Vero Beach & Melbourne Florida with guests aboard

The prevailing joke about Vero Beach by cruisers- is to call it Velcro Beach.  Once you visit its hard leave.    We aim to test the theory.   With a rental car, we were able to traverse around town and see what trouble we could find.


The marina is a stop for the free city bus that offers rides to the beach and to various other stops around the city.  Uber is another option- less than $10 gets a ride across town.


Driftwood Inn was opened in 1937, conceived and constructed by local Vero Beach eccentric and businessman Waldo Sextan. It may not be the “highlight” of the city, but it is very photogenic!

Waldo Sextan built the two buildings which comprise the Driftwood Inn and Restaurant in 1935.    Timber used to build the Driftwood was salvaged by Waldo from a barn blown down in a hurricane. Waldo was especially fond of bells and amassed a collection of 250 of various types and sizes, collecting them from churches, trains, ships and schools, just to mention a few. They dominate the exterior of the buildings and have always been a special part of the Driftwood Inn tradition.

vero beach old resort        vero beach vero beach old resort        vero beach old resort

To continue a rustic beachcomber ambience, there are many artifacts decorating the premises, and he brought in old fish shacks to create rental cabins.  its all pieced together and creates a resort and hotel.vero beach      vero beach

the breeze way displays a large dining table- it has seen hundreds of diners over the years and is well worn.  Its neat to see that it has a place of honor.   I think part of the appeal, is the rustic eclectic nature of the place in an otherwise upscale resort area!

vero beach old resort vero beach

vero beach

Thrift stores are one of the favorite pastimes when shopping with Al and Deb .    Next would be cooking on the boat, farmers markets, and of course boating!


We took the early morning bus to the farmers market near the beach.   I think everyone found something to purchase- jewelry, gifts, bread, dips, coffee, vegetables, fruits;  – a variety of arts , crafts to entertain.

vero beach old resort    vero farmers market   MELBOURNE FLORIDA  APRIL 9

Once we talked Dave’s brother Al and his wife Deb to join us for a couple days cruising on the ICW, it was no holds barred.   We left Vero Beach on a warm and sunny day heading for Melbourne.  As avid sailors, our goal was to initiate them to the brighter sides of trawler life.      I think they enjoyed the lifestyle, but may not be giving up the sailboat  or RV just yet.     Its amazing to share the sights and sounds along the ICW with guests- the view from the waterside is unsurpassed! Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW The Melbourne flea market was a hoot, boasting 2.5 miles of indoor shopping; it requires power shopping to move from booth to booth. Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW Downtown Melbourne has upscale shops and looked interesting, being a Sunday many were closed. The walk back to the marina found art work and murals were painted on buildings and under the bridge!

.Melbourne FL ICW Melbourne FL ICW

The marina was convenient, great staff and the Ichabod’s restaurant served a great meals- we ate there twice!

Melbourne FL ICW

next up- bid goodbye to our guests and we meet up with the crew from Enterprise ready to head up the ICW towards Georgia.   The stretch of ICW from St Lucie to Norfolk Virginia is 987 miles, plus another 279 to the mouth of the Hudson River for a total along the Atlantic of 1266 miles.  At that point we take a left and head west towards the great Lakes.     Stay tuned for more mis-adventures!

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Crossing our wake at Mackinac Bridge

The Mighty Mac is a 5 mile bridge connecting the two sections of Michigan. It crosses over the Straits of Mackinac – the water way connecting Lake Huron too Lake Michigan.    Side note about the spelling-  The city is spelled Mackinaw City with a W; the Island, the bridge and the straits are spelled Mackinac. When pronouncing , it is always MackinAW  (not mackinAC).

We are heading for the Mackinac Bridge to officially cross our wake and close the loop we began on June 9,2016.

For readers that may not be familiar with Michigan, here are a few hints and tips for your next visit.  This information can be obtained by googling “pronouncing Michigan Cities” or “how to speak Michigander”.

Look for descriptions of The Mitten state. On a map, the state looks like a mitten or hand, and if you live in the U.P, mittens are worn almost year around.    Locals will hold up their hand like a mitten and point to where they live- the thumb being Detroit Saginaw area.   

Image result for mitten state


The state is divided into Upper Michigan and Lower Michigan – and connected via the 5 mile Mackinac Bridge.

