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Monday, June 27, 2011

Big Chute Blue Line - Penatang Town Dock (home for the summer)

Distance travelled   20 NM                                                        Time Travelled: 3 hours

Total Distance travelled 2080 NM

Docked at:   Historic Port of Penatanguishine for the summer!!

Big Chute marine Railway

The approach

All settled in for the ride

The crew taking a look & taking pics

Over the road we go

Thank you Parks Canada!!!

The other side of the road - pretty steep decline

Zeke taking it in stride

We were ready for the 8:30 start of the Big Chute- they rolled back the rail car and via a loud speaker told us to make sure all our fenders were up - yup - we're ready! Garth easily maneuvered the boat onto the ramp, we told them we had stabilizers, they asked a few questions and then lifted the boat. Very strange, going over the road and down the hill. The chute keepers looked under the boat, said all looked well. A relief after hearing more than a few bumps between Fort Lauderdale and here.They waited with us at the other side as Garth opened up all the sea cocks and off we floated! Pretty cool experience.  We went through Gloucester Pool, more beautiful scenery and beautiful summer places. We spotted Mardi and Glen on their deck, waved and gave them a honk! About 10 minutes later they they were on the ski-doo waiting in a little cove. They had snuck around a back channel, had a chat and off we went.
The last lock was the smallest on the system and only had room for us - I am glad that is the end of the locks for a while!



.Some of the channels today were very narrow but it was not busy. It only took about three hours to get from Big Chute to Penatang.

The only moose we saw.

A cottage?

Susie picked us up and we were back at my parents place in Caledon by 5. In all the rush we forgot the car keys so it is going to be a round trip to Penatang tomorrow.

This will be the end of my daily blog for a while !

Although our cell phones work they do not always ring through. Leave a message and we will get back to you

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Top of Talbot Wall #38 to Top of Big Chute #44

 Saturday June 25th, 2011

Total distance travelled today 47.1 miles                             Time travelled    8 hours

Locks today 6

Docked at: Blue line top of Big Chute - 90 cents a foot, no services

A wonderful start to our day with a visit from Aunt Dorothy! She had no problem finding us, Bruce made blueberry pancakes for all of us and shortly after breakfast we were on our way.  

Aunt Dorothy & Meg

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY - we got completely drenched doing the next four locks, luckily they were close together.  We had to pull off to the blue line at Lock 39 and wait for the Kawartha Voyageur to go by. It has a folding bow so that it can fit in the locks - pretty cool. 

Bow up to fit in the lock

Bow coming down

Lake Simcoe was a little rough to start but towards the end it was smooth. We went by some busy places - couldn't figure out if the boats were lined up for fuel or if there was a fishing tournament on. Anyhow, the boaters around Orilla appear to have some New Jersey blood in them. Thank goodness Garth is on the ball. 
Once again we passed by some awesome cottages and scenery. Beautiful lakes, weedy lakes and water falls.  We went through some rock cuts - done by hand in 1905 - imagine. The rock is stunning but unforgiving so we are staying clear.
Had a visit from a childhood friend whom I have not seen in .....years. Thanks Mardi for getting in touch and looking forward to catching up this summer.
Today is the BIG CHUTE - the marine railway that carries the boat over a road and down the slope before depositing us back into the water. SCARY!!!
We could have done it last night but we were all tired and thought it best to do the Chute in the morning.

Hand cut passage through the Canadian Shield- what a feat in 1905.

Holy ... how many more of these!!!

47  feet going down

Big Chute shore line beautiful water lilies

Friday, June 24, 2011

Viamede Resort Marina - Talbot Lock Wall #38

Distance Travelled today       67nm                                                   Time travelled 8:30

Docked at: Bolsover Lock Wall

Locks today 9

Elephant Island, site of the annual bonfire because there are no fires allowed on any of the islands.

People who live in glass houses get waked!!

Yep! it's tight in here!

Lovesick Lock -on an island

Dreaded houseboat in background

Bruce & Meg having a pow-wow

Soldiers from Camp Maple Leaf - an island where military families can vacation .

Miss Meg drives Algonquin.

