Our trip home and returning to life back in Winnipeg

We left Bancroft around 7:30 and took highway 118 through Haliburton and continued on it until we reached Carnarvon, where we turned on to highway 35.  We went through Dorset and proceeded until we connected up with highway 11 near Huntsville.  We continued on to North Bay and got onto highway 17, the Trans Canada, where we gassed up at 10:40.  We remained on hwy 17 going through Sudbury and to our final destination for the day- Sault ste. Marie.   Arriving around 3:30, after travelling 700 Km.

There wasn’t much traffic for a Friday, and the leaves on the trees were just starting to turn from green to yellow.  We met up with Pat and Marcia Gillespies for supper at wild wings.  It was great seeing them, as it was 2019, when we had last visited them. I didn’t have a great night—the bed in our hotel room was very hard almost like sleeping on the floor, I pulled out the extra pillows and slept on top of them- but it wasn’t much better.

On Saturday, we got up and left shortly after 7:00.   We were going to do some reconnaissance for our planned Lake Superior circle tour by boat in 2023.

  Our first stop after gassing up in the Sault was Katherine cove, we had never anchored here but it does seem quite sheltered, and has a nice sandy beach. 

Then it was on to Wawa, where we made a pit stop at the Welcome centre.  Here’s some pictures from there.

Then it was on to Marathon, on the road leading into town, we saw a large cat crossing the road- likely a lynx- but I was too slow with my camera to get a picture.  We then went down to the boat launch to see if anything had changed there.  The docks were as they had been in 2019, when we had stayed there during the Marathon town’s 75 anniversary.

  It does look like something is happening at the old mill dock, but we couldn’t reach it to investigate further as there were closed gates.  But here’s a picture from across the water. 

We then went in search of the Peninsula—the Marathon pulp tug boat which we had seen in 2019.

The boat was originally built in 1943, used for decades in Marathon and then brought back in 2018.  But we couldn’t find it, after stopping an OPP officer we were told that there was an issue trying to lift it on shore, so it had been dismantled in 2020.  The town was concerned about liabilities, as the boat was full of asbestos and other hazardous materials like benzene, lead and PCB’s.

After lunch, we continue on our mission of checking out possible marinas along he north shore of Lake superior. First stop was Rossport, there was a dock here, but signs that said no docking allowed.

There was a second dock, but we didn’t visit it.  Upon checking the website for the Rossport marina, it seems a little outdated as the last entry was from 2009.  Might not be stopping here.

So, it was on to Nipigon, which is a larger centre with more amenities.  Here’s a look at this marina. 

This looks more promising, and they have diesel. 

I spoke with a Parks Canada employee, and he directed me to the marina office, which was closed, but I did get some pictures of information which will be useful.

Our next stop was Red Rock,

which also has a marina.  Some of the docks appear to have power, this looks the most promising. 

This blurb was taken from their website: the building will offer boaters washrooms, shower and laundry facilities.  Additional amenities include Wi-fi access, the marina restaurant and superior treasures gift shop.  Gas and diesel fuel, pump out, water, electrical and launch facilities are available from May to October.  The posted slip fee was 0.85 per foot. Unfortunately, the marina office had already closed for the day, but we will be in contact over the winter to get more information.

After our visit to Red rock, we gassed up at Pass lake and then continued on to Thunder Bay and checked into our hotel.  We met my friend Teresa and her partner Maureen for supper at a Chinese restaurant close to our hotel.    We had a very nice visit with the two of them.

On Sunday morning, we left the hotel before 7:00.  It was still dark out, and as we left Thunder Bay it began to rain.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic heading west, but we did meet many trucks heading east.  As we got nearer to Kenora, the traffic increased.  We crossed into Manitoba around noon, and continued towards home, arriving around 2:00.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon, unpacking the car and checking out the yard and garden.  The weeds have once again taken over the garden, however I did find some of my tomatoes and peppers.

On Monday, I spent some time in the garden pulling weeds, but progress was slow.  We also went grocery shopping, as our fridge was bare.  On Tuesday, more weeding took place in the garden and flower beds, and I cut the lawn. I have now accumulated 9 bags of garden weeds.    Andy went golfing and I met them for supper at Tapp’s in the Dakota Inn.  On Wednesday, I started spraying the remaining weeds with Roundup in order to kill them off before pulling any more out.  I also installed Microsoft office 2016 onto Andy’s new computer, which took me some time, as the instructions were not very intuitive.  But I finally got it done, now he can play around in Windows 11 and open up his old files. I will spend a little time everyday for the next few weeks in the garden killing weeds, before I roto-till the garden.  I found after the first couple of days that my right wrist, was numb or pins and needles through the night—I likely have carpal tunnel in this wrist, and the act of repetitively pulling weeds has inflamed it.

I will also   start purging stuff in the house in order to get it ready for our move next year.  Here’s an updated picture of the construction.  Progress seems to be a little slow, and we were informed that earliest move-in is now slated for mid July. 

We are going to contact the management company to see if we could move in later in September, so that it doesn’t mess up our summer boating plans.

For Thanksgiving, the plan is to go to Swan River to visit with my sisters and other family.

Fall is in the air, time to go home!

We left the lock before 8:00 and tied up at BYH gas dock just after 8:00.  Ralph came onto the boat and took a look at the new leak on the port engine.  After consulting with the manual and looking on-line, it was determined that we needed a damper.  Andy sent pictures and contacted Rovan, who had sent us the washers for our leak on the Starboard engine.  They didn’t respond until the following day with what we needed and a cost. While we waited at the gas dock for this, Andy spent multiple hours, working on stripping and re-staining the teak railing. He was able to strip and stain almost ¾ of it. 

Around 4:00 Friday, we moved into Peter’s slip at BYH, as he was away on his boat.  Once there I did a thorough washing of the decks to try to remove the sanding dust.  We didn’t do any more sanding and staining here, as we were in close proximity to other fiberglass boats.  We will finish the teak work, once we are back at a lock wall.

On Saturday morning, I went into Lakefield to do laundry.  I was curious to find out where the laundry, in case I ever need to go there from the lock.  It would be a fair hike, but likely not as far as going to the laundry in Frankford—so it is doable.  On my return I stopped at Foodland for a few things.  Shortly after noon, David arrived at the boat, he was coming to do a few more updates to our Garmin electronics.

  Around 3:00, we decided to take the boat out for a test drive, so he could see some of our issues while it was running.  Since he had never been through a lock, we proceeded to go down through lock 31, and once we were at the bottom we turned around and came right back up, as the new fall hours are in effect and the locks close at 4:30.  People watching, must have though we were crazy—who would go through the lock twice.  Only us—I guess I needed more practice.  After cruising in upper buckhorn lake, with David driving, we returned to the marina.

   David then installed the JVC radio/CD player to replace the one on the boat that was no longer functioning.  It took him less than 10 minutes to complete this task, Andy and I had looked at the instructions about a week ago—and it was all Greek to us.  It’s great to be able to play CD’s again and hopefully have better radio reception.  For supper we ordered pizza, and David was on his way back to Hamilton.

On Sunday we got up and did a little cleaning, we then left the slip and moved to the blue line at the Buckhorn lock.  We were through and travelled to Lovesick lock and were through it by noon.  We tied up at the wall below the lock.  We were joined by a number of other boats.  One was a looper boat called Wild willy with Casey and Kerry, who I immediately recognized.  

We had previously met them on A dock at Victoria Harbour marina, however at the marina they had a different boat.  We had a long visit with them talking about their looping experience.   I had noticed that the Canadian flags at all the locks are at half-mast as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth.

On Monday morning, rain was in the forecast so we left Lovesick around 10:30 and travelled to Burleigh Falls, and were through the lock by 11:10, we then moved on to Young’s Point, and were through by 12:20.  We decided to tie up at the bottom, and the rains started shortly thereafter.  In the afternoon, we went to Lock side Trading to shop and get ice cream. We were disappointed regarding the ice cream as they no longer had staff in the café- so no ice cream for us.  We then walked over to the general store, but there was no ice cream or baking there, so we went home empty handed.  It rained most of the evening and overnight.

On Tuesday we left Young’s point at 9:15 and slowly moved to Lakefield and were tied up there by 10:15. There was rain in the forecast for the afternoon, but we decided to finish sanding the teak railing on the starboard front quarter.  Our thoughts were that if it was to rain, we could always cover the raw wood with saran wrap to keep it dry.  It took Andy and I almost 3 hours to complete this task, but all the old stain was off by 2:00.  I then swept up the sanding dust, followed by washing the deck using by anchor wash hose.  I covered the wood with saran, and we waited for the rain.  When it didn’t materialize, we decided to put on the stain.  Andy gave the raw wood a good coat, and did the remainder of the railing with a light coat.   We spent some time reading on the back sundeck in the sun, and there was no rain in sight. The rain didn’t materialize in the night either, so the railing will get a second coat of stain today.

 On Wednesday morning we walked into Lakefield and bought a couple things at Foodland, on our way back we stopped at the café for coffee, a muffin and Central Smith ice cream- definitely not as good as Kawartha.  We went back to the boat, and in the afternoon, the railing got another coat.  It was very breezy, and quite overcast.

On Thursday, we left at about 9:30, and crossed the two lakes before arriving at Burleigh Falls.  We encountered a triple threat here—we locked through with 3 houseboats, but since we were the last boat in and out, no mishaps.  We followed the three boats to Lovesick and we decided to tie up on the bottom.  We visited with the other boaters there, and Andy gave the teak a few touch ups.  He put the dinghy down later in the afternoon and cruised around the area feeding his remaining worms to the fish.

 While he was gone, I watched the neighboring boats play bean bag toss.

  When he returned to the boat, he still had a few worms left and caught a few “blue gills”.   He filleted them and we had them for breakfast on Friday. 

Friday morning was cool, and it was raining.  We locked through on the second lockup with 2 other cruisers around 10:30. We arrived at Buckhorn lock about an hour later and locked through, earlier in the week we had worried about staying at the lock, but there were only 3 boats tied up on that dreary day.  We continued on to BYH, and tied up near the gas dock.  Andy checked in with the service department, as well as Cindy in the canvas shop.  Our part for the fuel leak had arrived and will be installed likely on Monday.  Cindy agreed to meet with us in the afternoon to go over our requirement for a solar canopy over our sundeck.  We met with her for about an hour in the afternoon, looking at Andy’s sketches, pictures from another PT 35 that we had seen a canopy on

and the materials that were available.  It is possible that she may be able to make the frame the following week. 

We returned to the boat, and packed a bag or two, as we were going up to Bancroft to spend the weekend with Brian and Helen, as Saturday was Brian’s 70th birthday.  We stopped at the Bancroft Kawartha store for ice cream. We had a lovely dinner of bbq roast beef, potatoes, cabbage rolls and cake for dessert.

Saturday morning, Andy and Brian went golfing, only 9 holes as it was Andy’s first golf game for 2022.  Here’s the pair of them in the afternoon after their outing, the 70+ year old needed afternoon naps. 

While they were out Helen and I went to downtown Bancroft and did some shopping as well as stopping at the farmer’s market.  For dinner, we went to the Bird’s Creek café, and then returned to the house for wine, cupcakes and ice cream. 

We saw this wild turkey family return to the bush near their house, they have a daily routine of walking out of the bush each morning and returning before nightfall.

