6 – 7 July 2014
Port Severn and the last lock in the Trent Severn Waterway
Today is an exciting day for us, it’s the last lock of the Trent Severn System, next lock is in 30 days!
After breakfast we pulled up the anchor and rehung all of the bumpers. We slowly moved past Starpoint and were soon on the blue line waiting our chance. The Port Severn lock is one of the smallest in the system. They were planning to put us (45′) and a 35′ boat together, it was going to be close quarters.
We got situated, their anchor was next to the cockpit rail on our boat. I could reach out and touch it. On the way down I talked a little to the people while I was hanging an extra fender to keep us from damaging them on the way out the gate.
At the bottom we had to push our nose into the center of the lock so the doors (they swing in) could clear our bow. A few minutes later we were off.
And into what looked like a ski slalom course. There were over a dozen markers showing where the very tiny channel was. Lucky for us there were no other big boats and we were able to get through the area quickly and safely.
Our next challenge was to make the turns at Potato Island Channel another place that does not have room for two larger boats to pass. We waited while a trio of 32′ foot boats came through and then it was our turn. It’s good that I’ve been practicing spinning the boat, we needed to make a sharp left and then a sharp right turn to follow the channel.
On our port horizon was Midland, we were going to Henry’s for lunch. Susan spied a 3 masted boat with full sailes so we chased it down and got some good pictures of it. We then turned north and headed to Midland.
We soon entered into Wye Heritage Marina, the largest marina in Canada. It indeed was huge. We got great slips, about a 5 minute walk to Henry’s. We sat on the deck with a group of motor cycle riders out for the day. When we sat down, they remarked that they would need to clean their language up. I said not to bother we were sailors, salty sailors invented swearing.
We had heard much about Henry’s, it was on the Saveur Top 100 list in 2001. So we had high expectations. Susan had the pan fried pickerel which she said was very good, but not as good as the deep fried pickerel she had at Big Chute. I had what I thought was going to be a cheese-steak, but turned out to be great roast beef with fried onions and peppers.
After lunch we header out of Midland and into the Severn Sound and towards the small boat channel leading to Brandy’s Island. The channel is well marked except for the entrance to the marina. You can’t come directly off the channel, you need to go around the corner and in that way. Once there it’s easy to find things. We were soon at the dock of Brandy’s Island Marina. The manager hopped on our boat with us to direct the way. Our first pass was a little off, I had misjudged the wind and we had to back out and start again.
By this point we collected a crowd. Everyone lined up and as the wind pushed us into the dock they grabbed lines and slid us into place. Very nice and easy.
I checked us in at the marina office and on the way back got a request by the people that helped to see the inside of the boat. So we did a quick clean and loaded 12 guests aboard for a quick tour. Everyone loved the boat, Belle was not amused by all the extra people but she got through it OK.
After a great dinner of Shepard’s Pie I went out to talk to our new boat neighbors for about 2 hours. And as always, in Ontario, the topic became “Butter Tarts”. Basic understanding is that Moms or Grand-Moms make the best one. And a small battle over if you put raisins in a plain butter tart is is still a plain or is now a raisin. There is a faction that sides with the “raisins make a plain tart, just the mix on it’s own is just boring.”
The rain came overnight but it wasn’t as heavy as we expected, but the wind kept us rocking and rolling in our slip.
We spent Monday morning wishing Dave a happy 21st birthday and getting some of these back stories posted.
We are off on Tuesday to Beausoleil Island, we may spend Wednesday there if the weather stays nice.