Monthly Archives: June 2022

Moved but are hostages in water at Campbellford

We left Peterborough marina around 9:45 and proceeded to Scott’s Mills.  Lock staff took our ropes as we were about to tie up on the blue line, and took us into the lock.  Current was very strong.  We were out of the lock by 10:15. The water was so high on the other side of the lock that the top of the tie up wall was right at the water level- fenders would be useless if you tried to tie up.    Here’s the speed sign in the water, as reference for the water level- it is on a post, that is not visible. 

  We proceeded down the Otonabee river for a couple hours and entered Rice Lake.  Lake was very weedy near the mouth. 

We arrived at Hastings lock wall at 2:15 and tied up.    We met Barry, Laurie and Leslie on GZL Adrenaline, the boat tied up next to us. 

They were waiting for parts to be delivered from Peterborough for their generator.  We visited with them and learned that a boater- Chris, that we had met last year was a good friend, and they were going up the TSW to meet up with him.

The next morning, we helped them off the wall, as they wanted to move up the TSW past Peterborough.  On Tuesday, we did some shopping at the grocery and beer store.  The water here is still very high, here’s a picture of the dam and spill way by the lock.

On Wednesday, we decided to leave after lunch, and were out of the lock by 12:45.  Our destination was the basin at Lock 15.  So, we only had to travel through the double lock of 17/16. When we were tying up on the blue line, lock staff came out to ask how wide our boat was.  When I told him we were 13 feet, he said to proceed into lock 17.    He said we were going to participate in a cross-over.  I didn’t understand it at the time- but here is how it worked.  A crossover occurs when one boat meets and passes another boat within a lock.  We entered lock 17 at the top, while the other boat entered the bottom of lock 16.  As we descended our discharge water filled up lock 16.  The single gate opened between lock 17 and 16, and we passed each other within the lock.  The gate then closed and we continued down in lock 16 and the other boat went up in lock 17.  In our 7 years of boating on the TSW, this was our first cross-over experience.  We were out of the lock by 14:45 and tied up in the basin of lock 15 by 15:00. 

We were the only boat there, I put on a bathing suit but only put my feet in the water to cool off.

Early the next morning we watch the Ontario hydro people assess their swing bridge that crosses over the lock.  A couple hours later we figured out why all the scrutiny- a large crane on a truck was taken across to do some work near the power plant.  By about noon, it came back across.   Around 2:00, a boat we had met in Hastings- Grace, came through the locks- Andy went to watch him go through Lock 15.  While there Karen, the lockmaster warned us that they were predicting a powerful storm later in the afternoon, she wanted to know if we wanted to move on to Campbellford or stay put.  We decided to stay and shut everything up and added a couple more ropes to the boat.    At about 2:15 we started hearing thunder in the distance—20 minutes later the storm hit.  We went from 0 wind to winds approaching 100 km/hr in seconds.  On our port side, we couldn’t see out of the windows and the boat felt that it was tipping to starboard.  It was accompanied by rain that was hitting the boat sideways.  The wind and rain lasted about 10 minutes, and then it cleared up.  At 3:05 we both received a storm alert on our phones, but by then the storm had passed and we had blue skies again.

That evening I saw a guy go by the boat and then I heard a whistle.  The guy was training his black lab using voice, whistle and hand signals to retrieve items from the water.  The dog would swim out to the object and return with it to his master.

Once the dog was on land he was told to shake, to dry off.  He was also told to go to his kennel on the back of the truck, so he couldn’t see where the next items were thrown.  The pair was amazing to watch.

On Friday, the winds were supposed to pick up, so we wanted to leave Healy falls, as soon as the lock opened.  We were through Healy by 9:25, then it was on to Crowe Bay, when we got there the lock wasn’t open, and the wind and current was working against us.  Andy honked the horn, and the lock people opened the gates.  They also helped me tie up the stern rope, as the wind was blowing us to the port side.    As we were locking down, there was water rushing over the upstream  gate, as we approached the bottom, more water was coming in than was going out.  After several attempts lock staff got the lower gates cracked open to let out enough water to drop us the rest of the way.

