Monthly Archives: June 2018

Last days in the Thousand Islands and St. Lawrence River

June 24-28

On Sunday morning, Roxanne, who I had met the previous evening, in the Tall Ships Landing building and her husband Wayne came by to see our boat.  They are hoping to do the loop in a few years.    We left Tall ships marina in Brockville  just before 11, and proceeded West on the St. Lawrence River.    We met another freighter just after we got into the Brockville cut.

There was a current, and Andy was only able to do about 11 Km  per hour at 2000 rpm, when normally we are closer to 14 -16 Km/hour.  Here’s an indication of how the markers were affected by the current.

We went by Mallory Landing, where the Parks Canada administration is located, and saw another of the Gazebo’s that dates back to the early 1900’s.

We had planned to maybe stop at Georgina, but the docks were taken, so we went on the Endymion, those docks were full as well, so we went around to the back of Endymion and  tied up to a mooring ball.


I followed the instructions, given to me by the captain, threading a rope through the mooring tire, while on the back swim platform and walked the rope up to the front.

No injuries to me, or skinned arms, like what had happened in Florida, the last time I tried to hook onto a mooring ball.   We were only there for about 10 minutes when the RCMP boat stopped by.  They had asked us a few questions about crossing the border and then talked about boats and the Loop.  One of the constables is planning on doing it in the next few years.

We left the next morning and slowly cruised to other Parks Canada Islands, which he hadn’t stayed at.    There was no room at room at Beau Rivage or Aubrey, but we did find a spot at Mermaid.  Here are the rocks just in front of our boat. 

We met some people from Brooklyn NY, who were on a house boat, and they shared some really good fish soup that they had made with the previous days catch.  They didn’t stay at Mermaid

as the fish were not biting there.  Later in the afternoon, this very large Yacht cruised by

and then   threw out its anchor.  It had 4 seadoos on its upper deck that they lowered with a crane.  Oh, the life of the very rich!!

The next morning at about 7:30, the Yacht moved on down the Bateau channel.On Tuesday morning, we left Mermaid at 11:30, and went down the Bateau channel past Trident Yacht club on our way to either Milton Island or Cedar island- the two park islands closest to Kingston.  Just past Trident we came across this row of animals all lined up in the channel. 

I suspect it is that people will slow down for them, so not to create a huge wake at their dock.  When we got near Milton around 1:30, we saw that there was a dock available, so we slowly moved into the Bay.  We only had about 5 feet of water, and there was a huge boulder in the middle of the bay, that we had been warned about I took some pictures of some of the flowers on the island,

and a view of Lake Ontario.

That evening we joined the other boaters at a campfire, until the mosquitoes appeared. Strong winds and rain was predicted for Wednesday, so we left Milton just after 7:00.  The water had about 2-3 foot waves

, in the open, until we reached the protection of Amherst Island, and then again in the big gap, after we reached the end of the island.    We travelled for several hours with the plans to anchor behind Ram Island, where we had been in the past.  At about noon, we encountered a huge downpour, and decided to anchor at Witlow Point.  We didn’t move at all during the night.  On Thursday morning when I went to pull up the anchor there was at least 50 lbs of weeds attached to the chain.  What a mess.  I had to pull them off by hand.  It took about 15 minutes to clean off the chain.  We left Witlow point at 7:45, just around the corner from where we had anchored was this farm. 

We passed  through Deseronto and Belleville, while Andy was driving, I did some cleaning in the boat.  We arrived at Trent Port Marina shortly after noon, it was still overcast, and seemed like it might rain, but it didn’t materialize.

I did a couple loads of laundry, and then we did some grocery shopping at the nearby Metro.  After dinner we went up to the club house for a couple drinks and watched the country singer.  We will be here until Sunday morning, for a 2 day American Great Loop Cruisers Association  looper lifestyle seminar.  There is suppose to be 100 people at the seminar on Friday and about 82 on Saturday.

More islands, repeats of islands and a trip to Brockville.

