On Monday morning, Andy took the pump up to Peter to try and fix or order parts, we also requested that he order 2 complete Jabasco toilet repair kits, which we will need for our loop trip next year. We then went to the hardware store for some vinyl tubing so that Andy could replace the line on our shower sump pump. We also went to Foodland and did some reprovisioning. In the evening we drove over to Lakefield to meet Wendy and Jim Coyle, they are the harbour hosts on Clear Lake- we had first met them in Delaware City in May of 2016, and had subsequently stayed at their dock for a few days in July of 2016. We had loaned them some of our charts for the rivers, as they had not done that portion of the loop until last fall. We had a lovely dinner on the patio of the Canoe & Paddle- I had a coconut chicken curry which was very tasty, and cracked canoe beer.
On Tuesday, we learned that our pump and toilet parts were on back order, with no timeline as to when they would be shipped. We decided that we had already spent almost a month of our vacation with our electrical issues and didn’t want to wait for these parts, so we made the decision to start vacation, with only the one working head. We spent part of the day washing the outside of the boat, removing more of the dirt and black streaks. On Wednesday morning, we filled up with water, diesel and pumped out.
We moved on to the Buckhorn lock and were through by 9:53, we proceeded to Lovesick, followed by Burleigh falls, Young’s Point and arrived at Lakefield- Lock 26 at 1:15.
We had gone through 4 locks and traveled a total of 22 miles. We tied up on the long grey line above the lock, where there was only one other house boat. We walked into town to the Foodland for a couple of items. Around 5:00 we moved our boat to the blue line, as a group of 7 cruisers were coming in, and they wanted to be located together.
We later learned that these boaters were from Mitchell Bay, near Lake St. Clair—they had trucked their boats to Beaverton, on Lake Simcoe and were travelling as far as the Peterborough lift lock. In the evening, some of the group came by, with questions about the Loop, as they had seen our gold looper flag. We answered their questions, and many of them came aboard for a tour of our living space. Andy also gave them a demo of the Moor Fast aka Happy Hooker boat hook.
In the morning, our boat, a boat going to Rice Lake, and three of the Mitchell Bay boats went into the lock. We were told that the five of us would continue in this grouping until we reached Peterborough.
We were through Lock 26 by 9:35, followed by Sawer Creek at 10:00, Douro, at 10:27 and Otonabee at 10:55. These three locks had dam construction going on, so had no places to tie up. There were lots of wildflowers along the canal, especially these black-eyed Susans.
Our next lock was Nassau Mills and we were through it by 11:15. All five of these locks were ready and waiting for us, so our transition had gone rather quickly. We arrived at the lift lock at 11:55, but needed to wait for the lift coming up.
Here’s our view from the lock:
here’s a picture of the captain tied off,
We were through this lock by 12:45,
And then were on to Lock 20 at Ashburnham. We had to tie up and wait again as a tour boat and some other vessels were scheduled to lock through shortly after 1:00 so the lock was set up and waiting for their arrival.
We were finally through by 1:55. At this point our group of 5 had to break up, as this was the end of the line for 3 of the Mitchell Bay boats, and the Rice Lake boat was going to stop at the marina for fuel. We continued on to Scotts Mills lock and were through by 2:15. It had taken us 5 ¼ hours to go through 8 locks and travel 10 miles- a good workout!
We had originally thought that we would stay at Scotts mill for the night, but this lock also had major construction happening on the dam portion of the lock, so we decided to continue on. It was 37 miles to the next lock in Hastings; we followed the Otonabee River, and then had to cross Rice Lake. Our lock mates, that had gone to fill up on fuel, passed us before we reached the end of the river system. Around 4:30, we called ahead to the Hastings lock to let them know that we had planned to tie up on the grey wall, but wouldn’t be there before they closed for the day. They agreed to leave a washroom key for us between a set of doors, so we would have access to the lock washroom. It has been a sunny day, but black clouds were starting to build in the direction that we were headed. About 3 Km from Hastings, while we were in a relatively narrow marked channel, the wind started gusting. Andy was having issues keeping the boat within the markers. We arrived at Hastings at 6:00, with the winds still blowing quite hard.
A fellow boater assisted us with tying up. About 15 minutes later the weather system had passed and we were able to bbq for supper. I watched a fellow at a house near where we were parked, move his plants around into the sun, but as soon as it was dark, he moved them very near his house.
I also watched these black birds eat the berries on this tree, by morning very few of the berries were left.
On Friday, we moved over to the blue line to lock through by 9:00,
the bridge was opened, and they let us into the lock, but we had to wait for another boat, so didn’t get through until 9:35. We then had about a 14 mile run along the Trent River to get to the next lock, saw some more wildflowers along the route.
At Healy there are 3 locks, the first two are in a flight, meaning you get out of the first one and go directly into the second, with a total drop of over 50 feet. Lock 15 is about 500 meters farther along the channel. We were out of these three locks by 11:50. We proceeded on to Crowe Bay locks, and were out by 12:25, following this we reached Lock 13- Campbellford and were through shortly after 1:00.
We had traveled about 20 miles and gone through 6 locks, another good day of locking, our only issue was in the Crowe Bay lock, where the wind was pushing us towards the port side of the lock, but Andy was able to back up and we were able to tie off on the second try. We continued on to Old Mill Park, where we had booked a space on the wall for the weekend.
On other occasions when we had tied up here, both lock walls had been full—when we tied up there was only one other boat. We tied up near the Trent Hills office, so that we would have strong internet, and be close to the washrooms, water and electricity.
After lunch we walked to the Stedman’s store and picked up a few things, we also walked over to the bakery, however they had just closed as it was after 3:00. I mailed a card to my mother at the post office and we returned to the boat. I had a nap, as at one of the locks I had overstretched and my lower back was acting up , this along with all the sun from the morning had tired me out. We had a late supper and went to bed after 10:00, but I wasn’t able to sleep because of back pain.
Where did July go? It’s hard to believe that it is now August 1st. Andy made scones this morning, and I enjoyed them with peanut butter and the strawberry jam, that Helen had given me a few weeks ago. Around 11:00, Brian and Helen arrived from Bancroft for a visit; they had brought some small tomatoes and corn. We walked over to the patio of the 52 North pub and grill, the patio overlooks the Trent Severn waterway. I enjoyed a reuben sandwich and salad. We visited a little at one of the picnic tables in the park. Since it was a hot day the park was bustling with lots of groups playing games- something resembling cricket, flying drones, getting their pictures taken with the huge Toonie or in front of our boat and having picnics. It seemed that as one group vacated a picnic table or area, another group arrived. It was busy in the park until 9:00. Once again I had trouble sleeping in the bed, and spent the night in the salon, with my head and knees propped up with pillows. I finally moved into the bedroom at about 4:30 and slept there until about 7:30. I woke up to rain, and it has continued for most of the day. There have been very few people in the park today, I saw one group come and start setting up their picnic, but it began pouring, so they packed up and left.
We plan to continue down the Trent starting tomorrow morning, and hope to make it to the Thousands islands and Brockville by next weekend.