Category Archives: Summer 2017

The long road home and back to work

July 4th was spent, packing up the  things we wanted to take home, as well as taking down the fly bridge and putting stuff away, Brian and Helen from Bancroft, came down for the afternoon and helped with the packing.On Thursday we left the marina at about 9:00 and began the trek back to Winnipeg, We stopped near Britt at the chip truck for lunch, only took us a few hours to get here not 7 days as it did by boat.  We continued on and stopped in Sault St. Marie for supper, here we met Pat and Marcia,who had been Andy’s first crew when we began the loop trip.  After the Sault, we started around the northern edge of Lake Superior,we encountered a few areas of construction, and some rain and ground fog.We passed through Wawa, White River, Marathon, Terrace Bay and finally found a motel room in Schreiber near midnight.

Andy had driven 1178 Km the first day.We were on the road again at 7:45, with another long day ahead of us.  We again encountered road repairs.It took a couple  hours before we reached Thunder Bay, we then went through a number of small towns, before reaching Ignace,  here we took a little side trip, as Andy wanted to show me where he had lived in Ignace in the 1970’s.We continued on to Dryden and made it through town before being stopped for over ½ hour because of one-lane of traffic through a construction zone.   We eventually reached the Manitoba border.We arrived home at 5:00 having gone another 800  Km.  After unpacking, I went to check on my garden where the weeds were taller than my tomato plants.  In our fish pond, a couple of the gold fish seem to have gone missing, but we still have 7 fish left. On Saturday we noticed that the deer is still hanging around in the backyard too– maybe that’s where my row of beets and kale went?

On Saturday, we traveled out to Winnipeg Beach, where a wake on the water was being held for one of the boaters, who had passed in mid- May.  There were about 8 boats that traveled out to the south end of the lake to say our goodbyes.

On Sunday we had the kids over for supper, as we wanted to give Jack the stuff we had bought him at Beausoleil Island, and tell him about what we had learned there.  Andy had bought him a flint, so they went out to the firepit after supper to start a fire.Monday, I returned to work, and it was a tough week getting back into the groove of working 7-4.  I had lots of meetings during the week, and issues to deal with, so I was  kept busy.

Friday after work, Andy picked me up and we came to Winnipeg Beach, for the weekend.  We had not spent any time on this boat since the summer of 2015.It was a restful night, it was quite warm when we went to bed, but the winds shifted during the night and it cooled off.  The water went up about 8- 10 inches overnight as well, and in the morning there were over 1 meter waves on the lake.  We are protected in the marina, and not many boats ventured out onto the lake. We did some exterior cleaning on Saturday to remove bird crap, a swallow’s nest, fish flies and other insects.


We are blessed to be able to spend so much time on the water whether it is on Odyssey or On BusinessThis is our Happy Place 🙂