Image result for mackinac bridge

A few more helpful terms:

U.P.  (pronounced yoo pea, not up)      Residents of Upper Michigan live in the U.P – referred to as Yoopers.      Yoopers have a nickname for the residents that live in lower Michigan (below the bridge) – calling them Trolls.

A popular food item to look for is the Pasty- a meat pie, or turn over stuffed with spices, salt, beef, onion and rutabaga or carrots.  

St Ignace is located on the northern side of the bridge.   (Pronounced st. IG niss).  There is one more group of islands we had hoped to visit in the area- Les Cheneaux Islands ( lay SHE no).  May be on the next trip.     



Lets back up a few days- where we crossed the border from Canada into the United States.  Our friends stopped at Drummond Island to check in at Customs.   We continued to De Tour Village to spend the night.   A quick walk through town and it was apparent the town has seen better days.  For Sale signs on many buildings, and vacant buildings on every block.  We stopped for a celebration dinner at the nautical café called Mainsheet.  We were the only patrons for the evening.  

The following day we all met up and headed into the Straits of Mackinac for the final leg of our loop.   The water is calm and the blue sky is looking to make for a great crossing.   A major plus is to share this experience with our loopy friends on Sanctuary and Southern Cross.   Along the way we checked in with Kurt and Patty on Enterprise; we had traveled most of the first 4000 miles with them.    They had continued traveling west on the Erie Canal waterway  finish their loop in the Detroit area.    Even with the different routes we took, they crossed their wake just a day prior to us reaching the bridge!!  

With anticipation, could see the bridge in the distance at about 6 miles.  We passed by Mackinac Island and staged for photos in front of the bridge.

  We raised our banners of state flags . Oh no, we forgot to order a gold flag – No worries, Steve offered to borrow his flag for the photos.    Quick pass over on the water!   The gold AGLCA flag is earned when you complete the loop; it will replace the white AGLCA Burgee that has been flying since Lake Michigan- as a sign of a looper in process.  


Thanks for Steve and Teresa Lasher and Pat & Cathy Deadwiley taking photos! 


Reminded me of passing by the Statue of Liberty and taking photos- both boats were with us then as well.

Our reservations were at St Ignace Marina.   A surprise celebration dock party followed by dinner capped off a perfect wake crossing day.   With mixed feelings, we were so excited to complete the loop and look back on the 14 months traveling around the loop.   Sanctuary will cross their wake soon on Lake Michigan and Southern Cross will continue on toward Oklahoma. 

 We took picture of Southern Cross and Sanctuary as they cruised toward the bridge with us. 

                Officially “gold loopers”.    Its been a once in a lifetime journey for us, and we want to thank everyone that has followed and supported us this year.  We couldn’t have done it without the support of Mike – who ran the business and took care of our house while we were out cruising.  

DSG_6703 (1)




 Next up, we look forward to heading home, and getting acquainted with our granddaughter Ella who turned 6 months recently.    Stay tuned and we will continue our journey toward Lake Superior.   Thanks for reading. 



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Good Bye Canada and Random Memories

Anyone following our trail will see our track doing circles at the borders.  Somewhere along the loop, we learned of the tradition of doing a 360 degree circle at borders (thanks Steve) .  So state borders and Canadian borders  – each boat does a loop.  Fitting for looper don’t your think?       Honking horns, waiving flags and circles – you might guess the crews are ready to re-enter the US.

Thank you Canada for a wonderful and memorable six weeks!

  • June 27- We entered Canada at Prinyers Cove/ Picton area .
  • We met distant relatives in Belleville,
  • celebrated Canada’s 150th in Trenton,
  • Entered the Trent Severn Water way. ( 44 locks)
  • We have completed about 110 locks on the loop- one more on the St Mary River to Lake Superior.
  • We enjoyed the fourth of July in Campbelford with red white and blue cupcakes
  • Enjoyed the hospitality of lock walls each night
  • Attended Ribfest in Peterborough and Scottish festival in Orillia
  • Traversed the worlds highest lift lock, and rode the only chute railroad lift.
  • July 20th began exploring Georgian Bay .
  • July 28th entered Killarney gateway to the North Channel
  • August 8th crossed to Drummond Island to check back in to the United States Customs.
  • We traversed over 650 miles in Canada Waters

A few random photos before we wrap it up with our “Crossing our Wake posting”.  These are photos I may not have posted- they just popped up as we have been browsing through our albums.       With mixed feelings, the next post will include our finish line at Mackinac Bridge!

