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.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

19th - 24th June. Debbie and Matt came to visit us in Holland. We went to Guithoorn, Blokzijl and Kuinre.

Having met Debbie and Matt in Steenwijk, we went along Steinwijker Diep and back to Giethoornse Meeer. This time we took a left turn, halfway down the lake, to follow a small canal across to Kanaal Beulakerwijde -Steenwijk. By taking the route we did, we had avoided a long stretch of this commercial waterway.

In Giethoorn we hired a fluister (whisper) boat, with a silent electric engine, to cruise through the narrow one-way canal system.
The route goes out into Boven Wijde, which was quite calm. A few moments after this, a boy in a small dinghy nearly managed to ram into us. Well, he WAS looking the other way, as he showed off to his friend just how fast his boat could go!
We returned to the narrow canals, bridges, and pretty waterside gardens, through Giethoorn. Andy found this little boat much harder to steer on sharp corners than The Puzzler.

Several other people seemed to have trouble with their steering too!
From Giethoorn we sailed south to the town of Zwartesluis, seeing several working barges on the way. Our route went out on to Zwarte Water, but then soon back through this little lock on to smaller waterways again. On entering the sluis, behind this small cruiser, I told the lockkeeper how long The Puzzler was, asking her if we would both fit into the lock. She just shrugged her shoulders! We sorted it out with the other boat, but it was certainly a tight fit for the two of us.

From Zwartesluis we went north, following the same route across the lake, Beulaker Wijde, as we did last week. Going on across Giethoornse Diep, we spent the night at this pleasant mooring, having failed to find a suitable place earlier.
Andy made a swim ladder for Shannon out of our plank, and she eventually got the hang of it, after several attempts. She loves swimming, but prefers to go in at a beach, rather than being lowered in from the front of the boat!
Our next stop was the town of Blokzijl, which was once a fishing village on the Zuider Zee. However, since the Noord Oost Polder was created by land reclamation, it is now far inland. The town museum had a very informative film about the fishing here, in English, which was most interesting.
The town cannon, beside the harbour, used to be fired to warn the townfolk of impending flooding. It seems to be pointing straight at The Puzzler. Should we be worried?

It was very exciting to see storks nesting as we passed through the hamlet of Nederland.

The whole herd of shetlands are out today. Dad is the appaloosa on the right.
Kuinre, shown here on the chart, also used to be a fishing village on the Zuider Zee, and the waterway does a U turn to go back up the other side of the original dyke.

Here we are in the lock at Kuinre, which is a very unusual shape, near the turn.

On this waterway after Kuinre there are not so many moorings, but we found a campsite, where the short grass was perfect for boules.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a lovely week on the boat. It was great to see you all. We really enjoyed exploring the Dutch waterways and towns. See you soon. Love Debs & Matt xx