June 17-23 

In doing some reading in the tour books, I have learned that the Thousand Islands Park, which is also referred to as the St. Lawrence Islands National Park starts at Kingston and go as far as Brockville,

it was our goal to see and stay at many of the Parks Canada islands as we could, or to at least cruise by them if we couldn’t fit on their docks.    The Thousand Islands are made up of 1824 islands, and to be considered an island it must have at least one living tree.  The islands were named around 1815 by Captain William Owen; since the war of 1812 was just over he wanted to commemorate the new British territory by naming the islands after the men and their ships.  He tended to group the islands together and called the western most the Admiralty, and named the islands after admirals of the war years i.e.) Forsyth, Bostwich.  South east of these are a long chain of islands which he grouped as the Lake Fleet islands and named them after ships and gunboats i.e.) Bloodletter, Niagara, Camelot.    West of Ivy Lea, lies the Navy Islands named after captains of the Lake Fleet ships i.e.) Mulcaster, Downie and Owen.  The last group of islands at the Eastern end are referred to as the Brock group, named after Sir Isaac Brock, and the men who served under him.  Other islands within the Thousand Islands reflect the names of local owners i.e.) McDonald island

As we were getting ready to leave Trident, I noticed these turtles sunning themselves on this log. 

Looked like quite the party.  I then looked down at these floating maple leaves, and saw this tiny turtle. 

We left Trident at 10:30, and stopped at one of the docks at Beau Rivage,

however being a beautiful Sunday, there were lots of power, sail and seadoos around making a lot of waves.  We stayed for a couple of hours and then thought it was time to move on.  We went back to Endymion, where there was space on the dock and tied up.  We had two other boats join us for the night.  It was a hot afternoon and I sat on the back of the swim platform with my feet in the water.  It was too cold to go swimming, and because I had seen at least two water snakes, there was no way I was going in even if it was warm.  I did have a couple of perch come and investigate my toes in the water.

On Monday morning there was suppose to be a weather front coming through with rain and strong winds-so we just stayed.  I read yet another book “the Help”—I’ve think I’m up to 10 books for the trip so far.  We could hear the wind howling, and there were white caps but we were sheltered at the dock.  Around 4:00 the rain started and it really cooled off outside.  The wind had switched during the night and there was some bumping on the dock.  Unforgettable Satellite, the   boat that was across from us on the dock, move in front of us on our side of the dock, as the waves were really bouncing them around.  The winds subsided as the morning went on and by 11:00, we decided it would soon be time to see some new islands.  We left at 11:30 and moved to Georgina Island,

which is very near the Thousand Island Bridge connecting the USA and Canada.

We arrived by 12:55.  We took a walk around the island as there were other docks on the south side,

but the current looked quite strong there and we likely would have had issues docking.   Where we were, the Gananoque and Uncle Sam Cruise ships came by ever hour or so- making waves; — thankfully they don’t run at night. In the evening, Andy tried fishing from the dock he had caught several fish, but without a net, kept losing them before he could land them on the dock.  At dusk I saw this   raccoon, by the shore digging in the stream-Andy figures he was either catching fish or clams.  The park’s signage warned of aggressive raccoons- not sure if this one was or not.    I later saw this bird- buzzard? eating a fish.   The traffic noise from the bridge didn’t disturb us at night.  In the morning before 7 a.m. the water was extremely calm, as no boats were coming down the channel yet.    I watched these 3 buzzards sitting on a tree near our boat for over an hour, it seemed like they were checking us out.    We decided to leave for another island at 11: 30, and cruised to West Grenadier, however the depth dropped off really quickly and we weren’t sure of what the depth was at the dock, so we backed out.   Instead we went back to Central Grenadier, where we had been the previous week.   There was a large boat at the end dock, where we had previously tied up, so we pulled into one of the finger docks.  The people in the large dock were only stopping for lunch, so once they left we returned to the end.    That evening, Wednesday, there were 6 boats at the dock.  They slowly left as the morning progressed, and by noon we were alone.  It was very peaceful, hot and calm.  I read another book, and Andy took the dinghy down, and paddled around the bay trying to convince the bass and perch that he could see in the water to bite his hook.  But they weren’t interested.   No one joined us on the dock for Thursday night.    Friday was very similar to Thursday; we were alone at Central Grenadier until it was dark.  We kept thinking because it was the weekend that the dock and campground would be full- but it didn’t happen.  When we got up on Saturday there was one boat that must have come in after 10 p.m.

On Saturday, I did a little bit of cleaning;   we had decided that we were going to the Tall Ships Marina in Brockville which was about 2 hours away. We left the dock shortly after 10:00, and travelled east; we were travelling on the edge of the St.Lawrence Shipping Channel and met this freighter.

