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, 31 August 2014
An enormous grasshopper, which presumably was a locust, came in to sit on Shannon's bed. She was unimpressed!
There are a few boats about, but most seem to be heading south, away from the wide waters of Slenk, which leads on to the sea access at Lauwersoog.
The sea wall can be seen in the far distance, but we are soon turning to the east, following the Slenk waterway upstream. The weather ahead is improving all the time.
We moored further on, on Zoutkamperil, and were treated to a splendid rainbow.
Opposite our mooring were these Highland cattle, having a really good paddle in the river.
From Zoutkamp we retraced our steps briefly to get to Hunsingo sluis, which now stands open, but used to contain the incoming tide in the old sea wall.
26th - 29th August. Rural circuit south to the Prinses Margriet Kanaal, then north to the edge of Friesland.
Further on we met this barge, Blacklock, but the canal was quiet today, with very few barges about.
How about this for a verge trimmer! The grass is collected through a tube, leading to the trailer.
Turning off on to the Stroboser Trekvaart, we find a small waterway, with small craft on it. It is more like an English canal.
This field of horses by the canal were not all Friesians, but were still quality animals.
At every mooring it is interesting to see all sorts of different craft, unlike on the English canals, where it would be a line of narrowboats.
Soon after the lock, we saw this sign which we think says "Goodbye" in the Fries language. We are learning Dutch, but Fries is a local dialect/language.
Friday, 29 August 2014
Here is the link for you to see what was broadcast on Friesian television, as the result of two hours filming on The Puzzler last week. It came down to just over three minutes! We hope that you enjoy it!
Click here to see us on tv
Click here to see us on tv
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
A tall ship came in behind us, as we moved through town, but we did not find out its name.
We were moving through to the prettiest part of the town moorings, near to the Oldehove Tower.
Construction of this leaning, curved and unfinished tower began in 1529. It began to sink during construction so, to compensate for the tilt, they continued to build perpendicular on top of the leaning bottom. Because of this, the tower is also curved, so they stopped building in 1533, and the
tower was never finished. However, inhabitants of Leeuwarden are still proud of their Oldehove.
Our next visit was the Princesshof Ceramic Museum, which specialises in Chinese pottery. Most of this was made for export to The Netherlands by the Dutch East India Company.
Meanwhile Sally and Shannon worked hard to clean the roof!
Later on Liquenda, a sailing ship, arrived behind us, making The Puzzler look small. It was lucky that Andy had finished with the orbital sander by then, as it is really noisy. Liquenda was built in 1909, and used to carry 150 tons of cargo in its working days. They are on their way to sail in the Wadden Sea.
Dokkum is a typical Dutch town, with canals along practically every street.
We were on our way to the shops, but looked back to see this yellow box going up and down above The Puzzler. It is a lawn mower!
There are moorings all along the waterfront, as we make our way back round the other windmill to the main route through town.
Friday, 22 August 2014
Further on, we passed this fully laden barge, Graveland. The canal here is 4.2 metres deep to cater for these barges.
We also sailed with them through the village of Warten, which is very attractive.
This weird light combination reminded us of Derryvore, in Ireland.
Most people only use one yacht at once, but this lad had four of them!
Revisiting one of the smaller canals in the Alde Feanen National park, this was a typical Dutch canal scene.
Passing to the north of Grou, these are a good example of Dutch houseboats.
There is a new waterway which bypasses Wergea, but we took the old route through the centre of the village.
Approaching Leeuwarden, we took a circular route round the city, and saw different houses there.
Further on, the housing became even more unusual!
This has to be the best houseboat of all, with its thatched roof.
Monday, 18 August 2014
This leads on to another delightful rural winding waterway.
A cycle track goes over the lock gates at the far end of the small waterway. Two locks to work in one day is too much for us!
The next part of our route today is a real contrast, with barge traffic along the Prinses Margriet Kanaal.
A barge is coming past us. They go much faster than we do, but he gave us plenty of room.
It turned out to be a tug pushing a dumb barge, which we have not seen before.
Moving on on Saturday, we passed near to Drachten, which is an industrial town. On the outskirts of Drachten there is a large open area of water, which is 15 metres deep, due to the sand extraction carried out here. This vessel sucks the sand out through a tube, adding it to a large pile by the edge of the water, ready for transportation elsewhere in The Netherlands.
As we crossed Bergumer Meer, we were treated to an impressive cloud display, just before the weather broke.