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.
We could get up close to the dam to see the water levels being managed.
HOLE IN THE WALL BRIDGE
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.
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!
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.
KIRKFIELD LIFT LOCK # 36
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 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!
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.
Next stop is Port of Orillio.