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, 13 November 2011

31st October - 13th November 2011. In Enniskillen for the winter!

Having sailed on downstream to Enniskillen, which is only a mile from the Ardhowen Theatre, we moored at Broadmeadow, beside the Forum Sports Centre, for a few days. We explored the town, and also walked down below Enniskillen Bridge to see whether there would be room for us to moor at the Round O mooring. Currently the river is running too fast for us to return up through the bridge safely, so we decided to go wood collecting, before going down there.

On our way we saw these swans flying over the river, which was a first for us! At first we thought that they were geese. We have never seen so many swans in the air at once!
Back at Ardhowen, we collected lots of firewood, and cut it into lengths, ready to be chainsawn into logs. We do not feel that this was a very sociable activity so near to the Ardhowen Theatre, so hoped to find an empty mooring at Culky. However, we had to wait until late morning to move on, as the mist was too thick to see where we were going!

Once the mist cleared, it was a lovely sunny day, with the autumn colours reflecting in the water. We sailed on to Ballinaleck for diesel. By now this mooring was above the water so we did not have to paddle to the shore!

On our return downstream we were glad to see the mooring at Culky was empty. We were free to chainsaw all of our wood, splitting logs as needed, ready for the winter ahead.

We filled the cratch with three rows of logs, so the top of the boat is looking much tidier. We have plenty of peat bricks too, some of which can be seen here beyond the wood.

Back at Enniskillen, we set off to go through the bridge. There were very few boats moving, so we went through the centre arch. The flow through the right hand arch was extremely fast, and tended to push boats towards the wall beyond the bridge.

Once through the bridge, there were parts of the river with strange currents, as shown here. There seemed to be no reason for this, but we were glad to keep away from them.

When we reached the Round O, two other boaters came out to move boats and make room for us. There is a real community spirit here.

We found a pleasant wooded walk along the river bank to Portura Castle.
The Round O is a good place to be for the winter. It is in a park, just on the edge of town, but near enough to walk to the centre of Enniskillen in ten minutes. We have electric hookup and water right beside The Puzzler, as do all the boats here. There is also pump-out here, as well as plenty of litter bins. What more could a boater want!

A boat went to another mooring, so we moved The Puzzler to the outside of the jetty. We now have a view across the river, which is very pleasant.

We will be resuming this blog in the spring, so see you then!