Sunday morning, we woke up to heavy rain.   We left Brian and Helen’s around 9:30 and headed to Buckhorn and the boat.  It continued to rain, we caught up on some missed episodes of Coronation Street and started packing up the boat. 

On Monday morning, Andy went and checked with the service staff, regarding our leak.    Mark came around 10:30 and installed the damper fitting on the port engine.   We were told that we would be pulled out on Tuesday, so the packing continued, and I defrosted the freezer.  Cindy and Amanda from the canvas shop came around noon, and took some measurements for the solar canopy.    In the afternoon, Andy decided to change the oil in the two engines are we had put on about 125 hours over the summer.  After he warmed up the two engines, it took about an hour to complete this task.

  He also topped up the water in the batteries.   By running the engines, Andy noticed a slight leak in the starboard engines, so went back to the service staff, and asked to have the spare damper fitting installed on that engine as well.

We waited until 4:30, and since no one came to do the repair, we decided to go to Lakefield.  I wanted to do laundry including our bedding, so that I wouldn’t have to take it home.    We returned to the boat by 6:30 and had a late supper.  We continued to sort through and pack up things that needed to be stored, as well as stuff that we wanted to take home.

On Tuesday morning, Andy moved the car and we started loading it up.    We completed packing shortly after 9:00.  Andy also got confirmation from Renogy that the additional solar panels and clips were shipped.  We drove back to Bancroft to stay at Brian and Helen’s.  

  After lunch, Helen and I went downtown to do some shopping, and I bought some yarn for an upcoming project.  We will be returning to the boat on Thursday to check on the progress of the boat top.

Our plan is to leave Bancroft Friday morning and go to the Sault.  We originally had hoped to go via Owen Sound and the Chi cheemaun on ferry, but couldn’t get a reservation until Sunday, so that side trip won’t happen again this year. We were told that there are lots of people, likely seniors, doing the fall colours tours

so bookings are hard to get at this time of year.  We also found that hotel rooms in Sault St. Marie on Friday night were very limited. On Saturday we hope to make it as far as Thunder Bay.  No more two-day driving marathons to Winnipeg—we’re too old for that!

Wednesday, we did our own tour of the area, going to Haliburton, as Brian was getting his 5th covid shot.  We went up into the Haliburton highlands one way and returned on a different route.  Lots of leaves are changing to yellow and red.

While in Haliburton we did some shopping and went for lunch.   Once we were back, I pulled out knitting needles and started playing with tension and the new wool.  In the evening we watched a little TV, and I read a book.

On Thursday morning- the first day of fall

I got some sad news from my friend Veronique she told me a recently retired colleague, Bert Siemens had passed away suddenly last weekend, and his funeral would be on Saturday. This was a bit of a shock, Bert and I had worked together for years on the Harvest survey.  Later in the morning, Andy and I drove back to the boat to check on the progress of the deck cover and winterizing.   We were disappointed to learn that our boat was exactly where we had left it on Tuesday,

we were told it was too tall for the canvas shop space.  Some progress had occurred with respect to the new top.  When I got to the boat, Amanda was adding some clips to the radar arch.  Cindy and Andy had some final discussions about the top and the attachments.  We then went to the canvas shop to see the assembled stainless-steel structure, as well as the canvas material that will be covering it. 

Upon leaving BYH, we picked up pizza for lunch and then some fruit for the road and filled up with gas at Curve Lake.  Enroute to Bancroft, we stopped at Kawartha for the final taste of ice cream, I had a scoop of coconut and pumpkin pie.  The pumpkin pie ice cream actually had some pellets of pastry dough in it- this will not be a favourite! There are frost warnings out for this evening– so it is time to go…..

We plan to leave tomorrow morning and should be home by Sunday night. Another year of boating in Ontario has ended, we were here for almost 4 months. I think we used our mooring pass 72 times and travelled through 145 locks as well as spending a week in the thousand islands. Remarkable value for spending $650 on our Parks Canada mooring and locking passes! What a great country we live in, the boating here is amazing, as well as the ice cream!

Made a u-turn, spending time around Buckhorn

  On arrival, at the Buckhorn lock, we still have the smell of diesel- so the leak was not completely fixed.  Andy spent some time phoning around looking for the gasket or washers that we require.  He was able to find what he thinks we need, and they will be shipped to BYH next week.  We took a walk on Saturday afternoon to Foodland for a couple of things.  There is a peregrine falcon nest in a tree above the lock, which still has young birds in it, wanting to be fed, so the 2 parents are constantly either guarding the nest or bringing in food. 

On Saturday Andy spent some time on his computer, cleaning up files and deleting duplicates, so that his file system will be ready for migration to his new computer. The Kawartha Voyageur was docked at the lock.

We were through the Buckhorn lock by 9:25 on Sunday and headed towards Burleigh Falls, as we were going to meet Dalaina and Roy from Just Wright there.  We hadn’t seen them since the Thousand Islands, but had been in touch by text.  We went through the Lovesick lock at 10:10 and arrived at Burleigh around 10:30. There was no place on the wall, and boats had until 11:00 to vacate, so we were advised to go through the lock and bobble around on Stony Lake for awhile.  We were through the lock at 10:40. We waited for a couple of lock throughs each way and came through at 12:15 and tied up on the upper wall.   

 Our friends came through about a half hour later, and tied up across the lock.  Around 2:00, the spot next to us cleared, and Just Wright joined us on the same wall.  We visited with them at the picnic table with a few drinks.   By the time the lock closed we were the only two boats at this lock.  On Monday morning, it was a little windy, and we decided to move to Lovesick.   We went for a walk to the Burleigh falls inn before 9:00, but not much was opened. 

On our return to the boat, Andy called Lovesick lock and was told there was room for both boats below the lock.  So, we fired up and went the 2miles and tied up there by 10:30.

One other boat was just coming through the lock, but we were all able to fit on the wall.  I walked around and took pictures of the very extensive perennial garden, as well as the sign board about the legend of Lovesick.

We spent the afternoon reading at the picnic table, until the rain started, when we moved inside.  Around 7:00, we were once again able to meet at the table, since we had heard that there were raccoons on the island, we sprayed some vinegar around the wall near our boat as a deterrent.  In the evening Andy and I played cards.

On Tuesday morning, more rain and strong winds were predicted, so we decided to go back to Buckhorn to see if our parts for the fuel injector had arrived.    Andy had some time before the locks opened so he put the dinghy in the water and tried fishing near the dam.

  We were through the Lovesick lock at 9:35 and through Buckhorn at 10:45, and tied up on the wall with Just Wright.  We had rain off and, on all afternoon, so stayed inside.  Our part had not come in yet.  We had drinks with Roy and Dalaina at 5:00 in our salon.  We played cards in the evening- Andy is on a winning streak, I haven’t won more than a game or two a week.

In the morning, rain and wind was predicted, so we decided to get the car and go into Bobcaygeon, so that I could catch on the laundry.  Andy took down one of the folding bikes and pedalled to the marina in order to get the car. 

He then put the bike in the trunk and came back to the lock.  Around 10:00, Andy, Roy, Dalaina and I went to Bobcaygeon.  While I was at the laundry mat, the other three went to the LCBO, Beer store and grocery store.  Once I was done, they picked me up and we did a little tour of the best of Bobcaygeon, we showed them the Kawartha Dairy production plant- (no we didn’t stop for ice cream), Kawartha Settler’s village, Bigley’s shoes, and the location of the farmer’s market.  We stopped at the British store, as we saw a sign that they were going out of business, I bought some raspberry preserve with famous grouse scotch as well as a jar of red pepper relish, Andy bought a tweed cap. Dalaina bought a dish towel and a really neat Scottish bag/purse.

We drove back to Buckhorn with our purchases and had lunch.  Buckhorn Yacht Harbour called to let us know that our parts for the injector pump had arrived, hopefully they can be installed on Thursday, and that will put an end to the fuel leak. Around 2:00 we drove to Foodland for a couple additional items, then we took Roy and Dalaina to Buckhorn Yacht harbour to show them the marina.  On the way back we stopped at the Adam and Eve rocks for photos. 

We had a brief rain shower, and some very strong winds in the afternoon.  We had drinks and appetizers at the picnic table around 4:30. While sitting at the table, another boater walked by and told us that he had seen our boat in the Peterborough lift lock the previous week on YouTube.  He said the text accompanying the video was in Chinese, so we’re not sure if we’ll find it.  Andy remembered a crowd of Asian people at the top of the lock with cameras.  Small world!

 We bbq’d for supper, and then Andy checked our house batteries and added water to them.

In the morning, Andy returned our car to BYH, and had one of the guys bring him back to the lock.  He fired up the engines and we moved the boat to the gas dock at BYH.  We filled up with water and pumped out.  Ralph came down with the parts for the injector and replaced the washer.  All seems to be good. We left BYH at 9:05 and headed across the lakes to Bobcaygeon.  The wind was blowing, and there were some waves on the lake.  We arrived at Bobcaygeon at 11:00 and tied up on the bottom with power.  Just Wright joined us there a short time later.

In the afternoon, Dalaina and I checked out all the shopping on the main street, including Bigley’s shoe store.  We also crossed the bridge and went to the hardware store as well as a couple other.  It was great to have some girl time!  I wanted to buy Spider-out, as the spiders on the boat seem to be increasing.  We got back to the boat, just in time for 5:00 happy hour, which actually ended up being a 2-hour ordeal, as it may quite possibly our last time together. 

Hard to believe we only met them on June 14th in Hastings; however, our paths have crossed numerous times over the summer.  They need to be back to Port Severn by September 10th, so are on a tighter schedule than us.

On Friday morning, we left in the first lock up and headed to Fenlon Falls.  It was fairly windy on Sturgeon lake.  We arrived just before 11:00 and they already had a boat in the lock, so we joined them.  We got the last spot with power on the upper wall, and were tied up by 11:15.  Just Wright joined us about 45 minutes later. 

In the afternoon, Andy and I walked around town and stopped at the patio of the Cow and Sow for a beer and some appetizers.  It was very busy at the locks and town was quite busy as well for a Friday.   It was also really hot, when we returned to the boat, we closed up all the windows and put on the AC.  Roy and Dalaina joined us for happy hour around 5:00.  For dinner we opted for Chinese food and picked it up around 8:00.  The three dishes that we ordered is enough for 3 meals.

On Saturday morning, the lockmaster came by our boat, to ask if we were continuing on.  We said we were staying another night.  He had some bad news, the Kirkfield lift lock had sustained damage the day before, and likely wouldn’t be operational for some time.   He said that boats would be allowed to exceed the 2 day limit at Fenlon falls for this reason. Here’s a link to a story about the incident:  https://www.kawartha411.ca/2022/09/03/passengers-of-kawartha-voyageur-cruise-evacuated-after-scary-liftlock-failure/

  This messed up Just Wright’s departure as they were planning on moving on towards Kirkfield.  Since we had a source of water, I spent some time scrubbing the deck on the flybridge and sundeck.  I also sprayed the canvas with the Spider out, it works instantly, as well as leaves a residue for spiders that move to that area.     Dalaina and I checked out some of the stores in town, and went to the farmer’s market, where I bought some fresh produce.  I was looking for corn, but they were already sold out.  We partook in Happy hour on my clean deck. 

