CHAPTER 5 JULY 12, 2007
TRENT-SEVERN CANAL, CANADA
We spent a few days in KINGSTON, ONTARIO (at beginning of St Lawrence River & at the top of Lake Ontario), catching up on phone calls, emails, paying bills, having haircuts, and provisioning. We also spent some time with Ray’s cousin Russell (see picture), who lives just across Lake Ontario in Alexandria Bay NY. We had our mail and some packages delivered to his house, and he went through hoops to bring them to us. THANK YOU RUSSELL for all your help!!! Kingston is a great place to spend some time. We enjoyed the Farmers Market - "Peaches and Cream" corn was fabulous! And, we had lots of fun at the Kingston Festival and Buskers Rendezvous (street performers). We stayed at Kingston Marina where they build aluminum fire rescue boats, and boats for the military. Wilmington, NC took delivery of a new two million dollar fire rescue boat while we were there.
We left Kingston on July 16 and headed west on the BAY OF QUINTE. Stopped in the lovely town of BELLEVILLE for the night. We rode bikes (see picture) through the beautiful waterfront trail and gardens.
From July 17 to July 24, 2007 we cruised the TRENT-SEVERN CANAL (see picture) which connects Lake Ontario to the Georgian Bay (which is part of Lake Huron). It’s 240 miles long and has 41 locks, most of them still operated by hand. 36 are conventional locks, 2 are sets of flight locks (several in a row), 2 are hydraulic lift locks (Peterborough Lock 21 (see picture) is 65 feet, and Kirkfield Lock 36 (see picture) is 49 feet) where your boat is in a "pan" of water that goes up or down. Then, at the end of the Trent-Severn Canal, there is a marine railway (which we haven’t reached yet). The locks on the Trent-Severn Canal are lovely, with park like settings, and most nights we tie to the lock wall with other boats – new friends and fellow Great Circle/Loop cruisers. Some lockmasters even plant vegetable gardens at their locks. Most of the lock walls have Zebra Mussels on them that periodically "pee" out 4 or 5 inches! We’ve had fish, turtles, frogs, and ducks go through locks with us! Ray spends some time fishing almost every day. We’ve enjoyed local concerts on the green by the locks, and found many wonderful local treats such as "butter tarts" that taste similar to Shoo Fly pie.
In RANNEY FALLS, LOCKS 11 & 12, we stopped to walk across RANNEY GORGE SUSPENSION BRIDGE (see picture) – 40 feet above the water and 350 feet long.
PETERBOROUGH, LOCKS 19, 20 & 21 was a great town to visit. We stayed at Lock 20, which was really nice, and it was just a short walk to town and all the stores you could ask for.
BOBCAYGEAN, LOCK 32 was another favorite stop. A charming town with lots of shopping, and we had a lovely dinner at "Just for the Halibut" (see picture). The #1 entertainment there (as in any town with a lock) is watching boats "lock through". Everyone is wary of the rented pontoon houseboats (30 to 40 feet long). Anyone can rent them – no boating experience required. If one of the rented houseboats comes near you, keep your boat-hook at the ready to fend him off! This afternoon we saw a rented houseboat in the lock that went sideways (see picture), corrected itself, then went sideways the other way! After exiting the lock, he bounced off some bushes at the end of the lock wall, then went across to the other side and tied up to the lock wall for the night, (with much help from by-standers). All during this fiasco, his little kid about 7 years old, was fishing off the stern of the houseboat!
On July 24, 2007 we went through GAMEBRIDGE, LOCK 41, and crossed LAKE SIMCOE. Thankfully, it was calm and flat, but we’ve heard horror stories about it. We stopped in ORILLIA, ONTARIO at the Hot Knots Landing Marina.
So far we have traveled 1054 nautical miles, plus the previous 1000 miles when we brought SUMMERTIME up the Intracoastal Waterway from Charleston
SC to Old Saybrook CT in 2005. We look forward to hearing from
friends and family – please keep the calls and emails coming!