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.

Friday, 30 August 2013

14th - 19th August. Up Lough Ree to Lecarrow and Portrunny, then on to Ballyleague and Richmond Harbour.

From Athlone we set off towards Lough Ree, pausing for a break at Hodson Bay, as the weather was getting worse. However, it cleared up in the afternoon, and we had a calm journey on up the lough. Shannon enjoys resting on the roof, fitting well into this corner at the stern.

She moved inside later on though, as the sky became really threatening again, but there was no more rain.
Along the Lecarrow canal it is obvious from the banks how low the water level is at the moment. The weed has been cut recently and is no problem in the navigation channel. Shannon is inspecting it all carefully!
The harbour at Lecarrow was nearly full, but we managed to moor across the bows of a cruiser, with our bows against the wall. We could get off the roof of The Puzzler on to the harbour wall. In retrospect, we should have ignored the No Mooring sign on the pumpout. It would have made access to the bank a lot easier!
In Lecarrow we went to see Nellie's Rock. These are ancient Dolmen Stones, where a poor woman is reputed to have reared a child under the shelter of the rock. The Yew Tree restaurant in the village provided us with an excellent meal, and this was followed up by music at Coffey's pub. Most of the boaters from the harbour were there.
Moving on to Portrunny, we met up with Gerry and Ann again, and there was good craic all evening.The next day they left us, but new friends, Brian and Elaine arrived with Silver and Magic, two lovely retrievers.

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.

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