Unknown to me we also were going to pass by Singer castle on the Canadian side, here’s a view from the back.    At about 11:40, it started sprinkling, and the closer we got to Brockville the harder the rain fell.  I saw the Parks Canada Island- Stovin, we had been told by some other boaters that we couldn’t go in there, because it was too shallow at the dock.   We saw lots of boats anchored or tied up at Sparrow Island,

one of the Brock group islands that are managed by the city of Brockville.   Brockville is one of the oldest incorporated cities in Canada, it was established by loyalists in 1784 as Buell’s Bay and was renamed by Sir Isaac Brock in 1812 to Brockville.  When we got to Tall ships, we stopped at the fuel dock and bought enough diesel to get us back to Buckhorn.  Once we were tied up, we changed out of our wet clothes, found our rain jackets and went in search of lunch.  The first place we stopped was Don’s fish and chips, which had been recommended by several people, however it was a take-out place and we didn’t want to have to go back to the boat to eat.  Instead we went Buds on the Bay, afterwards we wanted to explore downtown and started by walking through the railway tunnel.  The tunnel runs 0.3 miles under downtown Brockville and was built between 1854 and 1860 and connected the industrial waterfront to the outlying areas.  Here are several pictures from different parts of the tunnel.

We did some more walking around downtown, which was full of very old brick buildings. 

It was doors open Ontario, so we also visited the First Presbyterian church.   The very tall steeples on top of the church intrigued me from a distance. 

The woodwork, stained glass and painted motifs on the ceiling were amazing.  This church was built in 1848 and expanded in 1879.  It holds about 750 people.

We did a little bit of shopping on King Street and then returned to the boat.  After showers and a couple loads of laundry we went out to the Union Jack pub for a late supper.  Sunday we will begin moving westward.

The Castles and Islands Tour

June 11-16

Brian and Helen joined us for our first week in the Thousand Islands, they arrived Monday morning and we left Trident Yacht Club at 12:20 bound for the islands.

We had purchased a Parks Canada Mooring pass which we had used on the Trent Severn to stay at the locks at night; it also gives us access to 20 different sites in the Islands.  The facilities at each island vary; they usually have washrooms, and may have camp sites, oTENTik (cabins), trails, firewood, and picnic shelters.  Some of the islands have docks, whereas others just have mooring buoys (you tie up to the buoy, which is anchored and enjoy the winds and waves, and can only access the island by dinghy.  Our preference it to tie up to a dock.

We arrived at Gordon Island at 13:40, and tied up. We walked the trail through the park and saw this gazebo from the early 1900’s.

There were signs up for vegetation to avoid like Poison Ivy.    Andy did a little bit of washing of the Port side of the boat, and we relaxed and read books.  We seemed to be in line for the wake from Gananoque cruise ships and encountered some large waves, until nightfall; when the cruises stopped.   We had a peaceful night.

In the morning we left the island at 8:30, bound for Alexandria Bay and Boldt Castle which opened at 10:00.


  Once we arrived at the castle, our first stop was US Customs, as we had crossed into the United States, and Boldt Castle was an official port of entry.  After showing our Pass ports and answering a few questions we were allowed to go purchase tickets for the castle.

Here’s some history as taken from the castle’s web site: At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island.  The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.  But the castle was never finished as Louise, died in 1904, and the Boldt’s did not return to the island.  In 1977 the Thousand Island’s Bridge authority acquired the property and has been restoring it for future generations. To date over 32 Million dollars have been spent. 

After we purchased our tickets, we took the 5 minute boat to the Boldt Castle Yacht House on Wellesley Island, which was opened in the summer of 1996.  The Boldt family yachts and house boat would have been housed here in the slips that were 128 feet long.  The collection now consists of a number of antique wooden boats including the numbered racers that the Boldt family had used.

The Yacht House also features an 1892 Steam Yacht called the Kestrel, which was a typical; yacht that would have been seen in the waters of the St. Lawrence, Hudson Rivers and the Great Lakes.  The steam yacht Kestrel is representative of the period and vessels owned and operated by George Boldt.

After spending about an hour at the Yacht house, we returned to Heart Island for a tour of the castle and grounds.  The main floor boasts a reception room, ballroom, billiards, and kitchen, dining room for the owners as well as for the servants, butler’s pantry and library.


The second floor had bedroom suites

and a bathroom, and reception room.  Here’s a view from the bedroom window of our boat.