Our last days of vacation in Ontario

July 1st

We left Couchiching lock at 8:50, and went to wait for the opening of the railway bridge, ¼ mile down the canal.  We lucked out, it was opened at 9:00 and we were through by 9:05.We then had the 10 mile stretch of Lake Couchiching which was a little choppy.  We enter Lake Simcoe shortly after 10, at 11:00 there was warnings of squalls and thunderstorms on Simcoe starting in the early afternoon, which made us feel uneasy as we were only ½ way across.  We were back in the canal by 12:10 after passing through the Lakeshore swing bridge.  We then had the 5 locks to traverse, Gamebridge, Thorah, Portage, Talbot and Bolsover.  We were through Bolsover by 2:50.  We encountered a little traffic going through these locks, mainly coming toward us. I took a picture of this house, as we had met the people that owned it at Couchiching in the morning, they had been headed west.  (We later met the same couple at Fenlon Falls on July 3rd, they have a boat and like to travel– my kind of people!)There were some pretty dark clouds building around us.  The trip through Canal Lake was eventful, lots of weeds fouling the props and slowing our progress.   We  saw these 2 guys with their picnic table on a raft with a motor on canal lake– sure liked the way they were celebrating Canada Day.We reached Kirkfield lock, just when the rain began to pour down, we were in the process of tying up when the green light came on so we proceeded into the lock.  We then had  another narrow piece of the Trent canal,as we emerged into Balsam Lake, a 22 foot blue Sea Ray was waiting.  Glen, had come to escort us to his part of Balsam Lake.Glen and Julie from Meant to Be II live right next to the Balsam Lake provincial park.  We weighed anchor about 150 yards in front of their house in 10 feet of water and Glen picked us up and drove us to their dock.We had supper and spent the night.  What a night on the lake; being July 1st there were fireworks everywhere ,  we saw fireworks displays from Coboconk, Indian Point, Grand Island, Kirkfield, Fenlon Falls, Rosedale, Long point and the Balsam Lake park,  It didn’t matter which direction you looked at dusk- there was fireworks going off.  One cottage not too far from Glen and Julie’s had a barge out on the water shooting them off.  The night was amazing and the fireworks lasted for more than an hour. A great memory of celebrating Canada’s 150 birthday on Balsam Lake!On Sunday we went to a restaurant called Nana’s for breakfast, Julie left us from there as she was driving down to Windsor to see her mother.  We went back to the house with Glen, and took a boat trip to Coboconk to see the town and go for Kawartha Ice cream.We lazed around in the afternoon,  Glen did a demonstration of his potatoe gun and after supper we  walked to the Balsam Lake Park store for yet another taste of Kawartha Ice cream. Shortly before 8 the winds picked up and a thunderstorm moved through.  It was raining so hard we couldn’t see the other shore, and could hardly see On Business. I was thankful that we were in the house and not on the boat.   Following the storm, a rainbow appeared.

On Monday morning, Glen brought us back to the boat, and Andy tried fishing for about 45 minutes but didn’t even get a bite. We left around 11:15, and proceeded to Rosedale lock, which we were through shortly after noon.  We proceeded to Fenlon Falls, and were able to get a spot on the wall with power by 1:30.   We went for Ice cream and to the little pie shack in the afternoon- as we are celebrating our 7th anniversary!

Tuesday morning we left at about 10:30, and went through the Fenlon Falls lock, we then crossed Sturgeon Lake and then through Gannon narrows to Pigeon Lake and on to Bobcaygeon.  There was no room on the lock wall, and the Kawartha Voyager was arriving later in the afternoon, so we didn’t want to wait around.  We continued the 15 miles  and saw these sailboats in one of the lakes,we continued on to Buckhorn and tied up on the wall at 2:50.    We  were surprised to be visited by Jim Coyle, the AGLCA  harbour host  from Stoney Lake, who had been passing by and saw our boat tied up.He came by and gave us an update, as we hadn’t seen him since last summer.  He will be continuing his loop starting in mid-August.   Later Stan and Pam from the Buckhorn Yacht Harbour, also came for a visit.Tonight will be our last night on the wall, as tomorrow, we need to move to Buckhorn Yacht Harbour and start preparing the boat to be taken out of the water, and pack up all the stuff that has to go back to Winnipeg.  Where has the time gone?  Your head goes to mush, after being away from work for over a month- I tried to log-on to my work account, and didn’t have a clue what my password was- guess I’ll have  to get it reset when I go back to work next Monday.

Back in the TSW

On Tuesday we returned to Beausoleil Island with our new crew of Brian and Muriel.  There was a 40 % chance of rain and of course it rained during our 1 ½ hour trip to the island.  There was no one else on Tobey dock- so we had our choice of spots.We went to several of the Parks’ talks including a medicine walk, where we were shown several plants and what they could be used for.  We walked up to the cemetery and learned about the earlier inhabitants of the island.  We also attended the fire talk, where we learned about starting fires with flints as well as by rubbing sticks together, we stayed for the bear talk as wellIn the evening we walked back to the big chair for pictures with our new crew.On Wednesday morning we left Beausoleil at 10:00 under a clear blue sky, and very little wind.  We reached Port Severn, entered the Trent Severn waterway, and locked through with one other boat at 11:35.  We continued on for 8 miles to the Big Chute passing by many large homes/cottage and locked through with a boat called Danny’s Buoy.