We were out of the lock by 10:05.  We moved on to Campbellford lock #13 and we were through it by 10:40. We moved on to Old Mill Park in Campbellford, and were tied up by 11:00.  As the day progressed the winds picked up to almost 70 km/hr.  We were glad to be safe at the wall in this small town.  We paid for 3 nights and planned to leave on Monday morning. 

On Saturday, David Nadja came to the boat to finish up the electronic calibrations.  He brought his mother, Grace along as they were headed up to their cottage once David was finished.   Grace and I visited, while the guys worked on the setup.  The two of us walked over the bridge to Dooher’s bakery to pick up muffins, tarts and cinnamon buns.   I took Grace’s picture in the park with the toonie.  

David was able to get the display screens changed to Andy’s specifications, as well as all the inputs that he wanted.  This was something that our two previous electronic specialists couldn’t accomplish.  Finally, the electronics that were installed in 2019 are working for the captain.  The bad news was that David could not get the JVC radio/cassette player (circa 2006) working, guess it’s time to replace it. Here’s Andy and David celebrating the end of this ordeal.

After they left, we pulled out our cart and the battery that had failed at Douro and walked to the Canadian tire.  The battery was still under warranty, so we were able to exchange it.  Now we will have a spare starter battery on board at all times, seeing as how this is one of our frequent issues.

 Around five we had dock tails with the other boats on the wall.  Dave and Kathy from Godspell, Ross and Maureen on Seneca, Jim on Live Wire and   Ken and Rhonda on Nine Lives. 

Godspell has a PVC rack which holds up their 2-400 watt solar panels, which gave Andy some ideas.

That night we learned that there would be a partial closure of the locks as of Monday, as per this memo.

This partial closure will protect boater safety, and help to prevent shoreline erosion and property damage experienced by local residents and businesses. All boaters are strongly encouraged to lower their speeds and watch their wake.

Parks Canada will continue to work diligently to re-open the entire system for navigation and will open individual lock stations in stages as soon as it safe to do so.

We decided to wait it out at Campbellford, rather than being at an isolated lock without power for multiple days.  There are a number of things that could be done on the boat, as well as shopping in town. 

On Sunday morning, out came the cart again and we walked up to UPI energy to have our 20 lb propane bottle refilled.  Next on our list was to run some soapy water through our shower and bilge in order to clean it.   As it was Father’s Day, Andy chose the menu for supper, which was BBQed beef tenderloin and veggies.  On Monday, my task was laundry.  Using the cart, we walked over the bridge, and went to Laneway laundry.  While the clothes were in the washer, we walked over to Sharpe’s food market and bought some groceries.  Andy returned to the boat with the perishables and I waited for the clothes to finish before trekking back to the boat.     In the afternoon we went to V&S, we were looking for graph paper and a toaster, as our toaster oven takes ages to make toast.  We also found a few other items; this store never disappoints there is always something that we may need.  We then walked over to the ice cream café; however, it is closed on Mondays.  We had dock tales with the other 3 boats that also chose to remain locked up in Campbellford, we are hostages on the water.   Tuesday marked the first day of summer, and the weather complied, it got to close to 30.  In the morning we pulled out our folding bikes, pumped up the tires, and lubricated some of the working parts.  Here’s Andy testing that everything is working.

  In the afternoon we walked across the bridge for essentials- ice cream & wine.  Saw this on the wall of the ice cream café. I had the Kawartha coconut and mango- both good but I am really enjoying the coconut!

 Later in the afternoon the captain pulled out his paper charts to show the other boaters places to stop along the TSW and in Georgian Bay.

In the evening we went to the movie theatre and viewed Jurassic World Dominion.  The Campbellford chamber of commerce bought us complimentary tickets.  The story line was a little unlikely, but I didn’t dream of dinosaurs.

On Wednesday we did some cleaning within the boat, as it was very hot outside. At about 3:20, we heard a bang at the back of our boat.  A boy who had been swimming on the other side of the canal in the strong current had been pushed diagonally over to our side of the canal.  Fellow boaters, Dave and Ross had heard his cries for help.  Ross had jumped onto our swim platform with a rope to try and pull him out.    He was successful, here’s the young lad resting after his ordeal. No lifejacket in a very strong current—not too smart!

Since it was very hot, we decided to order from Ming Star restaurant for supper. After dinner there was music in the park, here’s a view of some of the spectators, as well as our fellow boaters.

