Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mackinaw Island on Lake Huron

Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island
Travel today was on Lake Huron.  We went past the famous Mackinaw Island.  Since we have been there we chose to go on past over to St. Ignac for the evening.

Seaplane (Beaver) on Lake Huron (Could this be Harrison Ford?)

Lake Huron

Mackinaw Island


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to the USA

Tuesday July 30th.  Today we cross over from Thessalon, Ontario to Drummond Island where we will once again enter USA waters.  We will clear customs at Drummond Island Yacht Haven.  Counting today we were in Canadian waters for 24 days.  It is good to be back in the states to use our phones again and to be back on our Verizon plan for blogging.  I have spent the entire evening trying to get the blog all updated and talking to the family.  This is a great adventure, but I sure do miss everyone back home. Tomorrow Lake Huron.

Drummond Island Yacht Haven to Check Back Into Customs

North Channel, Ontario, Canada

North Channel will cover the next 138 miles.  Today is Sunday July 28th.  We are now covering the 138 miles of the North Channel which actually began yesterday at Killarney.  We spent last night in a cove in Little Current where we took on supplies today before continuing on. The North Channel is not very well marked and even after buying more charts Mike had to do a lot of studying to plot our course.  We past the Benjamin Islands today (nice name) and Eagle Island where we will anchor for the night.

July 29th we continue the North Channel.  Today is a special day for us our 41st anniversary.  We have been tested and tried but no one is bound in the dinghy yet.  We are two well worn motors that are humming along quite well.  We made our way today to Thessalon a journey of 66 miles across some pretty rough waters.  We are in a small marina tonight where we ate supper together with Bob and Ginny from the Miss Ginny to celebrate Bob's birthday today.  We plan on leaving in the morning to cross over to the U.S. waters.

Another Georgian Bay Picture

North Channel

North Channel

More Georgian Bay

Good Anchorage Spots
New Friends on the Miss Ginny

New Friends (Bob and Ginny Roche)

Georgian Bay (Finally We Are Back Online)

The last few days have been long ones with lots of anchorages and no WI FI and then computer problems. I have lots to share!  Wednesday July 24th due to high winds we could not travel.  It was just as well because Mike finished repairs, I did laundry, we met up with two other loopers and purchased the needed charts to begin the 168.5 miles on Georgian Bay.

Thursday morning July 25th we finally finished the last lock on the Trent Severn Waterway #45 and began the trip along the Georgian Bay also dubbed the Thirty Thousand Islands.  This body of water can be quite tricky to travel unless you carefully study and prepare your charts, but it is probably the most beautiful waterway yet.  The weather today was perfect and the scenery breathtaking.  I will attach several pictures for you but they cannot really do Georgian Bay justice.  This entire area is full of granite boulders jutting up and out from all directions.  This makes many areas quite shallow.  Out paths have crossed again with our good friends  on the Miss Ginny and we are traveling this stretch of the loop together.  Tonight we are anchored in Georgian Bay along large granite boulders and small coves.  Friday July 26th  we have covered another 63 miles of Georgian Bay today.  The maze we traveled on the small craft route as opposed to all open waters is really a crisscross of paths through boulders and rock beds.  This is no time to take  a nap or look away.  We are anchored again this evening in a large cove we found on the charts for anchorage along with the boat Miss Ginny.  Tomorrow will bring more open water before we can tuck back in on the small craft route at Killlarney.  Saturday July 27th, after a very early start, a rough few hours on Georgian Bay, and back into the small craft we have come to the end of Georgian Bay.  This evening after covering 68 miles today. Our journey today took us past the town of Killarnery which begins the North Channel where we stopped for lunch at the famous Hubert's Fisheries Fish and Chips where they serve up fresh perch just caught and fried, served out of an old school bus dockside.  From here we covered the last 22 miles or so to Little Current where we are anchored in a cove and plan to buy groceries tomorrow morning before we head up the North Channel.  If all goes well we should be out of Canada in just a few days.  While Canada has been beautiful it is also a very expensive place.  The sales tax rate is 13%.


Point Au Baril Lighthouse

Herbert Fisheries Fish and Chips

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lock 44 The Big Chute

The Big Chute is not really a lock but a unique marine railway.  the Big Chute railway portages your vessel across land and down the chute on twin tracks.Hydraulic powered slings lift your boat and slowly more it across the street.  All this went well but not a half mile later the engine overheated and we had to shut down. When we were taken out of the water the impeller went dry and the impeller did not pick up again.  this impeller is what sends water to the engine to cool it and keep us going.  Major TROUBLE. We were so lucky to have the boat Tie a Knot right behind us.  They grabbed our line and waited for Mike to check the damages.  We then dropped anchor and Mike ran our water hose to the engine to keep water running and we made our way into the marine we had planned on going to for the night.  Tie a Knot stayed with us until we both reached the marina.  It is always good to make friends along the way.  Mike has worked on getting out the ruined impeller and can you believe it he did bring a spare one.  What a captain! At this time he is still working on the repairs but should be done soon.  It looks like we will still be here tomorrow because of the high winds that moved in this afternoon.  Several boats are here in Port Severn waiting to cross the Georgian Bay which is after the next and last lock on the Trent Severn Waterway.   Quite an exciting day!