We tied up above the lock at 1:25.  After going to the Big Chute Marina for ice cream (Chapman’s not Kawartha) we played a few games of afternoon canasta (hand and foot) and re-checked some of the rules with our Missouri connections.For supper we had a fish fry, with fish supplied by Brian from a recent fishing trip.  After more cards in the evening we retired.

On Thursday we woke up to grey skies, and more rain….  We set off from the Chute at 8:20, and headed for the Swift Rapids lock.  It was only an 8 mile ride, we arrived at 9:30, the gates were opened and we proceed inside.  This lock is a 47 foot rise, I tied on to one of the bollards and Brian tied to one of the lines.  We were through by 9:40 and tied up on the lock wall to wait out the rain.  Andy and I went below the lock to a boat called Tiki Moana,as they were flying a white looper burgee, and were the first loopers that we encountered so far this summer.  They informed as that several looper boats were behind them, and we would likely cross paths with some of them today.  We left Swift Rapids at 11:50, and sure enough, saw two other loopers, one of which was the Phantom with Herb Seaton, the harbour host from Tarpon Springs, who we had met in January of 2016. He honked at us, seeing our Gold Burgee.  We continued on for a couple of miles and saw this tragedy—a Kadey Krogen trawler had hit rocks earlier in the morning and was taking on water.Not something you like to see.

We went through the Hamlet swing bridge, and 3 miles later we arrived at the Couchiching lock and locked through, tying up on the top side behind a looper boat called Simpatico at 2:00.  It continued to rain off and on all afternoon and we were content to play cards indoors.  Around 6:30 Gene from marine electronics came to replace our port side regulator, that had burnt out while we were in Little Current but the part he had brought was defective, so the repairs didn’t get done.

Friday morning it was nice when we first got up, but then some showers set in.  It was a busy morning at the lock, since school is now out; there were lots of boats on the move.  Around 10 we notice a sailboat on the blue line that we recognized, Living Life, with James, Nancy, Lucas and Marcos, sporting a gold burgee just like us.They were headed to Georgian Bay.  We had first met them last July in Peterborough, before they had set off.  It was great to see them all again and hear about their trip.  Andy and Brian went on a grocery/beer run to Washago.  After having Maple Leaf shaped burgers for lunch, with some beverages, Brian and Muriel were off to Bancroft.

At about 2:30 we watched the Kawartha Voyager go through the lock—they were going as far as the Big chute, and would be returning on Sunday.

Tomorrow is Canada Day, I hung up a few Canadian flags  on the boat to mark the occasionand the lock did some decorating as well.  Hope everyone has a great time celebrating Canada’s 150 birthday.  We hope to cross Lake Simcoe tomorrow and make it to Kirkfield lock.

Last days on Georgian Bay, moving back to the TSW

Saturday June 24

We left Queen’s Cove at 10:30 our plans were to go and anchor out at either Hope or Beckwith Island.  The wind was fairly brisk, we were somewhat sheltered as we passed Port McNichol, Midland and Penetanguishene.  Once we hit open water, the waves were about ½ meter, and the wind was blowing from a westerly direction. It was a great day for sailing, and we saw many sailboats out on the bay.   We passed Giant Tomb Island and went on to Beckwith.    The islands of Christian, Hope and Beckwith are owned by the Beausoleil First nation.  There is no development on either Hope of Beckwith, but they have sandy shores and Caribbean blue waters.  They are a popular spot for anchoring.  We arrived by 1:15, and there was only one other sailboat there.By nightfall, we were the only trawler, with 7 other sailboats anchored out, and  a collection of 7 small run-a-bouts rafted together at the shore.

