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.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

30th March - 16th April 2017. Our last few days in Roanne, followed by a pleasant weekend on the canal with Jean-Charles, Ghislaine and Escot.

As we come to the end of March, people are returning to their boats in Roanne, ready for the new season. L'Authentique is busier than ever, every Thursday, when we meet for Happy Hour there.
I have spent some time renovating our fenders, which were in a bad way. Meanwhile Andy has cleaned and polished The Puzzler so as to be ready for the season.
Several of us met on Sunday for a game of boules. As new people arrived, they joined each team alternately, and I think that we ended up with eleven altogether, in two strong teams! Who won is anybody's guess! No-one is leaving the Port of Roanne yet, as the lock at Bourg-le-Comte is still waiting for new lock gates.

The Puzzler has meanwhile been treated to some new LED strip lights, which are great fun.
This car was driven into the canal in the early hours of Saturday 8th April, but no-one was badly hurt. He took the corner too fast, and fell down the bank into the canal below.
Jean-Charles, Ghislaine and Escot have joined us for our first week-end of cruising from Roanne. Shannon has lent Escot her lifejacket, but he is not impressed! Escot a peur!

We cruised halfway up the port to collect Jean-Charles, exchanging hoots with our friends as we left the port.

Further on, Jean-Charles took the tiller and we moored by the bridge before Melay.
We walked to visit the village of Melay. The church is impressive, but was locked, so we could not look inside. Back at The Puzzler, we played boules on the track nearby.

Next morning we saw this stork, which showed no fear of us. Later on we saw one flying overhead – they are so graceful in flight.

It is cherry blossom time again, as we pass Artais.
Walking back from the mooring, which lies just beyond the village, we passed below the old pont-canal, or aqueduct, which was first built in the 1830's. It was widened between 1895 and 1904, to allow the passage of boats. We have just sailed over it, but it looks more impressive from below. After visiting Artais, we returned to The Puzzler, then enjoyed a game of table tennis.

Both Shannon and Escot like being with Ghislaine at the front.

Meanwhile Jean-Charles is helping to work the lock. Il est un ├ęclusier nouveau!

We finished our week-end outing above the deep lock of Bourg-le-Comte, and walked up to the village.

The view is wonderful, looking back over the canal. C'├ętait un bon weekend!

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