Hey blog followers,
We have been out of communication for a few days.
Wednesday August 15th, we had a wonderful anchorage at a place called The Pool.
It was in a very remote location only about 10 miles north of Killarney, as the crow flies, but about 26 miles by boat.
We departed the beautiful Killarney Mountain Lodge about 9am on Wednesday.
We needed a pump-out prior to our planned overnight anchorage at The Pool.
After leaving our slip at 9am, we had to wait for 2 boats to leave the fuel dock (should have checked the fuel dock before we shoved off).
We were finally pumped out and on our way by 10am.
We had a short 26 mile ride from Killarney to Baie Fine & The Pool, but a lot of it was slow, so we did not arrive and get anchored until about 2pm.
Baie Fine is located just northeast of Frazier Bay, and is a very long narrow BAY which leads to the famous anchorage spot called The Pool. The shoreline is very hilly, rocky, and tree-lined.
After the long ride thru Baie Fine, we finally arrived at the narrow, shallow entrance to The Pool. I was nervous about the tight entrance, but as Doug Edgar & Darcy had advised, it was really no big deal. We did see the water depth get as skinny as 6 ft, but for a very short distance. I was actually able to coast in neutral past the 6 ft section.
After entering The Pool, we went down the long strait-away to the far end.
We rounded the corner to the very southeast end, in search of the primo anchorage spot we had dreamed about – anticipating our beautiful remote anchorage all to ourselves.
Oops, about 10 other boats had the same dream today !
But we did get a primo spot in the far back corner of The Pool, right next to the biggest section of boulders.
We had read and been tutored that it is common to tie off to the shore Mediterranean style, this affords more boat density in the anchorage, rather than every boat swinging a 360 degree radius.
We set the bow anchor with our windlass which works perfectly again after a little adjustment.
Then we used the dinghy to tie off the stern to some trees growing out of the rocky boulders on shore.
Check out our beautiful anchorage spot.
After a few “welcome to The Pool” beers, we headed out in the dinghy to the famed Topaz Lake.
Topaz Lake is sometimes referred to as “the lake on the mountain” and it is at a higher elevation than Georgian Bay. The deep lake is named for its crystal clear Topaz colored water.
I’m pretty sure that prior to coming here, we had been advised that Topaz Lake was about a 20 minute hike from The Pool.
We left on the hike to Topaz Lake about 3pm.
While hiking in, we asked some folks coming out “how far, how much time to Topaz Lake”.
The guys coming out said “about 30-40 minutes, follow the blue markers until you see the yellow markers, then make a left at the yellow marker, you can’t miss it”.
We walked & walked & walked – at this point we have been walking for about an hour.
No yellow markers, only blue.
The trail started out easy, but soon it was up/down steep hills with a shit-load of rocks.
But wait, Over the next ridge, I think I see a clearing, we are almost there.
Over the ridge we went , EUREKA – there it was.
A lousy, scummy, lillypad laced lake that did not look like the visions we had dreamed of.
I felt like Ralphie on Christmas Story when he finally got the decoder ring, only to find out the code said “drink more ovaltine”.
There were old broken down trucks, rusty trailers, and old derilac boats.
We had one disgusting beer and started heading back.
At this point it was about 4pm, and we were already quite tired.
Along the walk back we passed 3 kids in a 4 wheeler and asked, “was the lake over this hill Topaz Lake? ”
They laughed and said, “no you need to go back to where the rocks stop at the top of the hill and follow the yellow marker to the right”.
So we trudged onward, another 30 minutes back from where we came, to find the yellow marker. Finally – there it is, the yellow marker.
Crap, we forgot to ask the kids how much more walking after the yellow marker !
We were both tired, but I dropped the small cooler & travel bag (swim suits, towels, binoculars, snorkel, etc) and told Nellie that I would go up the yellow path hill to see how much further it was to the lake. I said that I would go only 10-15 minutes and return (30 minutes round trip).
As I walked up the yellow trail hill, some folks were coming out, I asked “how much further to Topaz”
They said “5 minutes, it’s just over that hill, you’re almost there”.
So I went back and got Nellie.
The last 5 minutes were over a very rocky, boldery trail, but we finally made it.
Shan-Gra-La, there it was, joy to the world – Topaz Lake!
It was as many had described – very clear topaz colored water & surrounded by beautiful cliffs on a hilly tree-lined terrain.
Since we may never make it back here, even though I was quite tired, I decided to take the plunge and go swimming.
I’m glad that I did, it was wonderfully refreshing.
I used my snorkel and a small rock to engrave “Murph” on the big boulder, just below the water surface.
We headed back from Topaz Lake about 6:30pm, and arrived back at the boat about 7:15pm.
On the way back to the boat, we snapped some photos of the famed Evinrude Island Cottage. You may remember from the last post that the cottage was at the far end of The Pool. The cottage was built years ago by Ralph Evinrude, for his wife singer/actress Frances Langford.
The story goes that Ralph and Frances both enjoyed boating, had a 118’ yacht named Chanticleer, and during many summers brought Chanticleer to Baie Fine & The Pool.
I’m not sure how they got the 118ft yacht through the opening into The Pool, but I hear money fixes a lot of problems.
When we arrived back on the much smaller 43ft Gettin’ Looped, we ate grilled jambon & fromage sandwiches for dinner, enjoyed our beautiful anchorage, and pretended for a second that we were big shots like Ralph & Francis.
After the bugs came out, we retreated into the salon and watched one of Jonell’s favorite movies on DVD – The Shawshank Redemption.
Little Current Ontario, on the north side of Manitoulin Island.
Aug 12 – Sun
We started the day with a wonderful 52 mile ride from Tobermory to Killarney Ontario, over awesome smooth waters.
For those of you who did not see the last post, one of the places we wanted to see with Kenny & Carla was Flowerpot Island. We ran out of time, attempting to get them back to Tobermory by 11am, after anchoring the night before.
Shortly after leaving Tobermory on Sunday, Nellie & I made a pass by Flowerpot Island on the way to Killarney, and looked at the famous Tobermory “Flowerpot Rock Formations”.
We arrived at The Killarney Mountain Lodge about 1:30pm.
OMG – this place is beautiful !
It sits on the Killarney Channel, just north of George Island.
The place sits on large mounds of boulders, and across the channel is some beautiful Red Rock, which lights up at sunset.
The resort includes ; 2 restaurants, a carousel bar, a coffee shop, a pool, a sauna, free bikes, free canoes, horseshoes, bocci ball, a large brick fire pit, a seaplane launch pad & a bunch of the famous Canadian Red Adirondack Chairs.
Shortly after arrival, we met our friends from the vessel Gypsea (Mike & Patsy) from Carefree Arizona.
We shared some drinks, and gave updates of where we had been & what we had seen, since we last interacted with them in Orillia.
Later in the afternoon on the dock, I ran into fellow Loopers ; Mike (Gypsea), Mike (Endless Loop), and Mike (Mikie Like’s It).
Here is a shot of The 4 Mike’s on the dock at The Mountain Lodge.
After much jaw-boning on the dock or sittin’ in the Adirondack Chairs, we headed for a group dinner in the Mountain Lodge.
After dinner, on the way back to the boat, we saw a wonderfully vivid bright orange sunset. Once again, the camera does not show the true vivid orange color.
That’s all from Killarney for tonight.
We have 2 more days here in this paradise resort.
Aug 13 – Mon
Monday was one of those lazy, rest up days.
I spent Monday morning on some busy tasks ; reservations for Little Current later this week, getting Ashley an Airplane Ticket for Dan’s upcoming wedding, and doing some blogging.
Jonell did some laundry.
We both spent a good part of the day hanging around The Mountain Lodge Pool & just lazing around in the Red Chairs, watching the boats go up/down the Killarney Channel.
