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.
Saturday, 31 August 2013
Carrying on across Lough Boderg, we were treated to another big sky.
This view at Drumsna looks downstream to the seven arch limestone road bridge, which was built in about 1840.
On leaving Drumsna, we went along the Jamestown cut to the Ardanaffrin mooring, which is a perfect place to play boules.
Then on to Jamestown village, dating from 1621, with this road bridge which was destroyed by a high truck in 1973.
At Carrick on Shannon the moorings were very busy, so The Puzzler was rafted up to a Riverview barge, near to the trip boat, Moon River. Unfortunately Brigitte hurt her ankle, while climbing over the other barge with Shannon. She bravely saved Shannon from hurting herself. As usual here, we are far out into the river on the finger moorings.
On Friday night Moon River was extremely busy with five separate trips, full of hen parties and stag nights. The girls' costumes were themed, with red dresses, little black dresses, bunny ears, pirates and tutus, to name a few!
Friday, 30 August 2013
14th - 19th August. Up Lough Ree to Lecarrow and Portrunny, then on to Ballyleague and Richmond Harbour.
She moved inside later on though, as the sky became really threatening again, but there was no more rain.
Once again Shannon did her "roadkill" impression. It was the Heritage boaters in Athlone who likened her to this! We thought it was rather unkind!
We left Portrunny late on Sunday, once the wind had lessened, and the sun lit up Dog Island as we sailed past.
Clouds behind us gave a strange effect, but again we avoided any rain.
We moored at Ballyleague overnight, leaving the barge 4E there when we left to continue up the River Shannon.
We left the River Shannon below Tarmonbarry, to go along the Clondra Canal and up the lock at Clondra. This lock mooring was under water when we came down Clondra lock in the spring.
Our summer lockkeeper wasted no time in bringing us up the lock!
Noel moved his boat up to make room for us, on the lower mooring below Richmond Harbour.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
On Sunday we cruised up beyond the motorway bridge to join the procession of Heritage boats down into Athlone.
The boats all moored below the town bridge on the wall, with the barges on the inside. The boats were all tied together to make a solid raft.
We were in the fourth line, and were the fourth boat out. It gets you fit, climbing over three boats, every time you want to leave the boat! There was great craic at every opportunity.
The water levels are down at the moment, and it is possible to walk across the weir. Irish boaters will recognise this couple!
Shannon had a day out on 57M, while we took the train to Galway. We passed the Fields of Athenry on the way.
Sally chose to relax beside the River Corrib.
It is a pleasant harbour in Galway.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
7th - 8th August. Back on to the River Shannon at Portumna, Meelick Quay, Banagher, then drama at Shannon Bridge.
Although we have enjoyed Lough Derg, it is quite nice to be on calm waters again, on the River Shannon.
I do not think we have ever seen the River Shannon so calm as it was at Meelick Quay.
Even the horse by the building is there in the reflections.
We called in at Banagher to collect our non-functioning computer. This man, just outside the harbour, has been carved from a tree, which used to stand here.
1st - 7th August. Up Lough Derg from Killaloe to Garrykennedy, Dromineer, Rossmore and the Woodford river, then Terryglass.
We tend to stick out on these finger jetties, but there is plenty of room behind us for passing boats.
Dromineer is a picturescue harbour.
It was a superb morning on 4th of August as we sailed across Lough Derg to Rossmore.
By the evening the clouds were threatening at Rossmore, but it stayed fine.
Next day Shannon and I swam out to a rock, near to the harbour. A local retriever decided to swim out to join us, but three is a crowd, so we left him to it!
Carrying on up the lough to Terryglass, there were high clouds behind us.
At Terryglass there is a mini stone circle, but we suspect that it is not medieval!
The Harbour at Terryglass was very busy.