Sunday: We plan for an 8:30 am departure from slip E-19 so we can stop at the Trent Port Marina Fueling Station and top off our tanks and clean out our holding tanks. We’re not sure when we’ll get more chances for either so starting out full (fuel) and empty (holding tanks) is the best strategy.
First, I must walk Frankie and get that done for the day and as I leave the docks and walk onto the lawn, there on a park bench looking out over the marina and the Bay of Quinte is our mesh laundry basket sitting all by itself! What a small miracle if I might say so. We believe that someone that he’d mistakenly taken it Saturday found out that it was missing from us and anonymously returned it. Either way, it’s nice to get it back as it fit better on Kailani than the one we bought yesterday.
Tracy takes Kailani over to the gas dock and we top off our fuel and empty out our holding tanks as planned. Whew the fuel is expensive up here! $1.48 per liter and there’s 3.8 liters in a gallon, so effectively the fuel is $5.624 per gallon! Real glad we don’t always fill our tanks in Canada (lol).
Tracy takes Kailani off the dock and up to the bridge welcoming all boaters to the Trent Severn Waterway. This is a strange location to welcome all boaters since the official beginning of the TSW is way back at the west end of the Murray Canal that we cruised thru last Thursday.
After our bridge greeting, Tracy turned the helm over to me and we made way for Lock 1 and the Visitor’s Center. As we approached, we say another trawler waiting on the blue line for an opening, so we pulled in behind them and waited. Then we noticed that the visitors center is up at the lock, so we move over to the other wall off the blue line and tie up Kailani to start walking towards the visitors center. As we’re walking towards it, one of the lock masters starts walking towards us asking why we didn’t enter the lock when he opened it and we told him we thought everyone that starts the TSW should stop at the Lock 1 Visitor’s Center for an orientation of sorts. He said that wasn’t necessary and if we wanted to lock thru we should go and he would re-open the gates and allow us to enter. So we went back to Kailani and entered the lock with the other trawler, “Turtle”.
I asked them if they were “Turtles” and they had no idea what I meant, therefore they were not. I offered to induct them into the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Turtles but they declined. Hummppt! If you are not a Turtle and wish to be inducted call me or shoot me an email! -tc
As we were raised twenty feet and the upriver gates opened, we realized where their name comes from, and so for the next five locks and seven nautical miles, we never raised the throttles past idle speed! By the time we were entering Frankford, Lock 6 we were done for the day. We could not follow this other boat for another minute, so we took advantage of the beautiful setting along the upper wall complete with power ($9.80 CA) and enjoyed the rest of the day fishing and exploring the local town.
Its so peaceful and beautiful here. The lock staff is super friendly. While we were in the lock, Tracy was talking to one of the three lock masters and she told him we were done for the day and we wanted to tie up on the wall just outside the lock for the night. Well as we were coming out of the lock and aiming for the wall to our port (left) side, there are the lock masters waiting to grab our lines. They had walked over from the lock to help us tie up. Afterwards, I tried to tip them and they refused saying for us to just enjoy and have a safe trip. That’s what I call hospitality.
Later I went over to the lock for some photos and there was a boat locking down towards Trenton. I chatted with the captain and he had just bought the boat a week ago and he was bringing it home to Toronto with his son and brother. He had sold a 44’ Silverton last year and wanted to get back into boating.
After that Carver locked thru, the lock master thought the grass along the lock could use some watering, so he hooked up a Honda gas powered water pump, dropped the line down into the lock and pumped water out of the lock to water the grounds, ingenious.
So here we were tied up with 30A power connections enjoying the Canadian scenery and suddenly, the lock master came out saying the power in the lock house was off. I checked the inputs to Kailani and sure enough we were out also. In fact the surrounding town was out as people started to come out from their houses wondering what was the cause. The lock staff got word that the power would be restored by six pm then as six pm approached, they told us it would be more like seven pm. Us and the other two boats tied up here were unaffected since our boats just turned over to battery power (as long as we aren’t running our air conditioners (which we weren’t). Power was restored closer to eight pm so we’re back to normal as it were.
The evening starts out very peaceful as Tracy keeps trying for the elusive large fish (she’s been catching little baby sunfish all afternoon), and I enjoy the open air and scenery. Soon we hear our boat neighbors shouting about their dog and trying to open his mouth. I was sitting peacefully in a chair enjoying the evening, so I ran over to see what was going on and their dog had bitten into a rubber worm left on the ground and the rubber worm was attached to a hook.