While sittin’ in the Red Chairs, we were treated to the arrival of a helicopter onto the Mountain Lodge grounds. I heard him coming before I saw him, started the video camera, and next thing I knew he landed right in front of where I was sitting.
Video Helicopter = https://youtu.be/X7rea7IViEI
Later in the afternoon, I had some pre-dinner drinks with Mike from Gypsea, he is a really nice wonderful guy that I could talk to forever. We sat out on the boulders under the shade tree and talked for a couple of hours.
For dinner, the Looper gang of The 4 Mike’s and their brides went to the Killarney Herbert Fisheries for the World Famous Fish & Chips (it says so on their sign).
Herbert Fisheries has their own boat that works 7 days a week. Each day, whatever they catch is all that is sold on that day. You order only ” a big plate of fish or a small plate of fish”, no other choices.
You order your food at the counter, wait at the outside window, and eat your food at the nearby outdoor picnic tables.
Today’s fish was Pickerel.
I’m not sure about World Famous, but it was pretty good.
I was hoping for Perch.
After dinner, the other 3 couples went to plan their route for Tuesday.
Nellie & I are staying an extra day at The Mountain Lodge, so we went & wandered down the road a piece to visit the other main resort in Killarney – The Sportsman’s Inn.
It was ok but not nearly as nice as the Mountain Lodge.
Note – both places are owned by the same people.
We had a drink on the balcony of the Sportsman’s Inn, and then headed back to Gettin’ Looped.
We got back to the boat just in time for another beautiful, bright orange sunset (does not show up in the photos).
Aug 14 – Tue
Remember the comment from Monday – It was one of those lazy, rest-up days ?
Well Tuesday followed suit.
All of our Looper pals departed today, so me & Nellie spent the morning at the coffee shop, and almost the entire afternoon sitting out on the end of the dock watching & talking to boaters as they passed.
After the coffee shop, I did call one of our Georgian Bay advisors – Doug Edgar.
We spoke about our next stop at Baie Fine & The Pool.
After talking with Doug Edgar, we spent most of the late morning & afternoon sitting on the dock of the bay (Otis Redding) watching boats go by and exchanging hellos with the boat operators, paddle-boarders, and kayakers.
I am not so good at this low-key just sittin’ stuff, but the setting on the Killarney canal was wonderful, and I adapted quickly.
The photos don’t show it, but there was a lot of traffic, we probably saw over 50 boats during the 11am-3pm time frame.
Across the canal we saw the cutest thing going on for over an hour.
There was a dog playing with his ball, all by himself.
The dog would – lay down, drop his ball at the top of the hill, watch it roll down to the bottom of the hill, and go fetch it out of the water.
He must have done this routine over 50 times while we watched.
Later in the afternoon, we had 2 boats say “hey, we just saw you a few days ago in Tobermory”.
Evidently, they remembered the “Gettin’ Looped” boat name.
We spoke with each of them for a few minutes while they idled near the dock.
The 2nd boat had a guy named Darcy as captain.
He asked about our future travel plans, we advised about Baie Fine & The Pool.
Darcy said ” hey, I’ll come back later and give you my experience of the area”
The afternoon turned into early evening, and about 3pm the sun was getting pretty hot, so Nellie & I retreated to the shade trees up on the boulder rocks for a few hours between 3-5pm.
We went to dinner at the Lodge Restaurant, and as we were leaving I ran into Darcy, who we had just met a few hours earlier at the dock.
Darcy gave me some more pointers about Baie Fine & The Pool using our IPAD, but then the really interesting discussion began.
Darcy has lived in the Killarney area for his entire life.
He spent a lot of his younger years being the caretaker for the island house owned by singer/actress Francis Langford & famed boat motor manufacturer Ralph Evinrude.
The island house is actually in a body of water called The Pool.
We will actually see this place tomorrow when we go to The Pool. The story goes that for many years Francis Langford & Ralph Evinrude used to cruise their 100′ yacht CHANTICLEER to Baie Fine & The Pool from Stuart, FL.
So it appears that the 43 foot SS Gettin’ Looped should be able to make it passed the narrow sections of Baie Fine & the entrance to The Pool.
Darcy told me of a story when he was about 15 years old, prepping the house for the arrival of Langford & Evinrude, and there was someone on the phone asking to speak with Francis. Darcy advised that she had not yet arrived & asked who was calling, the person on the phone said Bob Hope !
Darcy, his wife Heather, & family were a pleasure to speak with.
He is a really cool guy, but I did not get his last name.
That was pretty much it for our last day in Killarney.
One night anchorage in The Pool, about a 20 mile ride from Killarney.
But Wait – Bonus Blog Material !
Remember the Big Chute Railway Lock just outside of Orillia ?
While we were at the Mountain Lodge we got some grainy but cool photos of the aft end of Gettin’ Looped, hanging out over the edge of the The Big Chute Railcar.
Gypsea had taken the photos, and we just now got them.
OMG – If I would have seen this when we were locking thru, I may have been more nervous. Good thing Nellie was up on the bow, if she was on the aft deck we may have toppled over !
Aug 7 – Tue
Port Severn to Tobermory
110 miles + 1 Lock
So you thought the action was all over yesterday at The Big Chute right, not true, more action coming today !
We started the day at the final lock on the Trent Severn Waterway, lock #45.
We thought that it would be a lay up after all the other locks.
Prior to locking at 9am, we had to tie on blue line seawall.
The docking on the blue line seawall was eventful, with a stiff west wind blowing the boat sideways off of the wall.
We had to make 2 runs, and have quick line handlers.
I pointed the bow into the wind, perpendicular to the dock.
Mike from Gypsea got the bow line down, then we used port reverse to pull the aft end in.
Lock #45 was a very short lock, probably the shortest on The Trent.
We had only Gettin’ Looped & Gypsea crammed in the small lock.
After we were in the lock, and while being lowered, we saw a 45 Carver attempting to tie to the blue line seawall.
The Carver had the same issues, with the west wind blowing his stern far away from the dock. While trying to get the bow line on a cleat, the wife leaned out a bit too far & she fell in the water – OMG !
Unlike my 1st mate Nellie, the poor woman did not have on her life vest (yes it is a rule while locking), and the lock staff went into action to help, but threw her a line to hang on to, not a floatable.
We did not see how she got out, but she did.
We felt very bad for the poor woman & the helpless husband maneuvering the boat in the wind.
After all the excitement to start the day, we traveled about 45 minutes to get into Georgian Bay about 10:15am.
The ride was going to be a long 110 mile cruise across Georgian Bay.
We hammered down at 20mph at 10:15am, and arrived in Tobermory at 4:00pm.
I luv this boat, and the ability to go fast when you need to.
If we had a Trawler, we would have arrived about 8:00pm.
Our 1st Georgian Bay ride was a mixed bag.
The 1st half of the ride was ok, with 1-2 foot waves, and comfort level of 7 out of 10.
The 2nd half of the ride was not terrible but not fun, with 3-4 foot waves, and comfort level of only a 5 rating.
The waves were not that high & on our bow, but were about 2-3 sec periods (not good, longer is better).
This is what our trip across Georgian Bay looks like on GPS Tracker – 110 miles
This is what our trip across Georgian Bay looked like in real life.
The waves don’t look so bad in the video, and the video does not really capture the best waves coming all the way over the flybridge, but the bouncing & splash is pretty cool. It will give you a little feel for what the ride was like. Video =https://youtu.be/G4EoNuJf1J0
The bonus was water depth, no more worrying about grounding – 529 feet !
We arrived at Little Tub Harbor about 4pm.
We were assigned the primo spot at Little Tub Harbor.
The front row seat in the marina, amidst all the tourist action.
We called Kenny & Carla to check in and let them know that we had arrived.
They will spend the next 4 days with us.
Then we called Tobermory native Curtis Lyons to schedule a meeting on the boat.
