2020 “On Business” boating season is over

We’ve been keeping busy….. I continued doing yard work, whereas Andy painted one of our bathrooms, walls and the cabinets. We also decided to clear out more of the back bush in the yard in preparation for extending the fence either later this fall or in the spring. Graham and Jack came a couple times to help clear the underbrush and weeds.
After the 14 days of semi-self isolation was up, I drove the 500 Km up to Swan River in order to visit family. I had been given a 9:30 outdoor appointment with my Mom on Saturday August 22nd at her long-term care facility. That morning it was raining, so I was switched to an indoor visit.

Had a good visit, I hadn’t seen her since the previous September. I also got a visit in with my two sisters, brother-in-law, one nephew and 3 great nieces. After the visit with Mom, I drove back to Winnipeg, as we were headed back to Ontario the next day.
Andy had received an appointment with the specialist for a medical procedure on September 15th, so if we were going to go back to the boat to empty it further and prepare it for winter, we needed to be back in Winnipeg before September 2nd, so the plan was to leave on August 23rd. We were up an on the road by 5:00 a.m. Of course it was dark as well as foggy, but very light traffic. About an hour an out of the city, Andy slammed on the brakes in order to miss hitting a deer. That shook us both up! You don’t have deer as a hazard when you’re on the water- only other boats and rocks. We travelled as far as Sault Ste. Marie and checked into the hotel at 8:45. We had only made stops at Dryden and Pass Lake for gas, and a few bathroom breaks. A very long day! At midnight the cell phone rang, it was one of my friend -Teresa, telling me that another friend, Colleen, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and she was having surgery in a couple of days- upsetting news. In the morning we got up and headed further east, We had decided to drive up to Elliot Lake, as we had seen numerous ads for retirement living in this community. It is only 30 Km off of Hwy 17.

We drove around town and stopped at the information centre, to pick up some information and ask questions about living there. Elliot Lake is about 2 hours from either Sault Ste. Marie or Sudbury. We stopped at a realtor office and picked up a package of houses that were on the market. One single level house on a 55 X100 foot lot, with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, garage as well as a sauna was only $ 155,000. Seems too cheap, and apartment rent is very reasonable as well-according to:    the https://retireelliotlake.com/for-rent/apartments 2 bedroom apartments start at $635/month. Something to consider down the road.

When we left Elliot Lake, we called our electronics technician to see if he was available to meet. Since he was; we headed for Penetanguishene, we arrived there at about 3:45, and discussed what we would need done in June of 2021 to complete the electronics upgrade. We will likely need to bring the boat to Penatang in early June, for about 3-5 days. It’s not like we don’t know the way– we were there twice in 2020. Once we left there we proceeded thru Orillia, and took the roads suggested by Brian and Helen, in order to get to Bancroft. Since they were headed home after visiting with Jen and Edward in Collingwood, we ended up meeting in Kinmount, and then just followed them. On Tuesday morning, Andy and Brian went golfing, Helen and I did some grocery shopping and then later in the afternoon we again checked out some stores and I bought some silver leaf earrings.
On Wednesday, we went to Buckhorn to remove items from the cupboards  that we had left  when we went home earlier in August. I also wanted to do some measuring for the final touches to the dingy collar

, as well as measuring the fenders, so that I could sew the fender covers. I had gotten a deal on polyester “sweat” material the previous week at Fabric land, buying 4 meters for $12. So I easily have enough material to make fender covers for the next 10 years.

I also wanted to measure the interior of our shower, as I had noticed the last time I used it the paint seemed to be flaking off and clogging the drain, so we have to come up with a method to eliminate this issue. I also wanted to check the measurements of our folding bikes, so that I could sew some type of bags to cover them as they are exposed to the elements on the bow of the boat. Andy had tools and some of his boat projects to bring home as well, which included making a teak cupboard, as well as bringing our folding table that was starting to rust. Maybe I need to sew it a cover too? Good thing I will be retired with all these projects to do 🙂 By about noon we had filled up the trunk and backseat of the car with our stuff. At 12:30, Glenn arrived on his Kawasaki and we went to the Old Ice House for fish and chips and a visit. Andy met with Peter from the marina, and they came up with a list of items/upgrades we felt needed to be done on the boat. Peter will get back to us with a couple of quotes. We left around 2:30 and headed back to Bancroft for the night. Notice I haven’t mentioned ice cream yet? Well we stopped at the Kawartha store coming into Bancroft and bought 1.5 L of Salty Carmel truffle- a trip to Ontario, is not complete without ice cream!
For our return trip home, we had considered doing an alternate route, by going to Tobermory, and then taking the MS Chi-Cheemaun  ferry across to Manitoulin Island, however when we tried to make the ferry reservation, we found that it was already booked up. When Andy talked to Mike , we learned that the ferry was only operating at 50% capacity- thus the lack of space. We had hoped to visit with the Edneys in Owen Sound prior to going to the ferry, but once again we had to change our plans. This is at least the 3rd time that we had planned to go to Owen Sound – twice by boat and now by car, will have to try again in 2021. I don’t think it’s too far from Penatang- so maybe the stars will finally align to make this possible.