The infamous Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream

Kirkfield Lift Lock

Approaching Hole in the Wall
Up early and off to lock number #28 for the 8:30 opening. We arrived and the Carver was there as well as a houseboat and a pontoon boat. Humm - we all squeezed in, it was tight, but you have to trust that these lock keepers know what they are doing. I am just glad that we have all these fenders  - on both sides. The Carver stopped for fuel so the next lock it was us, a houseboat and a boat from NY.  After that lock we pretty much had the day to ourselves. We were going to stop in Bobcayegon but it was pouring rain so we pushed on to Fenlon Falls. We pulled over to the blue line, a women jumped out of her car to grab our lines --- turns out she has a Hatteras and has done the loop twice.  We made a dash for Slices & Scoops - poutine, pizza and ice-cream. Not a very healthy lunch crew!!!
We have gone through some absolutely beautiful areas today, clear lakes, weedy lakes, rocks, shale, farmland ....some simply stunning cottages and some real cottages.

We arrived at Lock 38 just at 7 pm. My Aunt Dorothy lives about 4 km from here so I asked the lock-master for directions - he spoke to her then offered to drive into town to pick her up!!! OM Goodness, how is that for service. We decided to make it a breakfast get together, Bruce and Garth are going to make blueberry pancakes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lock 19 Wall - Viamede Resort, Stony Lake ( between Lock 27 & 28 )

 Distance today 21.5 NM                                          Time travelled      8 hours

Total distance to date 1946 NM                                Locks today  9

Docked at Viamede Resort  $2.50 a foot , to a maximum of $100.00, including power  WOW, finally the big boat get a break!!  
We had a thunder storm during the night and this morning as we were having our coffee a branch fell off the tree right on top of the aluminum fishing boat across the canal!  Sounded like fireworks going off.

Up & at em early, the lock opens at nine and we were right there waiting along with 2 others who had spent the night  The big Carver went in first, then us and finally the little Thunder Craft. We thanked the lock-keeper again for staying overtime to leave us the key and made our exit. First stop was the Peterborough marina for a pump-out. Great staff, nice kids - wish we could have made it there last night.

Peterborough fountain

Lock 21 is the highest lift - 65 feet. pretty cool and awesome views. We went in with the local tour boat full of school kids. Part of the commentary talked about DaVinci  being the designer of the system but Mr. Lock - a Brit putting it into action, therefore they are called Locks and not Da Vincis!!  The Peterborough lock was pretty cool - like a hydrolic bathtub. Great views from the top. At the next lock we caught up with the Carver - they were spinning around the outside and we all wondered what was up - next thing we see is that they are over on the blue line and two of them are diving under the boat. It appeared that they had a line caught in their props.  As we went by them they told us their Captain had almost cut his finger off and was on his way to the hospital. Geez - bad luck day!!  They all reassembled  2 locks down the line, captain had his finger stitched and wrapped! We made it into Lock 27 at 3:59 and she locked us through. 
Slow locks today, we had to wait for a few - tomorrow their summer hours start and all locks will be open and manned from 8:30 until 7 p.m . 

Lock # 21     Highest Lift Lock

This is what 65 feet down looks like!


Looking for lines on the props

A little too close for comfort!!!!

Meg and Zeke

A delicious meal at Viamede Resort 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cambellford - Lock 19 Wall Peterborough

Distance Travelled      50 Nautical Miles                                                     Time Travelled    7:30

Locks    6 locks

Docked at Lock 19  South west wall , not sure of the cost yet
It turned out to be 90 cents a foot at the wall - expensive for no services I think!!

We were up and waiting for Lock 13 to open, we arrived as they were emptying it and from there until we got to lock 18 things ran like clockwork. At Lock 18 we had to wait for it to empty. So, between waiting for about 5 minutes at the beginning and waiting for Lock 18 we were not able to reach Lock 19 by 4 p.m.  Here we sit, tied to the wall with no power and no water. OK, we have the generator going and the tanks are filled with water. 
We docked all by ourselves - I was at the bow, Jane was mid-ship and Bruce & Meg were in the cockpit. Before we got here I had said to Bruce that there will be no kids around tonight to help us on the dock and his reply was that no there won't be, but I can throw a kid on the dock!!!   Great, I had visions of Megan flying through the air with a line attached to her - practicing her tumbling routine upon landing on ground and doing a final cartwheel over to the cleat!!! Luckily Jane and I managed to lasso our cleats quickly and so did Bruce, Megan was saved!