On Sunday, the temperature had taken a down turn, it was chilly on the boat, so we put on one of the heaters.  More boats that were stranded moved onto the lock wall, we had one boat in front of us, that put a lifejacket over our anchor, so that they wouldn’t hit their heads on it.    There was talk of a crib tournament happening amongst some of the boats, to warm up for it, Roy and Andy played 8 games, with Roy coming out the winner.

  Many of the boats tied up were trying to make alternate plans to get their boats passed the Kirkfield lock.  There was a guy advertising on the web, that he had a trailer that could take boats around the lock. But he had a tonnage limit on his trailer, so some boats would not be able to use his service.  Since our trip to Orillia would now be cancelled, we offered Roy and Dalaina a ride to Port Severn, where their truck and trailer is being stored, once we got back to Buckhorn.

On Monday morning we locked through the Fenlon lock around 10:30, and headed across Sturgeon lake to Bobcaygeon.  We were through this lock at12:35 and tied up on the power wall by 12:45.    I did some file cleaning on my computer for an hour or more, and then we went for ice cream at the Bigley’s sweet shop.  We weren’t sure if the Kawartha dairy outlet would be open, as it was labour day.  We visited with some of the other boaters on the wall, one of which was trying to get a boat to Georgian Bay.  After supper we played a couple games of cards.

On Tuesday morning we started the engines around 9:00 and headed back to the Buckhorn lock, arriving at 11:15 and tied up.  I walked over to the marina to pick up the car.  We wanted to drive in to Peterborough to get some stain for our teak railings.  We arrived back at the boat just around 2:00.  Andy started to sand, and decided it was going to be a very long process, so he called Brian in Bancroft to see if we could borrow a belt sander.  So back in the car and off to Bancroft, and then back again arriving at the boat around 6:30.  We had supper, played cards.

On Wednesday, we left by car at around 7:30, headed for Rosedale.   We made a stop in Fenlon Falls, as we heard that Peter the marina owner from BYH was there and was having engine issues.   We had a short visit with him and then we continued on to  the Rosedale lock where Roy and Dalaina were waiting.  We drove to Port Severn via Orillia, arriving there around 11:00.

  We left them with their truck and trailer, and we made the return trip to Buckhorn lock, arriving shortly after 1:30.  Andy started removing the layers of stain on the railing using Brian’s sanders.  Much quicker than what he had done yesterday, however it will likely take several days, maybe even a week to complete this for the entire railing. Once he is done the railing should look more like natural teak, than  brown wood.

  Around 3:30, several boats arrived with the Canadian rangers.  We had actually saw them in the morning, as they were in Rosedale, when we picked up the Wrights.  Here’s a picture of them in the lock. 

In the morning we went to BYH to check on our new fuel issue, may have to pull the boat sooner than we want to.

Taking our time in friendly waters

We left Campbellford Old Mill park before 9:00 and were through lock 13 by 9:25 through Crowe Bay by 10:00 and Healey falls by 10:45, and the Healey flight lock by 11:15.  We then followed the Trent river to Hastings and tied up on the bottom, as there was no room on the top.  They have lovely flowers growing in several canoes here.

 We had gone about 20 miles and 6 locks.  It was Hasting’s waterfront festival, and there were lots of people in town, many having come by pontoon or bowriders.  A lot of the activities including axe throwing and musical performers was taking place across the canal at Hastings Village Marina. 

  We walked around town a little and went for Ice cream.  Around 4:00, some room opened up on the top of the lock, so we locked through and tied up.  We were in front of Grace too, which we had last seen on the rideau.    We walked to LCBO, which is very close to the canal, and purchased more wine and cider.  We then spent some time reading on the back deck.  I saw a guy with a snake around his neck- he said it was a boa constrictor and I saw him drape it around a little girl’s neck—not something I would do!

In the morning, we were up early as our plan was to leave around 6:00 for the trek to Peterborough.  Andy was up and made coffee before 6:00, however he checked the weather and saw that a thunderstorm cell was predicted for 7:30, so we stayed put.   The storm and rain hit about 7:30 and was over by about 9:00, so we ended up leaving around 9:30, it was 40 miles across Rice Lake and down the Otonabee river, it did rain a couple of times, but not for long. 

We reached Scott’s mills Lock 19 by 2:05, we got to Ashburnham by 2:15, but had to tie up and wait, as the Lift lock tour boat was on its way.  We were through Ashburnham at 3:00, and the Peterborough Lift lock by 3:20.  We decided to keep going and were through Nassau Mills Lock 22 by 4:15.

  We decided to tie up here, as there were some dark clouds around us, and we had gone 45 miles.  The lockmaster here, was Kirk, who had been at Buckhorn for a number of years so we had a visit with him once we were tied up.

  Around 5:30 we met Korban, Kirk’s son, and took him for a tour of our boat, Andy even showed him the engine room, and how he checks the oil.   We gave him a few candies from our Campbellford chocolate stash.

  At the end of the day Korban, donned a life jacket, and closed the lock gate- wonder if he want’s to be a lockmaster like Dad.  

 The rain held off until about 11:00 and we had a big downpour that woke us both up.

In the morning, it was just starting to drizzle when we left Nassau Mills at 9:10 and were through Otonabee at 9:35, Douro at 10:05, Sawer Creek at 10:30 and Lakefield at 11:00.  We were tied up under a tree by 11:10 and plugged into power, as the solar panels would be almost useless in the rain. 

I finished reading my book, and did a little cleaning on the outside decks.  Here’s some of the vegetables and flowers growing in the planter boxes.

On Tuesday morning we walked to town and went to Foodland and the hardware store.  We stopped for coffee and a muffin at the ice cream shop.  Didn’t have ice cream as it was Central Smith and not Kawartha.  We came back to the boat, and decided to stay another day, as it looked like it may rain again.  Shortly after lunch we were joined by three boats, which we had previously met a couple of years ago in Rosedale.  One of the boats, Plan Sea, we had recently saw when we were on the Rideau.  We spent the afternoon visiting with them at the picnic table under the shade of the trees- as the forecast was wrong again, and there was no rain in sight.

On Wednesday morning we left at 8:30 and travelled to the Young’s Point lock and were through by 9:30, we then moved on to Burleigh Falls, and were through it by 10:00.  We were in this lock with 2 house boats, that were part of a 7-boat family reunion- we stayed far away from them, entering the lock once they were tied up to their cables.  We then moved on to Lovesick lock and were through it by 11:30. Our last lock for the day was Buckhorn and we were through it by 12:25.  We called Buckhorn Yacht Harbour and tied up by the launch ramp by 12:50.  In the afternoon we asked Pat in the marina office, to print off some papers that we required signed and sent in, so that we could retrieve our medical records, from our doctor’s office.   Andy talked to the service department, and a couple items from our list will be worked on in the morning. I saw this person removing weeds from the marina basin.

We ordered pizza for supper, and went to pick it up in our car. Once again, we caught up on missed Coronation episodes. I picked a dozen ripe tomatoes off one of my Prairie Pride plant, not sure if I will grow cucumbers again next year, as I had dozens of blossoms, but only one cucumber matured.

On Thursday morning, Ralph checked our strainers for weeds, and also found the diesel leak, which was a fine spray coming from a pump fitting.  He was able to tighten the bolt and applied some sealant to stop the leak.  Todd re-arranged some of the cables on our VHF and AIS, so that the VHF radio now appears to be working correctly.  We also spoke to Cindy in the canvas shop, and asked to have 6 missing or broken twist lock fasteners on our flybridge replaced.  We drove to Foodland and picked up a few items.

In the afternoon we drove to Bancroft to visit with Muriel and Brian, as Muriel had just come home from the hospital last weekend, after having surgery.  We had stopped at the Kawartha dairy store in Bancroft, and picked up ice cream, so we all had a bowl.  Before leaving town, we stopped at Brian and Helen’s for a short visit as well.  Upon leaving we decided to go back to the boat, and then drive to Peterborough to look for a car radio, to replace the non-functioning one on the boat.  As well, we wanted to look for a new computer for Andy’s as his has a lot of issues, and is being held together by duct tape.  We were successful buying a computer at Walmart and the radio at Canadian Tire. 

We stopped for supper at Wendy’s, and then rushed back to the boat.  The rain was really coming down, at times it was hard to see out the windows.  We got home at 7:45, which was good, as my book club Zoom meeting was at 8:00 with Helen, Sheila and Jess.

It continued to rain until 9:30 and then seemed to stop, although more rain is in the forecast Friday. We plan to leave this morning, and spend a day or two at the Buckhorn lock, and possibly go back to both of Lovesick and Burleigh Falls for a night ( two of the locks on my list- where we haven’t stayed). We have been on the boat for three months now, I’m ready to go home, however the captain would like to spend another month on the water, and is talking about coming back in November, provided winter hasn’t settled in, to assemble what will become our sundeck cover and solar panel frame. He has asked BYH for a quote on the materials required.

Back in Friendly waters!

We left Crates at 10:25. There was a pancake breakfast happening, so we stayed for breakfast before leaving. As we passed Trenton there was a plane that kept flying the same pattern multiple times, but didn’t land– must have been practicing!

  We arrived at Lock 1 Trenton around noon and Locked through by 12:40. We moved a couple miles and locked through Sydney at 1:00.  Then it was on to Glen Miller and we were through it at 1:45. We had contemplated staying at lock 3, but were told that Lock 4 was better as it was quieter.  We locked through at Batawa at 2:20 and were tied up by 2:30.

Pulling into the lock we saw a boat and a bunch of people having lunch.  It turned out that it was Rick and Linda from Compromise with their family. We tried to have a short visit with only one “long story short” but it didn’t happen.  Andy gave the Compromised family a tour of our boat.   We had a peaceful afternoon, and were joined by one other boat on the wall.  The lock station was a lockmaster’s house and is more than a hundred years old.

On Saturday morning, we stayed tied up and helped a number of boats tie up on the blue line.  One boat had an issue with one of its engines, but was able to restart it.  As they rushed to the next lock, two of their fenders fell off.  They didn’t seem to notice.  The one fender was fairly close to our locations- so Andy became the fender fetcher.  He got into our dinghy and rowed to where the fender was and retrieved it.  The second fender was close to a mile away, so we waited until it was closer, and on our side of the canal, before he launched the dinghy a second time and retrieved that fender.   The lock staff at Batawa had been in contact with lock staff farther up the canal, to say the fenders had been retrieved.  One of the lock staff from Lock 5, came and picked them up and delivered them to Lock 6, where the boat was waiting.  Good job Captain- you’ll get a gold star someday!  At 1:15, we moved on a mile to Lock 5- Trent and were through the lock by 1:50 and tied up.    The lock station at this lock is a twin to the last lock station.  Here’s pictures of it, it had a lot of flowers, and tomatoes growing, and I spent some time pulling weeds- Do you think I’m missing my weedy garden?

On Sunday we decided to stay at Trent.  We did some window cleaning

and waxing on the outside of the boat, as well Andy gave some of the teak railing another coat of Cetol.  We relaxed outside under the cedar tree reading in the afternoon.

  Later, Cat’s Pause with Phil and Caroll joined us on the lock wall.  We had previously seen them in Westport. They have a cover over their front hatch which I find interesting– it maybe a winter project to duplicate something like it for our boat.

In the morning we left Trent lock and moved on to Frankford lock at 10:15, and moved to our favorite spot under the shade of the big willow tree.