We fly the small courtesy flag for Canada when in international waters; the other burgee is our Great Lakes Cruising Club burgee.

north Channel

Ice Cream is a staple in any tourist town- this is my sketch of a sign at Gilley’s in Georgian Bay.

north Channel

My art journals are getting full- must have at least 4 since we started over a year ago!

north Channel

Every day we are using the VHS radio- here Dave is checking in with the North Channel Cruisers Net morning show.

north Channel

We knew we were in our home waters of the Great Lakes when we heard the call of the loon.     the next shot is from the Huron Martyrs memorial.

clapperton and fallsHuron

Remember when? This shot is back on the rivers with M’Lady and Enterprise

At Orillia we joined about 15 boats that had stopped for the Scottish Festival.    A looper Progressive docktail party at Orillia. The city didn’t want open bottle on the docks, so we moved from boat to boat!

docktails Orillia

Having fun at Peterborough free concerts with Steve and Teresa and Pat and Cathy .

and another shot of friends from Sanctuary- Looks like we were having fun with Steve and Teresa:

friends lashers and us

The rock piles along the north shore are called Inukshuks. They indicate you are on the right path-   We felt this whole trip is certainly the right path for us, and with mixed feelings will be closing our loop in a few days, and then heading back to Lake Superior.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!      We appreciate all the new friends we have made on the waterways; and are looking forward to seeing our old friends that have supported us along our journey by keeping us in their hearts while we have been out cruising the eastern waterways.  Thanks for reading!

july 22

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Kagawong, Bear Drop and Thessalon

Islands and harbors of  Clapperton , Eagle Kagawong, and Bear Drop–many choices and no bad choices.   Clapperton Island had a friendly loon family .  They swam very close to our boat.

clapperton and falls

clapperton and falls

The Mama was not happy when the two little ones got curious and came right to our boat.

north Channel north Channel

Both Moon Shadow and Sanctuary crew were loving the photo opportunities!

north Channel

Celebrating on the water

How often can you help friends celebrate their 42nd anniversary in Canadian Waters?

An impromptu meeting on our dinghys made a nice picture for Steve and Teresa in front of their boat!!

north Channel

Finally – an anchorage with a view of the sunset!    Capturing with a camera is easier than capturing in water color!

north Channel north Channel


The short cruise to Kagawong saw building seas.   We were all glad it was only six miles across the bay- we can endure building seas and broad side waves for a less than an hour.

The Bridal Veil Falls is the main attraction at Kagawong.  We hiked a well marked trail to the falls with crew from Sanctuary and Southern Cross.
Some were more adventurous than others :

north Channel   north Channel

Tiny Faeiry homes were tucked  amongst the trees along the trail.
north Channel north Channel

Walking back to the boats, we came across the “shopping mall”.
north Channel

This town likes its warning signs!  Can you believe they were giving swimming lessons not far from this sign at the end of the pier..

IMG_1246.JPGOther signage along the trail:
north Channel   north Channel

There were no signs warning of snakes on the path.

north Channel


With continued forecast of rain and 18 mph wind, we looked for the best protection.    While the Benjamin Islands  have been promoted as the most popular, we continued on to Eagle Island Bay.

The guidebook mentioned a possible trail- we all went ashore and searched for trail signs.
north Channel  north Channel

The only ” signs”  we found were fresh bear poop and snakes sunning on the rocks.   Didn’t take long to get back in our dinghys and out to our boats.
north Channel


After a couple rainy windy days, we finally enjoyed a calm day and headed for Bear Drop Bay in the Whaleback Channel.    The rock formations were interesting, and Dave got a chance to do some fishing while Colleen did some entries in her art journal.
north Channel


August 7th – Continue west toward the small town of Thessalon, Ontario.  Anyone who still had Canadian currency was advised to spend it before returning to the United States.  This was our chance, unfortunately we had not counted on it being a Civic Holiday.   This town was closed!  It was even hard to find a landmark to take a photo  to prove we were here- will the Post office do? IMG_1408 We found one store open till 4, and even the Beer Store closed at 4pm.       Our loonies and toonies will go in a bag for future trips to Canada. Untitled Back at the dock for a “last day in Canada dock Party”. We checked out the very comfortable boaters lounge- nicest building in town! Thessalon

The full moon is calling us- time to move on toward the United States and the final days of 14 month loop adventure.

