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.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

18th - 20th May. Dublin Rally 2013. A trip on the River Liffey.

Sally managed to talk her way up to a 5th floor café balcony belonging to the Willis group to take an aerial view of the 71 boats in Ringsend Basin, during the Dublin Rally, 2013.
On Saturday, any interested boats could go out on to the tidal River Liffey for a couple of hours. We decided not to go out with The Puzzler, but walked down to the sea lock to watch them go. Liam, and the other four Dubs on a Tub, kindly invited us to join them on their boat, Sea Wolf. This is their cruiser on the right in the lock.

Time for a photo opportunity before setting off.
We sailed past LE Aisling, which is part of the Irish Naval Service. The main function of the Irish Naval Service is prevention of illegal fishing in Irish Territorial waters, but other important work includes rescue, and prevention of other illegal activities such as drug and gun running.

Our cruiser was at the head of the convoy, which was following us under the Harp Millennium Bridge.
We sailed to upstream of the Halfpenny Bridge, with two other boats overtaking us on the way. They were running out of water ahead of us, so we turned round. On the way back downstream, Andy was given the wheel of Sea Wolf, so that the Five Dubs could sit on the bows for a photo opportunity. He last steered a cruiser 31 years ago, but had not forgotten how to do so!

This was followed by a coffee break at a handy street stall nearby!

After this we had expected to be returning to the sea lock, but we carried on downstream and the toll bridge was raised ahead of us, so we sailed on through, feeling very important.

We met the Brazilian Tall Ship, Cisne Branco, soon after going through the bridge. Perhaps it was raised for them, rather than for us!
Our next stop was the Port Control Centre, where we tied up and were allowed to see work in progress here. This was a real privilege. While we were there a pilot was needed by the container ship, Elbfeeder, which was about to leave Dublin Port. One was promised soon.

Once back on Sea Wolf, we carried on past the sea wall, and past the lighthouse into Dublin Bay, so were definitely out at sea.
This is the container ship, Elbfeeder, from St. Johns, which put up quite a wash as she passed us. Here the pilot launch has just collected the pilot from her. We returned to the lock to rise up into Ringsend Basin again.
What a trip!
On Saturday evening there was a gathering of all the men featured on the River Rats Calendar, and a cheque for 10,490 euros and 12 cents was handed over to the Irish Cancer Society. This was much more than had originally been forecast.

The evening was rounded off by one of Mick’s famous barbeques, and a good time was had by all, despite the rain!

On Sunday, summer arrived, and many friendly people came along the jetties to look at the festive boats.

Maurice and Janet came to lunch, before going on to the Bord Gais Theatre to enjoy The Lion King. Having seen it last week, we could certainly recommend it.

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