In the evening, Steve and Dodie Sharpe stopped by for a beverage.  We are loaning them our paper charts for the great loop, as they will be starting in August. Dodie showed me how to sign up for Nebo- so our boat location will now be visible to others.

We received some good news: TRENT-SEVERN WATERWAY TO RE-OPEN FOR NAVIGATION JUNE 24, 2022 Issued: June 22, 2022

Yippee, we will be leaving Campbellford after a week in this great town! Today we will fill up our water tanks, and reprovision before moving on tomorrow when the locks open. Here’s what I’m missing at home- one of my rose bushes covered in blooms.

Finally on the move in 2022…

We ended up spending almost a week under the covered slip.  While there we met most of the boaters in that part of the marina.  On Tuesday, May 31st, we went to Bobcaygeon to do some laundry.  It was a warm day so we also made a stop at Kawartha Dairies, and I tried the new flavour- Coconut.   Ice cream has really increased in price, for two double cones, it was almost $14.  However, they did give us a small carton of Black Raspberry Thunder, when we went into the store for some milk—as we had spent over $20. So more ice cream for later…..

On June 1st it rained most of the day, so I spent the day washing, waxing and buffing the outside of the cabin and gunnels.  We had planned on leaving Thursday, however when Andy went to the marina office, he learned that the parts for our generator were in Orillia, and would likely be delivered later in the day.  On Friday afternoon the generator impeller was installed, however it was determined that while the generator is running, it does not re-charge the generator starter battery.  The marina technicians, figured it was an electronic issue, not mechanical so suggested that we called ONAN. 

This would be an expensive fix, as they would have to send someone out from Toronto, a more reasonable solution would be to find an alternate source for charging the battery, and it was suggested that we buy a small solar panel and hook it up only to this battery. Andy mentioned this to our dock-mate, Ken, who said he had one of these small panels, and said he would let us try it out.

We think that it should work, as we only need to charge this battery when we use the generator, and will try it out later in the summer.

Finally on June 6th, we had no more excuses for staying at Buckhorn Yacht Harbour, so we left the covered slip, it was overcast.  We motored over to the Buckhorn lock, and tied up on the blue line to go through.  We were told there would be a short delay as they were repairing one of the motors used to empty the lock.  We were through by 10:45, and then it was on to Lovesick an hour later at 11:45, Burleigh falls at 12:20 and Young’s Point at 13:30. As we were going through one of the locks, the lock staff commented on how many passes we had stuck on our windshield.  This is the 7 year that we have spent time on the Ontario waterways. 

  We arrived at Lakefield Lock #26 at 14:15.  So we had gone through 4 locks and about 22 miles.

We tied up and hooked up to power.  Three power pedestals had been added to this lock over the winter.  

We decided to stay here for two nights as it was predicted to rain all day Tuesday.    We met some loopers coming through from the states, as well as other Canadians travelling along the TSW.  I loved the look of the boat that this looper had on the back of his catamaran.

    Here’s a pair of ducks on a dock Tuesday morning, trying to get out of the rain.

During the day I prepared some pasta sauce, we used some for supper, and I froze a container for another easy supper in the future.  I have also had plenty of time to read, so have been breezing through the box of books that Helen gave me while in Bancroft.  To date I have read: the maid, 5 little words, where the crawdads sing, and tough customer and fair warning—all very good reads.

 On Wednesday morning we walked into Lakefield and stopped at the drug store and Foodland for a few things. Around lunch time, we locked down with one other boat- Best Day Ever and followed them through Sawyer Creek and then on to Douro lock #24 where we tied up.

So two locks and 2.3 miles- Big day!

On Thursday morning, we had planned to move on, but when Andy went to start up the engines, the starboard would not start.  He spent the afternoon talking to Alex at PKI distribution in Toronto.  Andy suspected that the starter on the starboard engine may be defective, as he checked the batteries and they were at 12.8 Volts.  Alex found us a tech- Josh Savage, that could drive out to our boat the next morning and do an assessment of our issue, if it was the starter the bill could be up to $1800 and it may 5 – 7 days to get the part.  Most of the remainder of Thursday was cloudy with intermittent rain showers.  We ran the generator for almost two hours in order to replenish our house batteries.   I walked around the lock station, and checked out their flower beds and garden.  