Curtis & Melissa Lyons are the cousins of Karen Walters, wife of Dave Walters.
Dave Walters has been my brother Kenny’s pal since high school in Royal Oak Michigan.
Dave is an avid reader of the blog, knew we were coming to Tobermory, and hooked us up with the local experts Curtis & Melissa Lyons.
We went to an early 6pm dinner at The Princess Hotel, and had a very early 9pm bedtime.
Kenny & Carla will arrive about 3pm tomorrow.
Curtis Lyons is supposed to show up about 2pm.
Aug 8 – Wed
We started the day with chores ; Changing the bed sheets for Kenny & Carla, Doing some banking paying the bills, prepared some birthday and wedding cards, checked the engine oil, washed the boat, and updated the blog.
Whew, I’m tired, and visitors arrive at 2pm.
About 2pm, Gary & Merely Popiel of Tobermory arrived.
We spoke with them for about 90 minutes before Curtis Lyons arrived at 3:30pm.
Then about 4:00pm, my brother Kenny & 1st mate Carla arrived.
So now comes the – who is who !
Many of you may remember that Kenny is my younger brother.
Carla is Kenny’s Admiral.
Kenny has a very good friend named Dave Walters.
Dave is married to Karen Walters, who has lots of relatives in Tobermory.
Gary & Merely Popiel are Karen’s uncle & aunt.
Curtis Lyons is married to Karen’s cousin Melissa.
Got it !
Here are some photos
We had great conversation talking about The Loop, Tobermory, and The Popiel & Lyons family history in Tobermory.
Curtis & Melissa used to own the neighboring Big Tub Harbor Marina for about 15 years until selling to new owners just last year.
It really pays to have the local contacts when pulling into an unknown town.
Curtis provided us a location by location description of where to go on short dinghy trips, where to anchor overnight, and special sights to see in each location.
Curtis also help Kenny & Carla with a parking space right next to the boat.
Longterm parking in the harbor is either non-existent or obsessively expensive.
Curtis arranged with the Lyons family, to allow Carla’s car to be parked at their gift shop parking lot for 4-5 days, how nice !
The Lyons family still owns a couple of gift shop stores, two of which are right next to our boat – Bud’s & Verna’s Gift Shops. Susan & Dale Lyons are the current owners, but the stores are named Bud & Verna’s because those were the names of Dale’s parents who created the gift stores.
By about 6pm – Gary, Merely, and Curtis had departed for the night.
Nellie & I went to dinner with our new guests, brother Ken & Carla. BTW – This is Kenny & Carla’s award winning 4th Looper visit.
They have now met us in – Chicago, Rogersville Alabama, Key West, & Tobermory !
Dinner was at a place recommended by Curtis called Coconut Joe’s.
It was kind of a Key West, Jimmy Buffet theme, in Tobermory.
Not sure why it is called Coconut Joe’s, we met the owner/operator Michael, not Joe.
After dinner, one of us went for Ice Cream (guess who ?) .
We came back to the boat & played Ashley’s new game of puzzle pieces called Tangoes.
Then Mike & Nellie watched some TV.
Kenny & Carla watched the stars, the beautiful underwater lit blue/green water, and gazed romantically into each others eyes (ok, maybe I exaggerated a little for artistic effect).
Lights out came about 10:30pm for Mike & Carla.
Kenny & Jonell stayed up slightly longer.
That’s all for day #2 in Tobermory.
Aug 9 – Thu
We began Thursday with a little breakfast at Craigie’s Restaurant.
Jonell & I have learned from all of our Looper guests, that folks do like to have breakfast to start their day.
After breakfast we went by the LCBO and replenished our stock of Vodka.
Then we came back to the boat, let the breakfast sink in, and then went over to meet and thank Susan Lyons for the parking spot for Carla’s car. Remember – Susan is the mother of Curtis Lyons, and owner of Verna’s & Bud’s gift shops.
About noon we headed out on a little 5 hour dinghy adventure.
The crew was eager with excitement, what adventure would today bring ?
We 1st went to the Big Tub Harbour in search of the famous shipwrech named Sweepstakes Sweepstakes was a Canadian schooner built in Burlington, Ontario in 1867.
It was damaged off Cove Island then towed to Big Tub Harbour, where it sank in September 1885. This schooner is said to be one of the most popular wrecks in the park, where it is often visited by tour boat passengers, divers, and snorkelers. Sweepstakes is one of the several shipwrecks located in the Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Eureka, we found it !
After finding the SS-Sweepstakes, our next stop was to The Big Tub Lighthouse.
While riding to the Lighthouse, we passed the marina that Curtis & Melissa had owned up until last year, The Big Tub Harbour Marina.
Next Stop was the Big Tub Lighthouse.
We pulled the dinghy up to the rocky shore, and spent a little time looking at the Lighthouse and watching the dinghy get rocked by all the passing tour boat wakes. It was not the most relaxing place to stop with all the large wakes, so we only stayed about 30 minutes.
Our next stop was to find a hidden cove recommended to us by Curtis. The Cove was called Dunk’s Bay. It was supposed to be prestine, quiet, and not visited by the local tour boats.
It was about a 30-45 minute dinghy ride around the point of Bruce Penninsula.
Once we arrived, we set up camp on the rocky shore, and took in the beauty for a couple of hours. This was in fact, a wonderfully quiet, calm, serene cove !
We spent 2-3 hours at Dunk’s Bay, then boarded the dinghy for the ride back.
Upon the way back to the ss Gettin’ Looped we saw the car ferry being loaded up, pretty cool how the bow of the boat lifts up to allow entry of the vehicles. The ship starts pulling away from the dock before the bow is even lowered.
After return to the ss Gettin’ Looped, we chilled for a few hours, listened to some music, and one of us took a little siesta.
For dinner, we went to the rooftop restaurant called The Crowsnest Pub.
It looked like a place with a great view of the harbor when we were down on street level, but like many rooftop places we have been to, once we were on the rooftop all we could see from our table was the rooftop of the Foodland Grocery Store.
After dinner, we went across the bay to a place called The Sweet Shop.
We are not naming names, but somebody had to have a night-time milk shake.
The night ended with music on the aft deck, as we gazed off into the distant skyline and watched the sun go down.
Aug 10 – Fri
Friday morning, after our fun 1st full day with Kenny & Carla, we slept in until about 8:30am. These young kids tire us ole folks out.
We went to Bfast about 9am at the same place as yesterday, Cragie’s Restaurant.
They had about the same stuff on day 2 as they did on day 1.
After Bfast, we went for a quick grocery shopping trip to stock up for an exciting nite out at anchor.
We purchased some Ribeye Steaks for dinner.
About 11am, we really started the day.
With the help of Dave & Karen Walter’s cousin Curtis Lyons, we had made a plan to go spend the afternoon & night at Cove Island, just north of Tobermory.
The goal was to see some really cool scenery, but without the crowd of tour boats associated with spots like the Grotto or Flower Pot Island.
Prior to taking off for Cove Island, we visited the fuel dock to get pumped out and purchase another $1400 in fuel. Our fast 110 mile run from Port Severn to Tobermory really chewed up the fuel. We needed to refuel for both Cove Island and our upcoming trip to Killarney on Sunday.
Our main destination on Cove Island was a small bay called Lorrone’s Cove.
It was indeed everything Curtis had advertised ; beautiful, quiet, well protected, and sandy bottom. When we arrived, there were a couple of small boats in our cove, but they left towards dusk and we had the cove to ourselves at night.
After gettin’ the anchor set & getting settled in at Lorrone’s Cove, we unloaded the dinghy and went exploring.
We ended up at a beautiful, very small island that we had seen on the way into Lorrone’s Cove, it was an island called Harbour Island, just west of the cove.
This place was the cats meow !
