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, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Monday, 18 August 2014

15th - 18th August. Two locks to work ourselves!! Contrasting waterways in Holland.

On Friday we skirted the north side of Sneek, then through this comparatively new lock, on to another recently opened waterway. This is the first lock that we have had to physically work ourselves, since arriving in Holland four months ago. The big wheel rolled the gate open, while the gate paddles needed 6oo turns in total!

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.
From the Prinses Margriet canal we turned off to the right just after Grou, into lakes again. This is the third time we have been at this mooring, to the north of Akkrum. When we were here in July, there was hardly room to squeeze another boat on to the mooring, but look at it now! Two more boats did arrive later, but the lake is really quiet, and feels quite autumnal.

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.
We saw some barges as we crossed the Prinses Margriet kanaal, but were glad to find a sheltered harbour, off the lake, for mooring, just as the wind was getting up. It has blown on and off, with torrential intermittent rain showers, for two days now. We hope to move on tomorrow.

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