We left Buckhorn Yacht Harbour at 8:00 on Tuesday June 6th, it was overcast, and as we got closer to the Bobcaygeon Lock it began raining. We locked through with two houseboats, but we stayed clear of them- coming into the lock last, as we had seen the way that some houseboat renters drive. It rained off and on for most of the day, as we proceeded through Fenlon Falls and Rosedale locks, with the Lock hours being 10-4, we were able to make it to the bottom of Kirkfield by 3pm. It was a cool damp night.
We awoke Wednesday morning to clear blue skies. We left at 9:20, after Canal lake, we passed through the Hole in the wall bridge, with the reflection in the water, I got this picture.We arrived at the first swing bridge for it’s 10:00 opening. Our timing was almost perfect as we went through another bridge followed by 5 locks to reach Lake Simcoe by 12:35. We only had to wait a couple of minutes at one lock for a boat coming out, otherwise we were alone as we moved westward. Lake Simcoe had hardly a ripple on it,and we crossed the 20 miles and were docked at the Port of Orillia shortly after 2:00. The marina office and shower renovation is almost complete and the facilities are amazing, last summer when we were here the showers were in a temporarily set up in a trailer.
We had blown a fuse on our inverter, so a marine electrician was going to meet us at the marina and fix our issue. After reprovisioning at Metro we returned to the boat. I then went out in search of a bakery where I had purchased wonderful cinnamon buns last year. The city is gearing up for July 1st, and the banners around town all depict maple leaves. The electrician arrived around 7:00, and was able to find the blown fuse, and got our Xantrex inverter working again.
Thursday morning we left the marina at 8:20, crossing Lake Couchiching in order to make the CN swing bridge for 10:00 as they work the same hours as the Parks Canada locks. We arrived at the bridge at 9:45, but needed to wait until after 11:15 before the bridge opened. Apparently this is the CN main line, and the bridge doesn’t open if there is an approaching train within 30 minutes. So we waited with several other boats and saw 2 freight trains and a passenger train pass by.
Because of the backlog at the railway bridge, we had company through the Couchiching, Swift Rapids and Big Chute Marine railway. We arrived at the bottom of the Big Chute by 3:15,
and tied up at the docks. As we were going down the chute, I noticed a workman between the rails of the carriage making measurements. We went up to the restaurant for ice cream, but they were already closed. We went back to the Chute and watched as a Parks Canada crew replaced one of the cables that move the boat carriage. It was a quiet evening, and we were all alone again. We left the dock by 8:00 to proceed to Port Severn and our last lock before reaching Georgian Bay. Weekend hours for the locks are 9-6, but when we arrived, there were already boats in line for the first lock down, we tied up on the blue line and waited. We were out into the bay by 9:50. Once again there was very little wind, so the Bay was quite smooth. Our destination for the day was Beausoleil Island, which was about 12 miles away, we check-in at noon. We had stayed here in the past, our Parks Canada Mooring pass is accepted here, as it is a national park. In the afternoon, Andy spent time on the deck enjoying the sun, while I finished sewing the Velcro onto the curtains that I had made. We had a great visit with an older couple who had been boating for many decades, here in Canada and the Bahamas. A great day on the Bay!! One week of vacation gone- 4 more to go!!
Sounds like you are both well on your way to explore Georgian Bay!! Wishing you days of sunny skies and lots of ice cream stops!!!