Trip to Big Chief Island Ont.

A short trip to get us out of the marina.

29 June 2014 Clear 81F West 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:05 AM Depart Mariposa Landing
Lost a red bumper went back to get it.
10:56 AM Anchor at Big Chief 2.0 4.7 nm
4:10PM Anchor Up at Big Chief
4:55 PM Dock at Mariposa Landing
Orilla, Ontario
Summary elapsed 4.2 hr ave 4.4 kts 7.6 gal total 9.2 nm
1159.4 1140.6 810.4 top 14.0 kts 1.1 mpg
Just a chance to get out of the marina
Fillrd front and rear water

60 days!

27 June 2014

On the water for 60 days, this is a quick status report.

Susan and I are still on good speaking terms, so from that standpoint the trip is going really well. :-)

Belle has become more active and interested in her surroundings. She now sleeps at different places during the day rather than just her basket. The pilot house for sunny morning naps has been a favorite. She interacts more with Susan and I, following us around. Yesterday Susan was in a chair on the grass. Belle crossed the swim platform and made the 10 inch jump to the dock. Belle has also started to lay across the pilothouse door frames to see what’s going on outside.


Susan and I have both been biking more. I finally got the seat adjusted so that my knees don’t hurt as much. Susan has been out more than I and she now can ride an hour without much effort. (I’m still at the huffy/puffy stage.)

We both have pedometers. We both have calibrated pedometers. We just need to remember to take the calibrated pedometers with us when we walk. We are getting better, we now remember them half way in the walk rather than at the end. But we are walking lots around towns, etc.

We are also doing well on the exploring new places, trying new things. We’ve resisted the siren song of fast food and the chain restaurants. With only some minor exceptions the food has been very good. The http://qvmarine.com/about/food-we-have-eaten/ page has mini reviews.

My latest passion is for Ontario Butter Tarts (Thanks Phil!) A butter tart is butter, sugar, syrup, and egg filled into a flaky pastry and baked until the filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. They can come in flavors, but I like the plain ones the best. I’m making an effort to hit different bakers to try the different ones out. The lead picture has ones from three different bakeries. The yellow is lemon, the same flavor as a Lemon Meringue pie. The other ones are the standard “plain” ones.

Quo Vadimus is working well. The propeller shaft goes through a bushing to exit the hull. This bushing has a wax coated fiber material in it to keep it from leaking. To keep it cool and not melting it is supposed to leak a little water. The water acts as a lubricant. Normal leak rates are ~5 drops a minute. Mine had been about that and in NY became 1 per second (about 6 gallons per day). In the recent weeks it was up to 2 drops a second (12 gallons a day). At Orillia I had both sets of shaft seals replaced with the new Goretex braided cord. They are designed to be drip-less. In the picture below you can see how worn the old cord was and in the center is the new cord.

Fuel usage is about what I had planned on, we are getting just over a mile (1.15) per gallon of fuel. That rate will go down as we start doing some longer open water runs at higher speeds.

Our docking and locking skills have gotten better. If you count a lock tie as the same as a dock tie, then we’ve done more dock ties in the last two months than we’ve done in the last three summers. We’ve done 31 locks in the Erie Canal system and 41 locks in the Trent Severn for a total of 72. (We’ve stayed at 52 different places). We have two more locks and the Big Chute Railway to do next week and then we have about a month to our next lock at Sault Ste. Marie.

Finally, we’ve met a lot of interesting people in the places we’ve been. Pretty much everyone has been friendly and helpful, some, like Freya, have gone really gone out of their way for us. Oddly, we’ve only met a few Loopers on the trip. Not sure if it’s because we are staying in odd places or that there are not that many loopers yet.

So for a TL;DR, we are having a great time, miss those of you we left at home. This is turning out to be the adventure we thought it would be.


Toronto Ont.

21-22-23 June 2014 – The Summer Solstice

Toronto Ontario Gallery

So as all trips to far away lands start off, the camels are always late. In our case, it’s the National Rental Car agent, he’s lost and will be here late. No problems we has assumed that and our schedule accounted for it.

At 10:30 (from a planned 9AM start) we were sedately driving down RT 12 along the eastern part of the lake. It’s another of those wonderful blue sky days that Canada has been giving us on a regular basis. We’ve opted to take RT 12 to see the county, vs taking 400 and being reminded of I95 traffic at home.

Towards the bottom of the lake we see signs for Haugen’s Chicken & Rib BBQ in Oshawa, sounds good so we pull in to a packed parking lot. We go in and the place is pretty empty, which is weird since the lot is full. But we order some of their baked chicken and BBQ pork. Both are really delicious, I can see why they were on “You Gotta Eat Here” on Food Network Canada.

Going outside we checked the parking lot and it was RamblerRAMA 2014, open to anyone with an AMC vehicle, including all Hudson, Jeep, Nash, Rambler and Renault automobiles. Very cool since we had Ramblers as a kid, mom had a Pacer and I was the proud owner of a Renault Le Car at one point. So it was a nice trip down memory lane seeing the Rambler and Pacers. Sadly no Le Car’s but I’m not sure they were sold in Canada.


We soon got back in the car and were off to Toronto. First stop was the world famous Toronto Zoo. Of course being a nice Saturday in June, it was a zoo with all the people. And little kids. And about 10,000 strollers. With more little kids in the strollers. But not to be daunted by adversity we sallied forth into the zoo.

We did the Zoomobile tour around the outside of the zoo to get help on figuring out the map. I love maps where it says “Not to scale”. We were told that the Panda exhibit would be busy so we headed there after getting off the train. No lines, no crowds. They have a really nice “pre-Panda” display about the habitats, different kinds of pandas, what they eat (and of course what they poop). The intent of the display is to funnel you into the exhibit in an orderly fashion, but in our case there was no pandemonium getting to see the pandas. Both were up and eating and there was a zoo keeper talking about them.

We headed off to see the brand new baby polar bear. Expecting a tiny cute baby, we found an almost adult sized bear swimming around. I guess that 6 months ago it was a cute baby, but it had blown past the toddler stage and was now a teenager. But the frolicking was cute, so worth the walk.

They have all of the other zoo stuff, a pair of giraffes, rino’s, elephants, camels, etc. They also have a Great Barrier Reef exhibit with jellyfish and sea horses. Our last exhibit of the day was the primate house. Because of the heat most of them were back in their little rooms. In the main room was a huge climbing setup and off in the corner was something with a drop-cloth over it.

We were highly disappointed until the drop-cloth started to move. It slowly stood up and started to move over the platform. The cloth moved and it turned out to be an orangutang out for a stroll. He carefully maneuvered over the setup, never loosing grasp of his cloth. He made a few circuts around and then settled into the corner, pulling the cloth back up over his body.


We took the hint that it was time to go home. Just outside was another huge climbing system. Except that this one was loaded with people. They hooked you to an overhead safety system track. You could then climb stairs, walk across rope bridges, hop from one platform to another (20 feet in the air) in relative safety. We watched a six year old girl clamber around with as much grace as the orangutang had moments before.

A short Zoomobile ride and a longer walk to the parking lot later we were zooming down RT 401 into the heart of Toronto. Or more correctly the heart of North York, a Toronto suburb. Susan had picked a hotel that was on top of the Toronto subway system to make sightseeing easier. We checked in and showered away the zoo dust.

Outside the hotel was a little fair going on, while Susan lounged, I checked it out. It was an alternative energy exhibit sponsored by Ontario Hydro. There were displays about the new CFL bulbs, uses of solar, electric cars, electric bikes and even electric skateboards. The University of Toronto had their solar power car on display. It was pretty nice setup on how we could do a better job with our energy choices.

Every year for the last 14 I’ve made a huge effort to be out on the water to watch the sunset on the Summer Solstice. Only missed a few years because of rain. This year our plan was to watch it from the sky.

Just ahead of dusk we headed downtown to the CN tower, one of the tallest buildings in Toronto. We were whisked up to the 360 Restaurant. It rotates around the tower so you get a full panoramic view of Toronto. We got seated and Susan set up the GoPro to get a movie of our experience. Over her shoulder I could see the setting sun, and a really nice sunset.