Thanks for reading.

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Small Craft Route to Killarney and North Channel

Open water of Georgian Bay vs. Small Craft Route through the narrow Collins Inlet?  With increasing winds and waves, we opted for the small craft route.   The channel is well marked- one spot we squeeze between the red and green markers then take a 90 degree left turn into the channel.   Breathtaking view of falls tumbling down the face of a high cliff make the route worthwhile! The next feature to keep an eye out for is a rock formation called the ” Crabby Indian”.    The guide book put it a mile marker 50 so all eyes were focused on the rocks to make sure we didn’t miss it.  Can you see it? 



One night at Killarney.

Sportmans Marina was my second choice , glad they had openings.   First choice would have been the Killarney Mountain Lodge.     It has been upgraded and had great reviews.  They charge the same slip fee but the lodge had no slips available..

We were stacked two deep across the channel from the office.  The shower facility was only on the office side.    A taxi boat (actually a pontoon) named Tinkerbelle was available to shuttle boaters back and forth across the channel.

An unique feature at the Sportsman marina is the outdoor movie screen!

  Tonight’s feature is an Adam Sandler movie, viewed from the fly bridge, and sound streamed through our boat radio!  We served popcorn and had a few crew aboard to watch the movie. 

We attempted to restock at the local grocery store, but after milk and eggs cost 12$, we opted to provision at a later date.  

covered portage One of the most popular anchorages in the area is Covered Portage, so we made plans for a night at anchor.   The bay is surrounded by high cliffs, and a trail -marked by a ribbon- leads to the top of the cliff.     What a great view of the boat from above. covered portage

covered portage

There were several other boats as we expected, but it was fun to exchange boat stories up on the mountain.

About 9 miles brought us to the entrance of Baie Fine. This is a  beautiful fiord – with rocks and mountainous terrain lining both sides Fiord- and leads to a bay about 8 miles long with a pool at the far end perfect for anchoring.      Several creeks are off shoot from the pool with rapids and water lilies along the shore- perfect spot for our inflatable kayaks early in the morning!

baie fine baie fine
baie finebaie fine

This was a perfect spot to use our inflatable kayaks.   The creek could be kayaked up to the rapids.

We all hiked a trail up to a inland lake named Lake Topaz.    Beautiful views from the tall rock ledges.
 After spending over a year on a boat, its fitting to finally go ashore and have a campfire in Canada.   Complete with s’mores, lots of laughs and silliness.


A highlight in this bay was meeting several local boaters who recognized our boat!   They had been boating with the previous owner over several years and were happy to see it back in the North Channel. 

We exchanged names and boat cards- I don’t think it will take long for word to get back to the previous owner that we were spotted in Baie Fine!

   Little Current

We lead the way to Little Current.   The swing bridge is scheduled to open at the top of the hour on the hour.    Why would fast boats feel the need to speed by us causing a wake that throws cupboard doors open, only to be stopped at the bridge to wait with the rest of us?    Go figure.       Almost a dozen boats of various sizes begin to line up and hover in the basin by the swing bridge-   if the current and wind weren’t an issue, it wouldn’t be so hard; as it is the boats nearly collide as they vie for first spot through the bridge.   We could hear people yelling behind us – its not easy to wait for your turn, even for adults. 




A traditional method of communication for boaters in remote areas is via the VHS radio.   Often hosted as a Cruisers Net, and scheduled each morning to provide the weather updates, events and boater check in.    The North Channel net broadcasts from the Anchor Inn in Little Current and has been hosted by Roy for 14 years.        He welcomes boaters to the area , so we went to the “studio” along with Southern Cross, Sanctuary and several others to listen in to the broadcast.    Roy gave us each a welcome bag, and mentioned our looper status as well as congratulations to the Lashers on their 42nd anniversary!


