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.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

23rd - 27th September. Better weather, more walnuts, a great Gothic cathedral in Sens, then on through more locks to Cézy.

The weather is improving again. The whole sky was cloud covered, but the sun managed to shine below the clouds, just before it set for the night. Do these shadows set a record for length?

We continue to collect walnuts from the boat. This is our best “bunch” of eight!
Moving on to Sens, where the cathedral of St Etienne is fitted in between various other fine buildings. This cathedral was the first of the great Gothic cathedrals of France, and has a magnificent 12th century vaulted roof. There is also a great gold canopy over the altar, but this part was behind metal railings, for its protection.

However, we felt that the most impressive part of the cathedral was the 18 metre Great Rose window.

The sun was shining through this window, and the colour was reflected on the huge pillars.

Our own flowers are still quite colourful, as is Andy, as he counts walnuts, which are on the roof of the boat to dry!
The sloping sided locks now have floating pontoons, which makes them much easier to use. We are tied across both of these, because of the length of The Puzzler. We have seen very few other boats on this part of the river Yonne.

The gate paddles here are unusual, as the éclusier (lockkeeper) just pulls a lever to operate them, instead of winding a handle.

Beside each lock, the weir is guarded. There does not seem to be much flow on the river Yonne at present, but this shows that still waters run deep!

We took a detour off the main river to go to this delightful secluded mooring, near to the small village of Cézy.
Cézy is an attractive traditional French village, lying back from the river. A stream runs through this small building there, creating an ancient communal place for the villagers to wash their clothes. These lavoirs are a real reminder of times long ago.

We sailed past Joigny, but will visit here when we pass this way next spring. It looks to be an attractive town.

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