Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July, 2012

July 1, 2012

Another beautiful morning at Lock 6.  All of the boats except us and Native Son leave to return home.  We have the day to get things done.  Since the winds are down, I get the dingy down for the first time on the trip.  The davit winch is a little hard to operate once the weight of the dingy is on the cable, but it was not too bad.  Hooked up the fuel line and it started on the third pull.

Later that afternoon we went for a dingy ride up river.  Very relaxing and beautiful.  Had dinner at Dimitrie’s Pizza who has a public wifi and tried to catch up on the mail.  The connection was painfully slow so we did not get everything done.  Rode the bikes back to the boat and played some more Rummy-kube.  There were some fireworks over the town after dark for Canada Day.  Not a bad display for a small town.  Went to bed early.

Jim may have a new career as a lock worker if boating doesn't work out

Midnight is really stressed as you can tell

July 2, 2012

A good day to sit on the river.  Tomorrow we are leaving Lock 6.  Some new folks came to the lock today and it was nice making new friends.  Got the boat ready to go for tomorrow and in general just took it easy.  Great weather.

July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to me.  Left the dock about 7:30 and headed for Campbellford.  Wonderful smooth water and clear skies.  The river is well marked, but it is sometimes difficult to see whether the bouys are green or red in the morning sun.  Went through some marshy areas which was really pretty compared to the marshy areas in Savannah.

Got through lock 13 and tied up to the Old Mill Dock wall at Campbellford.  Nice area with wifi.  Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This town is known for the "Toony" which is the Canadian $2.00 coin.  They have a big statue of it in the park.  They also have the best pastry shop on the river according to the locals and a chocolate factory and a no frills grocery.  We will visit those tomorrow.

Went to dinner at a local restaurant not far from the boat.  It rained a little this afternoon which was  sorely needed and the restaurant was very busy from everyone wanting to sit inside.  The food was very good, the service was a little slow.  They needed another waitress.  Oh well.  We were not in a hurry.

Back at the boat and early to bed. 

This little girl was being towed by her mother in a kayak and was giggling up a storm

Hmm, something doesn't look quite right

Folks were walking and riding bikes across this - yikes it was far up

This shot was taken from the top of a double lock (ll & 12)

I have never seen a black squirell before.

Tuney (2 dollar coin)

I think we need these in the States

July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday U. S. A.  Beautiful morning in Campbellford.  Joy is frustrated with the internet and she is having trouble getting her pictures uploaded to the blog.  Oh, well (easy for him so say - I am getting so far behind - still trying to upload pictures from June 21st and the slow internet just won't let me upload any pictures - Jim thinks the blog is completely full so I may have to delete some of the earlier pictures to add more in June).

We went to the pastry shop and the locals were right.  What a place.  I have not seen a shop like this before.  It was a pretty large pastry shop and it was full of fresh baked pastries, breads, etc.  They bake fresh every day and I don't know where the people come from to buy and consume it all.  It was a lot and it was very good.

Next we walked to the Chocolate factory.  They did not give tours of the factory like we had hoped and their outlet shop was still not open.  So we left and walked to the farmers market at the parking lot next to the Fire Station and Town Hall.  Did not buy anything.  Our cupboards are full right now.

Walked back to the boat.  Left the dock about 11:00 and stopped at the ESSO Station on the north side of the bridge for fuel.  Took on 323.5 liters of diesel at $1.119ca. (don't know how many gallons that is yet).  Headed to Hastings.

Great ride.  Very scenic. Arrived at Hastings Marina about 4:30 and pumped out our holding tanks and then went across the river to the town docks to tie up.  Free tie up, but no facilities (no internet again either).  It was hot so Joy wanted to run the generator which we did.  Met some of the folks we had seen at Lock 6.  Had fish and chips for dinner at the Captains Table which seems to be a Looper favorite.  Great fun.

Another double lock to go through and then we are at Hastings

Woke her up from her nap.

July 5, 2012

Left for Peterborough about 8:00.  Native Son is leaving later and going to anchor out in Rice Lake.  The lake which is just west of town is about 22 miles long and there are lots of places to anchor.  Joy and I are going to Peterborough to meet a mechanic to get some work done.  The dingy motor needs a new water pump and our steering needs to be tended to.  The logistics are a little murky right now but we will work everything out when we get there.

As we cross Rice Lake we are treated to a show by a local sea plane doing take offs and landings on the lake (Joy hung out the window so she could get it all with the camera).  It was pretty neat (the sea plane and how far Joy will go to get a picture as well).  They did 4 or 5 landings that we could see.  Towards the western end of the lake is the Otonabee River which is part or the Trent Canal and is our exit out of the lake.  It is a very hidden exit into a rather thin river.  There are also some very shallow areas.  Fortunately we were able to pass through without hitting anything.

