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.
Friday, 31 October 2014
Sunday, 26 October 2014
This interesting hotel in Zaandam includes all sorts of Dutch architecture.
Kalver Polder lies behind and below the windmills, which are all on the Kalverringdijk. This dike is alongside the River Zaan, seen beyond them here.
In the farm section, Shannon met a goat.
We were treated to a really pretty sky on Saturday evening.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
At last we have reached Amsterdam, with stylish modern buildings on the approach to the city.
Further on, traditional styles take over.
This city mooring had a waterpoint, which was fortunate, as we were down to 4" in the tank!
Many of the streets are lined with houseboats which are said to be very expensive to purchase.
On the side canals, all of the bridges are this height, which is no problem for The Puzzzler.
Many of the houses in Amsterdam have traditional Dutch Gables.
You can stay on this hotel boat for E44.84 a night. Not a bad deal!
It was a surprise to see a submarine!
In the next dock was a Monrovian freighter.
This seemed to be a cable laying boat. We have enjoyed seeing all these different vessels at close quarters.
In the distance I was not sure whether this was a building or a boat! The barge to its right shows how big it is.
The barges approaching us did not disturb the water a great deal.
However, the swell from a barge passing us can be seen approaching, and will not be very comfortable!
As we left the North Sea canal, going on to the river Zaan, we passed this floating dry dock. The man was photographing us, as I took his picture!
In Wilhelmina lock we were in with two barges. The gravel barge stretched from way behind The Puzzler.
It carried on in front of us, and must have been nearly twice our length. The other barge was small by comparison.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
We carried on to the Midrecht, with the barge Concordia gaining on us all the way! He passed us just before Zomerlust cycle bridge.
We passed this conversion of a typical Dutch lifting barn. The roof can be lifted on the corner poles as high as is needed for the hay underneath.
Autumn skies today.
The attractive church at Nes aan de Amstel looks out over the river, but there is nowhere to stop here, in order to visit the village.
We stayed at this mooring in Ouderkerk for a few days. This is a pleasant town, built on both sides of the Amstel.
These runners are just over an hour slower than the elite group as they cross Ouderkerk bridge. At this point they are nearly half way through the race.
The route leaves the river bank briefly, past the trees here, behind the riverside houses.
The runners opposite us are being cheered on by the jet packer on the river.
Back at The Puzzler later on, we could still see runners crossing the bridge.
Sunday, 19 October 2014
11th - 14th October. Past Gouda, Boskoop and Gouwsluis, to Zwammerdam and Nieuwkoop, then back to Woerden.
It was nice to see so many boats about on the Gouw canal, as we headed north from Gouda. Now that it is nearing the end of the season, the waterways are quieter.
Boskoop is a pretty village, with car parking dangerously close to the water's edge.
At Gouwsluis, this is an active container depot, just off the main canal.
We turned on to the Oude Rijn, and into the chickweed! However, as our engine has a sealed cooling system, this is no problem for The Puzzzler
Soon it was a left turn in Zwammerdam, and through Ziende bridge on to this smaller waterway going through Nieuwkoopse Plassen.
This area is well worth a visit, for a small license fee, with narrow canals between the lakes. It is like a mini version of Friesland.
There are many wonderful properties all along the water's edge.
We are heading in to the centre of Nieuwkoop village.
We had to have a coffee stop here!
There are several moorings through this area, overlooking the lakes.
Back on the Grecht, we decided to cross over the canal on the ferry for a walk on the far side.
The cathedral in Woerden is a very fine building.
I think that this is the best canalside mural we have ever seen! There is so much detail in it.