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.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

5th - 10th May. Northwards to cross Amstelmeer, by the North Sea, then south to Kolhorn, and on to Broekhorn.

From Anna Paulowna we carried on northwards to cross Amstelmeer, which is a small inland sea, separated from the North Sea by the sea wall on our left. Luckily it was not a windy day!
We decided to take the route straight across Amstelmeer to the lock, Haukessluis. Locks here are sluices! We had to wait a couple of hours for the lock opening time of 2.30pm, and were then amazed to go down so far in this deep lock. No other lock so far has had a drop of more than a couple of feet.
As we came out of the lock the canal banks on Slootvaart were high above the boat, but then gradually lowered, so that we could see the bulbfields.
These are tulip fields, and all the flower heads have been cut off, to allow the bulbs to develop. The petals must have fallen off when this was done. The tulips still in flower must have been late developers who missed being beheaded!
We moored on the corner at Middenmeer. Tomorrow we go on to the right on Westfriesche Vaart, leading to Westfriesche Sluis, another deep lock, but going up this time.
We went on to have a look round Kolhorn, a delightful village, which lies behind a big dyke. This village used to be on the edge of the Zuider Zee, a lot of which has been reclaimed as land. All villages seem to have canals beside the narrow streets.

These pictures were taken from the top of the dyke, looking down on Kolhorn.
As we moved on the weather gradually deteriorated, first with heavy rain, and then the wind suddenly arrived, and stayed! We have been near Broekhorn for two days now, trapped by the wind!
Mother grebe has a passenger on board. It is too windy for him to manage on his own.

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