The Big Chute  

Wood Slates and Straps
What a View
Looking Down the Front View

Monday, July 22, 2013

Trent Severn Locks 36-41

Monday July 22.  Today we began on lock 36.  We were the first to enter at 9:00. What a lock! a 49 foot vertical lock also a pan lock like lock 21 was.  What a view from the top to the bottom.  From here on we will be dropping down and no more up.  We covered six more locks today.  We went through the Hole in the Bridge, covered Simcoe Lake and stopped for the night in Orillia.

Pan Lock 36 Looking Down   

Lock 36
Hole in the Wall Bridge

Shallow Waters Plenty of Seaweed

Trent Severn Locks 32-35

Sunday July 21.  Today  we covered three more locks but traveled 49 miles.  These three are much farther apart and we cover more lakes and open areas between locks.  We made a stop today at lock 33 to visit Bobcaygeon which is right on the Trent Severn.  Next was Fenelon Falls which of course has a waterfall just before the lock.  we then moved onto Rosedale lock number 35 which was our last lift lock.  Balsam Lake which then followed is the highest point in the system..  It is 598 feet in elevation above Trenton.  From here it is a 260 foot elevation drop down to Georgian Bay.  This marks the highest point in the world that a boat can reach from the sea under its own power.  Last on our journey today was the Trent Canal landcut through the Canadian Shield.  We thought the Dismal Swamp canal was narrow!  This is barely wide enough for one large boat to pass.  It is surrounded rock and shale.  we must stay to the dead center here.  We finally stopped tonight at the bottom of lock 36 in Kirkfield which is a 49 foot vertical drop.  Lock 36 is the second highest lift lock in North America.  As of this time we have now covered over 4,000 miles.  Note to Lisa- not seeing many flower gardens.  Lots of trees, shrubs, rock and water.

Fenelon Falls

Trent Canal

Scenery Along the Trent Severn

Plenty of Rock

Boat Garages

Our View Down the Trent Canal

Trent Severn Locks 10-31

Stoney  Lake
As we continue on the Trent Severns Thursday July 18th to Saturday July 20th we have now covered locks 10 to 31.  We are using the canal walls for overnight dockage for the most part. Finally the weather has cooled down today and we are enjoying much cooler breezes.  So many of the locks are quite unique.  Lock 21 at Peterborough is a hydraulic lift lock where you enter a pan that lifts you.  We covered Rice lake , the Otonabee River ,Clear Lake, and Stoney Lake which certainly fits  its name.  There are stones and rock piles every where you look.  we must follow the channel very carefully here.  Tonight we end are full day at Buckhorn on the lock wall next to the small town.

Lock 21 Peterborough


Lock Walls

Thursday July 18th Trent Severn

Today we covered nine more locks and are currently in Hastings Ontario just after lock 18.  Tomorrow we will gain more distance because we will be crossing Rice Lake and going into Otonabee River before we can reach lock 19.  We have enjoyed the company of several boats along the way  and have made some great friends with the couple on Miss Ginny.  Our  paths have crossed several times and the last few days on the locks we have enjoyed getting to know them better.  Mike says he is still livin the dream.  He has promised I will return home this fall.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Traveling the Trent Severn

We began up the Trent Severn on Wednesday July 17th.  It begins for us in Trenton, Ontario.  It will cover 240  miles and take us through 454 locks.  Average distance per day will do good to reach 35 to 40 miles.  The going is slow but this area is beautiful and it offers wall mooring above and below each lock.  The system only operates from 9 to 5 daily.  today we covered nine locks.  Traveling with a group of four boats.

Gateway  To The Trent Severn (Long Awaited Entrance)

Turbulence at the Lock Wall
Entering the Locks

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Boldt Castle and The Thousand Islands

Sunday July 15th.  Our journey on the St. Lawrence today took us past the Boldt Castle which George Boldt had built for his wife Louise in 1900.  This was their summer house.  We past by on an early Sunday morning and they not yet open so we continued on.  The rest of today took us through the Thousand Islands.   They actually number at 1,800 and fill an area 15 miles wide tapering to 5 miles over a distance of about 50 miles.  Two thirds of the islands are in Canadian waters.  What a sight to see!  One of the stops today was in Clayton where we of course had to tour the Antique Boat Museum.  A very nice museum to see if you ever travel this way.  We then continued on to the city of Kingston, Ontario where we stayed at a marina overlooking the city for a good nights rest.


Thousand Islands

Kingston, Ontario


Boldt Castle


Singer Castle on Dark Island

About 2:30 today Saturday July 13th a large castle came into view on an island.  This castle built by Frederick Bourne is now a visitor's stop.  Most mainly are brought over by a sightseeing boat twice a day.  We were motioned in and given a private tour of the castle by a guide.  After our tour the man who runs the castle for its German investors talked with us and then gave us a behind the scenes tour of the the engines, water systems, clock tower, etc.  Mike was certainly in his elements here.  After our behind the scenes tour we were given permission to stay docked for the night on the backside of the castle.  Tonight we are docked at Singer Castle on Dark Island overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway.  This felt like a fairytale story.  Singer Castle is a must stop if you are traveling this way.  Mike hopes to return someday and make the power station run.Thanks Thomas for the special tour.

Singer Castle

Singer Castle

Part of the Generator ( Mike is Loving It)

Castle Power Control Panel

Behind the Scenes