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, 13 July 2014

&th - 13th July 2014. In Friesland.


Mary joined us in Heerenveen, where World Cup Fever is clearly in place.
While Mary and I had a quick look at the town, Andy backed The Puzzler, ready to go through the same bridge as before. The bridge down the canal to the right here, going out of town, is out of order.

We were treated to a glorious sunset that evening. It brought back good memories of Irish sunsets.
In Joure again, we visited the Douwe Egberts Museum. We learned all about coffee, tea, and tobacco there. It was fascinating.
By Thursday the weather was improving, so we had a long day, sailing along waterways and lakes to Ijlst, another pretty Friesian village.
Next it was back through Sneek, where we saw the famous Watergate. Our route is through the lift bridge, seen to the right here.

There are sailing schools all over Friesland, and these sailing dinghies are rafting up for some tuition.

As we crossed the Prinses Margriet Kanaal, this barge was bearing down on us. Andy was the only one not to be nervous about this!



Both Mary and I thought it was a little close for comfort!
We moored on an island on Sneekermeer, moving on to visit Terherne in the morning. This pretty village is said to be the centre of the Friesian lakes, and is built on an island.
Moving on to the North East, we came to Akkrum again, but had a long delay at the lift bridge, due to a problem with the bridge. The weather has been so hot today that the metal bridge has expanded and jammed! Eventually it was opened and we all got through safely.

Coming out into the Wijde of Peanster Ee, we spotted a likely mooring on the far side of the lake. The little sloop boat moved up to make room for The Puzzler. What a peaceful mooring, we thought.
There are all sorts of boats on the lakes. The skutjes look marvellous in full sail. These are the racing boats of Friesland.
However, at 8.30 pm our peace was destroyed on the mooring, when seven small sailing sloops arrived, with over sixty children and a few adults too. They went to the other end of the mooring and through into the field for tug-of-war and other games, going home when it started to get dark, at about 10.30pm. It was good to see them all enjoying themselves so much.

Some of the waterways between the lakes are quite narrow. These are very pretty, but can create traffic jams!
On Mary's last evening, we moored opposite this windmill on Jansloot, just off the main lake, having had another extremely hot day. The man on the next boat told us that it had been the hottest day ever in Friesland, and we could well believe this.

Sunday was cooler, and Mary took the tiller, on our run down to Akkrum for her train.
Later on, before we left Akkrum, the railway bridge had a problem with opening. Over twenty boats were queueing, by the time it eventually opened. We moved out of town to a country mooring.

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