 One of the lock-keepers here waited 20 minutes for us to get here so that she could give us the key to the washrooms - I didn't have the heart to tell her that we have 3 washrooms on board.  The good news is that Swiss Chalet delivers to the lock - it was touch and go for a minute because they wanted a postal code but Bruce managed to place the order and it was here in no time! 
Two more boats have pulled up since we arrived , a big Carver that we helped dock and a little Thunder Craft. The Thunder craft is on its way to Bobcaygeon for a Tragically Hip Concert on Saturday night.  Too bad we can't hang around for that.
Osprey nest coming out of Healey Falls, Lock 16/17

Meg and Zeke watching the operation. 

Drizzly day along the Trent Severn today.

Not very many pics today because of the rain. 
Yes, Zeke looks different - he got a coiffure at a place that did not know that Porties do not get their muzzles shaved .... it'll grow back!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trenton - Campelllford

Miles travelled     27.3 NM or 51.8 km                                                                  Time travelled: 6:45

Locks completed   12

Docked at: Chamber of Commerce Campbellford Wall - East side, 50 amp & H2O  $90.00

The sign says it all

Back on the blue highway! Rush hour today comprised of a few fishing boats and one Trent Severn working barge. The weather was fabulous - hot - 2 lobsters on the boat tonight.

When we arrived at the hospital in Simcoe last week to see Garth's father the doctor told us he had, at the most, two weeks to live unless he was strong enough to go through an operation and if she could find a doctor to do it in his weakened condition. When we returned the rental car on Friday to Trenton we both got our good clothes as we were truly thinking that we would be attending a funeral.  He was transferred to Hamilton Friday night and they operated Sat about four.  We visited with him for Father Day and he was better so we thought, one more day and if he is improving we would move the boat.  On Sunday night we went to Simcoe to stay with his Mother.  Monday morning we got a call that my father was in the hospital - never rains but it pours! So, we visited in Hamilton with Garths Dad  then drove up to Orangeville to see my Dad.  Both Dads are improving. Special thanks to Terri and Mary Alice for all of their help. 

We arrived in Trenton, about 5 last night. Thanks a million Gary for the ride!  Gary is my brothers best friend and like a third brother to me - he got on the boat walked into the salon and said - "Kath, Holy ----there's a boat in your living room!" We order pizza from the place across the street and Gary drove back to Caledon.

The Trent Severn lock-keepers are AWESOME!!! Get this, lock #1 needed to close for a few hours to let water out of the dam so he called the marina to see if there was anyone planning on leaving this morning  - Craig at Fraser Park Marina told them we were then he came over and told us so we made a hasty exit and started our journey to Pentanguishine.
My brother Bruce, sister-in law Jane and niece Megan are along, doing the locks with assistance is an immense help - we have the system down pat and would be considered model lockers, if I do say so myself!

The lock-keepers & their helpers are special people and in my opinion great ambassadors. Every one of them were helpful, hospitable, and pleasant. They gave Megan game pieces, species cards and Zeke got quiet a few cookies. It got to the point were when we got up to the top of the lock Zeke was looking for the guys in the green shorts.  At Glen Ross Lock the lock-keeper told us we had been working too hard and that we should tie up and go for an ice cream. Garth said "we don't have time" but the crew had a different idea. We secured our lines, jumped ship and walked across the road for ice-cream. Only one size - huge! 
 The lock-keeper knew we wanted to make Campbellford tonight and at lock 10 & 11 they stayed open a half hour later for us!!   Kudos to Parks Canada and the lock-keepers!

Love these guys in green shorts with cookies!!

We arrived in Campbellford about 4:30, I yelled at some kids on the wall and asked if they would like to work their muscles and grab some lines - they were only to willing to help. We hooked up to power and water then the 5 of us went for a walk around town. Great bakery just down the street ! Had BBQ"ed T-bones after a long day and now the five of us all have our noses in a piece of electronic equipment. Bruce has loaned us his wifi connection for the summer so we have turned our smart phones back on while we are on the boat.

One of forty-five? 


Bruce, Jane & Meg

The Mutiny on The Algonquin

Meg holding up the Toonie!

 Alqonquin docked for the night.