We  did some craft beer tasting in the afternoon, Brian and Helen had brought a jug from Bancroft.had a quiet night once the winds settled down and the rocking stopped.  From the anchorage we saw a cruise ship go by.On Sunday morning we left at 9:45 en route to Beausoleil island, by going around Giant Tomb island and then cutting across on the Whaleback channel,to the Muskoka channel and around past Frying Pan bay towards Honey Harbour.  We had been watching the sky all morning, as there were some ominous looking clouds, and a squall warning come over the radio at about 11:00.  We had just called Beausoleil Island to see if there was room at the docks when the skies opened and thunder and lightning started.

We pulled off and tied up at the Delawana inn at Noon for about 30 minutes while we let the system pass through.   We arrived at Beausoleil at 1:10 and tied up.  We have repeatedly come to the island for the benefits it has a dock, showers, washroom, garbage disposal and is covered by our Parks mooring pass.  It also has very knowledgeable employees who give talks on different subjects, Helen and Andy went to a talk on the archeology of the island and Helen stayed for a talk on the 3 bears that can be found wandering on the island. We also saw this kindergarten class of ducks– we didn’t think that one duck could have this many offspring.That evening we walked up to Thumb point bay, to see the facilities there,and stopped by the stone chair for pictureswe also noticed this grouping of inukshuks that seemed to be having a party in the water.We noticed when we arrived that the floating docks had risen about 6 inches, likely due in part to the excessive rain that had fallen in the area over the weekend.

On Monday morning, Helen and I wanted to go for a walk, leaving the dock, we noticed this snake and chipmunk eyeing each other- no lives were lost while we watched. We took the walking trails to the Lookout point, where we were ravaged by mosquitoes, luckily we both had long sleeves, but neither of us had brought repellent.  Here’s what we saw more trees.We followed the trails back, and went through the cemetery of early island  inhabitants.

Later we saw these boxes, which were labeled as research projects, along one of the pathways.I later asked about them at the office and was told that they were covering up Map turtle eggs, keeping them away from other predators that would consume them.  We also saw these cabins which had verandas and screened in porches and a play area on our way back to the boat.

We left Beausoleil island at about 11:10, hoping to miss some of the predicted rain showers.  We arrived at Queen’s Cove at 12:30 a small band of showers passed through just before our arrival.  We checked in, and bought a new boat hook, as somewhere in the last two weeks, one of ours had gone missing I’m thinking it may have gone overboard when we had the big waves leaving the Bustards.  We went to the Village Mercantile for lunch, and I did a couple of loads of laundry; by this time it was pouring.  We then drove to the Canadian Tire in Midland to buy a toaster and groceries.

We returned to Queen’s cove, and awaited our new crew.  Brian and Muriel arrived at about 6:00, Brian and Helen left taking Brian H’s car to Couchiching lock, where we will be on Thursday.  After dinner, we played several hours of cards, before retiring for the evening.

A week of wind and waves in the North Channel and the Bay

Friday June 16

We left Little Current around 11:30 with Meant to Be II headed towards Croker Island and the Benjamins.  We ended up anchoring in a bay in the Benjamin’s.  It was another clear day with lots of sun. Could it get any better than this?We had a great night surrounded by rocks, water and some ducks.We awoke to rain on Saturday, and decided to leave around 7:00, headed back to Little Current, we made the 10:00 opening of the swing bridge, as it continued to rain.   We crossed Frazier Bay, and Heywood Island, which we had contemplated stopping at, but with the rain decided to keep going, we were in Killarney shortly after noon,and continued on to Collins inlet.  We had decided to go back to Mill Lake and anchor there for the night.  We reached Mill Lake by 2:00.  By 3:30 the rain stopped and the sun peaked out.

On Sunday we woke early to rain and fog, we waited until about 8:45 for the fog to lift.  As we traveled through Collins inlet and Beaverstone Bay, there were places where the fog was really socked in. We went by many islands with names like the chickens, sow, toad, fox, and sheep- not sure why all the animal names.