Locked through Lock 19 at the south side of Peterborough and went to the City Marina off Little Lake.  Nice marina, eager young staff.  Brown Eyed Girl and Kismet are here as well as 2 or 3 other boats we have run into on the river.  Good to see them again.  Dennis will come in the morning to pick up the Johnson and look at the steering to make sure he has everything.  Hot dogs for dinner and to bed.

July 6, 2012

A pretty good day.  Very clear and the weather is great.  BEG and K leave the dock about 8:15 and head to Lock 20 to get in line.  Sorry to see them go, but we'll get up with them again I hope.  Dennis came about 9:30 to pick up the Johnson and took it with him.  Also looked at the hydraulic steering cylinder and how easy it is to get to it.  We made plans to be at his shop on Tuesday of next week.

I had talked to the dock hands and told them I had a repair I needed to get done on the canvas.  They said they had a person who could do it.  She called and came by about 10:00.  Brought the screen panel back about 10:45 and the repair was done.

Filled the water tank after doing some laundry and we headed off by bike to see the Peterborough Lift Lock (the ride was up very big hills - both ways - wow doesn't seem to get any easier riding and we seem to always ride or walk in the heat of the day).  What an operation.  Very efficient and very simple.  Two big tubs connected by a water filled hydraulic cylinder.  Since a boat only displaces the weight of the water it weighs, when it enters the tub the weight stays balanced.  Just add a little water to the tub at the top and one comes down while the other goes up.  Takes only a few seconds.  Less than a minute.  Really cool.  Can't wait till tomorrow.

Went to the Welcome Center and saw the displays on the Trent/Severn and watched a video of the history.  Pretty cool.  Took a long bike ride up (big) hills and down (little) hills back to the boat and then went to get Joy some Riesling at the LCBO.

When we got back we met a guy who owns a Carver similar to ours.  It is a little older (89) and a gas boat, but it is from the local area.  His back sun room is enclosed with plexiglass and the boat is very clean inside.  The engine room is open and spotless.  But the boat only has 600 hrs on it.  It never gets used.  He says he wants to do the Loop in about 4 years.  I don't think it will happen.  Too bad.

We continue to be worried about Trouble as he is still not eating.  If he doesn't start, he will just die of malnutrition.  Joy has tried everything we know to do, but it does not seem to help.  Not sure what can we do next.

We are leaving tomorrow to head north.  The locks open at 8:30 so we will leave a little before that.  Next stop is probably Littlefield.  Only 10 miles up the way, but through 7 locks.  It will be enough for one day.

A rare shot of Trouble out of the covers

Bath time

July 7, 2012

Travel day to Lock 26, Lakefield, Ontario.  Started out a pretty dismal day.  Rainy and Cloudy and just not very pretty.  It was supposed to turn better so we waited at the dock in Peterborough for it to clear up some.  We finally left the dock about 10:30 and headed to Lock 20 on the north side of Little Lake.  Went straight into the lock behind 2 other boats, passing Native Son who was on the lock wall.  They came over to talk as we were going up.  They had ordered some parts for their forward head and were waiting for them to be delivered that afternoon.  We said goodbye and headed to Lock 21.

Lock 21 is the Peterborough Lift Lock.  It works a little different than most locks.  Most locks you enter a basin which has doors at both ends and you hook lines to cables, pipes, or some other form of attachment and they either let water in from the high side or let water out from the low side and you go either up or down.  On this lock they have 2 big tubs that you float into and they add a little extra water to the high tub and one goes up while the other passes it on the way down.  This is all done hydraulically without any power.  Pretty neat and a very exciting ride.

Once at the top we exited to the river and began to deal with an enormous amount of weeds and growth in the river.  We followed the other boats and all of us had to stop at one time or another and go into reverse to remove some of the weeds and growth from our props and rudders.  It was a very slow ride.  We went through a total of 7 locks in about 10 miles.

We called Lakefield Marina and requested a slip for the night, but they did not have one available.  So we stopped at the Lock wall and spent the night.  They were having an Art and Jazz Festival at the park and we rode our bikes over and listened to some of the music.  We got there later in the day so we only got to see 2 groups.  The last group was pretty good.  The other not so much.

July 8, 2012

As it was Sunday, we expected that the town would be pretty well closed up, but we were pleasantly surprised.  We walked into the hardware store and bought some material to make some screen doors for the cats on the back porch of the boat.  Also the grocery store and LCBO (liquor) store were open so we took advantage of them also.

