We left Oswego NY around 7am and headed out into Lake Ontario. No vibrations from our port engine, PTL!!!!! It was a little choppy for the first hour or so, but leveled out nicely and was a good cruising day. Some wind as we came into Kingston, Ontario marina at Confederation Basin City Marina around 1pm but otherwise, the weather is perfect. Called the Prop Shop to pick up our dinged props since we are running one from each of our sets right now. No spares!! Had some business to handle so we had to walk to the Staples for faxing and such. We stopped to chill with a cocktail and when we got back to the boat, lo and behold, our next door slip mates were Terry and Sue from “Final Decision”, our Looper friends from Gibraltar, England. So good to see them again. They have just come down the St. Lawrence from Montreal (which added 350+ miles to their route). Kingston is great. We are told that they have more restaurants per capita here than any other place in Canada. They are also the “fresh water sailing capital of Canada”. Fort Henry (built 1830) is just across the St Lawrence from us and at night they have a pipe & fife band that lowers the flag. We hope to hear that from our boats tonight.
I’m enjoying all the French that is being spoken around me. I’ve lost so much of mine!!!
It’s getting late and we haven’t got a cooking plan. Does that mean we get to eat out???
Still handling business today. Scheduling the props to be returned and watching for the Fed-x from Garmin for another Canadian chip (we need it for navigating the next leg of our trip), we did manage a city tour and a visit to the Thursday farmer’s market. What a beautiful day. This is a wonderful old city and was the Capital City of Upper & Lower Canada. The architecture is amazing with most of the buildings dating to the mid 1800’s. It was the home of the first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald & they are very proud of their most famous native son. Probably the most popular Prime Minister ever, he brought the French & English together and is credited with laying the foundation of what Canada is today. We are planning to move to Trenton tomorrow, but that depends on Fed X. Fresh asparagus, sautéed mushrooms & onions, and new potatoes will be side dishes for our grilled steaks this evening.
We got up at 6:30am & started making calls to Fed-X to make sure our navigation chip had arrived in Kingston and that they did not load our letter on a truck for afternoon delivery. It took them 3 days to get our $65 next day delivery letter to the destination city and we could not leave without it. Brad took a $40 cab ride to pick it up and was back at the marina by 9am. We decided Trenton (70 miles away) was pushing it with a late start so we called Picton (35 miles away) & booked a slip. We got there early afternoon and it looked like a quaint little community. The dockmaster was a nice lady who knew nothing about marinas and was on her 2nd day on the job. Between “Good News” and “Salvage Crew” we were 96 ft of boat and she had 60 ft of T-dock to put us on. That pretty much left 20 ft of each of us sticking out where we didn’t belong. We moved on. So we DID make Trenton today and arrived around 5:30 pm intruding on cocktail hour way more than we like to. There was a light rain for the last hour or so, but it let up soon after we docked. The folks here at the Fraser Park Marina are very accommodating and we had a fabulous meal at Tomassos. Life is still good here on the Tour!!
Today was a day of rest for us. We had a Captain’s meeting with “Good News” in the morning to plan our progress through the Trent-Severn Waterway. It is 240 miles long, has 45 locks and 60 bridges. We plan to travel every other day and rest and play in between. There are some really interesting locks coming up at Peterborough (where it works like a see-saw using water in the chamber as the controlling weight) and the Big Chute (where they literally haul us out onto a trailer and ride us across the road and into the water again). There is a Looper’s Mini-Rendezvous at Bay Moorings Marina in Penetanguishene (east end of Georgian Bay) on July 28th and we are planning to attend that. Fun Saturday around Trenton today with the street fair. Brad got a haircut and we shopped a little. Also doing some cooking today so we won’t have much to do after a long day tomorrow. Pork chops, grilled veggies and caprice salad for dinner.
The Trent-Severn has manual locks. The lock masters and their assistants literally walk around in a circle pushing a “turn” that works much like a corkscrew. We got a later start than we expected because the locks don’t open until 8:30am and we were the in the 2nd group starting up. At the top of Lock 1, we all got off the boats and went into the office to buy our T-S Transit one-way passes. The locks here have parks and flowers and are a destination for locals & folks from Toronto to come spend the day picnicking. Everyone here is so helpful and pleasant. They have a “Waterway Wildlife” program going and at every lock we are given several cards with all the different animals that can be found in the area with interesting facts and information about them. We are only going 30+ miles today, but we have 12 locks. We thought today might be a long day so Mary made a family favorite dish, Colby Casserole, so all we had to do is pop it in the oven when we reach Campbellford. Arrived 5pm just in time for cocktail hour. We are still trying to decide if we want a day off tomorrow or shorter travel days for the next few. It’s always great to have options.
We decided that our original float plan through the Trent-Severn was a bit ambitious.
Perhaps the long days with locks, bridges & many kilometers of travel were too taxing. So we decided to break up the days and have fewer off days. We didn’t get a chance to see any of Campbellford last night, so I got up at 6AM and walked across the bridge for a quick look see. We push away around 8 and made the first lock through at 8:30AM. Only 5 locks today, but just to make it exciting, the first 4 were really close together and required that we set up on opposite sides each time. That means swapping 2 lines and 5 fenders (3 at rub rail level & 2 at water level for when you reach the top), between each lock. See Patti run? Run, Patti, Run!! The lockmasters assured us that it was not just a cruel joke, but that in the 1800’s when the locks were built, they experimented with the different systems to see how they could make the best use of gravity to fill the locks and some systems favored one wall or the other. Arrived Hastings a little after 1pm. Andy felt a bump today and went diving to check his keel (no worries)! Brad did boat chores & worked on the washing machine. Mary & I visited town and picked up a few supplies.
I’m fixing corn beef & cabbage for dinner (Is my Irish showing?) & Mary’s doing Cheesy Potato Casserole.
7:30am departure because we have 40 miles to go before we have to lock up at Peterborough so we don’t have to wait for the dock master to rise and shine! Our route today is through Rice Lake, so named because rice grows wild along it’s edges. That makes this lake a great stop for a meal for migrating geese & ducks. It averages only about 12 feet deep and is considered one of the best fishing lakes in Ontario. We do our one lock right at the end of our trip & get into Peterborough Marina by 1pm. Brad got the dinghy down so he could clean the mustache off the bow while Andy, Mary & I ate ice cream and watched! There was just enough time to do a dinghy tour of “Little Lake” & figure out how it got it’s name. The next lock is only 2 blocks away so this pool of water is fairly small. Out for dinner tonight, we think we may try “Hot Belly Mama” that was recommended by the dock hands. They said it is “really good New Orleans Cuisine”, but then they admitted they wouldn’t know it from bad New Orleans Cuisine, eh? How far is New Orleans anyway, eh?
Well we all must have been tired after 3 days of travel because everyone slept in this morning. When we did crawl out, the sun was shining brightly and it was a beautiful day in Peterborough. The marina is located next to a park with an amphitheatre and everyone has been busy all day getting ready for a band that will play there tonight. We rode out bikes all over town & checked out the underground mall and Wednesday Farmer’s Market. When we got home, Mary had scored VIP tickets for us to have front row seats at the concert. You go, girl. Our plan is to eat at the Greek restaurant across the street before the concert begins. From our front row seats we will also be able to see the big fountain do it’s color light show!!