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, 29 September 2013
It was a lovely journey down Upper Lough Erne the next morning, with the sun shining on the wind farm on the hill.
Thursday, 26 September 2013
6th - 16th Sept. On along the Shannon Erne Waterway to Aghalane, then Belturbet. Sally goes visiting in England to Norfolk and Cheltenham.
At Belturbet there were plenty of boats to be seen, on the private moorings on the opposite bank.
We all went to see Pittville Pump Room, which is an elegant Grade 1 listed building and is the most famous example of Regency architecture in Cheltenham.
Spa water can be drawn by tap from behind this pump, and is the only alkaline spa water to be found in England. I suppose you could describe the taste as "interesting". It was certainly not to our taste!
The chipmunks in Pittville park were very lively.
While I was in England, Andy and Shannon took The Puzzler back to Aghalane and enjoyed the week there.
Although I have enjoyed my visit to England, it was good to see the coastline of Ireland appearing from behind the clouds.
Safely back to Belturbet again.
Saturday, 7 September 2013
1st - 5th September. From Lough Key to Cootehall, Leitrim, and the Shannon Erne Waterway. Sailing on to Keshcarrigan, Kiltybardan and Haughton's Shore.
However the sun came out on Oakport Lough, as we sailed on down the Boyle river, and gleamed on the surface of the lough.
We moored at Cootehall, and were treated to this sunset through the bridge.
"Life's a yawn!", says Shannon, as we rejoin her namesake, the Shannon river. The Iron Mountains can be seen in the background.
While Andy got some diesel at Leitrim, Shannon stalked a duck on the roof of The Puzzler. It is not really very worried at all.
Moving on through the bridge for water, and some craic on Big Blue, we set off on the Shannon Erne waterway. A young helper controls the bows of The Puzzler.
Shannon came off at each lock to help. There is plenty of time to relax, below the control panel, while the lock is filling.
The weather has improved again, and is warm enough for shorts, here at Lisconor lock.
At Kilclare Middle Lock, the sudden waterfall over the top gates confirm that a boat is coming down the next lock.
Keshcarrigan seems a very lonely mooring, when you are the only boat on the jetty. Admittedly, there were three more boats here last night.
The village at Keshcarrigan nestles among the trees, beyond the long jetty.
There is work going on by the weir above lock 8. This is scheduled to go on for a month, but it is not clear what is being done.
Lock 8 is probably the deepest on the Shannon Erne Waterway.
As a protest, she decided to collapse across the barge pole, and go to sleep on the roof.
On leaving Kiltybardan Lough, Slieve Anierin can be seen again behind Andy.
Haughton's Shore is as peaceful as ever.
Walking along the shoreline back to Garadice Lough from the harbour, the distant woods and fields are a real Irish green.
Meanwhile, out on Garadice Lough, a cruiser approaches in the sunset.
Monday, 2 September 2013
From Boyle we sailed back to the Lough Key moorings again. Shannon goes into the water at every opportunity, but this time she was caught by a wave!
She has really enjoyed the freedom of the woods here at Lough Key.
Now she is getting more adventurous with her tree climbing!
She will do anything for a treat!