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.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

16th - 18th May. Plenty of cycling, cruising on to Saint-Florentin, a meal out in Brienon, then delays at Cheny lock in Migennes. Elaine and Mary leave us.

Having moored outside Tonnerre on a wild mooring, Elaine and I cycled to Leclerc, which was quite near to us. Andy and Mary set off for the lock, so by the time we had reached the store and found it closed for the day, they had gone! We still do not know why it was closed. We caught up with them at the next lock, as we waited an hour for our lockkeeper. Andy took over my bike, and Shannon went too! Shannon managed one lock, Andy did two, while Elaine cycled all the way to Flogny-la-Chapelle.
Meanwhile, Mary took the tiller. We were very disappointed in the state of the mooring at Flogny, our lunch stop. The mooring was unfinished, with uncollected rubbish overflowing at every bin. We moved on to lock 100 for 2.30pm, our arranged locking time. After an hour and a half we gave up, and decided to move across the canal, and moored on the offside just above the lock, to stay there for the night.
Two minutes later, there was a flurry of activity at the lock, as the first locking of three boats arrived, to be followed by another eight boats in quick succession! The river Yonne is closed to navigation today, due to too much water, so all the LeBoat hire craft are being sent this way. We have certainly had a lot of rain this week, which has been disappointing for our visitors. Hopefully the Yonne will be passable by the time that we go out on Friday.
Moving on on Tuesday to Saint-Florentin, we were looking forward to seeing inside this fine church, and topping up on essential shopping. Disappointment all round here as firstly the church was locked, even though we could hear an organ playing inside. Next we were told that Saint-Florentin is closed every Tuesday!
The narrow streets of the town were very interesting though, with some coloured timbered houses.
Our only view of the church was found by looking up the steps.
The lock cottage at Duchy Lock was another gem, on the Canal de Bourgogne.
Briennon lay ahead, and at last we found a typical French restaurant, for our long awaited French lunch. We would certainly recommend the Auberge de la Poterne, if you want to eat out in Briennon.
We had to wait at both of the last two locks, with a rather superior cruiser. He moored at Briennon, and was making his way down to the river Yonne. His boat was quite high in the water, so he was a lot taller than us. However, this made it difficult for his visitor to get safely off his side ladder in the last lock. He came down the two ladder rungs, then missed the side of the lock and fell in, hitting his head on the stone edge. Fortunately, there were some fishermen at the lock, so by the time Elaine and I arrived with Shannon, he was out of the water, but staggering, and blood was pouring from a two inch gash on his forehead. Mr Eclusier fetched a chair, so that he could sit down, rather than falling in again, and his wife managed to stop the bleeding by the time the ambulance arrived. We provided dressings too, to help staunch the flow. She kept on taking the dressing off to see how it was doing, which was not a good idea!

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