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.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

28th - 30th September. On to Meppelerdiep and Zwartsluis. Across Ketelmeer to Ketelhaven on Flevoland.

It was a lovely day on Sunday so Andy and Shannon decided to do some sunbathing.

Moving on on Monday, we joined Meppelerdiep, a bigger waterway, but there were few ships about today.
There are speed limits on Meppelerdiep, with 9 kilometres per hour for laden barges, and 12 kph for unladen ones. Our usual speed is about 8kph, so they are all faster than The Puzzler!
Zwartsluis is a town of boating contrasts, with a marina full of small craft on the outskirts.
To get to the centre of town for shopping however, we take a right turn past several moored barges. There is an extremely good chandlery near to the mooring, which was useful. The museum was closed again! It closes on Mondays and this is our third visit to Zwartsluis, each time being on a Monday! I expect that it is a very good museum.

We left Zwartsluis by going through the open lock, under two low bridges there, out on to Zwarte Water, another big barge canal.

An empty barge overtook us soon after this, going at top speed. He was out of sight before we came round the corner, but we turned off on to a smaller canal, Ganzendiep, to go southwards to join the River Ijssel.
The new road bridge over the Ijssel dwarfs the mighty river below it. Having reached the mouth of the Ijssel, which is 1005 kilometres from the source of navigation on the Rhine, we went across Ketelmeer. It was a little breezy, but not too uncomfortable.

It was nice to be off the open water, and we were joined by a cruiser in the lock. In Ketelsluis we dropped 5 metres to get down to Flevoland.

There is a pleasant free mooring, quite near to Ketelhaven. The lock can be seen behind The Puzzler, with the dike protecting the polder from the waters of Ketelmeer.
Later on, we walked through the village of Ketelhaven, which seemed a very peaceful place to live. The gardens were lovely, with each house a different design. We continued on to the dike above the town, to look back across Ketelmeer, which we crossed earlier today. Were we really out there?

Coming back along the dike, we could see Ketelhaven marina, which was full of sailing boats.

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