 With clouds gathering on the horizon, we pulled out of Little Current to make a short run to Clapperton Harbor.   The clouds let loose just as we had dropped the anchor and zipped up our enclosures.  Good timing, and as the rain passed by, we heard a  loon family just outside our boat.  This made for good photo shots as they played ,and called to each other around our boats.     To help celebrate Steve and Teresa’s 42nd anniversary, we asked them to meet us on the water in their dingy.  We floated around and enjoyed the sunset.


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Georgian Bay Anchorages July

Navigating around rocks and through tight channels, we zig- zagged and s -curved our way to Midland and stayed at Bayport Marina July 19 -20.

midland on. midland on.

Our first night , we  attended an impromptu presentation by the manager on traveling through Georgian Bay.   Mike, the  harbormaster, met with our group and provided local knowledge for places to stop as we head up through Georgian Bay.  Very much appreciated.   Best “take away”- avoid the rocks!.  Also watch for bear and step around any rattle snakes!!     We will be traveling with Sanctuary and Southern Cross on the next portion of our trip.

For entertainment, we visited the Huron Martyr memorials

Filled up with Fuel, did a pump out prior to heading north.  Preparing to fill our dingy gas tank, –fuel line broke! Quick trip to the Marina Store to purchase a new tank, $109.00 ouch.

Needed to be done, as we plan to be anchoring in secluded bays over the next three weeks, and the dingy is our transportation between boats, running to shore, and exploring.



First night at anchor – beautiful bay north of midland.   Rocks above the water on both sides of the channel, wonder what’s hidden below the water.     The well marked channels are very much appreciated!    Even the cottages are built on rocks!

July 21 July 21

Took a dingy ride up the Musquash River .    We were looking for rapids and were not disappointed!  

anchorage georgian bay

After a bit of exploring, we tied up to a large rock and got out to check out the rock formations. h   Dave fished off the back of the boat-   happy to catch three bass, but not big enough for a meal! anchorage Georgian bay

There were over a dozen boats in the bay by end of evening.  This is  a popular spot !    After seeing the nice sunset, we can see why.
July 21
July 22  , Saturday left for O’Donnell Point  to anchor at 12 mile Bay.

Still overcast weather;  we set off  with no wind and were happy to move along.    We joined 14 other boats in 12 mile Bay and we arrived by noon.    The spot we picked had a weedy bottom, and it took a few tries to get our anchor to set.   Once again, we dropped the dingy in the water and explored around the bay.
july 22 july 22

july 22

july 22


 Light east wind, with overcast skies is getting to be a repetitious forecast.   Our planned stop was Henry’s fish camp.  Well known as the best  Fish and Chips in the area, we were disappointed to find they had closed the morning we arrived.    We radioed for help at the dock and were told the staff had walked out that morning!   

With the winds picking up, and a light rain falling, we decided to cruise on Snug Harbor.   This anchorage is also adjacent to a well-known Fish and Chips location called Gilleys.    There were only two other boats in the harbor, perhaps due to begin mid-week and rainy!     After a nice long walk along the cottage roads, we had dinner at Gilleys restaurant.    The pan fried fish pickerel was  decent, the coleslaw was a special sauce that was very good.     After wards, we had  Karwartha Ice cream cones at the store; and that was my favorite part of the day.     It even made it to my art journal! 
july 23 gilley's july 23 gilley's



When is this rainy spell going to end?      It is only 58 degrees, rainy, and now high winds as well.   Hoping to wait out the weather, we left the harbor at noon and still saw 2-3 foot waves with gusty winds.      The ride to Hopewell Bay was worth the trip, we arrived at 2:45 after traveling 14 miles and anchored in a nice protected anchorage.   Another evening of riding in the dingy before settling in to scout out the predicted Northern Lights.   Disappointed that the over cast clouds prevented any possible light show.  Will keep looking to the skies as we head north.


We altered course mid day,   deciding to bypass Bustards Islands as we had heard so many boaters were heading there for the night.   Instead, we continued on to Bad River.     This stop has rave reviews on line and from boaters that gone ahead of us.    It features rapids that you can fly through on your dingy, as well as hiking trails to an overlook and lots of blueberries.      

bad river bad river
Who knew shooting the rapids on our dingys would be in store for us today? Life after 60 – doesn’t involve easy chairs and television today!