In the renovation, they have also added a theatre room and gift shop.  The 3rd and 4th floor have not been developed/renovated as yet.  Unfortunately many visitors to the castle have written graffiti across many of the walls and ceilings.  I made a few purchases in the gift shop, including a Christmas decoration, that I can add to my collection.  We walked around the grounds, to see the power house, dove cove and gardens.

We left Boldt Castle at 1:30 and went to the public docks at Alexandria Bay to tie up for the night.    

 We walked up James Street, and checked out some of the stores, found the Post office and then went for Ice cream.   We also saw this very large chess board. 

On our way back to our boat we met other Gold Loopers, Jan and Ron from Adagio. 

Later that evening we went to Coleman’s on the Docks for supper, where I had crab cakes.

On Wednesday morning it was cool and overcast, it had rained during the night, and there was a rainbow over the bay.  Jan from Adagio sent me this picture.

We went out for breakfast and then did a little more shopping in Alexandria Bay.  We left the dock at 10:50; our destination was Dark Island and the Singer castle, which located very close to the US-Canada border.  We arrived at the island

just before noon, which is when the tours begin.  Here’s the history of this castle, as taken from their website

A part of American history and local folklore meet at Singer Castle on Dark Island, located on the St. Lawrence River. Singer Castle is the only remaining/existing castle on our river to be completed, fully furnished and resided in during the heyday of the great builders and industrials in New York. Mr. Bourne wanted to surprise his wife Emma and their children with an island hunting retreat. He purchased Dark Island in 1902 and had designed and built the castle originally known as “The Towers” for a cost of US $500,000. The Castle remained in the possession of the original owners, the Bourne family, from its construction in 1905 until the mid 1960’s. Frederick Bourne was the fifth President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which is where the name “Singer Castle” came from. 

We had a 45 minute guided tour through the house that showed us the various rooms.  All the rooms were full furnished,

and they boast a royal suite, that can be rented for the night at $750 US, that includes dinner and breakfast.  There were also many secret passageways and we went through one from the wine cellar to the library.  The suite was occupied, so we weren’t able to see it.  We did a short tour of the grounds and then returned to our boat by 1:00.   We were in agreement that this was the better castle of the two we had seen.    It had begun to rain, and we headed to the docks at Grenadier Island –Central, to tie up for the night.  Since we had returned to Canada, the first order of business   was to check in with Canadian Customs by phone. The rain stopped and we relaxed on the docks.  There was a notice at the island,

which said we had to vacate the docks by 7:00, when Peter from Parks Canada came by; he told us that the OPP and RCMP were holding a mock disaster at the campsite, so it was off limits to the public.  Wednesday evening, there was some wind, so it was a little bouncy through the night.  At 6:30  in the morning by the washrooms, I saw this deer grazing-  it didn’t seem too disturbed by my presence.

We left the docks shortly after 7, no sign of the any police but we didn’t want to disobey the signage.  We arrived at Endymion Island at 9:35,

and had the place to ourselves for Thursday.  On Friday morning around 9;00  just when we were thinking of going to another island ,  two boats from Trident Yacht Club pulled into the island.  Zoltan told us that they had gone by the islands that we were considering, and that many of the spots were taken. He said we already were sitting at one of the coveted spots in the islands-so we decided to stay at Endymion for another night.  Andy took the dinghy and paddled to the back of  the island to see what the mooring buoys  looked like and tried a little fishing.  After lunch 2 more boats showed up so there were now 5 of us at the dock.

Parks Canada staff dropped by in the afternoon, and we filled out a survey and made some suggestions on how they could make the parks better.    Later in the afternoon we saw this old steamer boat go by.

We visited with the other boaters from Trident, and had an early night.  In the morning the captain made pancakes, and we left at about 10:20.    We took the wandering channel back and circled some of the other potential islands that we can visit in future including Camelot, McDonald, Thwartway and Mermaid.


We arrived back at Trident at about 12:20, and ended up tying up in Zoltan and Laura’s spot as we knew they were staying at Endymion for another night.  Brian and Helen took us to Gananoque for groceries and more red wine.  When we returned to Trident I did a couple of loads of laundry, and then worked on writing the blog for the week.  Tomorrow we will be returning to the islands, and will try some that we haven’t been to as yet.  They are predicting some rain and winds for Monday, so we want to be at an island that is sheltered.