Now Walter (the dog) was yipping with a hook thru his tongue! Roger and Kim were trying desperately to get at the hook and get it out but Walter was fighting back and it was getting harder and harder to cut the shank to push the hook out thru the barb. Soon the hook was into Walter’s nose and it wasn’t looking good. Tracy had also arrived and she and Roger did the brunt of the work on Walter while Kim tried to calm down Walter and I was looking for a local veterinarian (this was Sunday evening in a small town). There really weren’t any options, Roger and Tracy were just going to have to get it out somehow. Roger was finally able to cut the eye shank portion off and Tracy was able to get the barb out of Walter’s nose. There was only a piece of the shank left in Walter’s tongue and finally, Roger was able to hold Walter’s tongue using gauze pads from Tracy to hold the tongue while grabbing at the shank. Eventually the hook was entirely removed and everyone including Walter was able to calm down a bit as the near emergency situation was resolved. Oh well, never a dull moment on the Loop.
Monday: We are six miles from the next lock and the locks open at 9am so we plan for a, 8am departure and the timing is spot on as we arrive at the lock at 8:57am and just tie off to the blue line while they let the high water out of the lock so they can open the doors and let us in. Our plan today is to get to Campbellford and lock thru locks 7 thru 12. Yesterday we were lifted 119 feet over 6 locks and today we will be lifted 117 feet over 6 locks. That’s some heavy lifting for sure.
Before one pm we are tying up at the Campbellford City Docks and our cruise day is done. The locks today were exclusively ours as we locked thru and the staff at each lock couldn’t be any friendlier or more helpful. After tying up on the east side of the river where the 50amp power service is, I walked across the bridge to register our arrival and saw Mike on Dash Away and met George Saunders from Veridian. We made arrangements to have dinner together tonight and I returned to Kailani to turn on the power and get some AC running (did I mention the oppressive heat is back today?).
By the way, I’ve been retired now for 15 months after 45 years in masonry construction and right behind us on shore at todays dockage, is a crew of Canadian masons laying block for a new building! As I’m writing this blog, I can hear the diamond studded blade of the cut-off saw making cuts in the concrete block. Now that’s a familiar sound.
We get together with Jim & Elle from Gypsy Spirit, Mike from Dash Away, George & Meg from Viridian and Tim & Ramie ..from Miss Norma for dinner in town at the local Captain George’s Fish and Chips and we have a great time sharing looper stories and other topics. Afterwards, George and Meg had bought a blueberry pie from Dooher’s Bakery and we all had some health food for dessert. Mike and I took pictures of each other holding up the statue of the Canadian Toonie coin as it commemorates the design of the coin coming from a Campbellford resident.
When I return to Kailani across the river, I see that Mar-Kat has pulled in behind us for the night. I’ll look for Bill and Amy in the morning.
Tuesday: Today will be an exercise in patience as six trawlers will be moving up the waterway towards Hastings and the locks only take two of our size vessels. So starting at 9:00am we will be joining the armada of AGLCA vessels. But first, I have to walk over to Dooher’s Bakery to find out why everyone so far on the waterway has said that Dooher’s has the best donuts in Canada. They open at 7:00am so I walk over at 7:20am and find out that they don’t have donuts available until 8:30 to 9:00am! What kind of bakery is this?? So I give up and walk back to Kailani.
I check with the other loopers and find out that Gypsy Spirit and Dash Away will head out first, then Viridian and Miss Norma followed by us and Mar-Kat. By the way, look for a movie coming out based on the best selling book, “Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living“. The authors Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle of the vessel Miss Norma wrote the book and have gotten a movie offer which they accepted. It’s an amazing story about a 90-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer 3 months after her husband died. She refused all treatments and instead “hit the road” with her son and daughter-in-law in a motorhome and enjoyed life. We learned about this while we were having dinner with them. – tc So Jim and Mike head off the docks prior to 9am going for the first lockage at Lock 13. Ten minutes later, I see Viridian and Miss Norma head out, so at 9:20am Mar-Kat and Kailani start working our way up the river towards the lock which is only about seven minutes upriver. When we get there, we can see Gypsy Spirit and Dash Away still in the lock but they are at the top so it’s soon that they are moving out of the lock and the lockmaster is letting the water out for the next two boats.
