Thursday, July 4, 2002 Happy
We announced our birthday by flying a wind sock
decorated with firecrackers and stars, not quite as spectacular as the full
scale blow-out Monday in Peterborough for Canada Day, but good enough for many
birthday wishes from friendly Canadians as we passed by. Today's travel through Buckhorn
and Pigeon Lakes were just as beautiful as yesterday -- clear blue skies with
fluffy white clouds, blue waters with lily pads, marsh grass, and rocks in the
shallow places, big and little islands (most of them with cottages or mansions
on them), trees in all shades of green, and boats cruising along with us or in
the opposite direction or just hanging out for fishing. The waters are
perfect for houseboats and pontoon boats, and they are all around us.
We stopped at Bobcaygeon for lunch and sightseeing. Since the temperature
was still in the 80s and there was a sandy beach right next to our parking spot,
we jumped in The water was very nice, but the breeze was beginning to
pick up, and we stayed low. The trip up Sturgeon Lake was
quick and fine until we turned so the wind came across the port bow. We
bounced around a bit. The wind hit suddenly as we entered the lock at
Fenelon Falls, and Pearce had to do some quick maneuvering to find a safe spot
among the other boats in the lock. There was no room on the wall above the
lock so we continued on to Rosedale where we found a spot on the Government
Dock. A champagne toast to America, salmon Caesar salad for dinner, and
"Cats" for our evening entertainment ended the day.
Friday, July 5, 2002
Kibon rocked us to sleep last night, and we awoke to 59 degrees. Gene
enjoyed his hot oatmeal this morning. We all put on sweaters for our trip
across Balsam Lake. Balsam Lake is the highest elevation of the Waterway (840
feet above sea level); we will be descending from now until we reach Port
Severn. Kay took this photo of the tall pine tree because it reminded
her of the (now gone) tree at 53 Ocean Avenue.
The Trent Canal resumes at this point, very narrow (no greater
than 25') and very rocky on both sides. Luckily, we did not meet another
boat to pass by. We arrived at Kirkfield Lift Lock. It is very
spectacular when you arrive, as we did, at the top. It looks like you have
come to the end of the earth -- nothing but air at the end of the lift.
The ride down the 45 feet was great. You could look out over the
countryside. Kay and Gene even enjoyed the view directly down the sides to
the bottom of the lock. "Piece of cake," they declared.
After lunch we continued through Canal Lake which, like Mitchell Lake before, is
man made and full of very shallow spots and many, many stumps.
There are logs and loose stumps that seem to find their way into the
channel. Pearce had some words for the several that we bumped as we
cruised just above idle speed through the center of the channel. As we
passed through the next two locks -- right through farming country with fields
and cows and horses -- a local suggested we stay here rather than continue on to
the less desirable walls at the entrance of Lake Simco. We are tied up at
Lock #40,in Thorah, Ontario. Are you counting? 39 on the Trent
Severn so far (no lock #29), 7 on the Oswego Canal, 23 on the Erie Canal, plus
one lock both ways with Eric, Ryan, and their parents. We tied up at
two of them, the lift locks, Peterborough and Kirkfield, but we held onto lines or poles,
to really work the rest.
Pearce decided that we would arrive in Orillia mid-morning on Saturday, so he
called the Silverton dealer at Starport Landing Marina who was supposed to do
something about our non-working windlass. Unfortunately, the people he
spoke to had not received the word from Staten Island Boat Sales. We plan
to continue on to Orillia tomorrow and hope that we will finally have an anchor
Saturday, July 6, 2002
Locks 39, 40, and 41 are all within one mile, and the lockmasters can see from
one to the other to know if they should wait for incoming boats. We
started out from lock 40, but had to wait for two other boats with whom we have
traveled before. We sort of play leap frog with other boats as one or the
other stop to sightsee or just relax. As we were descending that lock, we
could see several boats coming up in the next lock. When we exited the
gates we passed seven boats that had come through the lock together. They
made quite a procession. We went down the last lock for today and headed
toward Lake Simco. We entered the coordinates for our trip across the
lake, and were shortly speeding through calm seas to our destination at
Starport Landing Marina in Orillia. Hal performed exactly as he should. We
passed each waypoint right on target and arrived in Starport at 12:30.
Pearce contacted Linda, the Harbourmaster, who was expecting us, and
directed us to a covered slip, one of their more than 200 spaces. We have
noticed that many marinas up here have huge sheds for their docking. Each
boat has a picnic table and a spot for their barbecue and chairs. Some of
the boats were out, but the majority were at dock with their owners socializing
with their friends and neighbors.
We were welcomed by the entire crew here.
Starport Landing will get their service people on the job to determine
what is wrong and how to fix it. Meanwhile, they loaned us the boss'
Yukon to go to town for groceries. After dinner on board, we walked
around the huge marina looking at the facilities (including a heated
swimming pool) and admired the many boats.