Once out of Beaverstone, we had the 25 mile crossing of Georgian Bay to the Bustard Islands. The fog was thick and it took both of us searching in front of the boat to find the markers.we arrived in the Bustards at 12:30 and anchored behind Tie Island for the night or so we thought.There was one other boat in the anchorage.The wind started picking up and at about 7:30, we re-set the anchor as we had drifted about 10 feet.  We wrote down our coordinates and watched them constantly. At about 10:00 we decided that we should watch throughout the night.  I was fine with that as I had just started reading Drums of Autumn, which is a 1000 page book.  At about midnight after several gusts of wind, I woke Andy up to say our anchor was dragging again we had moved about 30 feet, and were getting close to one of the shores.  He started up the engines and moved us into shallow water and reset the anchor again, for added protection we set out second anchor off the bow as well.  Every time the wind gusted we could hear scraping along the rock, but it seemed to hold, with minimal swinging. The wind remained strong throughout the night. I stayed up reading until 4 a.m. before crawling into bed.  Andy got up at about 4:45 and kept watch.

At 8:40 we left the anchorage for Britt which was about 23 miles away. With the winds still blowing there were 1 meter plus waves and swells, and we had about 4 1/2 miles of open water until we reached some protection from islands.   Not a fun hour, we were slammed left and right!  The rocks look quite a bit more frightening, when they have 4 foot waves crashing over them.   No pictures, I couldn’t stand and hold the camera steady. I think we lost one of our boat hooks with all the rocking.  We weaved our way through the channel passing Dead Island, Bigsby, Rogers Champlain, Golden Sword, Cunninghams and the Mcnab rocks before turning into the South Channel of Byng Inlet.    We arrived at Britt at 11:15.  It really felt good to be tied to a dock!

On Tuesday, the winds were still quite strong, so we decided to stay in Britt for another day.   We cleaned the boat, using our new 1/3 HP pump and lake water.  There were hundreds of shad/fish flies that had clung to the  boat in the past few days .  It was nice to finally have their carcasses scrubbed off.  We went to St. Amant Waterfront café for lunch ad tried the fresh pickerel.  I enjoyed it; however Andy wasn’t too thrilled with the tartar sauce-like gravy that covered his fish he had assumed that the sauce would be on the side.

Our friends from Meant to be II, arrived later in the afternoon, they had been out in the winds for many hours, coming from Collins inlet.   We barbecued that evening, with Glen, Julie and Brooke from Mary Mary and enjoyed a wonderful evening.

On Wednesday morning, we took on about 500 litres of diesel, which would be more than enough to take us back to Buckhorn.  On Business and Meant to be II, left Byng Inlet at 9:00.  The winds had subsided a little, but it was still blowing as we navigated through the Norgate rocks and then the Hangdogs.

We called Gilly’s in  Snug Harbour at about noon, after passing Port au Barrelto find out how deep the water was at the government dock and were told that it was greater than 5 feet. I recalled that the previous summer, Still Water II had found a lot of mud when they went to Gillys.   Eating at Gilly’s had been recommended by Dave and Claudia as well as Brooke.When we got to the restaurant around 2:00 we were the only ones there. It was great, Andy had the pickerel and Glen and I tried the whitefish, which was the house special, Julie had fish tacos.  The fish was amazing.  We took dessert to go, I selected a butter tart, Andy picked the brownie and Julie and Glen took the apple crisp.   We left Snug Harbour and Andy led us into our anchorage for the night at Windsor Island, south of Franklin Island.  We had spent a night there in 2016.  Glen and Julie were visited by a snapping turtle, but he didn’t come our way. On Thursday morning, Andy and I left at about 7:00,  cut through the canoe channeland headed across Parry Sound as we had hoped to go the 55 miles to Beausoleil Island.  Julie and Glen were going to leave later, and head towards Port Severn.   Since they have a cruiser, we had half expected them to overtake us at some point.  We texted them to learn that they were having engine issues.  We decided to turn around and go back to Jones Island and wait for news from them.