We were joined by Springbok and Nauti Jenny in the early afternoon.  Around 1:00, we talked to Lakewood Medical and got an appointment to meet a new doctor when we return in October. Around 2:00 we walked by the park canteen and had some Kawartha ice cream we then went into town to the grocery store, pharmacy and LCBO.  On our return we joined Rick and Jenny and Steve and Sandra under the willow tree for drinks and a visit. 

Rick and Jenny have completed the loop but are now doing the Canada piece.  Steve, Sandra and Oakley are from Reach harbour near Buckhorn, they have two boats, one for travelling around and another one that they live on full time.

In the morning, boats going south left, however those going on to Lock 7 Glen Ross stayed tied up, this was because two boats had become trapped in the lock when the water could not be released.  There was a hydraulic issue.  Before noon, the two boats came through to Lock 6, however there was still an issue at Lock 7, as the lock could not be filled. By 1:00 there were already 7 boats at Frankford, including Rick and Linda on Compromise.  We spent the afternoon at the picnic table visiting and drinking.

We have been friends with Rick and Linda for almost a year having met them in Frankford a couple of times in September of 2021.  Andy and Rick get along like brothers, and are always joking back and forth.  Prior to their arrival at Frankford, Andy had sent Rick a picture of the table under the coveted willow tree, this is what Rick changed the signage to after we left on Wednesday.

 For supper the four of us walked into Frankford to the new 3 Jacks steak restaurant.  Once we returned from town, we visited on our boat with the AC running as it was quite muggy outside.  In the morning a couple boats left in both directions.  Around 10:30 we decided to fire up and move on a couple of locks.  After we were through Glen Ross we tied up and went to the store for ice cream as well as Andy got some worms for fishing. Our friends Dave and Claudia from Still Waters II don’t think we’ve been eating enough Kawartha- so we are going to have to sacrifice our waistlines and eat more.   We then went about 12 miles to Percy Reach; we were joined in this lock by a bowrider with people from Calgary.  We continued on to Lock 9 Meyers and tied up. 

It was around 2:00, and a rain shower was imminent.  After the first shower, I went for a short walk to check out the Oasis cabins- which actually look like pods up in the trees. 

  There were two at this location.  I talked to a woman on Thursday morning who had stayed in one, and said that they creak and move a little when you are walking in them.  She also said that they cost $140/night.  For a washroom and shower they have to walk up to the lock house.  They now have Oasis cabins at locks 8, 9 and 10. The modular showers are also available for use by boaters- so I tried one out in the morning. 

The lock house at this location is the same design as the ones in Batawa and Trent- so now we seen three of them.  Not quite as many flowers at this one as at Trent, but still very well maintained for being over a hundred years old.  There has not been much rain and the grass at most locks along the TSW is dry and brown.

We had several more rain showers in the afternoon and evening, accompanied by thunder and lightning. 

In the morning we left Meyers and travelled to Hague’s reach and were thru by 9:45. We then moved on to the double lock at Ranney falls and were through by 10:30.  We were tied up in Old Mill Park at 10:50.  We had gone a total of 4.6 miles.  Our friends from Compromise arrived around 1:15, as they were coming all the way from Frankford. Shortly after 2:00 our friends Brian and Helen arrived.  With a car they took us to World’s Finest Chocolate ( where we bought this stash of chocolate treats),

the Beer store, V&S and Sharpe’s grocery store. Saved us having to lug bags around town.  We went for an early supper to 52 North pub and grill.  Helen and Brian left shortly after for the drive home to Bancroft.  We sat at the picnic table until dark visiting with Rick and Linda. We saw several first responders at the dock across the canal around 9:00- not sure what was going on.

In the morning after several of the boats, including Compromise left before 9:00 to make the first lock.  We moved our boat on the wall so it would be closer to fill up our water tank. 

We learned that there was an issue in one of the locks and Compromise’s trip to Frankford had been delayed because of weeds at Percy’s Reach, but they were able to reach Frankford and claim the willow tree again.

We did some more shopping, going to Dooher’s Bakery, Dollarama and No Frills.  I walked over to the laundry mat and washed a couple loads of clothes.  Once the clothes were drying, I went to D’s island shack for an extra spicy chicken roti. On my return to the boat, we caught up on a few episodes of Coronation street. Starting around 4:00 the wind started to pick up and then we had a rain shower.

So far we have stayed at 3 locks on the TSW that we had never stayed at before, and I was able to remove them from my list.

Back at home, we got an update on the progress of our new apartment building, the builders are now starting on the third floor where are apartment is to be.

We will be leaving Campbellford in the morning, likely going as far as Hastings. We hope to be back in Buckhorn by the middle of next week, as we are having a few minor fixes done to the boat before moving farther northwest on the TSW.

Short visit to the Thousand Islands

We fired up the engines at 6:30 and pulled out of the marina, so that we were in line for the 7 am opening.   We proceeded past Cedar island and down the Bateau channel towards Ivy Lea.  We arrived at the restaurant dock and gave Karl a call.  He arrived on the boat around 11:00.  He rechecked the generator connection that he had done in Ottawa, he also reviewed the electrical diagram that Andy had sketched out for the boat.  We wanted Karl to disconnect the water heater, battery charger and refrigerator from the inverter loop.  Karl also gave us some advice on Andy’s plan for additional solar and the possibility of changing from lead acid batteries to lithium ion.   He also looked at our VHF radio, as Andy has been having issues with it recently. We ordered Pizza from the restaurant for lunch, we looked around for our Wayne and Roxanne’s boat- but didn’t see it in any of the slips.  Karl was finished by 3:00 and then we were off to look for a parks dock to tie up at.  We lucked out and found a spot at 3:40 on Georgina island with a couple other boats- Alabar and Betty on the main dock.

  We soon found out that Alan and Barbara knew several other boaters that we had met over the past few years- small world!  The L- dock on Georgina and the back dock was full, mainly Quebecers.   There were 5 or 6 boats anchored and rafting behind the island as well.

On Saturday morning, Andy made scones, cooking them on the BBQ.  Later in the morning we had front row seating for the Poker derby race by the noisy high-performance boats.  With the great view we also were the recipients of the wakes from these boats, and all other boats passing in front of Georgina. 

The poker run ran from Kingston to Prescott and back, so we had high traffic again around 2:30.  In the evening the boat traffic diminished.  On Sunday morning, we moved to Hill Island and found a spot at the end of the dock.  This island dock was also full of Quebec boats.  We turned on our generator to re-charge our batteries for about 45 minutes, and I got rid of garbage and re-cycling.  In the thousand islands there are only 4 designated islands that allow generators and have other amenities.

We were in contact with Scott and Megan from the sailboat Betty.  They had wanted to come to Hill, we had arranged that once they got near, we would vacate our spot, so they could have it, as they had an 18-month-old son that needed to be off the boat in order to stay occupied.  When they were within 10 minutes of the dock, we pulled out.   There was another cruiser that raced them to the spot but Betty prevailed and was able to tie up.  We proceeded westward.  We cruised by Mulcaster island and there were no spots.  We continued on to Gordon island, and tied up on the outside dock at 1:30, as there were a couple run-about type boats on the inside. The wind was starting to blow, and rain was predicted for Monday.  When the second run-about was ready to leave, they assisted in moving to the inside.  Andy let out the anchor, and we attached it to the inside dock cleat.  Andy had also rigged up a rope from our port stern line so that as he backed up and let out more chain that ran along the dock, I could tie the port side line and pull it in as he moved forward.  This intricate maneuver worked and we were soon tied up on the inside of the dock.   We were joined on the dock by a houseboat rental a little later.    It was a hot day; I went into the water multiple times to cool down. The winds had died down a little in the morning, and the rain had not begun, so we decided to move a little more east.  We left Gordon and proceeded towards the group of Admiralty islands near Gananoque.  We lucked out when we were near McDonald island, a boat was just leaving one of the slips, so we pulled in at 9:15 and tied up. 

We had gone about 6 miles. 

 The boat next to us was Elysium, who hail from Crates in Belleville.  We had seen their Bay liner there on our last visit.  We also met up with Splash landing which we had seen several times on the Rideau. Andy contacted Just Wright and told them that there was space at McDonald, they arrived in the early afternoon.

 We had drinks with them, and caught up on where they had been and what Perth was like.  The wind increased as the day progressed, we were glad to be tied up. 

On Tuesday morning, we went over to say our goodbyes to Just Wright and learned that they had a visitor during the night- a raccoon.  It had dug up one of their plants. 

We decided to leave around 9:15 headed for Cedar island.  When we were about an hour into our trip, we heard back from Prinyer’s cove, and they had a spot for the night so we continued on.  We arrived at Prinyer’s at about 1:30, having gone almost 40 miles from McDonald.  

  I did a couple of loads of laundry. In the evening we were included in the burger night that is held every Tuesday during the summer.  We met a lot of the neighbors from around the marina as well as other boaters.

On Wednesday morning, Andy learned that our doctor had passed away about 6 weeks ago.  Andy had been trying to call his office for the past few weeks trying to make an appt for October.  We called our neighbor from Winnipeg, to find out where his doctor was.  We called Lakewood medical centre and filled in new patient registration forms.   Just before 11:00 we left the marina and proceeded westward 18 miles to Hay bay.  We anchored behind Ram Island in 15 feet of water around 1:00. 

Andy tried some fishing, and I relaxed and read a book.  None of the fish were interested in what the old guy was offering, so we settled on BBQ steak for supper.  We were joined by two other boats at the anchorage before nightfall.

On Thursday morning, we weighed anchor at 8:35 and proceeded out of Hay Bay and entered the main channel headed for Deseronto.  Our depth instrument was acting erratic showing negative depths when we were in 30 feet of water, this problem continued for more than an hour.  We arrived at Crates Marina in Belleville at 11:45 and went directly to the gas dock for a pump out, fuel and our slip assignment.  We were tied up by 12:15.    We had lunch, and then Andy called his friend Enno to see if he could take us for some groceries and to refill one of our propane tanks.   Enno came around 2:00 and took us around Belleville to complete our tasks.  We stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee as well.  We were back on the boat by 4:00.  I went and put in a load of laundry, and Andy looked at some of our Garmin components.  It seems like our VHF radio only transmits on channel 16 and 68. We also have a fuel leak on the starboard engine, and the people at Crates were too busy to look at it. Will have to try somewhere else on the TSW for this issue.   We caught up on some missed episodes of Coronation Street and then Andy watched the highlights of the Blue bomber game against Montreal. This morning we will be heading back towards the TSW.

End of the Rideau and hopefully the Quebec Navy!

On Friday July 22nd we left Hurst Marina at 8:25 and travelled 17 miles to Lock 17, Burritt’s Rapids.  We arrived at 10:25 and tied up below the lock, as it had more shade.  A boat, Believe which was tied up near us the previous time we were at Burritt’s was also below the lock. Above the lock was Water lily with Tom and Peggy and Nailla from Hamilton.  We invited them down to share our shade and for drinks and snacks later in the afternoon, and so Nailla could do for a swim and cool off.

  I spoke with the lockmaster and asked if they had a hoe or rake, so that I could help them out with some weeding in the flower beds.