Take a look at these photos ! Maybe one of the most beautiful places that we have seen on The Loop so far.
The only negative was that 1st mate Nellie could not go, she had hurt her back handing me, a towel of all things. She was leaning over the boat handing me the towel, and went to her knees. A strange mix of bending & twisting caused the nerve pinch, we believe.
The dinghy rides are tough enough on her back under good conditions, so she played it safe and stayed back at the boat.
So here we go, come visit Harbour Island with me, Kenny, and Carla. As usual, the photos don’t really show all the shades of blue & green we saw in the surrounding water.
After spending 2-3 hours on Harbour Island, we headed back to the boat to check on Nellie, do some swimming, and cook some Ribeyes that we had purchased at the local grocery before we left.
So the early evening turned into a little relaxing in the quiet cove, some pre-dinner drinks, and a little swim.
I decided to test my age 60 coordination with some high diving activity.
Nobody else would join me for the aerial acrobatics (where is Hinman when you need him to help me horse around & act young again). Let’s go swimmin’ = https://youtu.be/20Y6nzeIveo
After swimming, I scrubbed the scum line on the boat, which was long overdue.
Then we went into oh-crap mode for a little while.
After all the fun swimming, Jonell noticed that the boat water pump light was staying on.
We had experienced this a few months ago, but it magically fixed itself – back then.
The issue was that after you turn on the sink or toilet asking for water, and then close the faucet, the pump is supposed to stop pumping.
But the pump was attempting to keep pumping against no-flow since the faucets were closed.
The problem is that when this happened, the wires get hot and the breaker trips off.
So we had to leave the breaker off, except for when we needed water at the sink or toilet.
A little hassle, but not the end of the world.
More important things, Dinner !
Chef Ken & soo-Chef Carla went into action.
Kenny made the steaks & Carla made the fixins’.
We had a delicious dinner, better than most we have had in the last few weeks.
The night ended with some well-fed people sitting on the aft deck for a while.
Love birds Kenny & Carla went up on the bow for a while to do some “star gazing”.
Mike went in the cabin and watched a little Joe Dirtee (aka Joe Dirt).
Cookies & Milk, and then bedtime about 11pm.
It was a very fun, very beautiful day.
Aug 11 – Sat (Carla’s Birthday)
We had fun yesterday, but did not have any big plans for Carla’s birthday today.
It was get-away day for Ken & Carla, back to Detroit for that work thing.
Actually, I think they have a farewell party for our nephew Brad tomorrow.
So Saturday was a quick day.
We attempted to shove off about 10am for an 11am planned arrival back at Little Tub Harbour.
When we attempted to pull the anchor up, the windlass would spin but not pull the anchor up – Oh, Crap !
The anchor line kind of came up & in, but the chain and anchor did not.
Kenny was doing 1st mate duties in leiu of Nellie being laid up, Jonell was providing consulting services only due to her sore back.
After Ken & Jonell messed around with the windlass for a while, Kenny used his good size and brut force to manually pull up the anchor. Once the anchor was on the deck, the windlass would pull the chain & anchor into the bow pulpit holster.
So we made it back to Little Tub about 11am.
We went to breakfast, then came back to the boat for the packing & farewells.
Carla & Kenny shoved off about 1pm, with the farewell Sad Faces !
After Kenny & Carla left, mechanic Mike went to work.
Issue #1 = Why is the Windlass not working (the thing that pulls in the anchor) ?
After very little research, I confirmed my thoughts that the windlass clutch just need some adjustment.
It took longer to find the star shaped adjustment handle than it did to adjust the clutch and fix the issue.
Issue #2 = Why is the water pump not shutting off & popping the breaker ?
As I mentioned earlier in the blog, this issue had happened about 2 months ago, but had magically fixed itself.
Luckily, when it happened 2 months ago, I order a replacement Pressure Switch for the water pump.
Issue #2 fixed.
Time for celebration drinks !
The rest of the afternoon & early evening was spent writing this wonderful blog.
Hope you enjoyed it.
The Mountain Lodge
52 Miles, No Locks or Bridges
Addendum – Extra Bonus Material from Tobermory
Aug 12 – Sun
As we were departing Tobermory, we had several options for the initial route.
We decided to take a quick spin around Flowerpot Island, to see if we could see from a distance the famed – Flower Pots (Rock Structures).
Flowerpot Island is an island in Georgian Bay, in the Canadian province of Ontario and is a part of Fathom Five National Marine Park. The island spans 2.1 kilometres from east to west, and 1.5 kilometres from north to south, and has a total area of 2 square kilometres. The name of the island comes from two rock pillars on its eastern shore, which look like flower pots.A third flowerpot once stood, but tumbled in 1903.
Once we got around the east end – WaLa, there they were.
Sorry Ken & Carla, we should have came here yesterday !
Ok – Next Stop for Real !
The Mountain Lodge
52 Miles, No Locks or Bridges
Aug 6 – Mon Today was a special day that we have been waiting for during the entire loop, with a bit of both anxiety & excitement.
It was the day for The Big Chute Railway Lock !
We had also anticipated today to be a very hard day.
We only had 42 miles from Orillia to Port Severn Ontario, but the day would also entail going thru 3 locks, with anticipation of The Big Chute creating the most anxiety.
We also purposely planned to do The Big Chute on a weekday, avoiding the boat traffic & long waiting lines that we had heard about at The Big Chute during weekends. Many local Canadians transit this lock coming to/from Georgian Bay for weekend getaways.
The flaw in our planning strategy was not remembering that today, Monday Aug 6th, was a Holiday in Canada eh – It is called the “August Holiday”, “Civic Holiday”, “Provincial Day” or other local names, such as Terry Fox Day in Manitoba.
So we started the day expecting a very long travel day with 42 miles, 3 Locks, The Big Chute, and a Canadian Holiday.
We departed Orillia about 7:45am, attempting to get to the first Swing Bridge & Lock-#42 promptly by 9am.
All of the Bridges & Locks on the Trent Severn Waterway open at 9am every day.
We were traveling with the same new friends we met about a week ago – Gypsea(Mike/Patsy) from Arizona & Awelon-Y-Mor (Neil’s/Doris) from Toronto.
The planning worked almost perfect, we entered the curvy entrance to the Swing Bridge about 8:50am & arrived at the Swing Bridge at 9:02am, but were greeted by a train also wanting to cross the bridge at 9am.
We waited about 15 minutes for the train to pass, got thru the Swing Bridge about 9:20am and were on our way to the first lock of the day, Lock #42.
While we were waiting for the train to pass, we were joined by 2 other large vessels (unknown boats, non-Loopers).
After the Swing Bridge opened, all 5 boats proceeded to Lock #42.
It was quite interesting cramming 5 large boats, all over 40 feet + one over 50 feet, into one locking chamber.
But we did it, all 5 boats in.
The largest 50 footer had to go in the back of the lock, and tie up crossways from east to west wall of the lock (didn’t get photos of him, camera man dropping the ball here).
Safely thru the first lock (Lock-#42), all five boats started up the Trent to Lock #43. It was about a 1 hour ride, accompanied by some more really nice homes. We also entered the area known as The Canadian Shield, with lots of rocky shoreline.
Along the way to Lock #43, the 2 Canadian Motor Yachts decided that we were going too slow for them, and passed us in an open lake area. They were not your normal nice Canadians, they got way too close to us 3 Loopers as they were hammering down.
I called on the radio to my pals ahead of me and said “get ready to get rocked boys, we have some rude boaters next to us kicking up a huge wake”.
Next thing you know they deviated course, and were giving us a much larger spread between their wake & our boats.
I think they need a Power Squadron course in boating etiquette.
Lock #43 was a pretty uneventful lock. It was a large 40 foot drop and the lock operators had the drain on full blast, so it was a very quick ride down 40 feet. In the lock we had our 3 Looper boats & 1 little guy.