We both had the prix fixe dinner, although Foster substituted his appetizer. He had a pea and pancetta tart to start and peppered sirloin strip for the main, Susan had a seafood chowder to start and beef cheeks with morels for her main. The amuse bouche and desserts were also quite good, but the best part is the revolving 360 degree view. The combination of really great food and the amazing view made it a perfect evening. At the end we had gone full circle and we could see the lights of Rochester (90 miles away) on the horizon. We both found it hard to believe it was just three weeks earlier we had been there.

Make sure you check out the time-lapse that Susan shot. It’s in the video section.

We got up the next morning and courtesy of Toronto Transit we were soon in Chinatown. All the shops. All the smells of food cooking. Colors and the noise of people hustling around. A real sensory overload.

We soon navigated to Rol San for Dim Sum. Normally I expect carts with little bamboo baskets of “you try you like” on them. We were given a menu of items. So we checked off our favorite items and some new ones to add to “we tried we liked” list. There were things we loved and things we didn’t agree on (Susan loved the taro cakes). We ordered a couple of dishes blindly, but did pretty well overall.  Ordered too much as usual, and once again no easy way or place to carry it.

After gorging ourselves we retraced our path to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). It had caught our eye since it was a very futuristic looking building.

We started off in the basement to look at model boats. It was a very extensive exhibit of boats covering the history of sailboats and steamships. Some of the models were from the late 1600′s they had been hand carved by prisoners of war that had been captured. They sold the models to earn money for better food. The details were amazing. Some models had been built by shipbuilders as sales tools. All the brasswork was gold plated to make the boat shine.

Up two flights was the Canadian wing of the Gallery. We got a good view of what life was like outside the cities in the 1800′s. Lots of great paintings of the times. Not sure how long I would have lasted back then.

Upstairs was the contemporary art galleries. We cruised through, some pieces we liked. Some we didn’t get at all. One of my favorites was a preserved blackboard from a teachers class. If I had only thought to save my blackboards from the years at teaching at Drexel I’d be a millionaire. (Or have a warehouse of unsold blackboards.)

After being fully cultured, we headed back towards the CN tower. We had seen signs for the Toronto Railway Museum at Union Station and the John Street Roundhouse and decided to check it out. On the way we past shops selling everything possible and lots of restaurants that we could check out later.

The museum is set in the roundhouse of Canadian National Railway. It turns out that the right hand bays contain a furniture store, the left hand bays contain the Steamwhistle Brewing company. That left the center bay for the Museum. It was small, lots of items like silver and lanterns. I was a little disappointed since we’ve been to the one in Strausburg.

But they do have a cool 1/10 size working steam engine that they give rides on. It is all hand built and runs by burning diesel fuel (clean air laws have a problem with burning coal). We watched the train and headed over to the Steamwhistle company for a beer sampling.

The last two tours of the day were full, but I was able to get pictures of the brewing tanks and the bottling line. Since it was a Saturday the lines were shut down, only the brewers were working. Refreshed we headed off to the subway to do some serious tasting.

A few stops and a short walk we entered Bar Volo, with 32 craft beers and ciders on tap. We spent the next two hours trying 11 of them along with dried meats and cheeses. Susan is not much of a beer drinker so it was a great chance for her to try different ones. I’ve been working on trying lots of different Canadian beers, so it was on my list!!

From Bar Volo we transited to the Queen and Beaver Public House for dinner. We both had the Sunday Roast Beef Dinner (rare roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding) and listened to sounds from the upstairs bar of the US not doing well against Portugal.

On the way home we came across a labyrinth set in paving stones. Susan set out to walk the full length, my ADD kicked in and I was soon at the center. Susan toughed it out to achieve enlightenment and upon reaching the center her enlightenment was the same path that took her in would take her out.

Moments later we were back on the sidewalk heading for the subway. We were soon back in our hotel, ready for bed and for day three of our Toronto adventures.

Susan has gotten up early on Sunday and found that the free breakfast buffet was very nice. So she rousted me out and we both had a great breakfast of poached eggs and a nice holindaise sauce, bacon, sausages, home fried potatoes, stewed tomatoes and toast and jam. Very nice and the coffee was very good. The original plan was to head to the Science Center but we had seen signs for the Royal Ontario Museum, hey had an exhibit if Chinese artifacts from the Forbidden City. We decided Chinese Mysteries were on deck and were soon winged away on the Subway almost at the front door.

They had set the exhibit up like you were coming in the first time. Lots of rooms of things to see before you even saw the emperor. But you were soon past an into the inter areas that only the emperor and the wives had access to. They also showed the shear manpower it took to run the place. It was a very impressive exhibt. They had taken the time to write understandable tags and descriptions for the items. They put them in a context that make sense to me the viewer.

We spent almost two hours walking around when I spied the Dinosaur → sign. If I cant get me some good tech science, dinosaurs will fill the bill.


The ROM had an excellent exhibit that we wandered around for an hour. Time was up, we needed to head back. One last transit ride, a quick stop in the food court for Thai noodles in a box and we were on the 401.

Soon we made the 400, recognized the driving pattern from I95 and I was in commute mode! We flew by lots of things (Wanted to go to Lego Land, but need a child under the age of 14, no just adults. ) So as we hurtled up the 400, zooming at high rates of speed with all the other commuters.

And with that the Toronto part of our trip was over, but we would soon be at Big Chute to do a pre-crossing visit


Orillia Ont

19 June 2014 (Pictures soon)

Today would be a easy, but sort of dull day. We have only a few locks to do and a scoot across Lake Simcoe to “The Narrows”.

After our nice overnight stay we got up to a sunny morning. Remember the comment about the really clear water a few posts back? Well Susan in her quest to make coffee in the morning while being super quiet had decided to use her propane stove (rather than the generator). In the process of moving the stove to the dock she dropped it and the pot into the water.

Lucky for her that the water was so clear that she was able to scoop everything up from the bottom! She made a creative set of chopsticks with the boat poles and was able to rescue everything. When I got up, we fired up the generator and she made coffee and breakfast for us.

With the wait for the lock to open at 10, I set up a deck chair and read a “dead tree book” from the used book store we had gone to in Fenelan Falls. Susan headed up the access road on her bike to check out the countryside.

When she came back I noticed there was a square yellow reflection in the water. Except it was weird, as I moved, it didn’t move, it was like it was painted on the water. Looking some more I relized that it was a towel on the bottom. Susan to the rescue, this time with her rod and a bare hook. A little short flip cast, hook, and reel in an 11lb towel! Success!

By now it was time for the lock to open. The lock team drove up and verified we were ready to go. They opened the lock and we were on our way.

They had gone to lock 41 to let the other boats out, but they had refilled the lock before they came to get us. So it was no waiting at the next three locks. In under an hour we were on Lake Simcoe headed North (well actually NNW, but that is a boater thing)

We had been warned that Lake Simcoe could be rough, but the lack of wind made it an easy ride. Once again the auto-helm was useful, I just set the course and off we went. I kept an eye out for snags and debris in the water, but it was an uneventful trip.

We got to Mariposa Landing Marina and I knew I was in slip A27. So we turned in and went down the fairway. It soon turned left into a dead end. At the far end was the looper boat Knot So Fast. So we idled and waited for a dock hand to show up. The Marina Manager Nancy waved at us from a slip, we backed up and got into the dock. I was a little surprised, since the Quo Vadimus is 15’11” and it looked like the dock wasn’t much over 17′.

After we got in, we decided to head to town. We were told it was a short distance, so we headed off. About an hour later, we arrived at the edge of the downtown district. Not really what I would have called a short distance but not bad.

Orillia is a neat little town, it’s about 30 square blocks of downtown. The norther end of town is the lake, it’s taken up by the town dock and a really nice park. There are tons of stores: bakery, 2 guitar stores, bookstores, lots of places to eat.

The opening picture is from the docks, the sailboats are sculptures along the dock wall.

We chose “Brewery Bay Food Company”, lots of beer on tap and a good selection of pub food. I went with wings, and was surprised that classic wings were breaded. Having lived in Buffalo, wings are not breaded unless you are eating at a KFC. Oh well.