We watched many boats arrive as the construction holiday in Quebec officially starts at the end of shift Friday. However, it appears that some have left early as we’ve been surrounded by PQ boats all week.  It was a hot day; the air conditioning ran non-stop to cool down the boat.  Early Saturday, morning I spent about an hour weeding the flower beds around the lock house.  Later in the morning, we watched some spots on the docks be vacated, only to fill up again.   A couple boats docking were complaining about the wind- we were happy in the shade tied to a dock. Across from the boat there was a farm with several horses, for several hours in the afternoon, I watched someone cut the grass with a riding lawnmower.  What I didn’t know until later was that they were preparing the field for Polo.

  I later saw several riders with sticks and a ball. 

Other sighting on Saturday afternoon was this boat/car which went past,

as well as this floating pad that drifted by with several people and drinks. 

It was another hot day, there was a staffing shortage, so no fees for power were collected on Saturday.  On Sunday morning Andy talked to the lockmaster and paid the money owing as well as for an additional day.  Typically, you are only allowed to stay two nights, but we had heard that some stormy weather was predicted for later in the day, so we wanted to stay tied up.  As the day progressed the wind picked up and the sky darkened.  In the evening at 9:30 and 10:30 we got two alerts on our phones saying the strong thunderstorms were imminent.  Didn’t make for a good sleep.

On Monday we left at 9:40, on the 3rd lock up by ourselves and were thru Burritt’s lock by 10:10. We went through the swing bridge and on to Lower Nicholson, they were just loading the lock with 4 boats, and we tied up on the blue line.  It seemed like a very nice lock, and had recently renovated washrooms.  Andy asked the lock master if we could tie up for the night, but were told that locking was only available on the blue line below the lock but it was too early in the day.  Above the lock is a basin, used for boats meeting from Upper and Lower Nicholson, so no mooring is allowed there.   We went through Lower Nicholson and on to Upper Nicholson, we were through and tied up on the blue line by noon.  Once again, we were happy to be tied up as the wind was starting to gust.  After lunch we did a little cleaning on the teak railing, Andy sanded off the stain in a couple of places and touched it up with Cetol. Around 2:30, I went for a walk into the town of Andrewsville.  I saw this sign to save this bridge,

I also walked down Andrewsville main street, and counted 4 houses.  Saw this sign about country living- only 4 neighbors would be great!

On the way back to the boat saw these people tubing in the creek. 

We had a cool quiet night.

On July 26th we left upper Nicholson at 8:50 and proceeded to Clowes lock #20, we waited for a couple of upbound boats, and were through the lock by 9:35.  We met the Kawartha Voyager just before reaching Merrickville, we have seen it multiple times this summer.

We were through the Merrickville flight locks of 21-23 by 11:00 We met upbound boats in the basin between locks 22 and 23.    We were in luck, we tied up at a dock in the Merrickville pond at 11:20 with power.  The previous three times that we went through Merrickville, the pond was always full.    We walked into town and checked out some of the stores.  We had lunch and bought some locally made fudge and caramels as the Ice cream store was closed.

On Wednesday morning we were up early and saw three boats pull out at 6:30 headed for Kilmarnock, the next lock, 8 miles away.  We decided to fire up at 7:30 and head that way as well.  A couple French people from one of the small cruisers helped us shove off.  Within a few minutes, I saw them leaving the dock as well. About 10 minutes later the two cruisers waved as they passed us in succession going full speed.  We were not able to recover from the first wake before the second hit, lots of things went flying within the cabin.  In the 8 mile stretch to Kilmarnock we were passed in a similar fashion by another 5 boats, all from Quebec.  We slowed down our pace as there were now 8 boats ahead of us and it wasn’t yet 9:00 when the first lock up was scheduled.  Four boats went through at 9:00, another boat came up behind us and we said that they could go ahead of us with the remaining 4 boats that were waiting- this would allow us to lock up alone.  However, the plan changed- one of the boats decided to stay at Kilmarnock, so we had to lock through with this group- and on the Port side which we detest.   Another thing, once the lock door closed, one of the boats cranked up their music so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself think, nor could I hear Andy giving me directions through the headset.  We were the last to leave the lock and chugged along to the next lock- Edmonds, where the first lock up was just finishing, and three boats were tied to the blue line.  The lockmaster there, told the other boats that the big boat—us, would go in first.  So, we went to the front on the starboard side.  Typically, if you are first in- you are also first out- but maybe that doesn’t compute in Quebec brains, as the boat on the port side drove out as soon as the doors opened.  We went second.  After the lock, we were again passed by the two boats that had been at the rear of the lock.  People from Quebec also don’t know what a slow pass is.  We arrived at Old Slys, we had decided to hold back on the blue line, so that we didn’t have to lock trough with these 3 ignorant boaters, however the lockmaster wanted us to go through and stop on the other side of the flight lock, as two 60-foot boats would be arriving shortly.  We did a crossover in this lock as another boat was in the upper chamber and locking down.  This would be our second crossover in 2022, as we had one in the Healy locks in June.  The lockmaster said that there was room in Smith Falls so we decided to continue on with this group. When we got to the top of Smith Falls lock 29A, there was a mad dash by these boats to get to the power pedestals in the park.  We had no desire to be anywhere near these people so tie up on the grey line by the dam,

across from the Le Boat rentals without power around noon. 

  I gathered up our dirty clothes and headed to the laundromat.  While I was gone the two 60 footers tied up behind us- great surrounded by the French Navy again! Around 3:00 we walked over to Giant Tiger to pick up a few groceries.  We relaxed on the back and read our book, as there was a nice breeze.  Andy bbq’d veggies and salmon for supper, we played some cards and went to bed when it was dark.  The rain woke me up around 3:30, but it didn’t seem to rain for very long, next a train woke me.  Not a good night for sleeping for either of us.

On Thursday there was some bad weather predicted, so we decided to stay put where we were.  We watched boats come and go.  We decided to walk up past lock 31 to Walmart and the beer store.  After lunch, Just Wright locked up and we moved our boat a little so they could fit in between us and Child of the sun, loopers from Spokane Washington.  Late afternoon they stopped by for a beer and a catchup.  They told us about their experience of doing the step locks, and where they had anchored on the Ottawa River.  We waited all day for the predicted rain and thunderstorms but they didn’t materialize.  On Friday morning we waited for all the boat shuffling around us for power and moving to the blue lines.  Andy started up our engines at 10:50 and we went to the blue line which was finally clear.  Boats had begun to move there at 6:30 to ensure they were the first ones through. We locked through with Just Wright, child of the Sun and one other boat.  Child of the Sun and us moved on the two miles to lock 32 Poonamalie. 

After locking through we tied up in the shade and plugged in, a very quiet place.  We did some more cleaning of the teak and Andy applied a coating of cetol to parts of the railing.  Andy talked with Daniel from the boat tied up behind us and learned about some good anchorages in Big Rideau Lake.

On Saturday morning we decided to stay one more night before moving on.  We saw Just Wright on the first lock up, they were planning to take the Tay canal and go to Perth.  We were unable to go there as the canal is only 4 feet, which is too shallow for us.  We did some more cleaning and relaxing and stayed out of the sun.

On Sunday morning we left around 8 and headed for the Lower Rideau followed by Big Rideau.  We checked out several of the suggested anchorages in Nobles Bay.  We continued on to Lock 35 the narrow, which divides Big Rideau Lake from Upper Rideau Lake.  This lock is only a 3-foot lift/fall, but by adding it in the original rideau canal plan, it allowed for less rock excavation at the Newboro lock.

We were almost in the lock to go through when we spotted a spot on the dock, so we moved to it at 10:50 tied up and plugged in.  It was supposed to be hot with a humidex of over 35 so we wanted power.

It was too hot to do any work outside.  We met some people we had first met in Upper Brewers several weeks before, Andy and Renee sat down and reviewed our charts for Lake Superior, as Splash Landing- Renee’s boat plans to go there next summer. Later in the afternoon we learned that there is a racoon issue at the Narrows, and several boats have been damaged by it.  In order to obstruct his entry to our boat, Andy opened the propane locker and put a 20 lb tank on our swim platform, we also made sure that all our windows were tightly closed for the night.  We had no issues.

On Monday morning, August 1st, when we first got up it was fairly foggy.  Around 8:30 we got ready to switched places with Splash pad who was on the blue line, so that we would be in the first lock up. We locked through with two other boats and were through by 9:15. Then it was a 5-mile crossing of Upper Rideau Lake before reaching the Newboro lock.  We were through this one by 10:15. We locked through with Tom and Peggy from water lily, who had spent the weekend in Westport.  Our next lock was Chaffey’s which was again 5 miles away across Newboro Lake.  We arrived before 11:00, however were delayed waiting for another boat.  We got through this one at 11:35. We are now locking down until we reach Lake Ontario, as Newboro Lake is the summit of the Rideau canal.  We then had two miles to Davis Lock #38, where we tied up on the top and plugged into power by noon.  French still appears to be the language of choice for many of the boaters at this lock.

We left the next morning on the first lock down with another boat and were through by 9:15. We moved on to Jones Falls, and there was no wait there we were through the 4 locks by 10:40. There were some dark clouds and we did have a rain shower when we were near Seely Bay.  We were tied up at Upper Brewers by noon, and had another shower after 1:00, but the showers didn’t last long and it was soon hot and sunny. We met Martin on the dock we had previously met in 2020 and recognized our boat and said he follows my blog.  Martin and Kim live in Bobcaygeon, and their boat is called Grace too.   He has just switched over to Lithium batteries, so that got Andy thinking that we might need to upgrade, after we add more solar.   Andy called Confederation Basin marina in Kingston to try and book a slip for the next night, but they told him that they need 48 hours in order to book, but we could call them on VHF 68 when we were near the marina to find out it, they have a last-minute spot.  Doesn’t make any sense to us.  After supper, Andy did a little more touching up of the railing with cetol, he also gave the dining table a thin coat as well.  We played cards and went to bed early.

On Wednesday we locked down with Grace too at 9:35 and proceeded to Lower Brewers.  I walked up to the lock, and there was no one around, we later found out that they were working at the dam, so we had about a 40-minute wait before locking through.  We then had the 10 mile stretch through River Styx and Colonel By Lake, I saw these Swans, not sure if they were attacking each other or doing a Swan dance.

We arrived Kingston Mills locks by 11:45.  We had missed a lockdown, and they had many boats at the bottom, so they were doing a double lock up, we were told that we would have a 2 hour plus wait.  We finally got into the first lock at 2:30 and were through by 3:30. We decided to tie up on the grey line at the bottom, as the bascule bridge does not open at 4 or 5, so we would have had to wait for the 6 pm opening. 

We had also called confederation basin to see about dockage and they were full.  We tried calling Gananoque for Thursday night but they were full as well. Here’s a picture of these really old locks.

 We left Kingston Mills around 8:30 following a boat called Hard at Play, this boat had hit something in the channel on the River Styx yesterday so was running on one engine.  We followed him to the gas dock at Kingston Marina.  He was able to get a slip, and we got one along the wall without power.    We filled up with water and then moved to the wall once the space was vacated. Here’s one of the types of boats that they manufacture at Kingston Marine.

Once we were settled, we walked to Food Basics and the LCBO for supplies.  On our return Andy went in and paid for our slip.