 We went to bed early and didn’t sleep well, worrying about yet another boat issue.  In the morning Josh called to say he was on the way and would arrive around 9 am. 

He assessed the engine as Andy started the boat and figured we had a bad battery, that didn’t have enough voltage to turn over the starter.  He also noticed that a couple of battery connections to the house bank were loose or not connected at all.  Rather than us limping to Peterborough on one engine, and fighting the current, we asked Josh to go into Peterborough and buy us a new starter battery.   If anyone is keeping track of our battery issues- we last changed out both starter batteries in September of 2021. I would have thought they would last longer than that.  It’s likely on warranty and we will try to return it in Campbellford, where we know the Canadian Tire is near the marina. 

Once Josh returned and the battery was switched out, we were good to go. Here’s the customer and service person both smiling Andy because our bill will be a lot less than anticipated, and Josh because he didn’t have to crawl behind the starboard engine to extract the starter. 

Our friends, Brian and Helen arrived shortly thereafter with Andy’s amazon order, which are cooling, sun protection arm sleeves.  Andy has been wearing long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts to keep the sun off his arms, as directed by his doctor. These sleeves should give him protection and allow him to now wear t-shirts.    Soon after Brian and Helen arrived, two other boats arrived at the lock, so we decided to lock through with them.   Helen took some pictures as we were leaving the lock wall and entering the lock. 

  We were though Douro at 11:30, Otonabee at noon, Nassau Mills at 12:20, Peterborough lift lock at 13:15 and Ashburnham at 13:50.  Saw some trees down along the shore from the wind storm that had blown through here on the May long weekend.

We arrived at Peterborough marina at 14:10 and tied up with help from 3 deck hands and 3 boaters.  The wind and current were pushing us all over the place.  Once we were settled, I went in search of the laundry, as I wanted to wash a couple loads.  I was finished that task by 5:00.  Andy had invited a couple of the boaters who had helped us dock, over for drinks on the sundeck. They were loopers from Charlevoix Michigan, headed north.  As it turned out, Glenn the captain of the boat- Saunter, had worked with corrugated cardboard, similar to Andy had when he worked for Domtar in the 1980’s- so they had lots to talk about.  His deckhand Mike, was from Sault Ste. Marie.  We had a good chat with the two of them.  We barbecued for supper, and then watched some past episodes of Coronation.  There was a blues singer at the nearby Holiday Inn, so there was loud music until at least 10:00.

 On Saturday morning, we walked to Boater’s World to pick up a replacement fender rope holder, for the one I had damaged getting into the lift lock.  We then continued on to the grocery store to pick up some perishables.   Here’s the boat parked at the marina, near the lift lock cruise boat.

The park near the marina was busy most of the morning, as dragon boat relays were taking place.  In the early afternoon we walked across the street to the UK store, and browsed through their wares.  The person working at the store, had been a boater, and kept his boat at Buckhorn Yacht Harbour—small world! We returned to the boat and had intermittent rain and thundershowers most of the afternoon.  For dinner we walked across the street to Jack’s for fish and chips, I also had deep fried pickles. 

In the morning we met a couple from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with a boat that is trailerable.  They hope to  traverse the entire Trent Severn Waterway and then will pick up their car from Trenton and take their boat back to the states. 

It continued to rain on Sunday, so rather than getting wet while locking, we decided to stay at the marina another night.   In a break from the rain, we moved the boat from tying up port side to starboard side.  This should help us pull out of the slip in the morning, as the current is quite strong at this dock. 

We spent the afternoon playing cards and reading.  At about 4:00 we went for a short walk and ended up having drinks with the boaters on Dock C.  There is even a cat on Chief Scalliwag, named Docker that made it’s presence known.

The late afternoon turned out to be quite pleasant, we were glad that we stayed at the marina for the extra day. Andy BBQ’D for supper. 

Tomorrow, we plan to be at Scott Mills at 10:00 when the locks open and then make the 20 mile trek to Rice Lake followed by the 6 mile crossing of it to the Hastings lock wall.  We’ll stay there for a couple of days provided the weather is good.  Then we will continue down the TSW. We’ve booked to be in Campbellford for the weekend of June 17-20th, we are hoping that David can come back to finish our Grmin electronics setup.