Back at the Lock 26, the boat behind us “Pool Tyme” has let their Golden Retriever named Tucker out and Joy is in love again.  Tucker is a small 3 yr. old female they had just rescued from a puppy mill.  I got to admit that Tucker is pretty cute.  Maybe again some day.

This is Tucker (3 year old female) and her father Hugh

This is me trying to talk Tucker into moving in with us and the 3 cats.
This is Tucker saying I think not but thanks for the invitation

July 9, 2012

We ease up the river to Lock 27, Youngs Point.  We are biding our time as we are due in Stoney Lake on Tuesday to have the hydraulic steering piston replaced.  The area is becoming a little more up scale.  The houses are larger and a little more fancy.

We arrived at the Lock and were unexpectedly the show of the day.  A fairly large group of tourists were visiting the lock from Japan and they watched us lock through.  They admired the boat and were very interested in the trip we are taking.  Many of them knew a lot of the areas we were traveling through.  I was very surprised at their knowledge of the system.

We tied up to the west wall at the top of the lock and went for a short walk around.  A few more boats came and went.  We had a total of 4 spend the night.  Got to bed early.

Midnight has truly become a boat cat and roams all around the boat
Making a stop for ice cream

July 10, 2012

Off to Stoney Lake.  We are due there at about 10:00.  It is only about 10 miles so we leave a little after 8:00.  I want to take it real slow on a lake named Stoney Lake.

Stoney Lake is gorgeous.  The scenery is spectacular.  Arrived at the marina about 9:30 and we had the work done by noon.  We have a new cylinder in place and the boat is working well.

Dennis had picked up the Johnson dingy motor in Peterborough as it was not circulating water out the small hole at the back of the engine.  He replaced the impeller, and tried to unblock what ever port is is that is blocked, but was only partially successful.  We are now getting a little out, but not much.  We have put and infrared thermometer on the engine and it is not overheating.  Maybe it will get better.

Left the marina and headed west.  Went as far as Lock 31 in Buckhorn.  Another small town with a lot of pride in the area.  They have erected a large buck statue in front of the lock and also a wall of fame for the service men who have died overseas in Afganistan and Iraq.  I am sure the board was put up by donations.  It was unfortunately full.

We were treated to an evening of entertainment by the local group of houseboat renters.  One of the big summer vacations up here is to come and rent a house boat for a week or so and cruise around the lakes and rivers.  Most have absolutely no experience driving a boat, much less a boat in the 25’ and up size.  The lock personnel have a big megaphone that they are able to talk them into and out of the locks with.  “Turn hard to the right, give it a little forward throttle and let the back end come around to the wall.  Wrap the back line around the cable and hold on to it and don’t let go until we tell you. Turn off the engine.”  Etc, etc, etc.  Some of the landings in the lock were not very pretty.  I must admit some of mine are not very pretty either, but we’re getting better.

This one got side ways going into the lock and came within inches of side swiping us  - it was scary

July 11, 2012

To Bobcaygeon, Ontario.  Left Lock 31 about 8:30.  Another Chamber of Commerce day.  It was not as good a day as some we have had.  Got to marker C324 and hit something; a rock, log, deadhead, something hard.  Fortunately, I was going slow, only about 7 mph.  Then a little later went under a bridge and drug the radio antennas which probably did not do them much good.  Got to Gordon’s Marina about 11:30 and tied up.  About an hour later, “Queen Kathleen” arrived and the slip they were promised was not available.  There was a mix up with the marina who thought they were due here 2 days ago.  They had to leave and ended up staying on the upper lock wall.  Wish they could have stayed.

Joy and I went for a walk about.  Got some cable ends at the Auto supply store and made new battery cables for the house bank.  The bank is not holding up and I think this may help.  Then went to the local shoe store (known throughout southern Canada as the best shoe store).  It is probably the most expensive shoe store in southern Canada.  Had lunch at a Pub on main street.

Later put the dingy in the water and went for a ride.  Had steaks on board and went to bed.

July 12, 2012

Going to hang out a day here and do some planning and work on the blog.  Got to figure out where we’re going in Georgian Bay.

July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th and we’re off again.  First a lock up at Bobcaygeon where I told the lock crew about my grounding at marker C324.  They were really interested and took notes about where and when and how bad, etc.  They said they would pass the word along to the other boaters.  I hope it will help someone else.

Next a short ride up at Rosedale, only a 4’ lift and then to Fenelon Falls.  I had tentatively planned on stopping here as they say the falls are a neat thing to watch.  The trip up the river was kind of nice as the houses are right on the water.  The river up to the falls is pretty close so it was a real slow ride.  Got to the lock and the falls are right there at the bottom of  the lock.  The water is so low however, not much water is going down the falls.  Not really much to look at.  So we decided to move on.