Our goal on the Rideau was to try and stop at every lock that we could.  There were 24 lock stations that we travelled through and we stayed at 17 of them in 2022 and one additional one, Hartwell, back in 2016.  So, a total of 18, which would be 75% of them.   We had asked the lockmasters at two stations- Old slys and Lower Nicholson if we could stay but they only allow it at end of the day.  Black Rapids had limited space due to fallen trees earlier in the year.  We chose not to stay at Hog’s Back as it wasn’t desirable- a wooden dock inhabited by Canada Geese. The other two locks we missed were Clowes and Edmonds, but they were in a grouping of locks and it didn’t make sense to stop.  Many of the lock stations we stopped at both going up and again on our return trip.  We were on the Rideau a total of 34 days, almost double what we spent on it in 2016.  We took our time going to Ottawa, in hindsight we should have planned better so that we didn’t overlap with the Quebec construction holiday. 

We will go through the Bascule bridge tomorrow at the 7 am opening as we have an appointment with Karl at Ivy Lea on Friday morning.   We hope to spend a few days in the Thousand Islands before heading back towards Trenton and the TSW.

Ottawa- at the end of the Rideau, turning back

We left Westport at 8:00 and travelled across Upper Rideau Lake to Lock 35- the narrows.  We arrived there by 8:40 and tied up on the blue line,

we were joined by Tuscarora, and locked through at 9:40, as there was a work boat and another pleasure craft locking up. We then crossed Big Rideau lake, in places it was 250 feet deep.  We went under the bridge at Rideau Ferry

and moved into Lower Rideau Lake where the water was much shallower.  We proceeded into some marshland and went through Poonamalie lock at noon. We continued on to the top of Lock 31 the detached lock at the edge of Smith Falls, where we saw Just Wright.  We had gone 26 miles, which was more than we had done the previous week.  We did some grocery shopping at a nearby store. Later in the afternoon Dalaina and I walked into Smith Falls to check out the next lock, and see where the Le Boat rentals were stored.  We also went to the Giant Tiger store, as Dalaina had never been in on, and wasn’t sure if they had them in British Columbia.  On our return we had drinks on our back deck, but moved up to the flybridge when the rain started.  For dinner we had chicken from KFC as it was located nearby. 

In the morning we were ready to go by 9:00 and locked through with a pontoon boat at 9:30, then on to Smith Falls combined, where another boat was added.  We then went through the flight lock at Old Slys and then we were on to Edmonds.  We waited here for 45 minutes on the blue line as they were waiting for 4 boats locking up.  We then waited another 15 minutes for a fourth boat to join us.  We led the 4 boats through a well marked channel through some marshland and arrived at Kilmarnock around noon.  Our plan was to let the other boats pass us after locking through, so we moved over to the blue line.  Andy tried to call Merrickville to see if they had mooring space, the Kilmarnock lockmaster thought that they were full.  We decided to stay put in Kilmarnock, and the lockmaster allowed us to stay on the blue line and plug into power, this usually isn’t allowed until the lock is closed.

 We had gone 6.3 miles.  We had a couple of brief rain showers during the afternoon.  At about 5:30 we were joined by a large Le Boat rental.  On the boat were three couples, one from Germany, one from England and one from Wisconsin USA.  These couples along with another couple from Texas typically get together every 3 years for a joint vacation. The couples were all dressed up on their flybridge and were celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee.

  Later there was guitar playing and singing- lots of folk songs and John Denver tunes.  Very nice people and a pleasant evening in Kilmarnock.

We left at 8:05 and proceeded to Merrickville, where we went trough 3 locks and were out by 10:35, we then had 3 locks fairly close together and were through Clowes at 11:05, Upper Nicholson at 11:15 and Lower Nicholson at 11:30, then the Burritt’s swing bridge.

  We arrived at Burritt’s Rapids at noon, and tied up on top with power.  Today’s travels were 14 miles. In the afternoon, I did some weeding in one of their lovely flower beds. 

This lock has power below the lock, and it is quieter there, I believe we stayed there on our Rideau adventure of 2016. We had a quiet night and talked to a couple of looper boats.  On Saturday we locked through and left by 9:30, we continued down the canal at 10 Km/hour.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic, but it increased the further we went. Just before Manotick, we stopped at Randy McKendry’s dock.

  Andy had made contact with him earlier in the week.  He owns several antique boats, and was featured in a Canadian yachting article a couple of years ago, as well as a TV Ontario show- tripping the Rideau.  We visited with him for over 2 ½ hours exchanging information about the McKendry family. 

Randy’s family had settled around Kingston, and owned farmland, with dairy cows, as well as sand and road building equipment.

  There is a McKendry Road, north of Kingston, where much of the family lived.

  Randy showed us some pictures of the family, as well as many of his toys, these included a Lotus, as well as several other cars, boats, motors and a 1946 motorcycle. Randy’s father was also into boats, and had made these wooden models.

  Randy’s grandfather and his brother’s were hockey player in Glenburnie in the early 1900’s. We plan to get together again on our return trip on the Rideau.  We also met Randy’s youngest daughter Emma, and puppy- Dakota. We left around 3:00, and proceeded to the Long Island lock and tied up at the finger docks by 3:45. 

We had a late supper, and Andy looked outside just before 8:00, and saw Miss Geneva—Randy’s antique Shepard boat go by. 

Andy called him on his cell phone, Randy and Emma came back and we had them raft to our boat.    We had some wine and snacks on the sun deck and visited some more, once it started to get dark, they decided that they had better head home.  We had a quiet night, but it was a little hot in the boat. We are now only 15 miles from Ottawa.

On Sunday morning at 8:00, we moved our boat to the blue line, as there was already a boat there waiting for the lock to open.  Unfortunately, they decided to lock up first so we had to wait until after 10:00 before we got to go into the first of 3 Long Island locks.   We travelled with the same 4 boats from Long Island all the way to Ottawa.  There was also a young man on a Sea doo who had never locked before who asked Andy some questions about what he had to do.  Andy gave him a piece of rope so that he had something to put around the cable. The Sea doo was with us for several locks.  We travelled through the 3 locks at Long Island, under the Vimy Memorial bridge

followed by Black Rapids.  We had to wait on the blue line before the Hogs back swing bridge, as they were locking boats up.  This location was very near to the Rideau canoe club so we needed to reduce our wakes as we were in the middle of some kayak races.  After the Hogs Back locks, we still had the two Hartwell locks to go through. I saw this weed harvester parked along the canal, it may get rid of some weeds, but there are still a lot in the the canal. 

We then needed to call the Pretoria lift bridge, so that we could get through it and enter into downtown Ottawa.

  We arrived at the docks on the Rideau and found a spot with power near Shaw Centre and the McKenzie bridge, so we tied up and plugged in. 

We were both very tired, a long day 15 miles, 7 locks and more than 5 hours in 30+ degree sun.  We put on the AC to cool down the boat.  I walked up along the canal to see if we knew any of the boats that were tied up- over 95% of the boats were from Montreal.  I thought that the construction holiday didn’t start for another week—guess some people started vacation earlier.

Monday morning, it was overcast, and the rain started just before 10:00.  I walked over to the Rideau centre to check out the shopping around 11:00.  I bought a couple shirts, one for myself and one for Andy. We are in the nation’s capital.

I came back to the boat, around noon, and shortly thereafter Karl, the electronics specialist who lives in Kanata arrived at the boat.  We wanted him to review our electrical system and check to see that our new solar panels and charger had been wired in correctly.  Karl actually did some rewiring, so that our generator battery is charged by the house battery system.  We had learned earlier in the summer, that when the generator was running, that it didn’t recharge the generator starting battery, so this issue had been solved.  Karl is going to do a little more rewiring, and we plan to go to the Thousand Islands and Ivy Lea later in the summer so he can complete this.

Once Karl left, Andy and I walked back to Rideau Centre to reprovision at the LCBO and some fruit from Farm Boys.  We also had dinner in the food court.  We didn’t get to sightsee too much as the it continued to rain most of the evening.

The predicted weather for Tuesday was 31 with a humidex of 37, and evening thunderstorms accompanied by gusting winds.  We had planned to do the staircase of 8 locks and go down to the Ottawa river on Tuesday afternoon and spend the night on the blue line.  However, with this forecast, we were not too thrilled about locking for 2 to 3 hours in the heat, and then being blown around on the docks, so we made the decision late Monday night to turn around and slowly head back towards Kingston.  We are only allowed to stay on the wall in Ottawa for a maximum of two days so our time would be up on Tuesday. If we do the down-east loop in a few years, we will be coming up the Ottawa river, so will do the staircase of 8 locks then.

Being tied up to the wall along the Rideau Canal isn’t that great, it is very noisy, with car traffic, bicycles and people.  It also isn’t that safe.  Around 1:00 a.m. we were awoken by a thud.  I looked out the bedroom window and saw people by the boat, and yelled at them.  Andy ran out to the starboard door, and saw a young woman on the boat, and a male nearby on the dock.  The woman jumped off and ran, Andy got to try his protective Wasp spray and the male left as well.  Once they were gone, we did a survey of the back of the boat, thinking that maybe they were trying to untie us.  Andy found an Apple I-phone, so he called the Ottawa police and reported the incident.  At 1:30 we were visited by a member of the police, who asked the details and took the phone. His car remained nearby for over an hour, as we thought the people would come back looking for the phone.  Andy stayed in the salon, watching until after 3:00, then came to bed.  While he was watching he saw a raccoon near the boat, also just before 3:00, several large pleasure craft drove by- they were headed to the blue line, so that they would be in line for the first lockdown.  We were woken around 6:15 by a young man yelling from the bridge above us.  Not a good night! Even though we hadn’t been anywhere but the Rideau Centre, our plan to leave Ottawa in the morning was the right decision.

We departed just before 9:00 and went thru on the first opening of the Pretoria bridge,

then it was on to Hartwell and the Hogs Back locks.  We passed by Carleton University campus.

We had hoped to stay at Black Rapids but there was no room, they had limited space because the storm in late May had damaged one of their docks.  We saw Just Wright exit the lock headed for Ottawa. 

We passed by many large houses along the Rideau, here’s a few of them packed together, very little shade in any of these yards- just grass to mow.

We went on to the Long Island flight lock and tied up below at 12:30. We travelled all day with TNT Kiss and Zebuloni, we had to tie up on the port side through the locks as TNT Kiss was a 53-foot Bayliner and we couldn’t fit behind him on starboard.   It was a hot day 30+, we took our chairs and spent the afternoon under a tree in the shade, 4 other couples joined us there.

 After dinner we sat out on the deck and read our books until dark, as it was cooler outside than in our boat. It was hard to sleep because of the heat.  In the morning we were in the second lock up, and were able to lock up on the starboard side with two other boats.  Once through the locks we proceeded the 8.5 miles to Hurst Marina.  On arrival we took on fuel, and had a pump out.  In the afternoon I did a load of laundry, and spent almost an hour in the pool, while I waited for it.  Andy joined me for a swim as well.  The pool was quite busy, mainly people from Quebec. 

For supper we went to the Swan on the Rideau restaurant which is very close to the marina.  We had arranged to meet Randy and Emma McKendry there, and over drinks, and dinner we visited for another 3 hours. There were a lot of similarities in some of the stories told by both branches of the McKendry family! Randy is taking his antique boat down to Clayton NY in early August and we may try to connect again when we go to the Thousand Islands. We had a quiet night and watched a couple episodes of Coronation Street. In the morning when I got up, I did one more load of laundry, and had it dried and folded by 7:30.   We watched a couple more coronation street so we are up to date again.  Around 10:30, we borrowed the courtesy car and drove to Manotick to pick up some perishables.  We also bought a couple larger pots and soil for my tomatoes and cucumbers, as the ones I have them in are very shallow, and the plants wilt multiple times a day, even with watering.  I did pick the first two red tomatoes today. My plan is to repot the plants once it cools down a bit.  Here’s the garden

and again after splitting and repotting.

