Vacation plans suspended.. 2020 was not a good year for boating

The rain and storming continued for most of the day Sunday, at one point Andy went out and added another rope .  We were happy to be tied up in Campbellford, and spent the day reading and playing cards.   A tornado was reported near Kingston, which isn’t that far away.  On Monday morning we walked over to No Frills when it opened at 8 am, to reprovision.  We  then pulled out of Campbellford and headed for the locks.  We were through the Ranney falls flight by 9:35, Hagues Reach by 10:05, Meyers at 10:40, Percy’s reach at 11:00, and Glen Ross by 12:45.  We arrived at Frankford by 1:30, tied up and connected to power.
On Tuesday, rain was predicted for most of the day so we made the decision to remain in Frankfort for the day, rather than locking through in the rain.  We were only 6 locks and 7.3 miles from Lake Ontario.

But everything was about to change– Andy spoke to his Dr. in Winnipeg, and it was suggested that we come home, so that he could  undergo some additional tests and see  a specialist, for some on-going issues that he had  been experiencing.  So we decided to suspend our vacation in the Thousand Islands and  return to our car in Buckhorn.  Luckily the rain had not materialized as yet, so we started the engines at 11:30, and reversed course, going through the same locks we had done the  previous day.  Here’s a shot from  our first lock- Glen Ross.

I saw a pair of Swans out in the marsh land.

Here’s a view of the suspension bridge and Campbellford water tower in the background.

We had made it back to Campbellford by 4:25, but decided to continue.  We made it through Crowe Bay, as well as the 3 locks at Healy Falls.  We were fortunate that the lock people knew we were on the move and had the locks ready for us.  The staff at Healey falls, stayed on a few minutes extra so that we could make it to the top of Lock 17.  We were tied up by 6:00.   We had gone 29.2 miles and 11 locks, on a day when we didn’t start until 11:30.


On Wednesday we woke up at 5:30, with the boat hitting against the dock, it was very windy.  Since we were at the top of Lock  17, we had a 15 mile trek to Hastings, which was our next lock. 

I saw this gull contently  sitting on the bollard, just before we untied.

We were mainly on the Trent River, as somewhat sheltered from the wind.  We arrived at Hastings before 9:00, and were through by 9:15, but had a small delay leaving, as the lock staff could not open the swing bridge, because a fire alarm had gone off in town, and the bridge was the only means to get the fire fighters and trucks to the fire.  Once  the swing bridge opened, we had the 37 mile crossing of Rice Lake and the Otonobee  River before the next lock.   The wind had decreased from  earlier in the morning, and the crossing went well.

Before we arrived at the Scotts Mills, I saw these Parks Canada employees adjusting the markers in the water.

We were at Scotts Mills lock at 1:40, and went through immediately, followed by Ashburnham, where we locked through with 3 other boats.  We  then proceeded to the lift lock and arrived  at 3:00,  We had to wait for the lock down of  boats from the top, including the tour boat, which we had seen the previous Wednesday.  Only one basin, continues to be used at this lock as the cylinder on the starboard tub, has been broken since the summer of 2019, and not yet repaired.   The 3 boats finally were able to enter the tub and tie off , but we were kept waiting as another boat was coming.  When this boat entered, it was caught by the wind, and came within inches of smashing into our port side.  I braced for impact where I was on the starboard swim platform, and thankfully I didn’t hear a crunch.  We were out of the lock by 4:00, and upon exiting were told that there likely wasn’t enough time to make Lakefield, so we would need to tie up at Nassau Mills.  We proceeded the 6.7 miles to this lock and were through and tied up by 5:00.  We had hoped to go farther, but the next 3 locks had dam construction underway, and mooring for the night was not allowed.  We had never stayed at Nassau Mills, so I took some pictures of the signage,

this Asiatic lily

and this squirrel, pulling food out of the garbage can.


In the morning, it was cool and there was a little fog near the surface of the water.