While anchored, Glen called to say he had jumped the battery and was able to get started.  They were headed to Parry Sound for service.    We continued on our way, went and reached Beausoleil Island at 3:15.  There were only two other small boats at the docks.    At about 5:00, Glen and Julie called to say they were going to try to reach Beausoleil for the night.  They arrived shortly after 7:00.  We had docktails, and moved on to Meant to Be II when the rain started.

On Friday morning June 23rd, Andy made pancakes, Glen and Julie came over for breakfast.  Just before 9:00 they left headed for the Port Severn lock.  We did some cleaning, and left at about 10:40 headed across the bay to Queen’s Cove Marina at Victoria Harbour.

At about 1:30, Brian and Helen arrived at the marina.  They are going to spend a couple of days on-board with us.  We visited in the afternoon and went to Queen’s Quay restaurant for supper.

Week 3 is done, two more weeks and then we have to head back to Winnipeg.

North Channel bound

We left Beausoleil at 8:30 Saturday morning, our intention was to go to Jones Island and meet up with the former owners of “On Business”.  The winds were light and the sun was shining, as we progressed north. Mid morning a strong wind warning was being forecast for Georgian Bay starting in the late afternoon.  We decided that rather than anchor out we would try and make the run to Britt while we had a good weather window.  Having been to Britt in the past, I knew we would have to traverse some interesting waters after passing Port a Barrel.We needed to go through the Hangdog reef and then shortly after that the Norgate rocks.  At one point it was like slalom skiing- the red and green markers were lined up in a row and you just skirted around them.As we were making the approach to Byng Inlet, the wind was starting to really blow.  We arrived at Britt at 6:30.   A 10 hour day and 98 miles.  Glen and Julie, from Meant to Be II, who we had met in the final locks on the Trent, were docked next to us and helped us tie up, Graham Lacey, the owner also helped, as he was aware of our late arrival.  As we were coming in to Britt we had heard a Pan-Pan over the radio,  a larger Carver was reporting that they had slammed into some rocks, in Black Bay just on the other side of  Byng Inlet, and there were 2 adults, 2 children and 2 pets aboard.  Several hours later we saw the Coast Guard escorting the Carver into port.

On Sunday the wind warning was still in effect, with 2 meter waves on the Bay, so we stayed in port.  We did some reprovisioning and succumbed to a visit to ice cream on the rocks- where Andy indulged in Kawartha’s new flavor Sugar Shack Maple., I had the Salty Caramel and Black Raspberry Thunder.  There were some ominous clouds in the evening, but very little rain.By Monday, the winds had subsided, so we were on the move again.  We left Britt at 8:30 and went through the Cunningham’s channel, where I saw this skeleton and Roger’s Gut where thechannel was quite narrow. We had several hours in open water on Georgian Bay before arriving at Collins inlet.  We arrived at the Mill Lake anchorage at 2:00.  It was a great day, except for those little biting black flies!!  Here’s the sunrise from our anchorage.We left the anchorage and 8:40, and traveled back into another portion of Collins Inlet that led us back out to the Bay.  We were then in open water for a short time and then pulled into Killarney, which claims to be the gateway to the North Channel.As we were going through Killarney, we saw Meant to be II.  We told them we were off to Baie Fine and the pool.  They said they would likely join us there later in the afternoon.  We saw a Métis canoe leaving Killarney, with a number of paddlers.After crossing Frazier Bay, we took the 8 mile trip up Baie Fine, I did some of the driving and then the additional mile of two to get to the end of the Pool.  This is the Mecca of boat anchorages in the North Channel and is referenced in the Waterway guide, Skipper Bob, and the Ports book.  Andy tried fishing, but nothing was biting.  Glen and Julie came over by dinghy later for after dinner drinks.  We were the only 2 boats there.

