We got the OK from the doctor, and left from work on Wednesday as planned and made it to Fort Frances. We spent Thursday night in Sault St. Marie and connected up with Pat and Marcia Gillespie, who will take us to re-provision once we get there and assist us with the Sault Lock, which we checked out that evening after crossing the border.
We arrived in Buckhorn around 2 pm Friday, and our boat had already been launched. The electronics technician was still working the upgrades, and said it would be a couple more days before he was finished.
After having Kawartha ice cream,we drove up to Bancroft and spent the night with Brian and Helen. On Saturday we did some grocery shopping for the trip and drove back to Buckhorn filled the fridge and I unloaded the car. We drove back to Bancroft for the night. On Sunday morning we met Brian and Muriel for breakfast before returning to Buckhorn again. There was still a lot to be done and Gene, said he would return Monday morning. Monday was a dreary day- We took the boat out for a short trip which involved driving around in circles to calibrate some of the instruments. While doing some testing in the morning Gene determined that some of our batteries were defective, so we decided to change out 6 of the 12 batteries for new ones. While looking through some old boat bills, I ascertained that the batteries were likely 9 years old, and had surpassed their life expectancy. The batteries arrives at 2pm from Peterborough and were in the boat and hooked up by 4.
Gene left in the early afternoon after hooking up the radar, anchor light and putting the new screens in place in the lower helm.
Brian and Helen had arrived in the early afternoon and we went for lunch, Helen then returned to Bancroft, leaving Brian to be an extra set of hands to get us through the locks.
On Tuesday morning, we moved over to the fuel dock and filled up the tanks with diesel. We then set off – headed for the lock in Bobcaygeon, we wanted to be there for the 10 am opening. We were out of this lock by 10:17, and continued through Fenlon Falls and Rosedale. On Balsam lake- the highest point on the Trent Severn, we were met by the familiar boat of Glen Cavers, our boating friend from our 2017 travels in Georgian Bay.
He drove past, reminding us that we were coming to his place for supper that night. After the Kirkfield lift lock, we were told by the lock staff that we likely had enough time to do one more lock. We passed through Canal lake, which was a little choppy
and the hole in the wall bridge.
We made it though the Bolsover lock and tied up below on the blue line by 3:50. A five lock day. Glen came by at 4:30- to check out the electronics and take us back to their place on Balsam lake for supper. Julie had made a wonderful meal, and share some olives, Ouzo and lemoncello, that she had recently brought back from Greece. What a treat.
She also had numerous Kawartha Ice cream flavours and cherry pie for dessert. Were we ever spoiled.
After dinner we went down to her studio to see her latest art projects, pictures made with silk and different wool, she had self-taught herself by watching you–tube videos. Such talent!!
Not to be out done, Glenn showed us his latest project- a harmonograph, he said he had made one when he was in high school, and this was his latest attempt.
I have a signed copy of the output—each one is unique.
I remember a spirograph that I had in the early 70’s that could create something similar- but not nearly as sophisticated. An amazing night- I can hardly wait to be retired, so I can learn all kinds of new stuff. Glen took us back to the boat by 11:00.
On Wednesday,we left Bolsover, and headed for Talbot, Portage, Thorah and Gamesbridge, these 4 locks are in within 2.5 miles, so very close together. One lock crew operated 2 of the locks, so had to drive to the next one, once they had closed the gates. Many of these locks were having upgrades and construction work was going on around them.
We reached Lake Simcoe at 11:45 and started the 15 mile trek across it followed by the 10 miles along Lake Couchiching. We arrived at the railway swing bridge shortly after 2:00, a train was crossing it, so we had to wait for it to pass
before the bridge tender could swing the bridge open for us. We reached Couchiching by 3:00 and tied up. This was the nicest weather day of our trip so far. Andy was having a few electronics issues so was in constant contact with Gene, to figure out the solution. That evening we watched some workmen taking core samples from inside the couchiching lock.
On Thursday, we locked through Couchiching at 10:00 and continued on down the Trent. The hamlet swing bridge was under construction, so didn’t have to stop for it.
Going across one of the lakes Brian pointed out a tree on the shore, that actually wasn’t a tree- it was actually a cell phone tower—Only in the Muskoka’s and Algonquin park would they disguise a cell tower to look like a tree.
We got to Swift Rapids by a little after 11:00 and the lock gates were open for us. We continued on to the big chute marine railway and arrived there by 1:00. Helen was meeting us there so that she could share in the big chute experience and retrieve her husband. We were out of the Chute by 1:50, and said goodbye to Brian.
We continued on and arrived at Port Severn at 3:00, We were out into Georgian Bay by 3:15, and headed for Beausolei Island at Cedar Spring, where we had stayed several times in the past. Unknown to us, because of high water- the docks were unavailable and likely closed for the season.
So we anchored out near this location. Overnight a storm blew through, making us very uncomfortable. At 5:30 am we headed north to find shelter in Ojibway Bay, where there was dock space available.
Once again we were having power issues and got a low battery warning on the Radar and GPS. Andy was in touch with Gene, and we ran the generator for several hours. We decided that we likely had to change out the other 6 house batteries, so Gene was going to order them and meet us at a marina on Sunday to change them out and address some of our other isssues. The winds continued for most of the day, but died down mid-afternoon, and we met our dock mates for drinks. Early Saturday morning the rain started and continued for most of the day. Andy helped me finish putting up the curtains in the master stateroom. A break in the rain and wind, allowed us to leave Ojibway bay and make our way to Victoria Harbour, arriving at 6:30. It looked like a storm had just blown through. The plan is for Gene to come here tomorrow morning at 8:00 and solve some, if not all of our electrical issues, so that our trip can continue.
Wow ! What a fabulous few days to start your cruising for this year, you two have some
fantastic friends of which some are very talented.
Best 5 words in this blog though: “after having Kawartha ice cream” 😋