So after Lock #43, it was about another 1 hour ride to the main attraction of the day – Lock #44 – The Famed Big Chute Railway Lock.
Mike in the vessel Gypsea was leading the way into the lock staging area, Neils in the vessel Awelon-Y-Mor was second, and Gettin’ Looped was riding sweep.
As we approached the lock, Mike & Neils pulled off to the RHS to tie up to a seawall holding/viewing area.
The area was not that big, and there was not enough room for 3 – 40 foot boats, so I deviated to the LHS seawall where there was a long “Blue Wall” waiting line for the lock.
As we were getting ready to tie up to the Blue Wall, I heard the lock operator say over the loud speaker “ok vessel #1 you will be in the port side front, vessel #2 you will be in the starboard side front, vessel #3 the large Viking in the back, you will be in the center rear of the lock, all boats may now proceed in slowly one at a time”.
Holy smokes, it was Go-Time !
We hovered for about 5 minutes while boat #1 & #2 entered the railcar lock, then we proceeded in – OMG here we go !
The anticipation was excruciating.
Our hearts were palpitating.
We drove in the sling.
They told us when to stop.
They positioned the sling.
They started raising the sling & taking up the load, but not yet lifting.
They told us to shut off the engines.
They raised the boat in the slings.
I felt some type of device stabilize the hull.
Up & away we went !
The entire process took less than 10 minutes.
It may have been the easiest lock that we have been through, all we had to do was drive in !
Come for a Video Ride, or just look at the photos. (during the video you will hear me talking to Jonell over the headphones, ie – a one way conversation because she was down below).
Video # 2 is the best one
Video #1 = https://youtu.be/4P1vFhbK0bA
Video #2 = https://youtu.be/a5aMeC3z_aU
The railcar proceeded up & over the hill into the Port Severn side of the lock.
After the railcar was in deep enough water, we were told to fire up the engines, they checked our water flow, the slings were lowered, and we were told to proceed out of the lock.
It was over.
We did it !
On the exit side of the lock there was a large floating dock.
We pulled over, tied up, and waited for Gypsea & Awelon-Y-Mor to come thru the lock.
We took some video and still photos of their boats exiting the lock. Video =https://youtu.be/3QuAoACxVZo
So we are now done with the locks for the day, done with The Big Chute, and now we can relax right ?
Not so fast.
After you exit The Big Chute, you have one more little challenge – The Little Chute !
It is basically a tight corner, with jagged rocks & a high current exit from the Big Chute, complete with warning signs.
It also, was no big deal.
We arrived at the Starport Marina in Port Severn about 4pm.
It was an exciting blast of a day !
At the Starport Marina, we got fuel, got a pump out, pulled over to our slip, & cracked open the ceremonial “welcome to port arrival drinks” – Well deserved today.
Starport seems to be a nice marina.
We didn’t venture out, we stayed in and had celebration Hot Dogs for dinner.
We have another early day tomorrow, with one last lock & 110 miles from Port Severn to Tobermory Ontario, our first adventure into Georgian Bay.
It was the end of a wonderful 10 days on The Trent Severn Waterway.
> 240 miles
> 44 Locks
Aug 4 – Sat
On Saturday August 4th, we headed from the Sunset Cove in Bolsover to the Port of Orillia Ontario.
The trip was only 27 miles & 5 Locks, but we violated our rule of not travelling on Saturday or Sunday.
The Saturday travel turned out to be, as expected, very slow & very crowded with lots of boat traffic.
We spent most of the day slowly going thru the 5 Locks with 4 large Looper boats jammed into the relatively small lock.
There was also a lot of boats locking thru in the opposite direction, so at every lock we had 4 large boats moving northwest & 4-6 medium boats moving southeast.
Somewhere between Lock #37 & Lock #39, we came across this strange phone booth.
Towards the end of the day, we had the final 3 Locks for the day “back-back-back” within less than a 1 mile span. Locks #39,40, &41 leading to Lake Simcoe. They were again, all in a pretty narrow canal.
Once we were free of Lock #41 and hit Lake Simcoe, it was about 1 pm on a Saturday and we wanted to try to beat the Saturday afternoon crowd into the marina, so we opened up the throttles and did 20mph across Lake Simcoe, and arrived about 2pm.
We were lucky because Lake Simcoe has the reputation for getting whipped up pretty quickly. There are even warning signs at the end of the canal when entering into Lake Simcoe, to “Be aware of rapidly changing weather forecasts”.
On this day, Lake Simcoe was calm as a little kitten.
We arrived at the Port of Orillia about 2pm.
Our attempts to “beat the crowd” did not materialize as we had hoped.
By 3pm we were docked, hooked up, and having some George M. Tiddy’s with the local Canadian party boaters on the dock right next to our slip.
Later that night, we had drinks on the aft deck with new Looper Pals – Gypsea (Mike & Patsy Kelly) out of Carefree Arizona. They purchased their boat & will cross their wake in St Petersburgh Florida.
Later in the evening, we were joined by other Loopers Endless Loop (Mike & Jayne) and potential future Loopers Awelon-Y-Mor (Neils & Doris).
We had drinks on Gettin’ Looped & watched a seaplane land and enter the marina (pretty cool).
We ended the night with a group dinner at an Irish place called FIONN’s.
It was a very fun night with great people.
Aug 5 – Sunday
I started the day with a groggy head from the party the night before with the Loopers.
Took a shower, then began my special day. It was Birthday #60 for yours truly.
The day was an on-going treat of well wishes from a bunch of my co-workers, friends & family.
I am not a Facebook follower, but I love Facebook on this one day each year !
I received a bunch of Facebook birthday wishes that all brought back great memories & brought a smile to my face. Many wishes from co-workers that I have not seen in a long time, and many of whom follow the blog.
Dave Zalewski, Chris Vrabel, John Vanderen, Beth Tyler, Dave Mienko, Pete Varma, John Nelson, Bill Gondert, Jeff Foor, Lori Scheller, Sean Mahoney, Chris Stoker, Dawn Waack, Mark Houy, Dellet Silorey, Kathy Serre, Michelle Kline, Joe/Sue Emmet, Al Kaumeheiwa, Larry Taulbee, Brian Szalk, Linda Spragg, Rick Spragg, Dave Tucker, Tom Pawluk, Tim Packard, Bruce Hinman, Hank Stewart, Michele Altizer, Adam Silorey, Daryl Clasen, Jeremy Altizer, Debbie Brink, Doug Watson, Robbin Carson, Bill Rohr, Tim Blocker, Gary Lock.
I also had some direct text wishes – Dave Noffert, Ron Grobbel, Lori & Jerry Scheller, Michelle & Ron Kline, Sister Brenda (#2) & Joe – (5 texts), Pat & Jenny Haggerty, Sarah DeMars, Michelle Kline, Shannon Knight, Aunt Sharon, Eric Deloney, & Jake Baldwin.
I also received some personal Bday phone calls – Uncle Wayne & Aunt Betty, Sister Paula (#4) & Michael-singing, Ashley & Dave-singing, Dave & Ginger Hinman , Jerry & Deena Luck-singing, Dan & Megan-singing, Brother Ken (#3), Aunt Angie, and Dave & Carol Vrabel singing Happy BD with piano accompaniment.
Hopefully I did not forget anybody.
If I did , I am really sorry. I just wanted to recognize everyone above for taking a few minutes out of their day to give well wishes, it is quite humbling.
Here is how we spent my 60th Birthday !
We spent part of the late morning/early afternoon walking around the city of Orillia Ontario. It is a nice medium sized downtown. Their most famous attraction is the Mariposa Market Bakery.
My eyes were aglow with all the possibilities of culinary delight !
Nellie said no, you are 60 now and your metabolism will slow down, you can’t eat like you use to.
