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.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

22nd June - 2nd July 2018. Up the river Saône from St-Jean-de-Losne to Corre, stopping at Mailly-le-Port, Lamarche-sur-Saône, Mantoche, Gray, Ray-sur-Saône, as well as wild moorings.

From St-Jean-de-Losne we headed north on the River Saône, which seems very wide, after two and a half months on various canals.
Our first stop was at Mailly-le-Port, where a cruiser moved back to make enough room to get half of The Puzzler on to the jetty. An old man staggered down to the mooring, wobbling on his two sticks, so that he could complain about The Puzzler being over the end of the jetty. “Merde! Merde!” he was muttering, when I went out to speak to him. His problem was that he could see our boat from his house, but he seemed to get over it!
The next night we were at Lamarche-sur-Saône, where again it was a question of squeezing up to make room for everyone. The last boat to arrive was a Swiss crew on a hireboat, celebrating their 60th birthdays. Last year they were on the Canal du Midi for their 50th. As soon as they were safely tied up, they invited us on board for a traditional Swiss cheese fondue, which was very pleasant!

There are many different boats on the river. Here we are sharing a lock with a similar length barge to us, though he is much wider than us. The German boat waiting above the lock was most upset, as he had had to wait for a while, but it always takes time to get a wide boat in to a lock. People who are in such a hurry should not choose a boat for their travelling!

It was quite busy again at Mantoche, but there was plenty of room for all.

This is what you call a Happy Family!

We met John and Karen once again at Gray, and had another very late night!
The next night we were under the trees. This is a perfect mooring for a narrowboat in hot weather, with overhanging trees, but enough depth to get the boat to the bank. It is at Pk 303.5 (point kilometre) The temperature this day was 36.8°C!

The Saône is getting noticeably narrower now, as we continue upstream. Fortunately, there is very little stream to slow us down.
There are many meanders in the river Saône. With big meanders the canal follows a 'derivation', which is a straight cut, starting with a lock, and sometimes including a tunnel too. This one is at Savoyeur.

We are following the main river here, to get to Ray-sur-Saône. The castle is only open on special days, but this was not one of them.

There are five individual jetties here. They were designed for cruisers, but those at each end are fine for longer boats.
The next night we moored at the end of a derivation, near to Chantes. The sign in front of the boat says No Mooring, if you look at the other side of it! Never mind! It was a lovely peaceful place.

This donkey was upset when we did not feed him.

We stopped for a swim today. The temperature inside the boat is 36.5, while outside it has gone off the scale!

Another perfect mooring at this fenced picnic area.

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