Daily Archives: August 7, 2016

Gold Loopers after 357 days

With our arrival in  Victoria Harbour on Saturday August 6th our status has changed– We  are Gold Loopers!  I checked earlier in the week with the AGLCA, according to their records we are the first from Manitoba.  Another fact on average only 85 boats complete the loop in a given year- so we are part of a very elite group!IMG_8629Victoria Harbour was the place where Andy started  August 15, 2015  with Pat and Marcia Gillespie as crew. So we have come full circle and crossed our wake.  Claudia provided me with pictures from her boat.vh3After we were tied up and checked in we walked into town and got some groceries.   In the  afternoon, we retired our white AGLCA burgee and replaced it with the Gold burgee, signifying that we have completed the loop and are now known as Gold Loopers.  People who have done the loop multiple times fly a platinum coloured burgee.IMG_8657 IMG_8658 IMG_8661



We celebrated the feat with champagneIMG_8662

vh6and then went out for supper to Queen’s Quay with Dave and Claudia.  They are celebrating  too as  they are  about 1/2 done the Loop- they are from Texas but  officially started from Fort Myers, so need to return there to complete it.IMG_8653


IMG_8665Later in the evening Don Allin and  his partner Barbara stopped by, we had visited with them in February in Florida.  Don was the broker who had negotiated the sale of On Business to us in June of 2014, they were pleased that we had completed what we had set out to do.

Over the past few days, we have fallen in love with the western half of the TSW, we made a tough decision today.  We have decided not to sell On Business but rather sell  our Carver-Odyssey, so that we can spend our vacations in Ontario and once I retire, spend the entire boating season here.   We had   tentatively sold On Business  on July 23rd, subject to a survey and sea-trial which had not taken place.  Andy  called the prospective buyer saying we had decided to take her off the market.

We have about 3 weeks left until I need to be back in Winnipeg, we plan to do some exploring in Georgian Bay and find a marina that will store On Business for us until next summer.

Here’s the message that we put on the AGLCA forum last night

Twylla and Andy McKendry aboard On Business, a 31 year old PT 35 Sundeck Trawler crossed their wake on August 6th, 357 days after leaving  Queen’s Cove Marina in Victoria Harbour.

 We have traveled 6870 miles, spent $6180 USD on 2301 Gallons of fuel, traversed 18 states, and 188 locks.   We traveled 163 days, spending  255 nights at marinas, (includes 37 days in Polestar for a trip home to get the Admiral and 31 in Myrtle Beach for golfing), 74 at anchor and 28  using our Parks Canada mooring pass.  Our side trips included, going down to the Keys, crossing Okeechobee  twice, once via the Rim route, as well as  4 of the stops on the Albermarle Loop,  Salisbury MD, a few days in the Thousand Islands  and up and down the Rideau for July 1st– Canada Day.   Our  best memories are of the  hundreds of people we have met and the many friends made along the way.

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.

This has truly been an adventure of a lifetime and we wouldn’t have postponed it for anything  —our Canadian dollar wasn’t worth much at times, but the cheap diesel helped our budget.

Our mantra became:  it is what it is!

The admiral is returning to work at the end of August for another 4-5 years, but she hasn’t lost the boating bug.  We have come to realize that some of the best boating is in Ontario, so we’re thinking of spending summer vacations here until we Loop again.

Andy & Twylla McKendry    AGLCA #9588

Gold Loopers 2015-16   from  Winnipeg, Manitoba

Couchiching to Georgian Bay via the Big Chute Railway

August 3-6

We remained at Couchiching on Wednesday, and just relaxed.  Saw a boat name  that I liked.IMG_8541On Thursday morning we locked through by 9:45 and then traveled 14 miles through Sparrow LakeIMG_8562 IMG_8563and then the Severn River to the  Swift Rapids lock.  It was a blistering hot day and we decided to stay on top in order to get a little bit of breeze.    We tied up on the dam side of the lock but moved to the front of the blue line after 5:00, so we would be the first ones through on Friday.   We were joined by Dave and Claudia on Stillwaters II several hours later, as they had come from Orillia.

On Friday, we locked though by 9:17.  This lock is referred to as the giant, with a 47 foot drop.IMG_8576 IMG_8578Even though this place was called Swift Rapids, there was very little water flowing over the dam, likely because of the drought  that has been affecting this part of Ontario.

The admiral had a bit of a mishap when she pushed the boat away from the lock  wall, she put the boat hook handle into the window and it cracked.IMG_8582This was the same window pane that was broken back in April, so it’s going to get replaced again.  We once again followed the Severn River until we arrived at the Big chute.


IMG_8589  We tied up at the dock, so that we could watch other boats go through before we moved to the Blue line.   We also wanted to connect up with Mike and Franziska, as they were driving from Owen Sound so they could watch us do the chute.   The way the big chute railway works is that you pilot your boat onto a specially designed railway car, that has several slings and straps in order to carry a number of boats across land and deposit them in the lower basin.IMG_8618The railway lift can carry up to 110 tons and boats as long as 100 feet,  they tend to load the big boats and have the props hanging out over the car.    David and Claudia on Stillwater II, went through first with another boat and we watched from the blue line.IMG_8597

IMG_8600Then it was our turn, here’s the view from the blue line of where we were going to join up with the carriage,IMG_8601and the view down the hill to the lower basinIMG_8605a smaller boat went onto the carriage first  and we followed behind on the left,  the sling came up and we were rocking above the carriage.Here’s a series of pictures taken by Mike and Franziska from the ground.OB 8

OB 1 OB 3

OB 6

OB 7

OB 5Here’s my view from the boat. The ride across the road and down the rocky ridge only took about 10 minutes and then the carriage and slings were released and we floated off the carriage.  Truly amazing and a highlight of the loop and the TSW.  Claudia had videotaped it but the files are too big for posting on the blog– will be great memories of this day.IMG_8613After tying up ,we went for lunch with  Mike and Franziska,IMG_8615we also had ice cream, it was Chapman’s which we all agreed wasn’t as good as Kawartha Dairies.

Since a thunderstorm was predicted for the afternoon, we opted to stay on the lock docks for the night.  It did rain, for a total of about 15 minutes not the downpour that the area needed.

On Saturday morning, we left the dock shortly after 9 and headed towards lock 45 at Port Severn the last lock on the Trent Severn Waterway.    We passed through Gloucester pool and by some very nice cottages/homes.IMG_8642

IMG_8644We had to go through another narrow channel,IMG_8637where we would have had to meet another large power boat, but Andy stayed back in a wider area and waited for him.  We arrived at the Port Severn lock 45 and went in right away with another boat.  The lock was extremely busy and was much smaller than the other locks so it could only take 2 large boats at a time.  Once we were through at 10:35, we pulled into Georgian Bay and dropped anchor, in order to wait  for Still Waters II.  They had to wait for several lock downs  before it became their turn.   We crossed  Severn BayIMG_8648 IMG_8652 and pulled into  Queen’s Cove marina in Victoria Harbour at 1 pm.