After dinner we did a big circle of town to see the other stores and what was going on. The thing that caught our eye was a show called “Hank and Patsy’s Heavenly Hoedown” at the local theater. Susan called, they had tickets. She also tried for the fancy restaurant in town, with was looking like Friday date night.

Friday morning was a chance to catch up some. Susan posted pictures and movies while I did some general items to the boat. She also did research on transit and we found that their was a bus that stopped near the marina.

We got to town and Susan went off to get a pedicure and I went to the local used bookstore to see what they had. I also check out the dollar store (a much larger selection of items) and then collected Susan.

We were not able to make the fancy dinner and show work out so we went to Studebaker’s on the waterfront. Classic burger and beer joint. Bonus points since they brought us popcorn to start! I checked and the wings were not breaded so I had them. A good place to hang out and people watch.

“Hank and Patsy’s Heavenly Hoedown” was held in what was the local movie theater. The premise of the show is that Patsy Cline and Hank Williams were in Heaven and had agreed to do a show at Radio station HEVN. It was just like those old time shows with an MC and a house band. The actress that played Patsy (Samantha Windover) sounded just like her. Her renditions of “Crazy” and “Walking after Midnight” sounded like I remember. It was a very good show with lots of good duets. The house band was very good, they played an amazing version of “Ghostriders”.

After the show we walked down to the town dock. Saturday was to be “Christmas in June” and some of the boats were on display.

We got the bus back and headed home. Saturday starts our three day trip to Tornto!


Trip to Orillia Ont.

19 June 2014 Clear 70F West 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
8:00 AM Ran generator for 30 mins, temp and oil pressure good
10:25 AM Depart Lock #39 wall
10:40 AM Clear Lock #39 Portage – giant spiders
11:00 AM Clear Lock #40 Thorah
11:20 AM Clear Lock #41 Gamebridge
11:40 AM In Lake Simcoe 1 ft waves
12:10 PM Lake Simcoe 1,900 RPM 8.8 kts 2.1 gal 7.4 nm
1:00 PM Simcoe Point 1,900 RPM 8.6 kts 5.1 gal 14.5 nm
1:30 PM Dock at Mariposa Landing
Orillia, Ontario
Summary elapsed 3.0 hr ave 5.7 kts 7.6 gal total 16.3 nm
1157.4 1138.6 810.4 top 9.2 kts 1.4 mpg
24 June Both shaft seals replaced
26 June Pump out and 250L (66 gal) starboard side
$1.53 / liter ($5.78 gallon)

Surprise visitors

June 19

Last night we were tied up to the top of the lock wall at #39. 


It was very pretty, a closed off area with traffic limited to bikers and hikers.  Since there was no power, I cooked out on the picnic table again, and we had a perfect breeze keeping things cool. 


There were some fun surprises in wait last night. 

As I got off the boat with my cooking gear, I realized there was a large patch of wild strawberries right in front of the boat, with strawberries just ripening. 


I picked a few to show Foster and left the rest.


Around the picnic table where I was cooking were lots of tiny wild flowers.  I think we used to call them Indian Paintbrush, not sure what the correct name is. 


After our dinner, I was starting to clean up, and I noticed some small brown animals loping toward us along the lock wall.  As they got closer, we realized it was a mink mama, with a baby in her mouth, and 2 more babies following her. 


They didn’t seem at all phased by our presence, but I think the wind was blowing away from us, because they got very close, and then the mama started galloping away with the one baby in her mouth.  She went so fast that she left her other 2 babies behind, and they hunkered down in the grass very close to us. 


I was concerned that the mama might not come back because we were here, but Foster advised some patience, and before too long, the mama came back and grabbed another baby in her mouth and took off along the canal.  The last baby tried to follow, and fell right off the canal wall!  Of course I thought that was it for the little guy, but mama came back, disappeared down the bank, and then came right back up again with baby number three in her mouth. 


Pretty amazing sight, and more amazing that I was actually able to get a few photos that were sharp – here are a few:










Later that evening we fished a little.  I caught a couple of small fish, a bluegill and something else unnamed, and threw them back.

We had very few bug problems, and slept very well in the cool breeze, and then continued on our way today.  We were slowly passing through a very narrow canal just before noon, and I saw another mink!  This one had launched off the riverbank and was swimming right towards us until he realized his error and swam quickly away.  I managed to get a couple of blurry shots of him.




Portage Ont

18 June 2014

We spent some extra time in the morning at Rosedale after they got the wireless to work. Susan got some pictures up and I got a chance to write the Rosedale post.

We got off the dock at 11:30 AM on a pretty overcast day. Not the best for traveling, but the forecast was for things to improve as we went along the day. We were soon out in the lake passing Grand Island. It’s home to 41 families and 202 cows. The night before I had talked to a resident that was getting delivery of a new sofa and he gave me the full story.

About 12:30 we entered the Kirkfield Channel. It’s a long stretch of narrow canal. There is a sign at both ends asking boats over 40′ (that’s us) to announce that they are entering the channel. This allows big boats to pace themselves so we don’t need to pass each other. I’m sure I could pass another 45′, but the Kawartha Tour boat at 100′ is a different story.

It’s a little freaky to look into the water. It’s very clear and you can see the rocks at the bottom. At home when we see the bottom, we are most likely already aground. In this case the bottom is 10′ down. But we keep an eye out anyway.

There are also weeds. Up until now the weed growth has been light, but now that the water is warmer, the weeds have had a chance to take off. The weeds freak the depth finder out. If the clump is dense enough it will register as the bottom. So I watch the gauge go from 10.5′ to 1.2′ to 8.9′ to 1.3′. Lots of trust in the chart, the GPS and Susan’s eagle eyes at the bow.

We pull into the Kirkfield Lift Lock a little after 1PM. We will be going down, so rather than pulling up to a wall like Peterborough the water ends at the end of the pan. We can see the tops of trees just past the bow of the boat. The lift team guide us into place and we tie off. The door clangs shut behind us. “Please keep your hands inside the ride at all times” flashes through my mind as we rapidly drop the 60′ to the river below. In less than 5 minutes we are on our way down the second part of the channel.

At the end of the channel is a small lake (Channel Lake) that feeds us into Bolsover and another set of small channels. The next lake had an interesting round bridge that we had to go under. (It’s the title picture). I wasn’t sure how it would work since we are mostly square. We folded down the antenna’s and we just fit

We had planned to spend the night at the top of the Bolsover Lock (#37) but there was construction going on. We had a chat with the Lock Master, he called the other locks and they decided that Lock 39, Portage would be the best place to stay.

One of the problems we have on doing the “down locks” is Susan reaching the cables to be able to tie off. At this set of down locks the lock team have taken our lines and looped them around the cables and handed them back. This has made the process a lot simpler.

We quicky cleared Lock 37 at Bolsover and headed towards are next lock. Because this section was also dug, it’s long and straight. Sadly it’s over pretty flat ground, so you miss the stone on either side and get the feeling that you are moving down a Texas sized drainage ditch (sorry Canada). But it’s very pretty countryside.

We cleared the next lock at Talbot #38 a little after 3PM. Since we knew the next lock would be home for the night, we drifted down to the top of lock #39 Portage. We were surprised, the lock team showed up to make sure we got tied up for the night.

We broke out the bikes and biked down to Lock #40. Two Looper boats Grey Fox and Knot So Fast were at the bottom. I had talked to Grey Fox a few days ago. It’s a really nice catamaran that makes a great loop boat. We chatted with all of them, for a few minutes and then headed back on our bikes.

Susan displayed her cookout camping skills and made a great dinner. After dinner we had visitors from a mink family that Susan posted about. After the mink adventure, we both tried our hands at fishing. Lots of nibbles for me, Susan caught two small blue gills. She has been a regular Joan Wulff on this trip.

Since we were far away from towns, I got up in the middle of the night to check out the stars. I was thwarted by Mother Nature, the sky was still overcast. Oh well, we will be in the Georgian Bay soon, I can look then.


Trip to Portage Ont.

