand Canal, any excess water flows over the bottom gates.

The locks are very quick to fill, when all gate paddles are open.
Below lock 3 there is a low bridge which created problems for the two boats behind us, both of which have a high air draft. If the water level could be lowered for them then they would not need to lower their wheelhouses, so this was done by sending more water ahead. This water ended up below lock 2 where we caught up with the cruiser ahead of us, and were also joined by barge 107B, which had been aground between locks 2 and 1 since Wednesday. She was very pleased with the extra water which moved her! However there was too much extra water, which flowed out of the sides of the canal, to create a small, if temporary, river down the towpath. The cruiser floated out over the canal bank at one stage, but was persuaded to return, luckily before the water abated. Incidentally, Aqualegia and Talitha II did both have to drop their wheelhouses anyway to get under the bridge!

Below lock 1 there were tea and scones, so we stopped briefly. Apparently the Mayor was there but we did not see him. The locks from this point, on the Circular line, are numbered from C7 down to C1.

In each lock Andy has to keep as far forward as possible, so as to avoid the torrent of water coming over the top gates.

The Circular line is picturesque, running through the trees.

In Portobello this boy with his horse keeps an eye on the canal.

This is lock C3, on the Circular line. By lock C2 we had run out of lockkeepers, so were very grateful to Bill, for his help in opening a stiff top gate. He is from Michigan, USA, where the locks on the St. Lawrence seaway are on a different scale to this!
 We reached the canal basin at Ringsend soon after 4pm, about 9 hours after we started this morning. We will sleep well tonight! This is a secure mooring in the centre of Dublin, with a gated entrance.

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