Daily Archives: September 21, 2021

Our slow return to the TSW

We left Prescott at 8:40 and passed the Prescott Canadian Coast guard station,

even for Lake Winnipeg, this is the communication centre- quite a distance.

We made our way up the St. Lawrence against the current, at times were going less than 6 mph.  We met a couple of lakers and saw a boat anchored, with people diving. 

We arrived at Hill Island at 12:45, and approached one of the finger docks. 

As we approached, I could see that we were churning up silt, and it looked shallow—I asked a boater on the dock and was told there was about 5 feet of water.  We tied up, and when I checked the depth with a measuring tape, we actually had just over 5 feet of water.   

We had gone a total of 32.5 miles for the day.  We had decided to stay here for the weekend, as it was one of the few islands that allowed us to run our generator, which was a must, until the remainder of our repairs were done.  On the island there was an old stone picnic area,

as well as another structure that was accessible by a short bridge- not sure what its purpose was—maybe only a lookout. 

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday night there was a campfire in the fire pit on shore.  We met most of our dock mates at the fire, Guylaine and Norm as well as Richard from Montreal, Nicole and Paul from Ottawa and Mark from Kingston. 

On Saturday we were invited on an afternoon 5 KM walk to the 1000 islands Skydeck. 

On the way we passed by the coast guard station- however it is only operated seasonally until labour day weekend. 

We saw some wildlife- two garter snakes, deer as well as this cute little porcupine climbing up a tree. 

The previous night a skunk had been spotted near the washrooms, but he must have left the area, as he wasn’t spotted again.

On Saturday night, it was a bit windy, but we were fairly protected at the docks.  On Sunday morning, one of the boats left and was replaced by a sailboat, which had 3 poodles on it. 

Our dock mate Guylaine, showed me her propane coffee maker—I will be asking Santa for one of these gizmos- as after the fridge, making coffee is one of the biggest power draws on the boat.

On Monday morning, we left Hill Island around 10:00 and motored over to the dock at the Ivy Restaurant, where we were meeting Karl with the required parts to improve our electrical charging system.

Between noon and 3, Karl installed a new battery switch, a temperature sensor, and an automatic charging relay with start isolation, as well as a fuse for our solar panel. 

He also removed our two isolators, as they were no longer needed. Karl recommends that we get add another 500W of solar panels to ensure we always have power to meet our requirements.   With the new additions, Karl figures that if we run about 3 hours a day or use the generator our batteries will always be topped up.  So now we broke this rule– when we were finished, we moved the 2 miles to Mulcaster island and tied up.

We noticed in the evening that our house battery voltage was low.  Karl was contacted- he said that we should put the generator on- but because we were at an island where this was not permitted- it wasn’t possible.  We turned everything we could off for the night including Andy’s CPAP machine, which caused him to sleep very little.  In the morning, we fired up the engines and slowly cruised back towards Hill Island, and then around Ivy Lea.  From the monitors we could see that everything was working and the batteries were being replenished.

We contacted Karl, after 10:00, and said we were satisfied and would be heading west.   A storm with strong winds, thunder and possible tornado was being predicted for our area, so we wanted to be tied up at a marina for the night.  We arrived at Commonwealth Basin in Kingston around 1:30, and tied up on the Breakwater wall. 

We had gone about 28.4 miles, and our battery state of charge was over 96%.   After showers at the marina, we went to an Irish pub for supper, and then walked to a grocery store for a few supplies.  We went to bed fairly early, as we were both tired from the night before, and we wanted to get some sleep before the storm front hit.  From about 10:30 until 2:00, winds were blowing from 40 gusting to 60, and we were banging against the dock.  Not much sleep to be had—at one point I could here something sliding across the bow, so went out and rescued two boat hooks that were being blown around.  Shortly before 2, the winds stopped completely, and fifteen minutes later the thunder lightning and rain began.  Another night for me with little sleep.  In the morning, we contacted Prinyer’s Cove marina, to see if they had room for the night.  We had heard very good things from several people about this small marina, and wanted to try it out.  We figured if we left a little later in the morning, it would give the swells on the lake to settle down a bit.  We left Kingston at 10:45, and travelled the 23.1 miles to the marina, arriving at about 1:30. 

It is a small place, and only has space for a couple of transient boats along a concrete dock.  We were the only boat there.  I used the afternoon to catch up on laundry ($2load) and relaxed in the hammock

and by reading my book in one of the lounge chairs. 

Very relaxing.  A very clean facility- the clubhouse has a toaster oven, microwave, Keurig coffee machine, couch, table and chairs, with burgees adorning the walls.  

Very inviting.  We will definitely add this to our list of favourite stops. 

