We left Orillia and after crossing Lake Couchiching, waited only a few minutes for the train bridge to open. We then went through Couchiching lock and continued along the TSW. There were lots of boats on the water going both ways, as it was a Saturday. We continued and went through Swift Rapids around 2:00, we arrived at the top of the Big Chute shortly after 3:00. We tied up, and then walked over to the marina Ice cream shop, the ice cream was cold but it wasn’t Kawartha. One of our dock mates was from Harbour West, and we told them that we would be there later in the week. They had a cat that posed for me as well.
In the evening I saw a pontoon boat show up with a trailer on it as well as a couch. The trailer with couch were pulled away with a car, and the pontoon boat left later.
We played a couple games of cards and then went to sleep.
On Sunday we were in no hurry, so waited until the 3rd lockdown. The second lockdown had about 15 kayakers.
We got to Port Severn at 11:30, and there were about a dozen boats ahead of us. It was about 4 lock downs before it became our turn, this is the smallest lock on the TSW, so limited capacity. On our lockdown the boat that we were suppose to fit in beside ended up being wider, than they had told the lockmaster- so we had to stay at the back of the lock, rather than moving up to the front. They did fit in one more runabout type boat but instead of them tying to a cable- they were across the lock perpendicular to our boat. One of the women on the boat had her boat hook up against our dinghy so they didn’t make contact with it. Oh, I guess there is a first time for everything.
Once we were out, we headed for Beausoleil Island, however we started getting strange messages on our chart plotter—Low input voltage to Radar, Panoptix disconnected, and then the engine monitors dimmed and we lost our VHF radio.
Andy called the marina in Penetanguishene, to see if they had a slip and if we could come immediately. Bryn from the marina did some checking and called back to say there was an open slip for the remainder of the week. We then headed there immediately, and arrived at 4:15. We were assigned to slip 102, at about 8:30 p.m. the slip holders returned to from their weekend away, so we moved over to slip 103. In the morning Andy checked again with the marina staff and we were re assigned to 111. That slip is vacant all week.
At about 9:30 our electronics technician and his dad showed up to assess some of our problems. They realized that our batteries had not been connected correctly, so revised them. They also realized that our starboard external regulator wasn’t functioning, so they replaced it with the spare one that we had. A fuse was also required for our starboard battery monitor. While in the engine room, coolant was found to be leaking. Andy talked to Brian, a boater we had met at the big chute and he gave us some advice. Andy wasn’t sure it something needed to be welded, but it ended up that all Andy had to do was tighten up the clamp on the hose and add another one. In the afternoon the Garmin software was updated and the AIS was partially installed under the upper helm. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System- it will allow us to see other boats on our electronics screen, and other boats will be able to see us. The electronics technicians have other jobs to do, so will not be returning to our boat until later in the week- likely Thursday.
On Tuesday morning, Andy decided to check the house batteries to see if any of them needed water. He ended up adding almost 13 Liters of distilled water, we had assumed that BYH had serviced the batteries before putting us in the water, but this had obviously not happened. This was likely another contributing factor to our electrical woes. Following the batteries, we decided to change the oil in the two engines. Andy had purchased an oil extraction pump in 2020, but didn’t have a chance to use it as our 2020 boating season was very short. It took about 3 hours to do the two engines, which was a lot quicker than the handpump we had used in the past. At about 1:30, a thunderstorm passed through the area, and we had several hours of rain.
On Wednesday we attempted to rent a car, but Midland had none available. Andy was able to borrow a car from one of the marina employees, and we went in to Penetang to get some supplies. I did some reading and cleaning.
We also worked on another project: In our aft shower there was some cracks in the existing vinyl and what looked like a couple of screw tips coming through. I had cleaned the shower stall several times over the years, but there was always some white flaking, which I now believe might just be soap scrum. We had cut some vinyl pieces to recover the shower stall, so began fitting and affixing them using a spray glue.
On Thursday, the electronics tech was scheduled to return to the boat, he let us know that he was sick and wouldn’t be coming. Later in the day, he said texted to say that he wasn’t well enough to work Friday either. He proposed that we use Team viewer and contact Norland for help to set up our electronics. This is way beyond our computer and knowledge capabilities, so we said that we couldn’t do it.
Thursday, we continued with the shower project, as well as added the dinghy collar that I had sewn over the winter using canvas stuffed with the buoyancy material that I had taken from old lifejackets.
We’ll test it out sometime later in the summer. I’ve also included a picture of my fender covers that I had made, they all seem to fit except the ones that I had made for our white fenders. I must have measured incorrectly; they will have to go back to Winnipeg to be altered.
We started pulling out our paper charts to figure out where we wanted to go next. We did not plan sitting in a marina for days on end. We hope to leave here Friday, and come back in a few weeks after spending some time at anchor. We would like to test out our charging system to see if it is working properly. We may venture as far as Killarney, with a stop in Britt for laundry. Sorry Mike, going to Owen sound is likely not in the cards, without our navigational systems working properly. Our proposal for the electronics tech, is to return here in about 2 weeks to finally complete the navigational deficiencies, before heading back down the TSW.
Friday morning, I watched these swallows in their nest attached to a rafter of the shower house here at Harbour west. I think there is at least 4 birds in the very small nest, but it seems that only 3 can put their heads at the edge to be fed.
We hope to leave Harbour West before noon, but will depend on the electronics tech’s answer to our proposal.