So I resisted temptation !
The city is also big-time into street art, featuring small Sailboats, decorated Chairs, and decorated Maple Leafs. Seems like they could have settled on just 1 theme ???
In the afternoon we celebrated with a very laid-back birthday, under the shade tree watchin’ people, kids playing, & boats coming in/out of the marina & boat launch.
Pretty darn nice way to spend the day.
My brother Kenny does a lot of fishing here at Lake Simcoe. It’s supposed to be the hot-bed of perch fishing. I asked the locals & the girls at the marina desk. They all agreed that Orillia is the hot-bed of perch fishing, but they all also agreed that they did not know anywhere in town where one could buy a birthday perch dinner.
So we ended up at a place called Studabakers.
It was so-so.
Nellie had ribs, I had an exciting chicken wrap.
After dinner we went to the Sunday night Big Bands at the Aqua Theatre on the lake. It was a nice way to end the night.
But wait, the BIRTHDAY was not over.
On the walk back home we saw an Ice Cream joint named Sweet Dreams.
They had MANY flavors.
I usually go for something with caramel or butterscotch.
Today I tried this one.
yuck, should have stuck with the caramel or butterscotch !
It was a great Birthday Day.
But let’s face it – for me & Nellie every day of the last year has felt like a Birthday or Christmas !
We are very thankful people.
That’s all from Orillia Ontario.
Port Severn Ontario & The famed Big Chute Railway Lock (you will hear all about this in the next post).
We are a little behind, this update is from 2 days ago.
This is a pretty good blog update.
I think you all will like it.
Lots of action, drama, suspense.
You’re excited already , aren’t you !
Aug 3 – Fri
On Friday August 3rd, we traveled from Bobcaygeon to the Sunset Cove Marina in Bolsover Ontario.
We had a late departure because I had spoken to the Lock operator the night before during our walk over to Bobcaygeon. They advised that the Lock opens at 9am, but the 1st lock is southbound. The first northbound lock would not be until 9:30am.
We also could not totally see the blue line of the lock wall from our boat.
It looked like a shit-load of boats were on the wall , but they were all just using the Free City Wall & Power, not locking thru.
I called the lock operator to ask if the blue line was open, she said yes, come on down.
The Blue Line is where you wait for lockage.
So we did come on down, and were thru the 1st lock #36-Bobcaygeon by 10am.
After completing the Bobcaygeon Lock, the rest of the day became The White Knuckle Travel Day –
> A tight squeeze & tight Swing Bridge coming out of Bobcaygeon Lock
> The Narrows of The Trent Canal (only 2 boats wide & rocky edges)
> The Kirkfield Lift Lock (Lock #36, little brother to the Peterborough Lift Lock)
> The Shallows (marshy, weedy area of only 4-5 feet water depths).
It was a short 36 mile ride , but a long day !
A tight squeeze & tight Swing Bridge coming out of Bobcaygeon Lock
After exiting the Bobcaygeon Lock, there were MANY smaller boats in a tight area along the Bobcaygeon canal. Before hitting the lake there was also a swing bridge with a narrow passage lined with big bolders, followed by some jagged cliffs on a blind corner. It was a little bit of tight quarters with other boats coming & going around us, but it was also very pretty. We also saw a pretty little island house at the end of the Bobcaygeon Canal, and then we were free in the open water of Kawartha Lake.
The Narrows of The Trent Canal (only 2 boats wide & rocky edges)
After making our way thru Bobcaygeon & into Kawartha Lake it was pretty easy sailing in open water with good depth thru locks #33,34,35. We passed thru the very pretty city of Fenlon Falls but somebody was asleep at the wheel and we did not get any photos.
Between Locks #35 & 36, we went thru an area known as The Narrows.
It is really called The Trent Canal.
It is basically a 7 mile long passage that is only 2 boat widths wide (about 40-50 feet wide), and has jagged rocky edges.
The canal is separated into 2 stages with Mitchell Lake separating the 2 sections of the canal.
It is a white knuckle ride because you are always on nerve about another big boat coming from the opposite direction.
If you don’t move over, you might bump the other boat.
If you do move over, you might get into the jagged rock.
Prior to entering the canal, boats over 40 feet are supposed to call a “Securitee” call, to let other large boats known that you are entering the canal.
We had a total of 7 boats pass by us during our canal ride, but they were mostly smaller boats under 35 feet with only 10 foot beams.
The ride went without issue.
After The Narrows, it was on to The Kirkfield Lift Lock.
The Kirkfield Lift Lock (#36) is the 2nd of 2 Lift Locks on the Trent, and only 2 of 8 in the world.
The Kirkfield Lift Lock is smaller than the Peterborough Lift Lock, and is made of Steel not Concrete.
It is also at the highest elevation of the Trent Severn Waterway.
The ride down The Kirkfield Lock was very easy (I love the Lift Locks), and the view at the top of the Lock was wonderful. With the boat sitting in the big tray of water at the top, it almost looks like the boat is going to fall off a cliff into the water below.
The Shallows (marshy, weedy area of only 4-5 feet water depths).
After exiting the Kirkfield Lift Lock we went thru a large open lake called Canal Lake. It looks like it is a nice open body of water, but it also is very narrow by the markers, and is also a very nerve wracking 4-5 feet depth. At times the depth gauge would get tricked by the seaweed and freak out the captain, since he already has experience being grounded in 2-3 feet of water.
Finally we reached the Canal Lake Bridge and deep open water.
After the Canal Lake Bridge and entrance into Balsam Lake, it was finally stress free sailing (or power boating in our case). A short while later, we passed thru our last swing bridge of the day, and arrived to the safety & security of The Sunset Cove Marina.
We met two of the nicest people, Owner/operators Joe & Marilyn Tropea.
The Sunset Cove Marina is on another nice secluded bay/cove. There is not a lot happening around here, no restaurants or pubs. The only option was delivery pizza, which we did do. It was a nice calm night after a long stressful day !
So, the summary for the day ! > A tight squeeze & tight Swing Bridge coming out of Bobcaygeon Lock
> The Narrows of The Trent Canal (only 2 boats wide & rocky edges)
> The Kirkfield Lift Lock (Lock #36, little brother to the Peterborough Lift Lock)
> The Shallows (marshy, weedy area of only 4-5 feet water depths).
Only 36 miles & 5 locks, but a white knuckle nerve wracking ride.
It may have been the longest 36 miles we have done on The Loop (Dismal Swamp also in the running for most nerve wracking).
That’s all from Looper Land today !
Next Stop = Saturday Aug 4th & Sunday August 5th 2 Nights in Orilla Ontario !
Rest up for The Big Chute on Monday
The End of the Trent Severn & The start of Georgian Bay.
Aug 2 – Thu
Thursday August 2nd – we moved from the very quaint Islandview Resort at Young’s Point to the city of Bobcaygeon Ontario.
Bobcaygeon is known for having the first built, & oldest Lock on the Trent Severn, Lock #32 built in 1858.
On the way to Bobcaygeon, we went thru the SPECTACULAR 100 Islands section of the Trent Severn Waterway (Ok, I just made that up) – OMG so beautiful !
I say 100 Islands, because there is a different very famous area on The Canada / US Border on the St Lawrence River north of Kingston, called The 1000 Islands. The area we went through, my version of The 100 Islands, is basically a series of Islands in Stoney Lake, just northeast of Young’s Point.
Again, the photos don’t do the visual reality justice.
After the Stoney Lake Islands, and before reaching the Sunset Cove, we passed thru the little town of Buckhorn & the Buckhorn Lock #31. We did not get off the boat in Buckhorn, but did snap some photos of their mascot Bucky the Deer.
A short while later we arrived in Bobcaygeon Ontario, just short of Lock #32.
We arrived at Gordon’s Yacht Harbor.