We settled in, and did the rapids and the blueberries before the rain and wind came at us again.  One advantage of rain- Colleen has time to draw in her art journal.   Here is a reference to berry picking, rocks, seagulls and nature!!     This is the first remote anchorage- there is no phone service or internet reception!!


The mileage from Midland to Killarney (entry to the North Channel)  is 168 miles.  

bad river

The scenery changes as we head north.  First it is wind swept pine trees amongst the rocky islands.  Next we begin to see cliffs and large rock formations . 

From rocky landscapes to endless stretches of water way, Georgian Bay offers cottage rentals, resorts, marinas, museums and heritage sites.   Georgian Bay features more than 30,000 islands to explore.  The beauty of this area is unexpected, as we had been so focused on getting to the North Channel, we had overlooked the area traveled first before getting to the North Channel.   A few more days of anchoring, before we get to Killarney! 





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Orillia- Scottish fest, Complete the Trent Severn

We did locks 38 to 40; then crossed Lake Simcoe on July

Luck is with us as we arrive in  Orillia in time for Scottish festival!  Now if the rain holds off , it will be a fun weekend!
Weekend boaters- funneling into the inlet leading to Orillia is wild. There are fast boats , sailboats, jet skis , fishing boats and canoes !

Had reservations for a slip in a new marina called Port of Orillia. It is a popular spot this weekend for Looper boats. We were invited to a looper docktail party- attended by 30 or so boaters.

Art in the Streets featured maple leafs painted by local artists. There are 150 displays in honor of the 150 year celebration.


Dave’s niece Lindsay lives on Lake Simcoe . We arranged to meet her for dinner in Barrie -about 30 minutes away, We had dinner at “the Farmhouse”. Excellent meal. Especially enjoyed the oreo cheesecake dessert!

So far we have logged 6002.9 miles!!

After Orillia, head for the BIG CHUTE Railway lock.

First we had to wait over an hour for a swing bridge to open. The train was coming, but it had air brake problems, and had been delayed.


The Big Chute lock # 44 is another unique lift. It is a Marine Railway added in 1960.

The boat is placed on a cradle with straps and it is carried over a portage on a railway; then gently floated into the other side. We went first then took photos of Southern Cross coming through.
The Big Chute works on an inclined plane to carry boats in individual cradles over a change in height that reaches about 60 feet. This is the only marine railway of its kind in North America still in use. This is a one of a kind piece of engineering.
the big chute the big chute

the big chute

Boats are floated onto the partially submerged Big Chute railway carriage on either the upstream or downstream side, and are cradled by slings. Your boat is moved along a railway track, lifted out of the water and carried over the waterfall and then, gently floated into the water on the other side. Boaters remain on their vessel, and the workers ride the lift up and over as well.
This lock was built after the First World War and was intended to be temporary until a regular lock was built. The original marine rail lock was replaced/ upgraded in 1976. The current carriage was opened in 1976 and can carry boats up to 100 feet long.

We have completed the Trent Severn as we pass through the final lock leading out to Georgian Bay.

Here is a recap of the 44 locks of the  Trent Severn

The first 6 locks are with in12 miles.

day 1:

1 Trenton

2 Sydney

3 glen Miller

4 Batawa

5 Trent

6 Frankford  wall with electric

Day 2 :

7 Glen Ross

8 Percy Reach

9 Meyers

10 Hauges Reach

11/12 Ranney Falls

13 Campbelford  (  stayed on the city wall $1.40 ft)

Day 3 :

14 Crowe Bay

15 Healy Falls

18 Hastings

19 Scott Mill

20 Ashburnham

21 Peterborough Lift Lock   ** just after our stay in Peterborough

22 Nassau Mills

23 Otonabee

24 Douro

25 Sayer Creek

26 Lakefield

27 Young’s Point

28 Burleigh Falls

30 Lovesick   ( stayed Lock Wall)

31 Buckhorn  (Lock Wall)

32 Bobcageon

33 Lindsay

34 Fenelon Falls   (Lock Wall)

35 Rosedale

36 Kirkfield  (Highest point-start locking down)

37 Bolsover (stayed at marina)

38 Talbot

39 Portage

40 Thorax

41 Game bridge

42 Koochiching

43 Swift Rapids

44 Big Chute (Marine Railway lifts over a road)

45 Port Severn (leads into Georgian Bay)

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Buckhorn to Lake Simcoe- Locking down stream

We are at the Buckhorn lock blue line ready to enter the lock when they open at 9 am on July 12.    Today’s log:    6 miles in 1.5 hours.