On Thursday we left shortly after 7 heading westward, we had rain and some fog as we travelled through the Haliburton highlands. We frequented our regular gas stop in Parry Sound, but when we went to go back onto the highway, we found out the on -ramp was closed, so had to find another way out of the city. We stopped in the Sault for more gas and picked up KFC.  I caught a few glimpses of Lake Superior from the passenger seat of the car.

We arrived in Wawa at the White Fang motel before 6:00. Are we becoming creatures of habit?- we get gas at the same gas stations, and only stay at hotels that we’ve been to in the past. I think we believe in returning to places that we know are safe and have good Covid protocols.
On Friday we got up and then proceeded westward, We stopped at the Winnie the Pooh museum in White River,

where we once again had fog.

We stopped in Pass Lake for gas around noon, and continued on through Thunder Bay. When we got to Sasquatch corner– I mean Shabaqua corner instead of taking Hwy 17, we turned onto Hwy 11. We were going to spend the weekend at Elaine & Dave’s camp, on Huronian Lake.

I had never been there, and Andy claims he likely hadn’t been there in 20 or more years. Once we got to the Arctic-Atlantic watershed sign, we contacted Elaine by phone, as we needed additional directions to find the camp. She met us out on Savela road on the Kubota, and showed us the way. A very nice camp, with a new deck, which was their summer project.

They don’t have power or running water, but rely on battery power. Mike was there, and he agreed to take Andy out on the lake fishing. I didn’t have a fishing license so declined. They were out for a few hours and came back with a bunch of Bass. Mike is a fishing wizard, and knows everything about the lake and what attracts the fish to the hook. We had a feast that night– much tastier fish than any of the halibut we had been eating at restaurants over the summer. In the evening we played cards. On Saturday, Mike returned to Winnipeg, and  Andy helped Dave with a couple of projects around the camp, and later in the afternoon, the two of them went fishing. Elaine and I stayed back and worked on a puzzle that had been started earlier in the summer. When we completed it we realized that one of the pieces was missing.  Elaine thought that maybe Caitlin’s cat had hidden it.  Andy and Dave returned with a few more Bass. We had bbq’d steak for supper and again played cards.
In the morning, I went out to the bush, and dug up some small pine trees and blueberry bushes, that I wanted to take home to transplant in the back yard. Here’s a shot of the lake from the dock.

Andy and Dave filleted the fish from the previous day, so that we could have them for breakfast.

Pan-fried in butter- Yummy! We left shortly after 9, headed west to Fort Frances, we then had to go north up to Kenora. We stopped in Sioux Narrows to check out a possible site for the 2022 McMorland family reunion. They have 6 or 7 cabins, the largest of which sleeps 11 people. We brought back some rate information, and I took a few pictures.

As it was Sunday, the traffic headed back towards Winnipeg was starting to build. Once again we almost collided with a couple of deer running across the highway. On the Kenora by-pass there were two bridges under construction, so we had lengthy waits to get through both of these points. Just before we reached the Manitoba border we ran into rain, which followed us almost all the way to Winnipeg. We arrived home around 5:00, with minimal gas left in the car- we hadn’t filled us since the other side of Thunder Bay. The driver had passed several gas stations, but didn’t stop. Once again it was good to be home. Within an hour the car was unpacked.
On Monday, I did laundry, scouted where I should plant my trees and blueberries, I also did some weeding in the garden. I now have almost a dozen spaghetti squash, one of which is hanging about 7 feet up in my crab apple tree. I went out to Home Depot and bought a couple of cubes of peat moss. Until I loaded the cubes into the trunk, I didn’t realize they weighed almost 60 lbs. Now I know why I have a sore back- two days later. I also finally decided to place my order with Wayfair for a new rug for the front door- I hadn’t wanted to order it previously knowing that we wouldn’t be home. So I finally ordered it at 1:45 with an expected delivery of September 3rd.
On Tuesday, I planted the 6 trees and blueberries, for the blueberries I planted some under the blue spruce and others in a flower bed where I had previously had lilacs. I acidified the soil and peat with a good bed of pine needles and aluminum sulphate hopefully I will have success in one of the two sites. Andy’s brother, Duncan and his wife Doreen were passing through enroute to Thunder Bay, so they came over for supper and a visit.
Today we had Edward, Jen and wee Brian for brunch.   Edward is Brian and Helen’s son who is in the military, along with his wife Jen, and they have just been re-posted to Yellowknife, so are driving there. They had started in Kenora this morning, and hope to get to Yorkton tonight. We had a good visit- it was the first time that we had seen Brian, who is about 1 1/2 years old.

At about 12:30, the phone rang, it was our neighbor saying that Fedex had just left a delivery at our front door- it was my rug, and had arrived one day early. We thought it was odd, that the Fedex guy hadn’t even bothered to ring the door bell- as we were in the kitchen eating. Regardless I think it looks great!

We will now being staying at home until Andy’s hospital visit- self-isolating, but I have enough sewing projects to keep me busy for a while,  I know it’s the busy season at work, and I may volunteer to help out there a little as well, once my 2 weeks of self-isolating is up.. I likely won’t blog again unless something exciting happens.

The summer of 2020 definitely didn’t unfold the way we had planned.


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