Made it to Lake Ontario

June 7-10, 2018

I’ve been experiencing issues with my Canon camera ever since we left Winnipeg, every time I turned it on it was asking for the date and time, and I couldn’t take a picture until I had entered it.  I set it at least 30 times, but it wouldn’t keep it in memory.  Last night I was fed up and searched on the internet for a solution.  I found out that I needed a Lithium battery for the date & time.  So this morning when Andy went to Canadian tire I had added the battery to his list.   The camera’s date time function is now working.  We left Campbellford at 9:50 and followed Navigator IV to our first lock for the day,   it was the Ranney Falls flight (locks #12 and #11) – meaning 2 locks in succession, with a total drop of 48 feet.   We were through by 10:35.  In the second lock we had company; I saw two turtles and was able to snap a picture of one of them.


We went through Hagues Reach #10 by 11:10 followed by Meyers #9 and Percy’s Reach # 8 by noon.    I saw a few wild Iris’s and some wildlife or indication of wildlife, like this Beaver house,

blue heron, falcon/hawk nest,

and Robin   We had an 18 Km run to the next lock, Glen Ross #7, Navigator IV went ahead, and they were just closing the lock gates when we came into view, so they reopened them and locked us down together.  We were through this lock by 1:30.  This lock had recently had a makeover, and there was still construction equipment around.    We had another 11 Km to get to our final destination for the day Frankford #6.  We tied up for the night at 2:30, and paid our $9.80 for power hookup.   We had gone through 6 locks and travelled 38.4 Km today.  Heart Tug, with Audrey and Randy arrived at about 3:00 from Trenton; we had previously met them last summer near Fenlon Falls.  We spent the afternoon visiting with them and talking about boating.  They had previously spent time on Lake Superior, and recommended a book by Bonnie Dahl for information and anchoring on that lake.

We were through Frankford lock at 9:20, being a Friday; the locking hours start at 9:00.  We were through Batawa at 10:10 and then on to Glen Miller for 10:50.  We had to wait for a boat locking through the other way, it was called Sum Escape with Julie and Tom Van Hall – Andy had met them in Joliette Illinois in September of 2015, when both of our boats were just starting the loop.  We had met them again in Marathon FL in 2016. They are an example of people who didn’t rush their loop trip- did the 3 year plan.  After Glen miller we had Sidney at 11:15 and then the final lock of Trenton at 11:40.

We had gone 11.7 Km and dropped 116.6 feet to Lake Ontario.    We proceeded to Trent Port Marina and tied up shortly after noon.  There were two other loopers near us, Trawler tales of Ned Pepper, who had just gone Gold the previous day and Next Act.    It was the nicest day yet, so we spent some time washing the boat, doing laundry and then walked up to Metro to get some supplies.

On Saturday morning, we did a little more exterior cleaning, and pulled out at 10, headed through the Bay of Quinte for Hay Bay and Ram Island, which is located near Picton.   It was calm with little wind.

We anchored by 2:30.   Andy did some fishing, and I relaxed and read a book.  Took a few pictures of a family of Swans that were living near the Island.

We had bought some Port hole covers, and thought we should finally install them, as the last time it rained the forward berths had gotten wet.

On Sunday weighed anchor at 900 headed   toward Kingston, passing by Amherst Island.    Here are a few pictures of Kingston from the water,

and tour boats that we passed.

We arrived at Trident Yacht Club before 3:00. and tied up.  We relaxed, had supper and then went up to the clubhouse to visit and ask advice of some of the other boaters who we had met in 2016 when we were here.

On Monday morning, I did a  load of laundry, while we waited for Helen and Brian to join us, for a week in the Thousand islands.

Going down the Trent Severn Waterway

We left Buckhorn Yacht Harbour at 9:45, after filling up with diesel ($750), it was overcast and windy.  We locked through Buckhorn #31 with a 50 foot Marquis called Navigator IV,

and exited the lock at 10:15.  We then proceeded through Lovesick#30, followed by Burleigh Falls #28, when Andy was exiting he couldn’t get the starboard engine to start.  We pulled over at the Blue line and Andy called Gene, the marine electronics person, who had done some upgrades on Friday.  Gene suggested that Andy play with the gear shift, as he had noticed that the cable seemed stretched, and didn’t pa line up correctly.  Gene’s advice was correct and we continued on through Clear and Stoney Lakes.   We then passed though Young’s Point and tied up at Lakefield #26 at 1:50. 