On Thursday morning, we got up early hoping to leave by 8- however we were fogged in. 

The fog began to lift around 9, and we pulled out at 9:45, the fog was dense in spots, but almost gone in others.  I stayed on the bow for the first half hour acting as a look out.   Within about an hour, the sun had come out and patches of blue sky could be seen.   We continued on and saw very little other boat traffic, with the exception of the Glenora ferries.    We arrived at Crates Marine in Belleville at 2:10 having gone 37.7 miles, and filled up with diesel.  Once we were tied up, Andy contacted Brian and Helen, as they were in Belleville shopping.  They brought be the bed topper that I had ordered from Wayfair and shipped to them; Helen also replenished my book supply.  We went out for an early supper to Wimpy’s.  Once back on the boat, Andy and I caught up on some episodes of Coronation Street.

We left Crates Marina around 8:30, and headed towards Trenton, we arrived at Lock 1 shortly before 10:00. 

We locked through with two houseboat rentals, they dropped out after the first lock, so we were alone. Because of the shortened hours, and the fact that the summer students are done for the year, we had the same two locking staff for locks 3 through 6.  Once they opened the gates, the drove the short distance to the next lock to prepare it for us.  We arrived at Frankford at 1:40. Our favourite spot under the willow tree was taken, so we tied up further along the wall.  On Saturday morning we decided to stay an additional day.  We walked into town and stopped at the Hardware store, as well as Foodland for some supplies.  On our return to the boat, we stopped for Kawartha ice cream in the park.   In the early afternoon, a boat pulled up, with our friends Rick and Linda, who we had met at Frankford, several weeks ago, they were accompanied by their son and his girlfriend.  We spent some time at the picnic table under the willow tree filling them in on our excursion to the Thousand Islands. 

On Sunday we left Frankford lock shortly after 8:00, as we wanted to get to Glen Ross for the first lock up.  We were by ourselves for this lock, however for the remainder of the locks, we had another boat accompanying us.  We went through a total of 6 locks and 23.5 miles. I saw a number of swans in the marsh area. 

We arrived in Campbellford at 1:25.

Once we had registered, and had lunch, I started cleaning the floor in the salon.  My goal was to add a coat of Cetol gloss to ½ of the floor area, and to do the second ½ the following day once it was dry.   I had applied coat by 4:00, and then spent most of the next few hours outside.  After supper, we closed up the flybridge and went inside.  Shortly after 7:00, we heard a thud on the boat; initially we thought that something up top had fallen over.  Andy went outside to investigate, there was a 20 something man undoing the zipper to our flybridge.  Andy told him that he was trespassing.  Andy got up on the sundeck and pulled out a knife, which we keep handy, should we have an issue with our locking ropes. The man seeing the knife, left the boat.  Six of his friends had now approached the boat as well.  Somewhat intimidating!   Andy pulled out his phone and called 911.  The 7 men and two women dispersed in 3 vehicles.  Two officers from the OPP, came to the boat for a statement within about 15 minutes.  We told them what we knew—we weren’t hurt, nothing was taken, but we were frightened, they said they would patrol around town looking for the 3 cars we had described.  Neither of us slept well- listening for noises in case they came back. On Monday morning Andy reported the incident to the Campbellford Chamber of Commerce office, asking them if they could send the CCTV footage from the park and parking lot to the police.  Nancy, the administrator said that she would be refunding us for the mooring fees that we had paid, which was an unexpected gesture on her part.  Once she had left, we made a short trip to the grocery store for a few things, and then I started to Cetol the remainder of the floor.  

 We spent part of the afternoon reading on the sundeck, and then went for a short walk around town, we saw several of the polling stations,

as, today is election day in Canada.  On Tuesday morning, It looks like the political landscape changed very little.  We plan to stay at least one more day as there is rain in the forecast and then move to another lock along the TSW. 

We ended up staying in Campbellford until Friday morning, as there was continuous rain day and night on Wednesday and Thursday.  On Wednesday night we went out for dinner with the Sharpes- Steve and Dodi, who are the unofficial harbour hosts for Campbellford. We had met Steve on Monday, when he came to the polling station near our boat, and had seen our gold looper burgee. great loop in 2022.  They picked us up and we went to Capers restaurant.  I brought along my hardcover Blog books to show them some of what we had seen during our loop trip in 2015-16.   Steve shared this picture of our boat, that he had taken on Monday.

They own a Monk 36, which they keep at Victoria Harbour and are planning to do the   loop in 2022-23. We also had this early morning picture sent to us by Nancy from the chamber of commerce.

For most of the rest of Wednesday and Thursday, we both spent time on our computers, deleting files and re-organizing.