Well guess what – it is not really a “Yacht Harbor”, I would call it more of a boat harbor, we are by far the biggest boat here.
Gordon’s was another fuel dock marina slip, but this time no trailer park like at Young’s Point (and no cool restaurant right at the slip).
It was not as quaint as Young’s Point, but nice.
The fuel dock slip is in a good location, we can see the entrance wall to the lock #32, and there is a lot of boat traffic to watch.
There are a lot of houseboats, there is a rental company somewhere around here.
It makes me nervous having all these guys buzzing around us, especially in the locks.
After gettin’ tied up, electrical hooked up, & water – it was time for a Yeti Juice in honor of Mike Feeney (Rula Bula).
BTW – Congrats to Rula Bula from Green Bay, who just crossed their wake this week (ie completed The Loop).
The city of Bobcaygeon is pretty cool, there are lots of options for dining.
Bobcaygeon was incorporated in 1876, but is currently known as hip-town Canada.
Before going to dinner, we went shopping at another place in which Bobcaygeon is famous for, Bigley’s Shoes & Clothing Store. For some reason, we forgot photos.
To get to Bigley’s & the restaurant area, we crossed over a bridge that brought back some more memories. It was the same bridge where we had watched the Canadian Independence Day Parade in 2015, when travelling with Kat in the Hat.
I remember the parade like it was yesterday.
The parade went on for over an hour. They had the normal mayor & high school bands, but also it seemed like every person in town was in the parade – the plumbers, the barbers, the real estate guys.
It brought back great memories of a Mayberry RFD type Parade.
As I mentioned, Bobcaygeon is famous for Bigley’s Shoe & Clothing store.
Jonell was searching for shoes for Dan’s wedding to compliment the dress she had purchased at Hilton Head & the Shawl she had purchased in St. Michael’s Maryland.
Jonell ended up buying nothing.
Mike got some new sandals & another hat (I have now lost 2 hats on the trip by not having my chin strap on).
The new hat is a “Tilley”, guaranteed to float forever, or at least long enough for you to circle back on your yacht and retrieve it.
Dinner was an adventure.
There are MANY dinner options in Bobcaygeon.
The first place we stopped at, was a place called The Kawartha Coffee Company.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it looked like a really cool setting, and had $10 tacos & $6 Margareta’s on special.
After gettin’ the menu’s and having our order taken, we sat there for about 1 hour without even the drinks – we left !
We then went to a place called Just for the Halibut, a 4.5 star rated place.
We stepped in to get on the seating list, there were already 3 couples waiting in front of us – we left.
At 8pm, We ended up one of our favorites !
On the way back home, we stopped by the Thursday night Concert in the Park.
We listened to the band for a while, and then took some photos of Nellie next to the Bobcaygeon Lock, in her Detroit Tiger Gear (Tiger shirt a gift from Carol Perotta, thx Carol).
Later that night I sent the photo into the Detroit Free Press “Travel with the D” photo campaign.
Let’s see if she get’s selected to be in The Free Press !
That’s all from Bobcaygeon Ontario.
> Bolsover Ontario, and the Sunset Cove Marina
> 5 Locks including The Kirkfield Lift Lock (little brother to the Peterborough Lift Lock).
> The Narrows (7 mile section of the Trent Canal with rocky edges).
Aug 1 – Wed We got a late 9:30am start from Peterborough to Youngs Point Ontario.
The Canadian Lock System does not open for business until 9am, and the 1st lock (lock #20) was right next to the marina.
Local boater & Gold Looper Rob, had told us that even though they start at 9am, the doors won’t open until 9:30am, he was correct.
After locking thru Lock #20, which was a normal Lock, we were on our way to the famous Peterborough Lift Lock(Lock #21 on The Trent Severn Waterway).
If you read the last post, you will recall that the Peterborough Lift Lock is an Engineering Marvel built over 100 years ago, which basically moves boats up & down by only water weight & gravity (see port #116 post). It acts like a giant seesaw.
They call it a Lift Lock because the water level in the lock does not go up & down like a normal lock. You are essentially in a Tray of Water, which is Lifted from one water level to another.
The ride was much smoother than a normal lock, there was no turbulence from water rushing into or out of the lock.
We went into the Lift Lock with fellow vessels Change of Pace & Knot Happening.
Our new pal & Gold Looper Rob Liss also showed up at the Lift Lock to take some photos (Thanks Rob).
Rob & Glenda completed the Loop in 2016/2017.
Check out the shots that Rob took of Gettin’ Looped coming into, and going thru the Peterborough Lift Lock. It was an exciting experience.
After going thru the Lift Lock, we were on our way.
Change of Pace stayed back to go to the Lift Lock museum.
We traveled and went thru the next 7 locks with Knot Happening.
It was a beautiful ride.
We went under some fixed bridges, thru some rotating bridges, passed a nice golf course, and thru some very shallow twisty/windy/rocky sections of The Trent Severn.
The pictures don’t do justice, it was very pretty.
After a bit of a ride, we arrived at Lock #22, which had an interesting mile marker tree.
Our last lock of the day, Lock #27, was training the young Lockmasters of the Future.
We arrived at the Islandview Resort about 3pm.
Well, it’s not a resort, but a trailer park marina.
We were assigned a slip on fuel dock, really the only space big enough for us.
It doesn’t look like much, but the place is awesome.
I told Jonell about 3-4 hours after we arrived that I loved this place.
It was just much more relaxed than the normal marinas.
And it was on a beautiful setting which made me feel like I was with Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond.
We had dinner at the restaurant RIGHT AT OUR BOAT SLIP – Patio 27.
Even though we are in Canada, it felt like we were “down home” in Mississippi or Alabama, the locals were so friendly.
We had a fairly long conversations with the ole folks in the table next to us.
One of the old guys was an exec at Cummins Engine Company, who Dodge Truck gets their diesel engines from.
We also had a conversation with another local who I did not get his name.
He arrived in a very nice 1950’s Mercury Truck, made only for the Canadian market back in the 50’s.
I told the ole fella about Ashley’s boyfriend Dave’s 1952 Chevy, and we traded photos.
That’s all today from Youngs Point Ontario.
Next Stop = Bobcaygeon Ontario !
see you later tonight or tomorrow.
Jul 30 – Mon
After 1 short day in Hastings, we departed on Monday morning for Peterborough Ontario.
As I had suggested in the last post, Peterborough was also a place of previous Looper memories for me & Jonell.
In July of 2015, while we were Looper Training on a 47′ Hatteras named Kat in the Hat with Richard & Katherine Cope, we ran into the folks who had gotten us into AGLCA, and were becoming our Great Loop God-Parents – Dave & Michele Sylver.
I remember vividly , that we were at a Looper dinner in Peterborough with about 14-16 people, when Dave Sylver approached me to ask if I would be interested in purchasing his 43′ Viking now known as Gettin’ Looped (formerly named Just Us). The rest is history, we ended up closing the deal in October of 2015 after Dave & Michele had completed their Loop.
Back to today’s story.
Peterborough was about 38 miles & 1 lock away from Hastings.
While we were underway, I remembered the blog comments from one of our favorite blog followers – Sharolyn (Doug Edgar’s 1st mate).
Sharolyn had made a comment on the Campbellford post about the Canadian Red Chair Program.
The Red Chair Program was created by marketing guru’s for the Canadian Parks & Recreation Department (Parks Canada).
The concept is this: plop pairs of red Adirondack chairs throughout Canada’s beautiful parks, capturing some of the most stunning views in this great land. And then what – you take a nap? Enjoy your lunch? Nope — you share !
You Facebook, Tweet, and Instragram your photos in those red chairs.
In the words of Parks Canada, “Visitors are encourage to seek out the ‘Red Chairs’ to enjoy these special places and to share their experience through social media and other communication channels.”