Wed July 12   Buckhorn  lock 31  –

Today, the locks are still going up stream, meaning  we enter the lock at the low side; the doors close and we are lifted up between 14 and 40 feet as the water fills the chamber.    Lake Balsam will be at the highest point that a boat can go on a water way on its own power from the ocean.   After that point, The locks will begin locking down stream toward Georgian Bay.
July 13 to 14

We could get up close to the dam to see the water levels being managed.

July 13 to 14


July 13 to 14

buckhorn buckhorn

July 13  Fenalon Falls.    Cloudy rainy day.

17 miles in 2.5 hours-

The lock wall is right in town,  we walked through town , and ended up ordering a pizza right on the wall walkway.
july 13 The falls are located under the bridge adjacent to the dam.  Glad we asked and walked down the short path as we couldn’t see the falls from up on the wall! A small museum featured an old school room- Dave demonstrated how he was often asked to clean to the erasers after class! july 13

july 13

Houseboat rentals are popular in the Balsam Lake area.    Boaters can cruise up and down the locks, and nose into an island for the night.   From our view point- we give them wide berth never knowing what experience a rental captain may have.   We’ve seen houseboats go sideways in locks- they must be awkward to maneuver.


The historic Kirkfield lock sits atop the Trent Severn, at its highest point.  This is the second highest hydraulic lift in the world.  The view overlooking the valleys from the 49 feet above the water is breathtaking. Kirk field Lock chambers works when Balsam fills this the upper chamber causing extra weight allowing it to descend so the opposite chamber will rise.  The chamber coming down must always have more water ( weight) for the design to function.     The boats can be from one to six- the weight doesn’t matter as each boat offsets its own weight in the water. 

July 13 to 14 July 13 to 14


July 14 Friday Bolsover (after Kirkfield Lock)

Tonight’s stop is at a small marina called Sunset Cove to get  ac, a good spot to fill our water tanks and hook up with electric to charge our batteries.    This is in the middle of no where- not a town or shop around.   We didn’t think to confirm the operating hours for the next swing bridge.   We pulled out of the marina about 8 am; pulled up to the swing bridge and honked our horn.    (this is the customary way to alert the bridge tender that you are requesting an opening.   They don’t use phones or VHS radio).    No answer, took a few minutes to realize the bridge was just before the lock, and would operate on the same hours!  Obviously no boat traffic would be going through when the lock was closed.      We returned to the marina, tied up and waited for 9 am.   Joe walked down to his office with a smirk- asked if we had  just gone for a little ride!     buckhorn


Lock 37 at Bolsover is the start of five locks before we reach Lake Simcoe.  It is the first lock down.

Once we exit lock 37, it’s a quick approach to lock 38 at Talbot.  Lock 39 is amidst farmland with a picnic area adjacent.   Lock 40 also has picnic areas and shady trees – offering a wall to stop at for breaks. Lock 41 Gamebridge  pops us out to Lake Simpcoe   It takes about 2.5 hours to travel this set of five locks.  We enter Lake Simcoe and have planned for a easy fair weather crossing of this large lake.

July 13 to 14

Next stop is Port of Orillio.





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next locks 20 thru 30

Locks and more locks- this is a grueling day on the water.  9 miles,   5 locks by 3 pm

Lock 20 to 24

We got separated from our buddy boat as multiple boats vying for positions going into the locks.

We did the big lock  then pulled over to take pictures as Southern Cross approached.

As the locks get so routine, I found a photo of each sign would help us place where we were that day!
trent severn looping

By the end of the day, we still had not got together, with the lock walls filling up, SC stopped at a wall that was open, and we were at the next wall a few miles further up.
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After a hard day, its nice to have a quiet meal on the upper deck of our boat!

trent severn looping

trent severn looping

July 11   Tues stopped at Lovesick lock wall   lock 30

The lock walls are filling up early, we called ahead and the next two walls for full, so decided to stop . We woke to fog and hoped it wouldn’t delay our friends from catching up!