18 June 2014 Overcast 70F West 15 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
11:30 AM Depart Rosedale Marina
12:00 PM Passing Grand Island – 41 houses 202 cows
12:30 PM Kirkfield Channel 1.9 7.2 nm
1:13 In lift lock #36 Kirkfield
1:17 PM Exit #36 2.2 10.2 nm
1:30 PM End of Channel
2:15 PM Bolsolver Bridge 3.5 15.3
2:45 PM Lock #37 Bolsolver
3:15 PM Lock #38 Talbot
1:25 PM Dock at Upper wall Lock 39
Portage, Ontario
Summary elapsed 4.2 hr ave 4.4 kts 7.6 gal total 19.0 nm
1154.7 1135.9 809.9 top 14.0 kts 2.5 mpg

Rosedale, Ont.

17 June 2014

Tuesday in Fenelon started off bright and wonderful.  We took our red wagon to the store and stocked up on water for the next two weeks.  I spoke to the Lock Master Trevor for a few moments (not sure who in Parks Canada does hiring, but they seem to do a great job on the Lock Masters.

We spent most of the time in the lake fishing, since we were only going 4 miles.

We spent the night at Rosedale, and it was a good choice since there was a huge storm that moved south of us.  A tornado took out part of town and power was off in places in Toronto.

Sadly we did not get wi-fi until the morning.  Susan uploaded the latest set of pictures to the gallery Locks 20-34. I finally had a chance to clean the million bug bodies off of the boat.  I also got the starboard side of the bow clean, there had been a stain since we left the ocean.  I’m hoping to get tied on the other side at some point to get it cleared off also.

Off on Wednesday to the second lift lock in the Trent system.


Trip to Rosedale Ont.

17 June 2014 Cloudy 75F West 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:50 AM Depart Fenelon Falls
11:150 We fished for about an hour
12:30PM Lock 35 Rosedale
12:50 PM Dock at Rosedale Marina
Rosedale Ontario
Summary elapsed 2.0 hr ave 2.1 kts 0.8 gal total 4.1 nm
1150.8 1132.0 809.9 top 5.3 kts 5.13 mpg

Fenelon Falls, Ont.

14 June 2014

The trip to Fenelon Falls was just 2.5 hours and most of that was spent on Sturgeon Lake. We left in calm weather, but by noon the winds were 15kts with gusts to 20kts. The lake had whitecaps on it, but very little wave action. We rounded the corner into the river that lead into the lock and we were shielded from the wind.

The lock entrance is long and high almost making it a double long lock. We quickly cleared the lock are were tied up on the town’s new wall (circa 2012) that is very nice.

Fenelon is a small lock town, about 10 square blocks in size. We ate lunch at a place along the lock wall, that will remain nameless, since the experience was a worse than the dive in Lakefield. I’d like to think it is just me, but the people had a discussion with the waitress, sent their nacho’s back, and when the main course came, the Mom ate two bites with more discussion with the waitress. So it looks like our string of “great dive pubs” has come to a screeching halt.

We walked over to a nearby marina to see if we could replace one of our leaking fenders. They were confused by “round”. We were saying “round meaning spherical” and they were thinking of “round as in tubular”. They didn’t have what we wanted, but we were able to get the next marina we will be stopping at to order it.

Dinner was a Susan special of the great steaks she had purchased in Lakefield with apargus, loaded potato skins and garlic bread. Very, very good.Locks20-3400094

I did a quick walk for ice over to the marked, Sobey’s. I’m impressed, it’s like a Whole Foods. We are not near any big populations, so it was a suprise to find it.

We awoke Sunday to a great day. We unloaded the bikes and rode for an hour on the “rails to trails” path that runs through Fenelon. We then did a quick walk around town, I found a TD cash machine (very important) and a small place that I found some more red / white spoon lures at. Maybe my lure karma is coming back.

The boat behind us had recommended the Chinese place on the main street, so we got take out for lunch. We found that Canadian Chineese food is sligtly different than we get. Our lo-mein has vegitables in it, and there are some also in the egg roll.

With all the exercise in the morning, we both managed to get naps in. While Susan was taking hers, I walked down to the Albin 34 that I had spied to see how much bigger it was than the Albin 27 that’s owned by a friend. It looks like most the added space ended up in the rear cabin making much nicer.

For dinner we headed over to the Orchid Thai Bistro where we had spring rolls that were really good and the Basil Beef, which had just the right level of spice needed.

For dessert we did Kawartha ice cream. It was very good, next to the craft beers, this has become my favorite Canadian food.

Monday was heavy rain in the morning. We decided to spend the day here as a break day. You may have noticed all the posts that appeared in one lump, I spent most of the morning writing.

The rain kept up unto 2PM and then the sun started to come out. So hopefully the rainy weather is past us.

We will be heading off to Rosedale in the morning!


Heather was nice enough to do a map of the last few days worth of trips.



Trip to Fenelon Falls, Ont.

14 June 2014 Cloudy 75F West 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:45 AM Depart Gordon’s
11:00 AM Lock 32 Bobcaygeon
Most of the trip @ 1,800 8kts +/- 0.2 kts
12:30 PM Wind picking up SW @ 15 kts
1:05 PM Lock 34 Fenelon Falls
1:25 PM Dock at Upper wall Lock 34
Fenelon Falls, Ontario
Summary elapsed 2.5 hr ave 4.8 kts 8.2 gal total 13.6 nm
1149.6 1130.7 809.9 top 9.9 kts 1.65 mpg

Bobcaygeon, Ont

13 June 2014 (Pictures Soon!)

Friday the 13th!! We both slept poorly due to the thousands of mosquitoes that had invaded the boat. I had left the pilot house window open with out the screen in place and they had come in to invade us. We sprayed the back of the boat and the front cabin to kill the ones inside. We attacked the ones in the salon with swatters and soon we had the upper hand over them.

We pushed off the dock about 9 and headed across Lake Katchewanooka to Young’s Point and the Lockside Trading Company. It’s set up as a reproduction of what a 1900′s trading company would look like. They have been in business since 1987 and have clothing, furniture, giftware, toys, etc. Plus they have a little cafe that serves ice cream and coffee. We passed, but we have been a fan of the Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

At the lock we talked to the owner of a small boat that he was taking by himself from Lake Ontario to the Georgian Bay. We admired his boat and his boating skills.

The southern end of Clear Lake is pretty boring. But about 2/3 the way across we saw dozens of islands ahead of us. Some are small with just a few trees, others are larger with 6-8 houses on them. One of them has a church on it. Aptly named St. Peters-on-the-Rock has a dock for all the worshipers.

The pictures don’t really show how beautiful this area really is. The clear water lets you see the rocks below (YIKES!), the pink limestone is stunning. The ever shifting shoreline as islands occlude each other as our vantage point changes.

We are soon in Hell’s Gate, a series of over a dozen islands that you need to wend past. It’s a well marked channel and we went slow so we didn’t miss any of the sharp turns. The maze of tiny islands is very cool. After watching the GoPro time lapse I wish that we had shot as a real video or faster than a frame a minute. It has been the best scenery on the entire trip.

After clearing Hell’s Gate, we would have turned right and gone for a short drive in Stony Lake but opted to stay the course. Most of the places to visit / stop at don’t open until after 21 June.

We are soon at Lock 28 Burleigh Falls. We had to wait for two house boats to clear the lock, but got a chance to see the houses perched along the walls of Burleigh Bay.

Passing through Lovesick Lake were more islands and we were soon at the Lovesick Lock, #30. It’s named after the legend: The story depicts a young Indian woman named Polly Cow, daughter of “Handsome Jack” Cow, who was the good looking, charismatic Indian Chief of the early 1800’s. “Handsome Jack” Cow was one of the most powerful chiefs in the Kawarthas.

Polly inherited her father’s physical beauty and was reported to have been the most beautiful Indian maiden of all. She fell in love with an Indian brave, who rejected her love. Heartbroken, she fled to a deserted island on the lake and nearly died of lovesickness. No one knows what became of this beautiful Indian maiden, therefore after many centuries, the lake was named “Lovesick”

Or you can take the flip side: Richard Faun, a native young man, fell in love with an Irish girl, Katharine O’Donahue. When he was rejected he paddled to an island and pined away until his friends found him and he went home.

After hearing all the details from the Lock 30 lock master at Lovesick, we were on our way across Buckhorn Lake. We had hoped to stay in Buckhorn, but with the start of Summer places are starting to fill up.