When he has the gates opened for Viridian and Miss Norma to enter, he tells them to hold off and he directs me to enter the lock before the other two vessels. His goal is to get all three of us on the wall. So I take Kailani into the lock and we pull right up to the front of the lock with our bow pulpit mere inches from the sill of the lock. Then Viridian pulls in and gets as close as he can to our stern, then Miss Norma comes in and there just isn’t enough room for him on the wall, so he rafts up to Viridian and the unexpected outcome was uncomfortable for us all, plus I had left my boat buddy back behind the lock wall after we had agreed to go together thru the locks. So as we were going up, I told Viridian and Miss Norma that I would exit the lock, then let them pass me and continue on just the two of them and I would wait for Mar-Kat. That way there would be just two vessels in the lock and we would be back sharing lockage with Bill & Amy on Mar-Kat as agreed.
I called Bill and he said that he would be up in about forty minutes and he had another smaller vessel in the lock with him. It was a Glastron 295 Cruiser called Oasis of the Lakes and Bill had locked with them yesterday. So we spent the day with us in the front of the lock wall, Mar-Kat right behind us and Oasis of the Lakes rafting up to Mar-Kat and everything went smoothly.
Until we got to our last lock in Hastings. It had been a two hour run between Lock 17 and Lock 18 and since Kailani and Mar-Kat travel a knot or two faster than Viridian or Miss Norma, we finally caught them as they were entering the lock. I instinctively pulled up to the blue line to wait our turn in the lock, but the lock-master kept calling for us to enter. So I took Kailani into the lock to find that he had rafted Miss Norma up to Viridian at the front of the lock and he wanted to get both Kailani and Mar-Kat into the lock before closing the doors. Somewhere in the last two hours, we lost Oasis of the Lake as they stopped to go for a swim. But we weren’t done yet as the lock-master waved in a threesome on a jetski. I told them to come up to our stern and throw a line around our cleat to hold on. Soon the lockmaster was closing the gates and filling the lock with water. Just as we were getting to the top, there was a fire siren in town which prevented the lockmaster from opening the swing bridge directly in front of the lock gates. So we had to wait some more time, but quickly, Tracy asked the lockmaster to hold the bow of Kailani and she jumped off the boat and ran up the road for two ice cream cones, one for her and one for me. Brilliant idea if I do say so myself! – tc
So there was good news and better news. The good news was that the ice cream was delicious, the better news was that we were done locking for the day. Today we had done another six locks, however we had been lifted an incredible 134 feet today! That means that since we left Trenton and the waters of Lake Ontario, we have been lifted 370 vertical feet thru eighteen locks and we’re not done being lifted yet.
After pulling out of Lock 18 all the five loopers ahead of us pulled into Hastings Village Marina and Mar-Kat pulled over to the lock wall, but we continued on for another hour and a half to reach an anchorage behind Margaret Island in Rice Lake.
Tracy has been looking forward to seeing Rice Lake, Buckhorn Lake and Lake Simcoe on this voyage since these hold childhood memories for her.
So we are tucked behind Margaret Island with our Ultra anchor dug into the sand bed and we are only twenty eight nautical miles from Peterborough Marina tomorrow.
That will put us into the marina by mid day and hopefully we will avoid the rush of boats in late afternoon that crowd Lock 19 and Little Lake for the summer concerts and fireworks every Wednesday and Friday in Peterborough. So we think we made a good decision running thru to Rice Lake and getting closer to tomorrow’s destination. Once at Peterborough Marina, we’ll be staying for a week so I can get down to John and Vic’s wedding in Charlottesville, VA and Tracy can get some well deserved R and R while tending to Frankie and Kailani.
Wednesday: I’m up at my usual 5:30am this morning and I have to start the generator to turn on the coffeepot. So I’ll be waiting a bit for my first cup of coffee. Tracy wakes rather early also and that gives us an opportunity to raise the anchor and head out rather early. Tracy goes to the bow and I’m at the helm. I shut off the anchor light and we raise the anchor with Tracy operating the windlass and me directing the boat in the direction of the chain as relayed to me by Tracy. Soon the anchor is up and Tracy is securing the bow. We set a course across Rice Lake for the entrance to the Otonabee River about nine miles away.
As we’re about half way thru crossing Rice Lake, we get hailed from Mar-Kat on our stern asking for a pass to our port. We acknowledge and move slightly to starboard, but the channel is very wide here so we don’t need to move a lot. They are running about 18 knots and trying to get to Lakefield today.