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Next morning SC came through about 10 am, we got good photos, then shoved off and continued together toward the next locks.

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Stopped early again to make sure we had a spot on the wall.  90 cents a foot, no electric or water.

We shared the wall with campers!
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The lock operator monitors the speed of water flow on each gate.
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Along the way, we passed a church on an island!  Only accessible by boat.

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This equipment gets a work out every day!

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Peterborough Ribfest Fest July 8

We had all but given up on attending the Rib Fest in Peterborough.  After traveling through a few more locks, our sights were set on Peterborough and we made in time for the  Rib Fest, Music Fest and more.   First up, we got in line with friends to get a few plates of ribs. This is a short walk from our boats, and there must be half a dozen stands serving award winning ribs.

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trent severn looping

trent severn looping

trent severn looping


the next day , we all walk to the farmers market,  this is a little longer trek.
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In addition to the ribs, we enjoy free music concerts all weekend, and attend a docktail party attended by about 30 loopers!

LOCK Peterborough

Knowing the next lock is just .5 mile up the road,  we walked over to see what its all about.  This lock consists of two large tubs that are counter weights.  As boats enter the tub at the top of the lock , it is lowered; at the same time the lower tub is raising up to the upper water level.   It is going to be a wild ride.
trent severn looping

trent severn looping

trent severn looping

trent severn looping

trent severn looping


And on to the next lock we go.

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Canada 150 ; Ancestry and Trent Severn

The constant rain in the area has caused high water concerns in many marinas.  Pulling in to our slip at Picton was a good example- the dock was close to being under water.  This made it difficult to tie the boat, as our fenders kept popping up over deck of the dock!

Once secured, we all walked through town , knowing it was are only night before moving on again.

June 28  Belleville, ONT

This is special treat- we will be meeting Randa
Loopers Canada

Loopers Canada

Loopers Canada

Loopers Canada

Loopers Canada
later we walked to the Farmers Market ( in the rain again)
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Loopers Canada

The festival included Fireman competitions and strong man competitions- pulling a semi truck!

Loopers Canada Loopers Canada

TRENT SEVERN WATER WAY  244 MILES of locks to reach the Georgian Bay

Loopers Canada

We recently figured out the speed limit signage. At first we thought the limit was 6mph all the way.   At closer look, we notice  the arrow indicates you are leaving the speed zone.  If it points forward it is entering a speed zone.  The 10 is Kilometers- we convert it to 6 miles per hour ( no wake zones).   The square sign is a Green Buoy, keep it to the starboard. Loopers Canada

Arrive lock 6 Frankford

No rain! trent severn looping

trent severn looping

Locks were full and boats were rafted to each other to fit more in. Each lock is 46.9 meters (156 feet). This allows about three boats end to end; we fit six in the lock. Walked to town, over the bridge.  The history of manufacturing is just that- history.   Not much going on here.  We visited a hardware store.

Big breakfast at Mama Bears – very 80’s; with a collectible plate decor. trent severn looping

July 4th at CAMPBELFORD, ON.    lock 12

The city dock hand walked over and served red white and blue cupcakes in honor of US holiday- july 4. Choice of wall on both sides.    Park setting, electric hook up The park has a monument honoring the person who designed the toonie (Canada’s two dollar coin” trent severn looping

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Stayed an extra day as it we may as well slow down.


A pirate protects the treasure! (stocked up on chocolate at the Chocolate Factory)

trent severn looping
trent severn looping

trent severn looping   Stayed an extra day as it we may as well slow down and enjoy- doesn’t look like we will make it to Peterborough in time for rib fest. HASTINGS ONTARIO  lock 18 20 miles; 5.5 hours and 7 locks- this was a big day. Ended the day locking with the OPP boat.      Went to karaoke to watch Stayed on the lock wall.   This is COTTAGE COUNTRY

  Loopers Canada

Our Oklahoma friends had never seen a loon, they are now fans, and love to hear the call the of the loon at night! Loopers Canada


Slowly moving across the Trent Severn Water way- looks like we may arrive in Peterborough in time for the ribfest after all!   Thanks for reading.


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