Around 3 PM we landed at Gordon’s Yacht Harbor, Bobcaygeon awaits!

The place to go is Bigley’s Shoes. They boast that they have 10,000 pairs. They fill up three store fronts, one with kids and high fashion Women’s ($400+), one with womens shoes and the last is men’s. Susan was able to find Sperry Topsider’s and Keds on sale.

We did some more browsing and ended up at Just for the Halibut which wasn’t the fish and chips shop we expected but a nice family restaurant. Dinner was good and it’s a popular place since it was packed when we left.

Back at the marina Susan had spied the laundry facilities and wanted to wash the bug spray smell out of the sheets. So she headed there with while I chatted with our new dock neighbors.

Saturday started off with a trip for breakfast at a little cafe we had spied on the way through town. I then headed off to the local Virgin Mobile dealer to get a SIM chip for wireless in Canada. Not as easy to do as we thought, but were able to make it work.

Saturday was “Unlock the Summer” day with a 5K walk / run, the Lion’s club pushmobile races, model boats, a band, etc. A pretty festive occasion. We couldn’t stay since we were on the fuel dock, so we headed off.

As we floated out the end of the dock the band said “What a great day, look at that huge white boat sail by”. We gave a toot and a wave and were off to Fenelon Falls.


Trip to Bobcaygeon, Ont.

13 June 2014 Overcast 70F West 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
8:45 AM Depart Lakefield
9:45 AM Clear 27 Young’s Point
Visit to the Lockside Trading company
10:05 AM Depart Young’s Point
Tiny islands are breath taking
11:20 AM Lock 28 Burleigh Falls 3.9 gal 12.0 nm
Just amazing country
11:56 AM Lock 30 Lovesick
12:45 PM Lock 31 Buckhorn
2:00 PM Fathergill Island 1,800 RPM 7.0 kts 9.9 gal 27.6 nm
2:45 PM Dock at Gordon’s Yacht Harbor
Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Summary elapsed 6.0 hr ave 5.6 kts 25.2 gal total 33.4 nm
1147.4 1128.5 809.9 top 10.5 kts 1.32 mpg

Lakefield, Ont.

11 June 2014 (Pictures Soon)

We awoke at the base of Lock 24 Douro to the sound of rain. I normally don’t like to travel in the rain, and don’t like to lock in the rain. The wet slippery deck conditions for Susan and that the upper deck dumps rain in the exact place I need to stand makes it into an unhappy time.

Promptly at 10AM the lock doors swung open and we fire up the Hino engines and headed off into the lock. The same supervisor was manning the locks. He said that he had sent crews up ahead to dump the locks so we wouldn’t need to wait. He also said we would be in Lakefield in less than 2 hours. (No, I didn’t ask why they couldn’t have done that the day before)

30 minutes later we were in Lock #25 at Sawyer Creek. We got a message from the Lakefield lock that there were two house boats coming our way. In the Kawartha Lakes a popular thing to do is rent a houseboat and go hang out on the lakes. They range from 25′ to 50′ and are big boxes on top of two or three pontoons. They are powered by a single drive (smaller ones an outboard, larger ones an inboard). Most of the drivers are novices lots are college kids on a break. Think of it as a floating party house! In any case we didn’t want to be in a tight channel with them. So we waited 10 minutes for them to get into a wider part of the river and we headed off.

30 minutes later we were chatting with the Lock master, Jennifer at Lock 26, Lakefield. Women prefer the title of “Lock Master”. She soon had us through and into the long channel that leads into the end of Lake Karchewanooka. The channel had families of ducks with the babies paddling to stay ahead of us. We came through at idle to make sure we didn’t swamp any of them.

Just before noon we tied up to the wall at Lakefield Marina, just under two hours as predicted. When we were fishing the day before we had talked about favorite lures, mine was a red / white striped spoon. The marina had spoons as an advertising trinket, and I grabbed the red / white one. Lure Karma!!

The rain soon stopped and we decided to head out to see the town.

First stop was at the Lakefield Restaurant for lunch. They have Greek food so soon Susan and I were munching away on Gyros. Next was at the produce market (cheese, asparagus, carrots, etc.) and the butcher (very nice steaks, sausages). Susan headed back to the boat with her trove and I continued down the street to check out the hobby store and the Target Dollar Store. The hobby place was a bit of a letdown, but the dollar store was a trove of great things!

In doing some research, The River Company was advertised as fine dining. We had been doing mid-level places for the last weeks, we decided to splurge and go. It was a short walk through town and across the lock channel to the renovated Victorian house that was The River Company. Sadly we found out, they had given up their fine dining concept since it was killing the chef with the huge amount of effort.

They had much simpler fare on the menu. I started with the Spicy corn and sausage chowder. It was fresh sweet corn, great sausage and diced potatoes. I could tell from the care taken with the potatoes that while it wasn’t “fine dining” there was a lot of care and skill in the kitchen. Our main courses were just as good (chicken tacos and BBQ beef), it was a very pleasant evening.

The next morning we saw that there was a farmers market, so we headed that way. For the trip we had been able to resist Tim Horton’s, but today our resolve crumpled and we headed in. Not quite as good as Donut Delight in Rochester but heads above our local doughnut places.

The Farmers Market was very limited since it was so early in the season. A few stands with produce, more with tomatoes, pepper and pea plants for sale for small gardens.

With the weather still looking overcast we decided to stay in town another night. We had passed some interesting shops and stores on the way to The River Company so we decided to help the Lakefield Economy. Susan picked up a very pretty top and I spent time browsing in an old bookstore.

We’ve had success eating at “dive pubs” and we tried the one in Lakefield. The reviews didn’t bode well “the only reason xxxx is not out of business was they are the only pub in town”. We threw caution to the wind and found that the reviews were pretty much spot on. Oh well.

After dinner we fished off the back of the boat. I managed to fish for about 30 minutes with my new “stripe” lure when I managed to snag it in the weeds and it was gone. So much for Lure Karma.

On Friday the 13th we would be off on a longer trip to Bobcaygeon.


Trip to Lakefield, Ont

11 June 2014 Rain 68 F South 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:15 AM Enter Lock #24 Douro
10:50 AM In Lock #25 Sawyer Creek
11:00 AM We waited 10 mins for houseboats to clear
11:40 AM Clear #26 Lakefield 0.5 gal 2.5 nm
11:50 AM Dock at Lakefield Marina
Lakefield, Ontario
Summary elapsed 1.8 hr ave 1.3 kts 1.4 gal total 2.9 nm
1142.1 1123.3 809.9 top 7.8 kts 2.07 mpg

Douro Lock, Ont.

10 June 2014

We left the Peterborough dock on a great sunny day, perfect for going through the lift lock!

First we needed to go through the smaller Lock #20 “Asburnham”. As we entered the lock, the two front screws holding the shifter together popped out of the shifter. I was still able to get to the wall, but since today would have 6 locks in it, I wanted to see what was going on.

Since there was no traffic, the lock master said I could work on it until they needed the lock again. In about 10 minutes I got one of them back in and figured out that it would hold for the rest of the day.

We moved forward into the Peterborough Liftlock at 11:30. (Quick refresher on how Lift Locks work. There are two giant pans filled with water. They fill the upper pan with an additional 150 tons of water. Using two interlocking pistons the heavier pan pushes down which pushes the other pan up. Another case of “gravity is your friend” engineering.)


The lock crew we had talked to the day before were on duty and they remembered us. We were soon in place and going UP. The view from the front was pretty boring, just a massive concrete wall, but the view from the back was very disconcerting and exciting. The worry person (Worry is a poor use of imagination) about those tiny pins that hold the back wall of the pan in place. And what do all those pops and pings coming from the lock mean?

The exciting was watching the Peterborough countryside drop away below our stern. The first few moments are pretty slow, but as the momentum builds up as the heavier, upper pan starts to drop. It’s really like going up an elevator with an outside view minus the protective glass.

We were soon on our way for the 4 mile ride to Lock 22 Nassau Mills. It is really pretty stretch of river and it passes through the middle of the Trent University Campus. Since they are on the river, they have their own hydroelectric plant that supplies most of their electricity. The campus is connected by The Faryon bridge, which looks very cool from the water.

