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.

Friday, 25 October 2013

7th - 19th October 2013. Painting The Puzzler and International Pike fishing.

It is now nine years since The Puzzler was first painted, and the port side is in need of renovation. This side faced the sun for four years at our moorings on the River Ouse at Denver Sluice in Norfolk. The yellow line is complete here, after three coats of paint. Having applied the frog tape, it is time to cover the extra yellow which shows on each side of the tape.
We haven't used a roller before, but are very pleased with the finish which can be achieved, by brushing after rollering. The final brush finish means that any scratches later can be touched up less visibly. (Sorry about the sun glare!)
This week it is the International Pike Fishing Competition in Enniskillen with fourteen teams taking part. They have all had two days practice, but the real competition starts today. Here they are heading downstream through Enniskillen towards the Lower Lough Erne, where the stake boat will release them to start fishing. The Italian team eventually won, ahead of Russia and Romania.

We had to mask the jigsaw picture while painting, but the red and green are all finished now.

The moment of truth has arrived! Will this delicate frog tape peel properly? This is looking good!

The tape has peeled very well to leave a nice clear yellow line.

Shannon has a new friend, Padi, and they have exhausted each other. Padi is also a Shih Tzu, and is a week older than Shannon.
The walking on the other side of the River Erne in Cornagrade is good, and there are plenty of fishing jetties to explore. A lot of work has been done at the Portora Boathouse, and it is very smart now.

We have our own clippers now so Shannon is looking quite tidy again.

The water level is still quite low in the River Erne, as we pass Enniskillen Castle. There has been very little rain for a long time.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

20th Sept - 6th October 2013. Back in Enniskillen.

At last, the second crop of new computer problems seem to be sorted, although we have still lost some emails. Do update us if it might be you!
Andy has completed the new trap door access to the engine, so that the engine filter, which was the cause of our problems last week, can be easily replaced.
Cruisers from the Manor House Marina have been having a weekend in Enniskillen, so it has been quite busy. They are now on their way back down the River Erne.

Shannon thinks nothing of having to wear a lampshade! She should wear it for ten days until her stitches have dissolved.
As in the spring, all boats must move every 48 hours, but this suits us quite well. We move to Riverview, near to the library, on Wednesday for bowls.

Shannon is now much happier about her fancy collar.

The walk, from the Round "O", up through the woods to Portora Castle, is as good as ever. Andy and Shannon are playing follow-my leader along the ruined wall there.
Shannon is glad to have had her lampshade off, but hates being left behind, if one of us goes out, so has to be tied up for safety.

Going back upstream from Enniskillen, the hills to the west are rather misty.

The Ardhowen Theatre is always impressive as we approach.
 Some dogs will do anything for a treat! We are walking in the grounds of Castle Coole. There are very few autumn colours as yet though, due to the warm weather we are having.
We came to the Ardhowen to see the Big Brass Swing Band, with Bob Quick. They are based in Strabane and were very popular, providing excellent entertainment. The standing ovation at the end left the theatre buzzing!

By Saturday evening the mooring was quite full.