Soon we’re turning onto the Otonabee River and following a meandering path up to Peterborough and the Peterborough Marina. We will only have one lock today and 26 nautical miles but most of the Otonabee River is a slow for us zone as we slow to no wake for fishermen, docked boats, etc. As we approach lock 19 we see that Mar-Kat has just been lifted and is moving out of the lock, so as soon as the lock staff can drop the water and open the gates, we’ll be entering the lock ourselves. As we’re waiting, a pontoon boat approaches and waits behind us for lockage. When the gates open, we move to the port side and grab two lines and the pontoon boat moves to starboard and grabs his two lines. Soon the lock staff is closing the gates behind us and raising us eight feet to the level of Little Lake and Peterborough Marina.
By 12:05 pm we are passing by the Centennial Fountain with it’s 250 foot tall water fountain in the center of Little Lake and pulling into Peterborough Marina.
They only have a tee dock slip with a port tie so we pull in and tie up to port. Tracy has to move all the fenders and dock lines over to the port side as she had them set for our usual starboard tie. I follow the dock hand into the marina office to register and as I’m in there, I meet Behn Holland, the Manager who has a reputation in the AGLCA as being very helpful and even to the point of acting in the capacity of a Harbor Host. Well he proceeds to apologize for our slip with the port side tie. When we pulled in the slip he had planned for us with the starboard tie was still occupied by the boat from yesterday. But as we were doing the paperwork, he was informed that the vessel was leaving and the tee dock slip with the starboard tie was now available, so I rushed right back out to the dock and with Tracy and Behn working the lines, we left the tee dock on C pier and moved to the tee dock on B pier and a starboard tie. So all’s well that ends well. Since we’ll be here for a week, a starboard tie is more preferable for egress and utilities.
Soon I find out that B Dock is the party dock and even for a midweek afternoon, there’s quite a few people here that are seasonal here. But they are very friendly and I end up spending a few hours talking with them. The boater directly behind me is actually thinking of doing the loop starting next year and was asking me a bunch of questions about the journey.
(Humm, no idea why there is no sound with this but let’s say they were “energetic”. – tc) In Peterborough, the town sponsors a free outdoor concert every Wednesday evening in the summer, so tonight we go to the live performance by ‘A Flock of Seagulls’ from 8pm to 9:30pm. There are food vendors in the parking lot, so we order burgers and they are delicious.
Tracy suggested I check with Enterprise and see if I can get the rental car a day earlier (tomorrow) so we’ll have a day with transportation and can accomplish our necessary provisioning before I leave for Charlottesville, VA on Friday morning. I’ll be driving down for our Nephew John and Victoria’s wedding while Tracy stays aboard Kailani to tend her and Frankie.
Thursday: We are able to get the rental car today so Enterprise picks us up at 12:00 noon and we go over to the office and pick up the vehicle. Then we drive to Walmart for some groceries and supplies. I’m also trying to repair the tender fuel line because it cracked and broke from sun rot. So we drive to Boater’s World and check out what they have and we decide to go with a length of repair hose to complete the fix. Upon return to the marina I start working on the repair and realize that the Tohatsu fittings are 3/8” and the primer bulb is only 5/16” so the new hose doesn’t work on the primer bulb. Back to Boater’s World and buy a 3/8” primer bulb and some new hose clamps. Back at the boat, the hose clamps don’t adaquately tighten the hoses, so since the Boater’s World doesn’t have a smaller hose clamp, it’s off to the local hardware store downtown. After three trips to Boater’s World and one trip to the hardware store, we have a re-built and fully functional fuel line from the fuel tank to the motor and Tracy will be able to use the tender while I’m in Virginia.
In speaking with a few locals here they advise me that I should leave in the morning by 5:00am at the latest, otherwise, I’ll be stuck in Toronto commuter traffic. So I turn in early in anticipation of an early departure.
Friday: 3:00am comes and my coffee is ready. I get all my stuff ready for departure and I’m out of the parking lot at 5:09am. As the locals had warned, the traffic is not horrific thru Toronto and a short twelve hours and four minutes later, I’m pulling into the entrance to the Double Tree Inn in Charlottesville, VA.
Saturday: Vic & Steph, Lisa, AJ and Nicole, and I visit Monroe’s House and Farmland Museum,
then it’s time to get ready for the wedding. Nick and Dede arrive from their plane trip and we all go to the 4:00pm service at the University of Virginia Chapel followed by a reception at the UVA Alumni Association Hall.