We arrive at the Nassau Mills lock at noon and watched the group in front of us sail away. We waited a few minutes and then tied off on the blue wall and headed up to see what the delay was. Everyone was gone, but we knew it was a roving crew, they would be back later. We had a great lunch that Susan made. I finally called and Zack said the would be back at 2PM. Since the lock system closes at 4 PM this didn’t bode well for us making it to Lakefield.

Susan spent the hour fishing, she caught two fish!


At 2:40, Zack shows up and we are up and away. He asked how far we wanted to go and got a frown when we said Lakefield. I reminded him that we had been at the lock since noon, he said he had seen us, but they were short handed.

We zoom the short distance to the next lock and we clear #23 Otonabee at 3:30. So there is a chance we will clear the next lock and be able to get to the bottom of Lakefield Lock.

At the base of the Douro lock we are met with the Lock supervisor of the Otonabee River locks. He said that this was as far as we could go, it was after 3:30 PM. This didn’t make me happy, but it was a nice spot, so we settled in for the evening.

We set up chairs on the lock wall in the shade of the trees. Our vista was the Otonabee river and a farm. We had cows coming down to drink and flocks of geese winging overhead. It was a very pastoral view, and with the last of my Churchkey Holy Smoke in hand it was a great place to relax.

Susan was all set to use (and show off) her amazing camping skills. She set up on the picnic table and soon was working on a great dinner of pan fried pork tenderloin, noodles and her version of “bubble and squeak” (fried cabbage). It was wonderful.

After dinner both Susan and I fished. Some nibbles, but no catches. Soon the mosquitoes drove us inside.

Tomorrow, on to Lakefield!


Trip to Douro, Ont

10 June 2014 Sunny 69 F SouthWest 2 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:15 AM Depart Peterborough
11:15 AM Clear Lock #20 Asburnham
11:30 AM Clear Lock #21 Peterbourogh Liftbridge
12:20 PM Base of #22 1.0 gal 4.9 nm
Susan catches a fish while we wait 2 hours
2:40 PM Move into Lock 22
3:00 PM Clear Lock #22 Nassau Mills
3:30 PM Clear #23 Ontonabee
3:40 PM Dock at Lock #24 Douro
Douro, Ontario
Summary elapsed 5.5 hr ave 1.2 kts 4.2 gal total 6.8 nm
1141.1 1122.2 809.9 top 10.7 kts 1.61 mpg

Rice Lake and Peterborough

7-9 June 2014

[Updated with pictures!]

I don’t know if you’ve looked at a map of our first part of the journey in Canada. We’ve gone about 90 miles on the water, but it’s only 50 miles by car back to Trenton. Or just 27 miles to the shore of Lake Ontario. It’s been lots of twists and turns along the river. Saturday (7 June) would be another of those days.

We left Hastings on Saturday morning and headed West. It’s just a short run to the eastern end of Rice Lake. We poked along the canal segment because of all the fishermen out on the water. This is really the second good weekend they’ve had this summer, so they are out making the most of it. Susan got into the swing by trolling along Morrow Point and into the lake.

Once on the lake it was throttles down and we were doing 10 kts on a very flat surface. While I did slow for fishing boats we made very good time. We passed a cruiser we had shared a dock with in Campbellford, they are working their way to the Georgian Bay.

After an 15 mile run, we took a right into the Otonabee River. The river is very, very narrow, with houses built up right to the waters edge. We took it slow for the remainder of the trip.


Susan tried trolling again, I put one engine in neutral and the other in idle and we moved along at 2.5 knots. A little fast, but about the best I could manage. She moved from the stern to the bow, that way she could cast off the front and her “bug lure” could sit a moment before moving on the water. We both saw big fish jump, but she didn’t have any takers.

20 Miles on the river we were at our first and only lock of the day. It was full with three other 18′ boats and the Quo Vadimus. We were soon locked through and nestled into our spot at Peterborough Marina. This is the first marina that we’ve been to that have braided the excess lines vs just dumping them on the dock!

There was a special present waiting for me, my wonder, awesome, amazing sister sent my hat to me!!! I had left it at her house and had missed it greatly.

We headed uptown to a hardware store, beverages, supplies and maybe some food. We stopped into the Only Boater’s World in Canada . It was small but very well stocked. I really miss the ones in the US, they were much nicer and less expensive than West Marine.

On our errand tour I found three used bookstores! I was able to pick up the two “new” Ian Ranking Inspector Rebus books.

Dinner was at Riley’s Old town Pub where we had plans to eat something and then go next door and shoot pool. But by the time we were done, the sun from the day had set in and we were ready to head back to the boat.

I hung out some with our new marina neighbors, but soon I was ready for bed and called it another very nice Canadian day.

Sunday started off great, I did a load of laundry and Susan and I had a great breakfast at Jack’s Chicken. (3 eggs, sausage, homefries, toast, coffee for $6.99!)

We then met up with Loopers here in Peterborough. She gave us a bag of local information and a jar of home made preserves. We talked about where we were going to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

We then set out on a great bike adventure to Lock 21, the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world. Opened on July 9, 1904, it’s been in use ever since. It’s very cool, there are two “pans” that you drive your boat into. The weight of the upper pan, pushes the lower pan up in the air. They add extra water to the upper pan so it weighs ~150 tons more than the lower. Gravity is then your friend.


We got to go in the control station and see the control panel. Very simple and everything is controlled by relays, no software involved. The pistons are driven by water pressure. They have a backup system of compressed air in case they need to move the pan up or down slightly.

After touring the lock and the visitor center we biked into town and ate at Gerti’s downtown. Traffic in downtown was very light, so I was not risking my life by riding around. I had steamed mussels in a broth, they were fabulous!


On Monday we hit Jack’s for breakfast and then headed over to the Canadian National Canoe Museum. I never realized that there were so many lakes, rivers and streams in Canada. Their canoe was their major mode of transportation in the 1700′s and 1800′s. We got to see very early 2-3 person canoes to a 30 foot long one that was used to transport goods.

Dinner was another attempt at Fish and Chips. The place in Trenton hadn’t met the mark and Susan wanted to try it again. So it was back to Jacks for F&C and they were very good. Highly recommended! Yes, we know that Jack’s is a chain, but even so, it has produced high quality food for us.

We are off to ride the Lift Lock on Tuesday!



June 7

I left out the obligatory eh? Because this is more about how beautiful the country side is, every day it gets better! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, and you can see how enthralled I am with the clear air and water.




Little hidden byways



Sky bleeding into the water



Look at the amazing garden!



I can imagine myself sitting here with a glass of wine and a couple of friends, want to be my friend?



Someone needs to fix up this old house on an island, maybe me?


The water today is so clear that you can see the fish nibbling on the hook.  It can only get better!




Trip to Peterborough, Ont

7 June 2014 Sunny 63F SouthWest 5 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
9:00 AM Depart Hastings
10:15 AM Trolling Morrow Point 8,000rpm 2.4kts
Susan trying to fish for 15 mins
11:00 AM Rainy Pt 2,300rpm 10.2kts 5.0gal 11.3 nm
Susan’s asparagas soup!
11:30 PM Otonabee River Entrance 7.4 gal 15.5 nm
Mostly No Wake for the next 20 miles
12:00 PM Campbelltown 8.9 gal 19.7 nm
1:00 PM Wallace Point 10.5gal 25.1 nm
1:15 PM 30 mins of single engine trolling
2:15 PM Lock 19 Scott’s Mills 12.7 gal 32.6 nm
2:45 PM Dock at Peterborough Marina
Peterborough, Ontario
Summary elapsed 5.2 hr ave 6.4 kts 26.0 gal total 33.7 nm
1138.6 1119.8 809.9 top 15.6 kts 1.30 mpg

Hastings, Ont

6 June 2014

Filled the aft water tank, the forward one is about 1/2 full and we will make it to Peterborough before it needs to be refilled.

In my check of the engines, I noticed that the shaft seal that is supposed to have a slight leak (water keeps it cool) but the leak was about a drop a second, which comes out to about a gallon every 8 hours.  I’ll keep an eye on it and if it gets worse, I’ll get a mechanic to tighten it. (It’s a 3″ nut, I don’t have a wrench that big).