We walked into town for a few groceries and stopped for Ice Cream.  There was a contest going on, but neither of us entered as we figured that eating all  that ice cream would cause such a large brain freeze that we might not recover.

There were 3 other boats at the lock for the night.  Andy tried fishing and caught and released this Bass- too small for us.


On Tuesday, I got up at my regular time 5:15 CST (6:15) EST and made coffee, then we moved the boat up to the blue line.  While we waited I did some cleaning inside the boat, and then cleaned the windows inside and out.  Since Parks Canada is on reduced hours (10-4), we locked through Lakefield at 10:30 with Navigator IV followed by Sawer Creek, Duoro.  It was the same Park Canada crew working at both locks, so they put us through the first one and drove the 1.5 Km to the 2nd to greet us.  We were through Duoro by 11:20 and next up was Otonabee and Nassau Mills, again a crew working both we exited Nassau by 12:10.    We then passed through Trent University campus, where it looked like it was graduation day for some, as I saw lots of caps and gowns.   We went through a swing bridge and then arrived at the Peterborough lift lock #21. It took us 2.5 minutes to descend the 65 feet.  (Here’s the view from the top of the lift)

We then had 2 more bridges to go through; the CP Bridge was very old and rusty and seemed to take more than 10 minutes to open.

  We then went through Ashburnham and Scotts Mills #19.  We tied up at the bottom of Scotts Mills at 2:20.  An 8 lock day and we only went 16.1 Km.  We walked to a nearby store, and bought fudge- no ice cream today.

On June 6th we left Scott Mills at 6:15,   as we had to go through down the Otonabee river and cross Rice Lake before our next lock at Hastings, a distance of 60.5 Km, and we wanted to be at Hastings for the first lock opening at 10:00.  When we left these ducks were sleeping next to our boat.

We got to Rice Lake by 8:20

and the lock by 10:05.  Navigator IV was waiting for us, they had passed us on the Otonabee River, and had got to Hastings shortly after 9:00—big boat with 3 big Volvo engines.  After Hastings we had 5 more locks to go through in a span of 30 KM- the 3 locks at Healy falls which dropped us 74 feet,  Crowe Bay

and Campbellford.     Many of the locks that we have gone through in the past few days have had new cement poured and undergone some renovations.  Not so at Campbellford, at this lock the walls were covered with zebra mussels,

and as we went down they were spitting out water, it seemed like it was raining-I was disgusted being spit on by mussels.   We were tied up by 2:35 at the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce docks at Old Mill Park.  We had showers, water and power.  We met Sylvie and Luc Remillard on Lil Hide Away, who are current loopers and will be crossing their wake once they get to Britt in Georgian Bay.  We had some docktails at the picnic table and talked about our trips, and later went to the MingStar restaurant for supper, where they had Kawartha ice cream as one of the desserts- I tried a small scoop of 4 different varieties.  As we wait for the lock to open at 10, Andy has been to the Bakery for fresh muffins, and has now gone to Canadian Tire for a few supplies.

It’s June 2018 and we’re Cruising again :)

May was a crazy month and here’s why:

Andy drove to Ontario with a load of stuff for the boat during the first week of May.  I flew out to Toronto on May 5th, as we were going to a wedding near Bracebridge on the weekend. I flew back to Winnipeg on Monday.  While Andy was away I received an offer on our 35 foot Carver “Odyssey” we had been using it as our cottage on the water since 2009. IMG_9608 Once we bought the trawler in 2014, to do the loop, we had been trying half heartedly to sell it.   I signed the papers the night I returned from Toronto, so we are a one boat family now.

Andy drove back after replacing a window and one of the toilets in the trawler. He made it home on May 10th, just in time for a visit from both his sister and her husband from Fort Frances, and his brother and wife from Wainwright. They had come to Winnipeg for Uncle Al’s 90th birthday on May 12th.

The long weekend in May we drove the 500 Km up to Swan River to visit my family.  It was also the occasion of my mother’s 88th birthday.  She had moved into the Lodge Swan River in January, after a short stay in a nursing home in Benito, and several months in hospital.  We hadn’t been to her new place as she was still in Benito when we visited her at Christmas.   It was a great party with almost all the family there.  After the birthday, everyone was glued to the; TV, as the Winnipeg Jets were playing the Vegas Knights in game 5 of the 3rd round of the Stanley Cup playoff. They lost and didn’t make it to the Stanley Cup final.   On the way home Monday, we stopped at a greenhouse, so I could buy some tomatoes and peppers to plant in my garden.  Since we were past the “May long-weekend”, the unofficial safe date for planting in Zone 3, I planted my garden.

