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, 5 April 2014

1st - 4th April. Spring on the Shannon Erne Waterway


The spring lambs are growing up, in this field alongside the water. We are on the Woodford River here, which is part of the Shannon Erne Waterway.
These retaining posts were sunk into the river bank many years ago, to help combat erosion by the water of the River Woodford. They are not working as well as they used to here, as all the soil between them has been washed away.


Andy is waiting below Ballyconnell lock, while Shannon and I prepare the lock for him.


This is one of the deeper locks on this waterway. Once the gates are shut, water is let in to lift the boat about twelve feet, before we can carry on above the lock.

There is a lovely walk from Ballyconnell, down by the river and through the woods. This canoeist tried in vain to go up the rapids towards the weir.
We were quite late leaving Ballyconnell, so only went as far as this mooring beside Bridge 26. With just room for one boat here, it is always a quiet place to be. We stayed here for two nights, as it never stopped raining on Wednesday.


These cute donkeys watched us pass by. Well, two of them did. The grey one seems to be asleep!


At last we reach Haughton's Shore. This will be our last mooring in Ireland, as The Puzzler is to come out of the water tomorrow.
We have fitted a new flagpole on the roof. The Irish flag is our courtesy flag, with the Dutch Barge Association burgee below it. Our red ensign will fly from the tiller. ( Thanks, Declan!)

Our favourite spot at Haughton's Shore is the jetty on the right, but the water level is too high for this to be comfortable.


We left Haughton's Shore soon after seven on Friday. The reflections on Garadice Lough were as impressive as ever.


On arrival at Riversdale, we tied up to two other barges, until the trailer was ready for us.

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