We were off the dock at 11 and heading north to do our locks for the day.   Things were going great until Lock 16 in Healy Falls.  This is the lower of the double locks.

A double lock is one where the two locks share a center door.  The center door towers 70′ over you when you are in the bottom lock. They use the water from the upper lock to fill the lower lock.  In our case, there was a tugboat coming down while we were going up.  Because of this they wanted us to go as far forward in the lock as possible.

With her now normal skill, Susan got us on to the cable at the front.  As I moved the boat stern up against the wall there was a loud crack and a smack of something hitting the water.  The cable had broken and went crashing into the water next to Susan.  She quickly stepped back to the next cable, snagged it and tied off.

Deep breaths all around as I went back to tie the stern off.   There was a small pile of concrete from the wall on the walk way that the end of the cable had taken off the wall on it’s way down.  A black mark on the side of the cabin was the only mark on the boat. We were lucky.

We calmed down and soon the water level was rising. As the doors open we saw a 2 person tug come through the opening.  There is a side plate that said it was made from a Glenn-L design, and had the builders names on it.   It was piloted by an elderly couple who passed by and were soon tied up in the lower lock.

We then moved s l o w l y forward and got set for the next lift.  During it we looked up at the cables every few seconds to check on how they were doing.

We were soon in the winding Trent River.  Most of the trip was made a “No Wake” speed of 6nm or 10km per hour.  There are hundreds of houses along the shore with flat yards that run to the edge.  I can see how flooding or even a large wake could fill their yards.

We got docked at 4PM and did our shutdown sequence and we were soon on our way to <i>Banjo’s</i> for dinner.   It is a small place and they were playing 60-70′s songs in the background.  The food was good and we had a great time.

Next was a walk into town to look for post cards and to see what was around.  We found a used book store and stocked up since we won’t have a lot of internet access in the next 6 weeks.  So its back to dead tree books rather than e-books.

Susan replenished her fishing supplies and went back to the boat to read.  I grabbed a <i>Holy Smoke Beer </i> that I had gotten in Campbellford and went to talk to the dock residents. Two slips down from me is a smaller version of my boat, and I went to talk to the owner for awhile.   On the way back there was a group on the dock that I stopped and talked to for awhile.  They gave me great tips to places to go on our trip on the Waterway.   I also got a heads up on trash in the water on the other side of the lake.

Susan collected me about an hour later and we went to the corner ice cream store for sundae’s.   I stayed up to do some postings and to check out the stars.  Being away from the light pollution really opens up the night time sky with billions and billions of stars.

(I added the picture from the morning to get the marina sign, but you know how Mr. Photo Bomb is … )


June Belle Report

We get asked How is Belle doing? I’ll side step the answer of Thanks for asking, I’m doing fine and so is Susan. to get to your question about a cat.

She is doing well, she has sorted out places to sleep.

* Her cat bed in the salon
* A blanket at the foot of the bed on my side
* A blanket on the Salon Bench
* A blanket on the Pilot house bench

At night, on the pilot house bench. During the day, in her cat bed. While we are underway, at the foot of our bed (the rock and roll is far less there) and when we are up and about either the Salon Bench or the Pilot House Bench.

She has become a little more active, she will make an effort to interact with us. She has figured out where the brushes and combs are, and will go stare at the door until someone gets a brush. She has taught us when she wants water and food.

She still hasn’t gotten into the “We now do not get up at 5AM” cycle. She will come meow promptly at 5. And if you get up before that time to go to the head (marine word for toilet), she thinks you are fair game.


She will lay in the pilot house door sill and watch the geese. She will walk out on the back cockpit if we are docked. She will come up to see us on the flybridge if it’s smooth and we’ve been out for more than 4 hours.

She is eating her food, drinking tons of water and putting it in the correct place, so that’s all good.

And as you can see from the entry picture, she is interested in boat things, she was trying to help sort out one of the lines.

Bottom line is that Susan and I are doing very well, thanks for asking, oh yea the cat is doing well also.


Trip to Hastings, Ont

6 June 2014 Sunny 68F SouthWest 7 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:55 AM Depart Campbellford
11:30 AM Clear Lock 13 Campbellford
12:05 PM Clear Lock 14 Crowe Bay 1.9 nm
Another day of No Wake
12:40 PM Clear Lock 15 0.9 4.5 nm
Next two locks are doubles
1:15 PM Clear Lock 16 Healy Falls Lower 0.9 gal 4.5 nm
2:15 PM Clear Lock 17 Healy Falls Upper
2:30 PM Dope Pt Bridge 2.5 gal 10.6 nm
3:35 PM Clear Lock 18 Hastings
3:45 PM Dock at Hastings Marina
Hastings, Ontario
Summary elapsed 4.9 hr ave 3.7 kts 10.7 gal total 17.3 nm
1133.6 1114.7 809.9 top 17.3 kts 1.63 mpg

Reflections on Campbellford

June 5

We stayed an extra day in Campbellford and went on a hike to go back and see the lock we had traversed the day before, which is in the latest video,


a suspension bridge over a gorge,



and some waterfalls. 


Campbellford is a great little city – the hike was just the right length, and there were more beautiful views and interesting neighborhoods as we walked back to the boat. 


We enjoyed stopping a second time at the Stinking Rose pub to relax before boarding the boat, and making dinner.  Close to sunset, the river through town got glassy and gave us some great reflective shots.




Campbellford, Ont

We puttered off the lock wall about 10AM heading north through a river full of geese and their babies. We all swam along at No Wake Speed until we got out of the canal and into the river. Leaving the geese behind we headed off to our first few locks. They went pretty well, even with some wind we did pretty well in Locks 7 and 8. We picked up another boat at Lock 9, they would lead us through the next 4 locks.

The next two went well, and then it was time for Locks 11 and 12, a double lock. When you pull into the lower level, the top of the next lock door is 55 feet above you. They close the doors behind you and lift you up the first 25 feet. The water from the upper chamber is used to fill the lower one. Then the front door is opened and you pull into the next chamber. It fills and in the space of about 45 minutes we’ve been lifted 48 feet up the river. I felt very very small in the lower chamber looking up to the upper lock.

We wanted to dock on the east side of the river, but after checking it out, found out that there wasn’t any wi-fi. So we spun the boat around and went to the other side if the river. We got settled in pretty quickly once we figured out where power was on the wall.

We checked in and got a recommendation to a tiny pub called the Stinking Rose Pub. It’s a tiny place with 4 seats at the bar and 5 more tables. I had the Red Pail Ale (named for the firefighters) and it was very good. Susan has one of the local Pinot Grigio’s. We sat and drank, and read dead tree papers! I hadn’t sat and read a paper in years, it brought back good memories.

One of their regular customers comes in selling freshly picked asparagus and rhubarb. So we got some of each. The bar owner is also the brewmaster of Church Key Brewery, he made arrangements for a ride to take us out to the Brewery.

We went out and got a tour of the plant, it’s built inside an old church. The high ceilings in the altar area made it perfect for the huge tanks needed. The second story Choir loft was the brewmasters office. At the other end, the narthex make a great selling area for the beer and shirts. We tried a few that we had not had a the Stinking Rose and ended up with 2 sixpacks and a growler and of course a cool shirt!

We got a ride back to the boat and stashed our treasures and went to the Bridge Restaurant for a small dinner. After dinner it was off to the store to get ice to keep my new treasures cold.

On Thursday, Susan made asparagus soup and cleaned the remaining stalks for dinner. She then made a rhubarb crumble for dessert.

After lunch we took a taxi back down to the lock to get pictures. Still pretty scary and I was on the outside this time.

We walked home. First across the suspension bridge designed to get you across the river and into the park. We then took the river trail, walking along the river to the two sets of falls. There are some great pictures in the Campbellford gallery.

Once exiting the park we walked to the local candy factory to see what they have. Turns out they make the chocolate covered cherries I get every year. Never thought that they were made in Canada.

We went to the post office to mail post cards and a very small package. It cost $11.80 to send it about 15 miles. So I need to quit complaining about the cost of the US Postal Service.