Well I’m not sure that we saw any of the official program chairs, but we sure saw a shit-load of the Red Adoirondack Chairs owned by the locals on the Trent Severn Waterway. And the chairs were in fairly prestine/beautiful settings !
Similar to yesterday’s ride, we also passed several remote areas, this time cows, not horses !
We arrived at the Peterborough Marina about 1:45pm.
The marina is not so much to look at, but the locals are very nice.
We met locals Rob-1, Rob-2, & Kyle all within the first hour of arrival.
A day later another local helped Jonell carry groceries all the way down the dock.
Our particular Pier-B is full of fun party people.
There is Docker the Deck Dog serving beer, and The Muskie Lounge Pontoon Party Barge.
Monday night seemed to come early, we went for a walk into town and had dinner at a place recommended by Christina the harbormaster.
We ate dinner at a place called Rileys, which had 3 floors ; a 1st floor with pool tables & a bar restaurant, and 2nd floor nightclub, and the 3rd floor rooftop bar. Per Christina’s recommendation, we ate at the rooftop bar.
The food was so-so, but I did have my first Molson Canadian since entering Canada.
I remember having many of these during trips over to Windsor in my youth (18-21).
Evidently according to the local kids, Molson Canadian is “old news” nowadays.
Microbrews are now The Rage in Canada.
On the walk back from dinner, we watched the Peterborough fountain for a while, but were too tired to wait for it to lite up at night.
Jul 31 – Tue
Tuesday was back to Tourist day.
There were a couple interesting things, of which Peterborough is known for.
> The 1st is The Canadian Canoe Museum (yes, a canoe museum).
> The 2nd is The Peterborough Lift Lock – one of only 8 in the World.
While walking about 1.5 miles to the Canoe Museum, we passed a little home restaurant serving only breakfast & lunch, so we stopped in for a quick bite to give us energy for tourist day.
The Canadian Canoe Museum is a unique national heritage center that explores the canoe’s significance to the peoples of Canada, through a large collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft.
Founded by the late Professor Kirk Wipper, and established in Peterborough in 1997, the museum’s holdings now number more than 600 canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft.
The museum’s artifacts range from; the great dugouts of the First Nations, the singular bark canoes of Newfoundland, the skin-on-frame kayaks of the northern peoples, the all-wood and canvas-covered craft manufactured by major canoe companies, and the Royal Canoes.
Watercraft from as far away as Paraguay and the Amazon have helped the Museum expand its reach and scope to include International examples.
The Canadian Canoe Museum is a private not-for-profit organization with charitable status.
The place was expansive, in a huge warehouse.
There were MANY different types of canoes, showing different areas of the country, the evoloution of designs, the fabrication, the different materials used, & the link to fur trading & commerce.
Some of the most interesting exhibits for me, were showing ;
> The Fabrication Process of an 1800’s vintage canoe.
> The Royal Canoes.
> How they made the Graphic Designs on the sides of the canoes.
The Fabrication Steps of an 1800’s Montreal Canoe
The Royal Canoes Exhibit showed gifts given by the Canadian Royals to dignitaries of other countries or received by the Canadian Royals. The photos below show a canoe supposedly given by Pierre Trudeau to Prince Charles & Princess Diana as a wedding gift.
How they made the Graphic Designs on the sides of the canoes.
There were MANY exhibits, but you get the jist of it.
Time to go to the more interesting Peterborough Lift Lock.
The Peterborough Lift Lock is over 100 years old, constructed between 1896 – 1904.
> It is Lock #21 on the Trent Severn Waterway (we will cross it on Wednesday, Aug1).
> It is essentially a giant two sided seasaw or teeter-totter, moving hydraulically up & down, driven only by water weight & gravity.
> For most of its life, the lock was the highest hydraulic boat lift in the world, raising boats 65 feet. This was a considerable accomplishment in the early 1900’s, when conventional locks usually only had an average 7 foot rise.
> It is 1 of only 8 Lift Locks in the World, and interestingly enough a 2nd Lift Lock is also on the Trent Severn Waterway in Kirkfield Ontario (Lock #36 – only 45 foot lift).
> The Peterborough Lift Lock was designated a National Historic Site in 1979, and was named an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1987.
How it works – No Electricity, only using Water Weight & Gravity to Articulate!
> The lock has two identical LARGE bathtub-like Ship Water Trays in which vessels enter (like big pans of water).
> Both Water Trays are enclosed at each end by pivoting gates.
> Each Water Tray sits on a huge 7.5 foot diameter ram, the shafts for which are sunk 75 feet into the granite ground.
> Both Trays are filled with water for the boats to drive into the tray.
> The 2 rams are connected with a pipe that has a crossover control valve.
> The Water Trays are guided up and down on either side by rails affixed to concrete towers.
> The Water Trays the boats drive into are huge, measuring 140 ft long & 33 ft wide.
> No external power is needed: the lift lock functions by gravity alone using the counterweight principle. One Water Tray always ascends and the other always descends during each locking cycle.
> When one Water Tray reaches the top position, it stops 12 inches (30 cm) below the water level of the upper lake, and the control valve is closed.
> The upper gates open, and water flows into the top Water Tray until the level equalizes between the tray & the Lake.
> The weight of the extra foot of water is 144 tons, making the total weight of the upper tray (1844 tons) heavier than the lower tray (1700 tons).
> The crossover valve in the connecting pipe between the 2 ram shafts is then opened.
> Since the upper tray weighs 144 tons more than the lower (1,844 vs 1,700 tons), it pushes down on its ram, forcing out water from its shaft via the connecting pipe into the shaft of the bottom tray.
> The force pushes up on the bottom Water Trays ram, raising it up to the top position.
> When the gate of the newly descended top tray reaches the bottom, the extra foot of water is let out and equalizes with the water level of the canal.
> Any descended vessels exit, allowing the cycle to start over again.
The principle works because any boats in the trays displace their weight in water. So even if there is only 1 boat in one tray and 5 boats in the other, the descending tray will always weight 1844 tons, and the rising tray will always weight 1700 tons.
Jul 29 – Sun
On Sunday we traveled from Campbellford to Hastings Ontario.
Only 20 miles & only 6 Locks, so it should have been an easy quick day right ?
6 hours later we arrived at The Village Marina in Hastings.
The main issue was – Sunday boating !
We usually try to avoid it.
But there were so many little boats, fishermen, paddle-boarders, water-skiers, etc.
Because we are the big boat and leave a big wake, we had to slow down to 5mph almost the entire ride.
The little boats & jet-ski’s were like Gnats buzzing around the slow moving Gettin’ Looped.
We traveled & locked together all day with our new Looper friends Gypsie – Mike & Patsy Kelly.
Along the ride, we saw many nice homes & cottages. It reminded us of boating up on Secord Lake in Michigan with The Spraggs, Schellers, & Klines.
We saw some remote areas with folks riding horses.
We arrived at Hastings Village Marina about 2pm.
Some of our blog followers may remember that Hastings was a special place for me & Jonell.
In July of 2015, we came to Hastings, and it was this town where we had met and joined Richard & Katherine Cope on a boat named Kat in the Hat, for a 1 week trial run of Looping to make sure it was really for us.
The return brought back great memories.
Just north of the Hastings Village Marina was the last lock, dam & swing bridge that we had went thru during today’s trip (Lock #18).
When we walked to dinner, we had the opportunity to see the lock, dam, and swing bridge from land.
We had planned dinner with several other Loopers or Looper friends, at a place called McGillicafey’s Pub & Eatery (moving up in the world, now we are dining at an “Eatery”).
On the walk home we went thru Hastings Pisces Park, and saw Pisces Pete & his pal Billy Bass.
That was it from our 1 night stay in Hastings !
Peterborough Ontario (also a special city for me & Nellie).
40 miles & only 1 Lock.