On Wednesday, Meant to be II left and we were all alone, the captain went for a little row.We put the motor on  the dinghy  and went to the dock at the north end of the pool.  We had wanted to hike up to Topaz Lake that we had also read about.    The bush was full of mosquitoes, army worms and possibly ticks, and we had dressed with long sleeves and pants, and had applied several layers of repellent.  We walk up the steep path for quite a while following a blue path, and couldn’t find the Topaz trail, on our way back we saw where the Topaz path broke off.We started going up the trail, and met 2 guys on their way down.  They were checking out the Lake, as one of them was getting married there the next day.  We made it to the summit, and I took a couple pictures. I also brought back a couple of small rocks for the rock garden at home.  We went back to the boat, and relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon.  I’ve been reading about 1 book every 3 days, and have been working on my sun tan.

On Thursday, it was overcast, and we weighed anchor at 7:45, We backtracked the 9 miles to Frazier Bay, and crossed over, going by Heywood Island in order to reach Little Current.  On our approach to the channel between Goat Island and Manitoulin Island, Andy noticed that our Port engine seemed to be overcharging.  He tried calling several of the marina’s to see if someone could come take a look.  We went through on the 11:00 swing bridge opening and tied up at the Little Current.  Andy called a guy, that he had met when he went through Little Current in 2015.  He recommended Wayne as a good instrumentation guy, Andy called him.  He came over and between the two of them they determined that one of our regulators was likely malfunctioning.   They think they have rigged up the boat so both batteries will be charged- only time will tell!  Andy will be calling Xantrex dealers to order one in the morning.

We decided to stay in Little Current for the night.  We did some chart shopping at Turners, as we didn’t have charts for the lower Georgian Bay around Meaford and Owen Sound.  We went out for supper and picked up some fruit. Later in the evening 2 couples stopped by, One couple  recognized the boat  as they had met Andy in 2015 at the Pool.

Woke up this morning to light drizzle and fog, we will be waiting it out here before our trek to the Benjamins or Croker island for the night.

Georgian Bay…. Here we come…

We left Buckhorn Yacht Harbour at  8:00 on Tuesday June 6th, it was overcast, and as we got closer to the Bobcaygeon Lock it began raining.  We locked through with two houseboats, but we stayed clear of them- coming into the lock last, as we  had seen the way that some houseboat renters drive.    It rained off and on for most of the day, as we proceeded through Fenlon Falls and Rosedale locks, with the Lock hours being 10-4, we were able to make it to the bottom of Kirkfield by 3pm.  It was a cool damp night.

We awoke Wednesday morning to clear blue skies.  We left at 9:20,  after Canal lake,  we passed  through the Hole in the wall bridge, with the reflection in the water, I got this picture.We arrived at the  first swing bridge for it’s 10:00 opening. Our timing was almost perfect as we went through another bridge followed by 5 locks  to reach Lake Simcoe by 12:35.  We only had to wait a couple of minutes at one lock for a boat coming out, otherwise we were alone as we moved westward.  Lake Simcoe had hardly a ripple on it,and we crossed the 20 miles and were docked at the Port of Orillia shortly after 2:00.  The marina office and shower renovation is almost complete and the facilities are amazing, last summer when we were here the showers were in a temporarily set up in a trailer.

We had blown a fuse on our inverter, so a marine electrician was going to meet us at the marina and fix our issue. After reprovisioning at Metro we returned to the boat.  I then went out in search of a bakery where I had purchased wonderful cinnamon buns last year.  The city is gearing up for  July 1st, and the banners around town all depict maple leaves. The electrician arrived around 7:00, and was able to find the blown fuse, and got our Xantrex inverter working again.

Thursday morning we left the marina at 8:20, crossing  Lake Couchiching  in order to make the CN swing bridge for 10:00 as they work the same hours as the Parks Canada locks.  We arrived at the bridge at 9:45,  but needed to wait until after 11:15 before the bridge opened.  Apparently this is the CN main line, and the bridge doesn’t open if there is an approaching train within 30 minutes.  So we waited with several other boats and saw  2 freight trains and a passenger train pass by.