Locked up to the top and here are a whole group of Loopers and others we have met and so we again changed our minds and took a spot on the wall.  There was “One September”, “Queen Kathleen”, “SeaQuel”, “Pool Tyme” (with Tucker) came later in the day, and others.  There were no power hookups available.  No big thing.  Started the genset.  A little later an electrical spot came available so we moved, hooked up, shut down the generator and got settled in.  Walked up the road a little and went to the beach area and swam in the lake.  Water was pretty nice.  Not cold as I had expected.

While we were at the beach, a float plane came in and dropped off a passenger at the beach and picked up another.  Joy was upset as she did not have her camera.  Still pretty neat.  There had been a float plane crash on Buckhorn Lake a couple of days ago.  A plane hit a houseboat or pontoon boat and some people were hurt pretty bad.  We wondered about what was happening with that incident.  It had been a fun day and we were happy to see everyone again.

This is a collapsible cruise boat - nose, radar and bridge all collapse down to go in the lock and under the bridge

July 14, 2012

Decided to stay on at Fenelon Falls another day.  We had power so we were happy.  “SeaQuel” and “Queen Kathleen” moved on but the rest of us stayed put.  The weather is beautiful and warm.    20 Bucks and Jackets came by but didn't stay since there wasn't room where the power was - hopefully will see them again down the way.

About 2:00 the local tour boat left the dock with a wedding reception on board.  At least 50 people on board and maybe 75.  As they moved to the lock to cruise east, the line of boats along the wall all gave them a salute by blowing our horns as they went by.  Hugh on “Pool Tyme” had instigated the noise making and everyone had a good laugh.

July 15, 2012

I followed “One September” out towards Rosedale Lock.  We left at about 7:30 thinking it was a one hour ride.  Got to the lock about 7:55.  Whoops!  Tied to the wall and waited.  Met some of the folks who spent the night there.  Locked up and moved on to Kirkfield which is another Lift Lock like the one at Peterborough.  There are a few differences however.

First, there is a long run of about 8 or 9 miles on the narrowest, shallowest, overgrown sided, rocky canal called the Trent Canal.  Our boat is 15’ wide and at times we could have touched the trees on both sides.  And the edges are solid rock at the waterline.  Depth of the water is often less than 6’.  In the dingy it would have been a great trip.  I did not take a breath for over an hour.
Second, this is the top of the canal system and is time to start heading down.  When you come to the lock you go out into a tub that is hanging about 50’ above the water below and you have to go as far in as you can.  It is a tall edge to float up to.  Thankfully, I was not the first into the lock.  The trip down took less than a minute.

Then another long stretch of the Trent Canal and the trees, the rocks and the other Sunday boaters.  It got pretty nerve wracking.  It was pretty, but very busy.  In all, 7 locks and we headed out into Lake Simcoe.  Thunderstorm warnings are in effect and we have about 15 miles to go to Orillia which is our stop for the night.  It was not too bad when we left the canal, but the clouds were there.  It got worse as we went along.  West winds about 25kts.  Beam seas.  We were pretty well dented up by the time we reached the docks.

Queen Kathleen is here but didn't see anyone on board.  We went to dinner with One September and SeaQuel who is having work done at another marina.  I was tired and ready for bed afterwards. (And yes the cats were sick again - they definitely don't care for the rocking and rolling.)

Port of Orillia in the skyline

Still looking for that damn pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

July 16, 2012

We have a few problems on board.  First, both heads are out of commission.  The forward head has a leaking tank and the aft head has a broken vacuum pump.  I had rebuilt the vacuum pump on the forward head back in Charleston so I planned to switch it out with the now broken aft pump.  Joy suggested that I call around and see if someone had one in stock.  I don’t think this is very likely given the difficulty I had getting the kit back in April but gave it a try.  First call they got one.   (Don't ya just hate it when Joy is right AGAIN and we might end up with both heads working eventually?) Only catch is it’s $833.00 plus tax which is about 13% up here.  Gotta have it.  Ouch!

Then I requested volunteers to help put it in.  Not many takers. (Queen Kathleen did offer to assist on the leaking tank.)  A shi__y job but someone’s got to do it.  So guess what I got to do today.  Oh well it worked.  We’re back in the commode business.  Next problem, the batteries are still giving us problems.


  1. Hope this morning is a bright one for you two. Just finished tagging along on your July jaunt. Fun! I almost feel like I'm on a mini vacation, joining you for a few hours. Have a great day. Pam Duke

  2. I am gonna see if I can build you a PORTA-LET on pontoons so you can just tow it behind you. Heck somebody here in Alabama probably sells 'em.