I went for a short swim in the pool, was only able to do a couple of laps before it started to rain, so I had a shower and went back to the boat.  It was very hot and windy today with a couple of rain showers.  A large boat tried to get into the slip next to us, but was unsuccessful, so he stayed at the gas dock.  Later in the afternoon, a Le Boat rental tried backing into the same spot, several people were on the dock pulling him in and Andy and one of the dock hands were on our boat to ensure he didn’t hit us.

We plan to leave in the morning, headed for Burritt’s rapids, as that lock has power. We will continue down the canal, taking our time. My great niece, Crystal, will be golfing in the Canadian Junior’s Girls Golf Championship July 26-29 at the Marshes in Ottawa, but we will be too far away to visit with them.

End of the Trent, start of the Rideau, with an island in between.

We left Campbellford town dock at 8:45 and proceeded to the flight lock at Ranney Falls.  We were through this pair and 4 others arriving in Frankford Lock 6 at 1:30. We met several loopers headed up the TSW, the first group would have been the people that stayed at Frankford during the lock closure.

My favourite spot at Frankford, under the big tree was occupied by a boat that had broken down, so we parked in front of it, and moved a picnic table under the tree, and stayed in the shade as it was a hot day. The weather on Saturday was hot as well so we walked over to the camp ground for some Kawartha ice Cream to cool down.  On Sunday we locked down at 9:00 and continued our descent to Lake Ontario.  We had 6 locks to go and everything went fairly smoothly until we hit Lock 2, we waited for more than an hour before the lock was ready for us as boats were coming up from Trenton.  We were though Lock 1 at 12:40 and went out into the Bay of Quinte headed for Crates marina in Belleville. We arrived there at 2:00, pumped out and added 200L of fuel.  We were just tying up in our assigned slip when the rain started. 

I did some laundry and Andy had a visit with his friend Enno, who had moved to Belleville from Winnipeg about 10 years ago.

On Monday, we planned to leave however the winds were gusting to 50 Km /hr, so we paid for another day.  Around 10:00 we decided to walk to the closest grocery store to reprovision. So, we set off with our knapsack and bags, and walked to the rear of Crate’s building and looked over and saw a familiar boat-    S. Dan blocked up.

  This boat belongs to Sylvain and Celine Brasseur from Montreal, who we had met several times in 2021.  Andy asked one of the workmen if Sylvan was around and were told that he was in his vehicle behind the boat.  We waved at him through his window and he came out to greet us.  He offered us the use of this SUV to get our groceries, which we gratefully accepted.  This was the first time I was every in a vehicle where all the instructions and navigational system were in French.  I guess it never occurred to me that this would be an option.  Around noon, Sylvan, Andy and I went to the Boathouse seafood restaurant which was on the other side of the Moira River.  The guys had fish and chips and I had the shrimp trio.  In the afternoon, Andy went over some charts with Sylvan, as they will be starting the loop within the next month.  As we were talking, we learned that Gene from Orillia had done some work for Sylvan in Belleville.  Andy relayed the story of our interactions with Gene in 2019. 

On Tuesday we left Belleville at 8:30 and followed the Northern route towards Kingston, passing by Picton and the car ferry at Glenora.  We went a total of 47 miles and anchored in Kerr Bay at 1:30, off of Amherst Island. 

   The wind picked up throughout the afternoon.  By 7:00 it had calmed down a lot and we were joined by 5 other sailboats in the bay.  We weighed anchor the next morning at 8:00, lots of weeds were cleaned off the chain and anchor.  We headed towards Kingston; it was a little choppy once we were by Amherst Island.  We arrived at Cedar Island, the first island of the thousand islands at 10:00, both docks were completely empty, we choose the dock near Whiskey Island and tied up on the outside.  

Being near Fort Henry, we heard the cannon ball blast every hour until 5:00.  We had a quiet night as we were the only boat on the dock. 

Thursday morning was busier at the dock, Andy caught a bass,

and we had a deer swim to the island from Cartwright point. 

We also saw some muskrats,

another deer and ducks and geese.

  We pulled out all of our anchor chain and spread it over the dock, we wanted to mark it off in 10-foot intervals, after the initial 45 feet was marked. 

By late afternoon all the docks had filled up except for one.  For dinner we enjoyed the fresh bass- yummy!

On Friday, Canada Day- our 155th birthday, we just lazed around. It was hot so I went into the water off the back of the boat, a couple of times to cool off.  Andy only chilled his toes.

Being a holiday, with lots of boats on the water, we saw both the Park warden and the Canadian coast guard boats.

 Andy refilled some of our small green propane tanks from the 20-lb tank.  Andy showed some other boater the adapter that he uses.  That evening the Kingston fireworks display occurred at 10:00, because we were on the side of the island, some of the view was obstructed but we could see the very high ones.

On Saturday morning Andy filled the remaining two propane bottles, that had spent the night in the freezer.  He also replaced a clip on one of the solar panels that had broken off, likely during the storm at Healy falls earlier in June. We left at 9:30 so that we would make the 10:00 opening of the Bascule bridge.

We arrived at Kingston mills by 11:00 and locked up   through the four locks (#49-46) by 11:50.    We crossed Colonel by Lake and River Styx and arrived at Lock #45 Lower Brewers at 1:15, and tied up on the lower side, where we plugged into power.

  It became quite windy, so we were happy to be at a lock station.  We disposed of our garbage and recycling, and then just relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon.  We visited with Pete and Laurie, who were on the boat parked behind us.

Sunday was our 12th Wedding anniversary.  Around 10:30 we went through the lock at 45, and moved the 1.8 miles to Upper Brewers flight locks 44 and 43.  We tied up on the dock with 3 other boats where power was available.  We did not plug in as it was a sunny day and we wanted to use only our solar. For dinner we had BBQed steak and veggies, wine and dark chocolate.  On Monday, it was still quite sunny so we continued to stay off the grid.  We watched some kayak campers pack up and then paddle away with their border collie in his own spot in the kayak called- menagerie.

We went for a short walk to the dam, relaxed, read and cleaned. Andy put up some fish net, so that my cucumbers have something to climb up. As the day progressed, we were joined by 6 other boats, some came from Ottawa and others were like us headed to Ottawa.

Several couples came for a tour of our boat, and they were amazed by the room and woodwork.

On Tuesday, the rain started around 6 am, so we plugged in as very little power would be generated without sun.  I made a batch of pasta sauce, enough for supper and to freeze a container for another rainy day.  In the afternoon, some boaters came over to ask us questions about our great loop trip. It continued to rain off and on most of the day and night.

On Wednesday, we left just before 9 and went 10.4 miles to Whitefish Lake where we had planned to anchor in Morton Bay. There was a parks dock at the end of the bay and we decided to tie up there at 10:30.

About an hour later we were joined by a run-about with a family who had come to the dock so that they could swim.  They left around 3:00, and we were later joined by Just Wright, Roy and Dalaina from B.C, who we had first met at Hastings lock on the TSW.   Andy spent some time rowing around in the dinghy searching for a fish or two that could be enticed by his hook selection.  He went out several times but besides a small perch, that he threw back, he was unsuccessful.

   On Thursday we left the dock around 10:00 and went the 3.5 miles to the Jones Fall flight locks.  We had to wait about 45 minutes until we were able to enter the first lock with two other boats. We were through the last lock by 12:40. The lock was very busy we met several boats in the turning basin between 40 and 39.  Both the blue and grey line above lock 39 were full, so we went on to the finger docks by the falls and power plant and tied up.

  Not a lot of water was flowing over the rocks. 

  We walked back about a mile to Jones falls, and went to the ice cream store for a cone (Nestle’s is NOT as good as Kawartha). Later in the afternoon Dalaina and Roy stopped by for a beverage and visit.  They had tied up on the grey line at lock 39 as there was room when they came through.

  On Friday morning we left at 10:00 and moved 4 miles to the Davis lock.  We met several boats as we were crossing Sandy Lake, so we assumed that there would plenty of room, and there was.  We tied up at one of the finger locks at 11:00, and plugged into power.

At the locks we visited with two boats, which we had met in the past, Richard and Jill from Jill Kristy, that we me in Brewerton NY when we were doing our first loop.   We also met Glen and Lorraine from Plan Sea, who we had met at Rosedale back in 2020.  Around 5:00 we met up with most of the boaters at Davis lock for drinks, many of them were loopers.

On Saturday morning several of the boats left down- bound to Jones Falls.  I walked around and took a few pictures, here’s Everette, the boat cat from Plan Sea.

  Here’s a picture of the Lockmaster’s house which is rented out by Parks Canada. 

The dam at Davis, has quite a bit more water than what I had seen at Jones Falls.

 We started up our engines around 10:15 and left at 10:25. We travelled the 2 miles to Chaffey’s lock and were through it and tied up by 11:00.

We did some exploring at the lock and walked by the Opinicon Resort, lovely landscaping, flower beds

as well as an ice cream store. 

The ice cream here is made on the premises, and could compete with Kawartha. I had the coconut bounty- coconut ice cream with chunks of bounty bar in it—very good.  Andy had the rum & raisin, and he was impressed as well.   We then walked down to Brown’s marina general store for essentials- more red wine and a couple of pear ciders.  It was very busy at the locks with lots of boats going through in both directions.  There were a lot of runabouts and pontoon boats tied up on the blue line, who were stopping for lunch or ice cream.  They were not following park’s Canada rules, so at times the were impeding the movement of boats through the lock.

On Sunday morning, I saw this turtle hanging out around our boat.

  In the morning Andy and I went to the Lockmaster’s Museum for a tour and watched a short video of early life in Chaffey’s.  One scene showed the men cutting blocks of ice from the lake, to be used throughout the year to keep foodstuff cool.  Andy said he had experience doing this out at their camp many years ago.  We left Chaffey’s at 9:55, and went 4.8 miles crossing Indian, Clear and Newboro Lakes.  There were a couple of very sharp and narrow turns that had to be followed to move from lake to lake.  We tied up at the Newboro Lock around 11:00, but moved the boat once a boat that was in the shade under a tree left.  To get there we spun the boat around using ropes and the wash from the lock. We were under the tree before noon. Newboro is the summit of the Rideau canal, so we will now be locking down until we reach the Ottawa river.

  We then walked into Newborn to Kilborn’s general store.   They have an amazing assortment of clothes, kitchen items, furniture, as well as this horse. 

I bought an aluminum straw for my wine glass, as well as a pair of earrings.  We stopped at the Stagecoach inn for a sandwich and beverage. They also have a store attached with food items, and I noticed Smak Dab mustard as well as Bothwell cheese—two items that are made in Manitoba.  When we got back to the boat, I saw my second turtle of the day, this one walking across the grass. 

A little later there was a third- a huge snapping turtle in the water near the lock door.    There were only three boats on the top of the lock-Minnow Paws, Just Wright and us.  We got together for some snacks and a beverage around 5.  Sue from Minnow paws gave us some local advice about the area. 

