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.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

27th Oct - 4th Nov 2015. We arrive in Roanne with the Puzzler, and settle into our winter mooring.

The lock ahead of us leads into the port of Roanne. It is good to be here at last.
The port stretches out beyond the lock, and there must be over a hundred boats here. On leaving the lock we must turn left, to go to the Capitainerie (harbour office), and book in. We do not know at this point exactly where we will be in the port, but are expecting to be alongside another boat.

However, as it is now the end of the season, and no more visiting boats are expected, we have been allocated a permanent place on the jetty by the Capitainerie.

This is a very good place to be, as it has a small secure fenced area for Shannon, and for our bikes too.

Within the week, the leaves are being collected from the park beside the moorings. From this gate by our jetty, we can look across to the bank which separates us from the River Loire.

The Loire is quite an impressive river, even though we are a long way from the sea.

Back by The Puzzler, this is our view of the west side of the port by day. We are having fantastic weather this week.

And the view by night!

This coypu swims right past the boat. There are three of them living at this end of the port.

The young one is eating a piece of apple, his favourite snack.

Everyone is very friendly in the harbour, with the ladies meeting for “Stitch and Bitch” every Wednesday.
This week we are on the barge Aurora. So far there has been more talking than stitching, as some people leave soon, to go home for the winter. One lady is leaving for Australia, after many years on their boat in France, but is not coming back, which is a cause of great sadness. People here come from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA, with many from the UK. There was a Harbour Dinner this week, to greet new members to this boating community, and we also have Happy Hour at L'Authentique every Thursday evening. What a contrast to last winter in Schagen, where there were only three liveaboard boats in the harbour.

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