We then stopped at The Stinking Rose for a Small beer. It’s a beer that is the second cycle of the cooking process, they add water and let it cook some more. The ABV is only about 3% compared to the 5.5% of the first batch. It’s a light ale, but has pretty decent flavor profiles. And of course we read the paper again!

Susan made steak, fried mushrooms, and slightly steamed asparagus. The crumble for dessert was really nice.

We picked a good day to stay, it was grey outside and a little chilly. Friday and Saturday are much better weather days and should make for nice traveling.


Trip to Campbellford, Ont

4 June 2014 Sunny 66F West 17 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
10:00 AM Depart Lock 6 Wall
11:00 AM Clear Lock 7 2.4 gal 5.7 nm
12:30 AM Clear Lock 8 7.6 gal 15.7 nm
We pick up a partner
12:55 PM Clear Lock 9 7.8 16.7 nm
1:25 PM Clear Lock 10 8.1 gal 18.0 nm
Next two locks are doubles
2:15 PM Clear Lock 11
2:35 PM Clear Lock 12 8.6 gal 19.9 nm
3:20 PM Dock at Campbellford Visitors Center
Campbellford, Ontario
Summary elapsed 5.2 hr ave 4.0 kts 18.0 gal total 21.1 nm
1130.0 1111.1 809.9 top 13.4 kts 1.17 mpg

Trenton and Frankford

1-3 June 2014

We decided to take a travel break and go explore Ontario while in Trenton. We had stopped at the Chamber of Commerce information center and picked up a map of places to go. There was a Cheese festival scheduled for Picton (about a 40 min ride) so we headed off to do that.

Minor snag, it was Sunday and we had not really planned ahead to rent a car. Craig, the Fraser Park dock master to the rescue. He knew who to call and by noon we were headed south.

Lunch was at the Culinary School in Picton. We ate at their Pub and the food was good. They had a new beer, Barley Days Brewery – Wind and Sail Dark Ale . Very nice, the brewery was next door and I was able to get 6 to go. Our orginal plan was to come via Picton so we drove the downtown harbor area. Very pretty, it would have been a good place to stay.

It turns out that Prince George’s County Ontario is like the Finger Lakes of NY, loaded with small family run winery. Lots of them only produce 2000-3000 cases of wine per year. Most of their production is sold on site. To sell in the stores they need to have a pretty good production run. One place we stopped had sold the entire run of one wine, so there wasn’t any to try. It was a pretty day, we saw lots of cool stuff and it was fun to play tourist.

We also got a pretty good education in wine making. At one place the wine maker was there and I asked how she got started. She was studying at University to be a bio-chemical engineer. She was working at the wine store on the counter when the wine maker quit. She talked with the owners, lots of her training was similar to what is needed for wine making, so they hired her on. So another cool example of a STEM job!

Sunday dinner was at the local Fish and Chips shop across from the marina. Susan opted for traditional, I went for scallops. They were both good, but the fries were the best part.

First thing Monday we got up and worked on the boat. While I worked on getting the air conditioner running, Susan was able to get all the pollen and water stains off the windows. I got them treated with RainX (thanks Tom!)to help with our visibility issues. I was also able to get the stains off the swim platform.

We soon headed to our first Trent-Severn Lock. We had a partner, Miller Time from Michigan. They lead the way through the six locks. Six locks took us 3 hours and we only went 7 miles. The entire distance is done at No Wake (6kts/10kmh) speeds. We opted to stay at the top of Lock 6 in Frankford, Ontario. They pushed on, they are trying to get back home.

Locks in Canada (so far) have been easier, since they have cables that run up and down the walls. Susan picks the cable she wants, and points (like Babe Ruth into the outfield). I follow her direction and get us to the cable. She loops a line around, one end on a cleat, the other end under the cleat and to her hand so she can control the boat. Once she is secure, I bump the boat into reverse, and it backs slowly to the wall. I go back and do the same “line around the cable” move. This will be a little trickier on the down locks. On the up locks the cable is right there, on a down lock it will be close to the water line.

Our stay in Frankford was nice. We set up lawn chairs on the grass and read. The lock is part of a park, there is RV’s, a stage (next week is a Jazz festival) and a small snack stand (where I got a blue freezy pop and turned my toung blue) Later in the afternoon I got out my ham radio equipment and was able to make contact with three other radio operators. We had a nice 20 min chat before I packed up for the night.

Susan made a wonderful pot roast, salt potatoes and a zucchini/squash/tomato dish. It is truly amazing what she can make in such a small space. After dinner, she tried her hand at fishing. I was watching the kids on the dock wall, they were tracking a “yellow belly turtle” in the lock entrance. It swam our way and I was able to scoop it up. The kids were thrilled and everyone had a good look before it went back into the water.

It rained overnight and was still raining in the morning. It was supposed to clear off, but we decided to wait for a nicer day to move north. Susan made us pot roast sandwiches for lunch. While she worked on her videos and got a nap in, I spent time learning about the other ham radio I brought aboard. I also put together the Trip Summary Chart to show how far we’ve gone (650 miles) and how much fuel we’ve burned. Our estimate is holding up, we’ve done about 10% of the distance in 10% of the time and we are getting about 1 Mile Per Gallon. The long runs along the ocean and Lake Ontario make up for the pokey days in the locks.

For dinner Susan made some sausages we purchased on Sunday. They were wine infused and they were very good. She also made her zucchini straws with garlic, very nice.

I spent another hour with the ham radio trying to make contacts with some partial success while Susan tried her new fishing lures.

It’s off to Campbellford in the morning. A little farther trip at 20 miles, but 6 locks so it will be some work.

(Trip Summary can be found at the About group at the top of the page, it’s the third choice)


Trip to Frankford, Ont

2 June 2014 Sunny 77F West 10 kts
Time Location RPM Speed Fuel Distance
9:45 AM Depart Fraser Park Marina, Trenton, Ont.
10:00 AM In Lock 1
10:35 AM Clear Lock 1
All this will be at 6kts
10:57 AM Clear Lock 2
11:27 AM Clear Lock 3 1.1 gal 3.6 nm
11:56 AM Clear Lock 4
12:26 PM Clear Lock 5
12:50 PM Clear Lock 6
1:00 PM Dock at Upper Wall Lock 6
Frankford, Ontario
Summary elapsed 3.1 hr ave 2.1 kts 4.0 gal total 6.6 nm
1125.8 1106.9 809.9 top 7.6 kts 1.65 mpg

O’ Canada!

May 31, 2014

So here we are, made it at last!  The trip across Lake Ontario was really easy since the water was very flat.  It took quite a while so I had time for a nap!  Once we were close to the shore, we went through a sailboat race, which you can see in the video.  I didn’t see anyone shaking a fist at us, but it was not clear sailing for a little while, since we have to give the right of way to sail boats.

Once we got through that hazard we were into a little canal and through some swing bridges.  The swing bridges were pretty neat – they wait until you get right up on them to swing through, and then at the first bridge the bridge keeper came out with a little brass cup on the end of an extendable pole to collect the $5 fee for passing through.  There was little to no wind, but I wondered what would happen if a strong breeze blew my money out of the cup!

It wasn’t long after that we came to the town of Trenton, in Ontario, where we are docking for at least the night.  We were surrounded by loopers at this marina, and they’d all come from different starting points, so Foster had fun chatting for a while.

We lucked out at this marina with an excellent wifi connection, but our prior experience has been that we have wifi about 30% of the time at marinas.  Sometimes the marina offers wifi but we can’t connect because the signal is too weak.  That was no biggie in the states since we used Foster’s me-fi, but international data is ridiculously expensive so we either have to rely on the marina, find a temporary me-fi here in Canada, or go without.

We cleared customs with no issues and then set off on some errands and exploration.  Foster exchanged money, we stopped at the tourist bureau to see what our options are, the liquor store to try some Canadian beers and wine, an interesting sort of dollar store/food store, and finally a very  nice asian restaurant called Thai Sushi where we drank Tsing Tao and Tiger beer, and ate some very good sushi.

Have some more posts to add, but also wanted to draw your attention to the updated gallery section.  There is a page with all the videos linked so you don’t have to search through posts to get to the video.  There’s also a lot more new photo galleries added!