We are creatures of habit. We left the house at 6:00 AM on May 24 headed east to Ontario. Our typical first stop is for gas in Dryden, however we had to stop once before that because of water over the road near Eagle River. We got to see if our fully loaded car could float. The water was fairly deep, we slowly followed another vehicle through this location.
After our fill up in Dryden at 10:40, our next stop was Nipigon at 3:40 where we had our first fill-up with gas over $2. It was $2.089 here. There was fairly light traffic for most of the day. We arrived at the White Fang motel in Wawa at 7:45. A long day of driving for Andy.
On Wednesday we left Wawa at 7:00 AM and headed to the Sault where we filled up at $2.053. Then it was on to Parry Sound, we arrived there at about 3:00. In the afternoon Andy talked to Jaimie and Hussam, two engineers that he had worked with in 2011. Hopefully we can meet up with both of them sometime over the summer.
We arrived at Brian and Helen’s in Bancroft around 6:30, another long day. In total we had gone 2,075 Km since leaving home.
After a good night’s sleep, Andy wanted to let Buckhorn Yacht Harbour know of our arrival. However, he couldn’t get through over the phone, nor were his emails/texts answered. We decided to drive the hour to Buckhorn to find out what was happening and to empty the car. Upon arrival we learned that the wind storm of May 21st had knocked out the power and phone service to the marina. On our way to the marina, we had seen several trees down on power lines. The town of Buckhorn had its power restored on May 25, and the lock was operating. However next lock at Lovesick did not have power, so many of the boaters were stranded waiting for power to be restored there. One of the boats was Chip Monk, owned by Steve and Dodie who we had met last fall in Campbellford. Steve’s plan was to take the boat solo down to Hastings once the locks were operational.
Once at the marina, we unloaded the stuff from the car onto the boat, around noon the big trailer came to splash the boat into the water.
We tied up at the boat launch, a place we’ve been several times before. Once we had put some of our stuff away, we took a side trip to Peterborough for propane parts, on this little jaunt we encountered 3 detours due to trees being down and hydro crews working to restore power.
We were told that Peterborough had declared a state of emergency as large parts of the city were without power. Once we got our parts we headed back to Bancroft.
That evening along with Brian and Helen we went to visit our other friends Brian and Muriel, we brought pizza and Helen brought a salad. Muriel supplied Rhubarb custard pie, which was a treat. We had a great visit.
On Friday morning we did some grocery shopping in Bancroft, and headed back to the boat after lunch. The power was still out at the marina, however our two newly installed 200-watt solar panels and MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controller were supplying us enough power to run our fridge and other devices, even though it was clouding over and raining.
We had an early night on the boat, which will be home for the better part of the next 4 months.
Saturday was spent looking for stuff that had been stored away from the previous year, as well as putting things into their places. Around noon David Najda arrived, he is an electrical engineer, who had come highly recommended by another boater that we met in 2021. David did an assessment of our boat and issues and set to work immediately. He transformed the rat’s nest of wires on the lower helm from this
To this when he left on Sunday, where all the wires had been traced, bundled and labelled. A huge improvement!
The power was restored to the marina at about 4:30 Saturday, after being out for a full 7 days. We feel sorry for people who had lost power for that long, we heard that there are some rural places in Ontario that may not have their power restored for another week. Having shore power available, we plugged in to ensure that all our batteries were fully charged.
David worked most of the afternoon and into the evening, only taking a break when we went to the Cody Inn for dinner. He returned on Sunday continuing with the wire cleanup. He then moved onto setting up the Garmin instruments including the displays and the compass. Mid-afternoon we took the boat out onto Buckhorn Lake so that he could begin to setup the autopilot. We will be meeting up with David again in a few weeks, so he can program the analog outputs to digital for the new displays, and upload Garmin instrument updates.
In the afternoon, I kept busy outside changing the fender covers, which I had sewn over the winter. A huge improvement from the ones that had we had only used for one season, but were filthy and torn.
I guess I will be sewing new ones annually, and that beats all the elbow grease required to remove the blue rubber marks on the hull that occurs when the fenders are squeezed against the boat in a lock or dock.
After dinner we filled up our water tank, and then caught up on missed episodes of Coronation Street. We have remained at the loading ramp, as there is no place on the gas dock to park, and we would like to get fuel before starting our summer adventures. I have continued to clean and put away stuff, I’ve also planted a few things (radishes, lettuce and cucumbers) in containers on the sun deck to go with the two tomato plants and onions which I brought from home: my boat garden.
Andy put our Canadian flag and burgees. In the afternoon we moved over to the gas dock and put in $500 worth of diesel, while there I washed the sundeck off, as I had easy access to a hose. We thought we would be returning to the launch dock, but instead we moved into Peter’s covered slip. Andy spent time putting up some new re-chargeable light fixtures.
We received news from our neighbor that we had gotten another inch of rain in the past couple of days, and much more was in the forecast. Yikes, we don’t need any more! Dave did send me a lovely picture of the tulips finally blooming in my front flowerbed.
We will likely leave the marina tomorrow, but may only go about 2 miles to the Buckhorn lock and spend a day or two there. We are going to hang out between here and Peterborough for the next week or two, checking out locks like Lovesick where we have never stayed. We need to return to the marina to get our generator impeller replaced and the parts won’t arrive for a week or more.