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.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

20th - 31st Jan. Sam, Cees and Cheetah come to see us in Schagen. Visits to Petten and Den Helder.

We met Sam, Cees and Cheetah in September, and they have come to visit us by camper van in Schagen. It was good to see them again. Last time we met was at Bourtagne, in the east of the Netherlands, in September.

Shannon is not so sure about Cheetah! She is a boxer / padenko cross and is a lovely dog.
We have come to see the work which is going on at Petten, on the coast. Nearly half of the Netherlands lies below the average level of the sea. With the climate changing and the sea level rising, there are several weak links in the chain of dykes which protect the Netherlands, and the sea wall at Petten is one such weak link. A new stretch of dunes and beaches 8 kilometres long and 250 metres wide is being created on the dyke's seaward side, a project requiring 38 million cubic metres of sand.
The sand is being sucked from the floor of the sea and thrown on to the new dunes by craft such as this. We can feel the power of it from where we stand on the current sea wall.

Further north it is possible to walk on the beach, but it is very cold today!
We continued by road to the north coast and the port of Den Helder. The dockyard there is very interesting. This dry dock is the oldest one in Holland, with an old sailing vessel in for repair.

Nearby is an old wooden minesweeper, which we think would have been used in World War 11.

Further on is the newer part of the harbour, with modern yachts resting for the winter.

Cheetah approves of Shannon's basket, although she does not quite fit!

The next day, when our visitors have gone, Shannon is pleased to have her bed back. It is just the right size for a shih-tzu!

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