Because of the backlog at the railway bridge, we had company through the Couchiching, Swift Rapids and Big Chute Marine railway.  We arrived at the bottom of the Big Chute by 3:15,

and tied up at the docks.  As we were going down the chute, I noticed a workman between the rails of the carriage making measurements.  We went up to the restaurant for ice cream, but they were  already closed. We went back to the Chute and watched as a Parks Canada crew replaced one of the cables that move the boat carriage.   It was a quiet evening, and we were all alone again.  We left the dock by 8:00 to proceed to Port Severn and our last lock before reaching Georgian Bay.  Weekend hours for the locks are 9-6, but when we arrived, there were already boats in line for the first lock down, we tied up on the blue line and waited.  We were out into the bay by 9:50.  Once again there was very little wind, so the Bay was quite smooth. Our destination for the day was Beausoleil Island, which was about 12 miles away, we check-in at noon.  We had stayed here in the past,  our Parks Canada Mooring pass is accepted here, as it is a national park.  In the afternoon, Andy spent time on the deck enjoying the sun, while I finished sewing the Velcro onto the curtains that I had made. We had a great visit with an older couple who had been boating for many decades, here in Canada and the Bahamas.  A great day on the Bay!!   One week of vacation gone- 4 more to go!!

On Business has her bottom wet again

It’s been 7 months since I last posted.  We survived the winter, and didn’t have a whole lot of snow, but were hit with a couple of storms. It snowed twice in late April, on both April 22nd & 24th and our backyard turned white.We had a family gathering of the McMorlands (Andy’s Mom’s side) prior to Christmas and had about 40 people come to our place for a visit.  Andy’s 99 year old aunt was among the party goers, and we were very glad she had come as the following month she passed away.  During the Christmas break, I did my usual puzzle, but I broke with tradition and actually did 2 1000 piece puzzles instead of one.  The first was the lighthouse, which I had bought along the trip and the second depicted Canada’s game- hockey.Andy got creative too, and made Angels out of shells we had collected the previous holiday season on Dog Island Florida.Over the winter we kept busy curling, and had some unexpected successes; Andy curled in the provincial stick bonspiel and came in 2nd  in the province.  We curled mixed with our next door neighbors, and ended up winning the A-side in our league at the Fort Gary CC.

In early May, we’ve began cleaning up the yard and planting the garden.   I have several dozen tomato plants started in-doors, but they  didn’t like the hardening off process, so I lost quite a few when I put the  out in  the garden near the end of May. We’ve also made a trip to Gimli, to bottom paint our Carver-“Odyssey”.  She was launched on May 10th, so on Mother’s Day we went up to Winnipeg Beach, and did some cleaning of the exterior, as she had been in storage since the fall of 2015.  We have her listed with a broker, in hopes of selling her.In preparation for returning to “On Business”, I’ve made some new curtains for the boat– this took me a couple of weekends, as I’m not really a sewer, and only had a rough sketch of the window dimensions.  So I made them so that I can alter them to fit with a needle, thread and some Velcro.Andy has made me a cutting board to cover the stove top and give me more counter space.  I also tried to make a lawn ornament from clay pots to look like a lighthouse.For vacation, we had originally thought that we would go back to the Thousand Islands, and possibly up the St. Lawrence to Montreal. This plan was changed by mother nature  due to the flooding in Eastern Ontario and Quebec.  Instead we will be going back into Georgian Bay—Yippee only 14 locks instead of 31!

My summer vacation has started; we left Winnipeg on June 2nd headed to Ontario to explore more of the waterways.  It’s a 2076 Km drive from Winnipeg to Buckhorn.  Here’s a picture of Lake Superior from the highway.  We hope to make it to this Great Lake on one of our summer vacations.We arrived in Buckhorn, late afternoon on June 3rd.  The boat was in the water when we got here. When we arrived  we learned that locks 1 through 18 on the Trent Severn are still closed because of high water, so our choice of going to Georgian Bay was the right one.  We’ve spent a couple of days to get her ready, and will be headed to Georgian Bay and the North Channel  tomorrow for about a month as l need to be back at work on July 10th .

 We resisted  for 2 days but had our first taste of Kawartha Ice cream today. One year ago today we were in New York City–Where did the year go?