On Monday morning, I did some cleaning, and got together any clothes that need to be washed as we were headed to Westport, where there is a laundry and shopping.  We left Newboro at 10:35 and arrived  at the Village of Westport at 11:15 and tied up. 

I then went in search of the laundry, which was about a 20-minute walk at the edge of the village.

In the afternoon we went looking for Ice cream, because it was so hot, and we were delighted that the Vanilla bean cafe and creamery served Kawaratha. 

We then went and made a reservation at the Cove Inn for dinner, as the brew pub closes at 6:00 on Mondays, and several other stores in town closed at 5:00 or were not open at all. We had docktails with Mark from the Tuscarora, a gold looper, and discussed the Rideau.  We went to the Cove Inn for dinner and  it was great on the patio.

I had a reuben and onion rings Andy had chicken wings. There was a country singer entertaining. The forecast for Tuesday was suppose to be rain showers for most of the day, so we decided to spent a second day in Westport.

Tuesday morning we were awoken by a thunderstorm with rain and wind at 5:30. I couldn’t see anything on the lake. Around 8:00 it had started to clear, and I went for a walk around town to see what time everything opened, as I wanted to check out the stores. It seemed there was no consistency, some opened at 9:30, others at 11:00 and others at noon. Here’s a view of the harbour from the bridge that connects the island to land.

We did a little bit of maintenance and cleaning on the boat, around noon I did another walk about town and checked out a store or two. Andy met me about 30 minutes later and we stopped at the LCBO for more wine. Maybe I should change the title for this post to the wine and ice cream tour. Andy returned to the boat, and I went to a couple more stores, around 1:30 the skies opened and we had our second huge rain for the day. Luckily Andy got back to the boat in time to close all the windows. Once I returned we caught up on a few episodes of Coronation street. For dinner we plan to try out the brew pub or another restaurant.

The plan for tomorrow is to leave early and be at Lock 35, the Narrows at 9:00, we want to go as far as Smith Falls Lock 31 That would be a 20 plus mile day crossing the Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes and 3 locks- long day for us. Smith Falls is about halfway up the Rideau- we would still have another 60 miles before reaching Ottawa. It has taken us 11 days to do the first 40 miles, we plan to go a little faster on our approach to Ottawa, and hope to be there next Monday- July 18th. The Quebec construction holiday starts on July 25th, and we would like to be out of the national capital before that, and working on our return trip to Kingston. We hope to stop at every lock for a night, and revisit the locks we enjoyed on our way to Ottawa. I should be able to blog update my blog more often as we head toward the big city, in some of the places we’ve been over the last couple of weeks, cell phone coverage was very weak.

Moved but are hostages in water at Campbellford

We left Peterborough marina around 9:45 and proceeded to Scott’s Mills.  Lock staff took our ropes as we were about to tie up on the blue line, and took us into the lock.  Current was very strong.  We were out of the lock by 10:15. The water was so high on the other side of the lock that the top of the tie up wall was right at the water level- fenders would be useless if you tried to tie up.    Here’s the speed sign in the water, as reference for the water level- it is on a post, that is not visible. 

  We proceeded down the Otonabee river for a couple hours and entered Rice Lake.  Lake was very weedy near the mouth. 

We arrived at Hastings lock wall at 2:15 and tied up.    We met Barry, Laurie and Leslie on GZL Adrenaline, the boat tied up next to us. 

They were waiting for parts to be delivered from Peterborough for their generator.  We visited with them and learned that a boater- Chris, that we had met last year was a good friend, and they were going up the TSW to meet up with him.

The next morning, we helped them off the wall, as they wanted to move up the TSW past Peterborough.  On Tuesday, we did some shopping at the grocery and beer store.  The water here is still very high, here’s a picture of the dam and spill way by the lock.

On Wednesday, we decided to leave after lunch, and were out of the lock by 12:45.  Our destination was the basin at Lock 15.  So, we only had to travel through the double lock of 17/16. When we were tying up on the blue line, lock staff came out to ask how wide our boat was.  When I told him we were 13 feet, he said to proceed into lock 17.    He said we were going to participate in a cross-over.  I didn’t understand it at the time- but here is how it worked.  A crossover occurs when one boat meets and passes another boat within a lock.  We entered lock 17 at the top, while the other boat entered the bottom of lock 16.  As we descended our discharge water filled up lock 16.  The single gate opened between lock 17 and 16, and we passed each other within the lock.  The gate then closed and we continued down in lock 16 and the other boat went up in lock 17.  In our 7 years of boating on the TSW, this was our first cross-over experience.  We were out of the lock by 14:45 and tied up in the basin of lock 15 by 15:00. 

We were the only boat there, I put on a bathing suit but only put my feet in the water to cool off.

Early the next morning we watch the Ontario hydro people assess their swing bridge that crosses over the lock.  A couple hours later we figured out why all the scrutiny- a large crane on a truck was taken across to do some work near the power plant.  By about noon, it came back across.   Around 2:00, a boat we had met in Hastings- Grace, came through the locks- Andy went to watch him go through Lock 15.  While there Karen, the lockmaster warned us that they were predicting a powerful storm later in the afternoon, she wanted to know if we wanted to move on to Campbellford or stay put.  We decided to stay and shut everything up and added a couple more ropes to the boat.    At about 2:15 we started hearing thunder in the distance—20 minutes later the storm hit.  We went from 0 wind to winds approaching 100 km/hr in seconds.  On our port side, we couldn’t see out of the windows and the boat felt that it was tipping to starboard.  It was accompanied by rain that was hitting the boat sideways.  The wind and rain lasted about 10 minutes, and then it cleared up.  At 3:05 we both received a storm alert on our phones, but by then the storm had passed and we had blue skies again.

That evening I saw a guy go by the boat and then I heard a whistle.  The guy was training his black lab using voice, whistle and hand signals to retrieve items from the water.  The dog would swim out to the object and return with it to his master.

Once the dog was on land he was told to shake, to dry off.  He was also told to go to his kennel on the back of the truck, so he couldn’t see where the next items were thrown.  The pair was amazing to watch.

On Friday, the winds were supposed to pick up, so we wanted to leave Healy falls, as soon as the lock opened.  We were through Healy by 9:25, then it was on to Crowe Bay, when we got there the lock wasn’t open, and the wind and current was working against us.  Andy honked the horn, and the lock people opened the gates.  They also helped me tie up the stern rope, as the wind was blowing us to the port side.    As we were locking down, there was water rushing over the upstream  gate, as we approached the bottom, more water was coming in than was going out.  After several attempts lock staff got the lower gates cracked open to let out enough water to drop us the rest of the way.

We were out of the lock by 10:05.  We moved on to Campbellford lock #13 and we were through it by 10:40. We moved on to Old Mill Park in Campbellford, and were tied up by 11:00.  As the day progressed the winds picked up to almost 70 km/hr.  We were glad to be safe at the wall in this small town.  We paid for 3 nights and planned to leave on Monday morning. 

On Saturday, David Nadja came to the boat to finish up the electronic calibrations.  He brought his mother, Grace along as they were headed up to their cottage once David was finished.   Grace and I visited, while the guys worked on the setup.  The two of us walked over the bridge to Dooher’s bakery to pick up muffins, tarts and cinnamon buns.   I took Grace’s picture in the park with the toonie.  

David was able to get the display screens changed to Andy’s specifications, as well as all the inputs that he wanted.  This was something that our two previous electronic specialists couldn’t accomplish.  Finally, the electronics that were installed in 2019 are working for the captain.  The bad news was that David could not get the JVC radio/cassette player (circa 2006) working, guess it’s time to replace it. Here’s Andy and David celebrating the end of this ordeal.

After they left, we pulled out our cart and the battery that had failed at Douro and walked to the Canadian tire.  The battery was still under warranty, so we were able to exchange it.  Now we will have a spare starter battery on board at all times, seeing as how this is one of our frequent issues.

 Around five we had dock tails with the other boats on the wall.  Dave and Kathy from Godspell, Ross and Maureen on Seneca, Jim on Live Wire and   Ken and Rhonda on Nine Lives. 

Godspell has a PVC rack which holds up their 2-400 watt solar panels, which gave Andy some ideas.

That night we learned that there would be a partial closure of the locks as of Monday, as per this memo.

This partial closure will protect boater safety, and help to prevent shoreline erosion and property damage experienced by local residents and businesses. All boaters are strongly encouraged to lower their speeds and watch their wake.

Parks Canada will continue to work diligently to re-open the entire system for navigation and will open individual lock stations in stages as soon as it safe to do so.

We decided to wait it out at Campbellford, rather than being at an isolated lock without power for multiple days.  There are a number of things that could be done on the boat, as well as shopping in town. 

On Sunday morning, out came the cart again and we walked up to UPI energy to have our 20 lb propane bottle refilled.  Next on our list was to run some soapy water through our shower and bilge in order to clean it.   As it was Father’s Day, Andy chose the menu for supper, which was BBQed beef tenderloin and veggies.  On Monday, my task was laundry.  Using the cart, we walked over the bridge, and went to Laneway laundry.  While the clothes were in the washer, we walked over to Sharpe’s food market and bought some groceries.  Andy returned to the boat with the perishables and I waited for the clothes to finish before trekking back to the boat.     In the afternoon we went to V&S, we were looking for graph paper and a toaster, as our toaster oven takes ages to make toast.  We also found a few other items; this store never disappoints there is always something that we may need.  We then walked over to the ice cream café; however, it is closed on Mondays.  We had dock tales with the other 3 boats that also chose to remain locked up in Campbellford, we are hostages on the water.   Tuesday marked the first day of summer, and the weather complied, it got to close to 30.  In the morning we pulled out our folding bikes, pumped up the tires, and lubricated some of the working parts.  Here’s Andy testing that everything is working.

  In the afternoon we walked across the bridge for essentials- ice cream & wine.  Saw this on the wall of the ice cream café. I had the Kawartha coconut and mango- both good but I am really enjoying the coconut!

 Later in the afternoon the captain pulled out his paper charts to show the other boaters places to stop along the TSW and in Georgian Bay.

In the evening we went to the movie theatre and viewed Jurassic World Dominion.  The Campbellford chamber of commerce bought us complimentary tickets.  The story line was a little unlikely, but I didn’t dream of dinosaurs.

On Wednesday we did some cleaning within the boat, as it was very hot outside. At about 3:20, we heard a bang at the back of our boat.  A boy who had been swimming on the other side of the canal in the strong current had been pushed diagonally over to our side of the canal.  Fellow boaters, Dave and Ross had heard his cries for help.  Ross had jumped onto our swim platform with a rope to try and pull him out.    He was successful, here’s the young lad resting after his ordeal. No lifejacket in a very strong current—not too smart!

Since it was very hot, we decided to order from Ming Star restaurant for supper. After dinner there was music in the park, here’s a view of some of the spectators, as well as our fellow boaters.

In the evening, Steve and Dodie Sharpe stopped by for a beverage.  We are loaning them our paper charts for the great loop, as they will be starting in August. Dodie showed me how to sign up for Nebo- so our boat location will now be visible to others.

We received some good news: TRENT-SEVERN WATERWAY TO RE-OPEN FOR NAVIGATION JUNE 24, 2022 Issued: June 22, 2022

Yippee, we will be leaving Campbellford after a week in this great town! Today we will fill up our water tanks, and reprovision before moving on tomorrow when the locks open. Here’s what I’m missing at home- one of my rose bushes covered in blooms.