Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Thursday, July 4, 2002    Happy Birthday, USA 
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, and had 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 that works.  


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.  
Back to Log Index page for Leg 6A, Fixin' the Windlass