We proceeded the short distance to Lock 23- Otonabee.  Since we were the first in line, we proceeded into the front of the lock starboard side, with a houseboat behind us and a 30 foot cruiser on the port side. It was a very rough lock up,  both Andy and I struggled to keep the boat against the wall.  The water surging in continually was  pull us off the wall.  Somehow during  this ordeal, I scrapped  the skin off my right elbow on the slimy lock wall  as  the boat moved forwards, so I had blood running down my arm and rope.  Not a pretty sight!  As we left the lock, we asked the lockmaster if the boat order could somehow changed for the remaining set of locks.  In Lock 24 Duoro, the cruiser and house boat, both went on the port side, making locking easier for us, as we could now tie up farther back in the lock.  This same alignment continued in Lock 25 Sawer Creek and in Lock 26 Lakefield.   At this point the cruiser tied up, so just the houseboat and us continued on.  It was not yet noon, so we speculated  that we might be able to make Buckhorn before the end of the day.  Andy kept the speed to 10 mph, when we were not in a speed zone, and we were through, Youngs Point, Burleigh Falls, Lovesick  by 3:00.  Andy called the lock at Buckhorn to find out if there was any room on the lock wall for mooring, and was told that it was currently pretty full, but that there may be some movement with day tripper boats.  We arrived and went through  lock  by 3:45, Peter from BYH had texted Andy and said that he likely had a slip for us, which we assumed was on the gas dock.  But when we arrived, both the spaces there were already occupied.  While at the gas dock, we decided to have both waste tanks pumped out, just in case  we needed to have the boat pulled out of the water.   Peter came down and said that we were likely too tall for the slip that was available, so we should move the boat to the boat ramp space.  We were tied up there by 5:00.  A long day    another 8 locks, and we had gone almost 30 miles.  We decided to drive to Bobcaygeon, so that I could do laundry, so  items to could be just left on the boat, rather than taken to Winnipeg and returned.  We were back at  Buckhorn by 6:45, had supper, and then started sorting through stuff and packing.
In the morning, Andy brought the car near the dock, and started  filling the trunk and back seat.  We filled up the plug in  cooler with the items  from the deep freezer, and the smaller cooler with fruit and veggies for the trip, some of the perishable items, along with my tomato and pepper plants were given to Luke, one of the marina staff, as they wouldn’t survive the 22 hour ride back to Winnipeg. By 8:30, the car was almost packed, and the fridge had  been cleaned and defrosted.  Since there was no slip space, the decision was made to pull the boat and the large red trailer arrived  at 8:45.  At this point I was sad, not knowing if we would be back to continue boating this summer.  We will  make another trip back in the fall, even if it was to just  pack up the remaining stuff.    I had brought a few little sewing projects back with me- the chair cover, which needs a second strap , as well as  the dimensions so that I make some fender covers, and the old lifejackets that I want to use to make a collar for the dinghy. Hopefully I will have these items ready for our return trip.
We started our drive back to Winnipeg at 9:00, we  were stopped for almost 30 minutes at one point on the highway in the Muskoka’s as there was road work going on.  We continued on filling up with gas in Parry Sound and  Sault Ste. Marie, we made it to Wawa by 7:45 and stopped for the night.  In the morning, we were back on the road at 5:30, it was still dark for the first hour.  We stopped in Nipigon and Dryden for gas.  There were several stops because of road  and bridge construction,  and  there was lots of traffic.  We arrived home  Saturday night just before 5:00.  Another long day!  While we were away, Graham (Andy’s son) and Mike (Andy’s nephew) had re-done the floor in our kitchen  and front entrance.  The floor looks amazing!

On Sunday, I did some weeding in the garden, even though it has been very hot, and the grass hasn’t grown much, the garden has been consistently watered, so the weeds are thriving.
I continued with the weeding on Monday, working on the front flower beds, more of the garden as well as the back flower bed.  I’ve filled 4 compost bags, and pulled at least a hundred dill plants.  I dehydrated some of the dill and sent some fresh dill home with Graham.  Today I enjoyed fresh garden beans, courtesy of Erin, as well as home grown tomatoes and cucumbers.  You can’t beat fresh.  A good portion of my row of beets seem to be missing, likely eaten by the bunnies, so a planted a  few more seeds.


Andy put my pantry cupboard back together, so that I could put everything back,  it was emptied and taken apart in order to put the new flooring in.
Andy called his doctor this morning, to find out when he will be seeing the specialist– no appointment has been set as yet.  So maybe we didn’t have to rush back as quickly as we did. But then I wouldn’t have had the fresh produce from the garden nor been able to use my own computer instead of sharing.  Our house phone is going to remain suspended, as we are still hoping to return to Ontario in September.  Will blog again once I know more.

5 thoughts on “Vacation plans suspended.. 2020 was not a good year for boating

  1. 123teresaa

    So sorry to hear that your trip has not gone as planned. Would have liked to have you Stay over on your return trip. Take care and hope all goes well.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Jack Rutherford

    Sorry your trip was cut short. It was nice talking to you folks from Lakefield to Peterborough. I hope to see you back out in September.
    All the best, Jack and Kathy Rutherford (Rice Lake boat)


  3. martingrendel

    Hello from Bobcaygeon!

    We are sad to hear that your vacation was cut short. Sending thoughts and prayers for Andy and wish you all the best!

    Let me know if you need anything at all in Ontario while you are away. We drive through Buckhorn all the time.

    Martin and Kim
    705 924 1945

    Sent from my Bell Samsung device over Canada’s largest network.



  4. Still Waters II

    Whew ! Interesting summer you have had so far. Sad that you had to return home but
    believing it’s for the best, hopeful that when you update it will be with good news concerning Andy’s appointments.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Wish you would have had more ice cream and not any blood dripping on your arm & ropes 😜


  5. Nicole Saurette

    Hi Twylla,
    So sorry to hear you had to come back home so soon! Hope Andy is doing ok.
    I just finished my last week of vacation – can’t believe it’s already over. Had a beautiful week camping in Falcon. Now will also spend time weeding and picking produce in gardens at home.
    The violet is starting to look good again. The monkey plant is still alive…but doesn’t look much better than when you sent it home with me. Let me know if you’d like me to drop it off at your place now that you’re back.
    Take care,
    Nicole 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s