Other things keeping me busy in May were a cookbook that I had volunteered to make for the upcoming McMorland Reunion in August.  I needed to get recipes and information from 10 branches of Andy’s mother’s family.  Not an easy feat—lots of emails and reminders back and forth. I had  enter  most of the 165 of the recipe’s into the printer’s website in April, but I had left making the  11 family trees,  and writing the dedication with a few pictures for May.  I had a May 31st deadline, as I didn’t want to be working on it while on vacation. I sent the last pictures the evening of May 31st.

The last weekend in May was the beginning our annual Grand Session for the order of the Eastern Star.    On the Saturday night we invited Debra and Robert Kelly, our good friends from Missouri, over for supper and to catch up on what everyone had done in the past year.  Our time at Grand Session was going to be quite limited as I was busy at work, and could only attend a couple of the evening sessions.  On Monday evening, Andy presented the Manitoba Flag and I gave a tribute.  On Wednesday night I was one of the installing officers for the new slate of officers for 2018-19.

Now if this wasn’t enough to keep me busy in my quest to have everything done for a June 1st departure from Winnipeg—there was one other unplanned for complication.  On the evening of May 25th, I started having a toothache.  I had been to the dentist at the end of April and had complained about a sensitivity to hot and cold.  The dentist’s office wasn’t open on the weekend, so I survived with an ice pack and orajel until Monday.  I got in to see the dentist, who recommended a root canal, as it would alleviate the pain, and stop the abscess.  The root canal was slated for Wednesday morning.  After the procedure because of a crack in my tooth I was referred to a dental specialist, which I will see in July after I’m back from vacation. I was given antibiotics in case I have another flare up or swelling.   Thursday was a super busy day at work, I was trying to complete a list of things needed to be done before leaving, I wasn’t successful, and I had to delegate a bunch of things.   I was also a busy day for Andy he had a medical procedure at one of the hospitals, and then had to go see a surgeon, about a hernia repair.  He too was referred to another specialist for his opinion, so his surgery won’t be until later in the summer.    That evening we packed up the cars, both the trunk and backseat was full of clothes and stuff for the boat.  Now that we only have the one boat, we won’t have to transfer stuff between boats.

On Friday morning, we got up at 5:30, and were out of the house shortly after 6:00.  We had decided to take the American route, through MN, WI and MI, the roads are better, and the gas is cheaper.    We went through, Duluth, IMG_9679


( yes, it is an elevator)   Marquette, and Ashland


(It was windy on Lake Superior, the water was a red- brown colour near the shore-Andy said it was the colour of the tree bark being churned up)

and also through Christmas Michigan, and here’s Santa to prove it.

IMG_9696  I did some reading,  ISO procedures- they were as exciting as Nicole had said!  We had thought we would stay in Newberry, but it was still light out, so we continued another hour IMG_9704


(Here’s the locks at the Sault from the bridge  to Canada) crossed the border back into Canada at Sault St. Marie. IMG_9716 A 13 hour day, and Andy drove it all.  We stayed at the Catalina Motel;   Andy had stayed there on one of his past trips.

We left Saturday morning at 7:30 and continued East.  We went through many towns along the Trans Canada.   Lots of rocks and construction, where they are continuing to twin the highways.  I couldn’t post many pictures, as a lot of them are blurry, as I was taking them as we were going 100+ Km/hour.IMG_9724We continued until Orillia and then turned east onto highway 12.

IMG_9737  We arrive at Buckhorn just after 3:00.  Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening unpacking and sorting through stuff.    We went to the Cody Inn for supper and resisted going for Kawartha Ice cream.

Today  we will drive  into Peterborough (about 30 km away) and do some grocery shopping, and continue to get ready for moving down the trent severn waterway to Lake Ontario.  We had a marine electronics technician on the boat on Friday and he completed a couple of repairs  from that were needed at the end of last year. He changed some wires so that the Captain can now start and stop the boat from the upper helm- which he hasn’t been able to do in the 4 years that we’ve owned “On Business”.  It’s not yet 6 am here, it’s a little breezy, and the sun is shining, although they are predicting rain starting at about noon.  Will likely do some cleaning on the outside once the Captain gets up and then continue inside once the rain starts.  It’s good to be back on the water!