Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Taking a long short-cut

We apologize for being out of touch for over a week, but we have not had access to the Internet for most of the Trent-Severn Waterway. This map gives an overview of our route, which is a kind of short-cut from Lake Ontario to the west up to Lake Huron.

We wanted to show the sceptics that Canada geese, who have a reputation of living year-round at ponds throughout the south-east U.S., do in fact live in Canada also.

Here are two pics of our anchorage at Rice Lake. Hint- that stuff ain't wild rice! However, Rice Lake was really named for it's tremendous beds of wild rice, which the Indians and early settlers loved. The environment has changed and rice no longer flourishes here, which is a shame.

We originally intended to anchor further east, off the channel in the river, but poor holding ground and the opportunity to make a few miles more progress led us to this spot (link to GoogleMap) near Margaret Island in Rice Lake.

Here is Bob on Tom-Kat dealing with the flora of Rice Lake. This weedy stuff clung to the anchor and chain but would not assist in holding the boat securely for the night. We also had trouble at times with weed clinging to the rudder & propellor.

Here is a photo from the Ottonobee River, which leads north from Rice Lake up toward Peterborough. This dock has obviously seen better days, but it's probably never seen more seagulls.

We successfully navigated our way through Rice Lake and on up the Ottanobbee River to the city of Peterborough, where there is an unusual method of getting boats up the hills: a "lift-lock" (link). This is a simple machine consisting of two tubs of water, each mounted on hydraulic cylinders. The cylinders are connected so the weight of each tub counterbalances the other. Boats drive into the tubs, a small pump puts slightly more water into the upper one, which then becomes heavier and goes down, pushing the lower tub upward.

Since there is no water flow in the lift-lock, there is less need to secure the boat. However, Doug is making sure that the Winnie W. will not drift around in the lock!

Here is a photo of our friends on Tom-Kat as we are leaving the lift-lock tub at the upper level. You can see that we are above the treetops of the lower level... what you can't see is that this was a windy day, and it was much windier at the top... maneuvering out of the lock was a bit of a challenge!

Here is a get-together of cruisers above the Lakefield lock. There are at least a hundred cruising boats "doing the Great Loop" in the Trent-Severn Waterway this summer, however there are so many beautiful stops that we don't see each other very often.

From furthest to closest: Winnie W, Tom-Kat, Mascot, Vagabond, TwoWowie, and Jolly Tolly all tied up on a peaceful morning at Lock 26.

Not all vessels transiting the locks are cruisers. These people were out for an early morning paddle and decided to lock thru on their way down the river, instead of carrying their gear & their boats in a portage... the old fashioned way (which is hard work!)....

Then we proceed onward, passing thru rural Ontario on our short-cut to Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Rolling hills and prosperous farms make beautiful scenery as we go along these rivers & lakes north of Peterborough.

This is really a lovely way to travel and you see the best of the area.

Remember, it's all about Hank. In fact a lot of people we've met, cruisers & shore-dwellers alike, remember us only as 'those people who take Hank away on their boat.' Here Kathie & Sue enjoy the park at the Rosedale Lock, headed west into Balsam Lake. This is the summit level of the Trent-Severn Waterway; reportedly the highest altitude that a sea-going vessel can reach on her own power, just short of 900 feet above sea level and higher than Lake Superior or the upper Mississippi. From here we are literally going down hill to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron.

Here is a (link to our location) for this night

Here is the narrow canal heading west from Balsam Lake. It looks wider than it really is, we were brushing against trees as boats passed! The canal was dug & blasted from solid rock.

Since this pic, we have travelled thru more locks, lakes, canals, & rivers. Most notably we crossed Lake Simcoe.

Currently we are in the city of Orillia on Lake Couchiching; which is connected to Lake Simcoe... easy to find on a map and a nice long stretch with no locks! (GoogleMap link)

We have a couple of days to continue on the Trent-Severn westward to Penetanguishene, which you can also find easily on this map.

Hope you all are well & happy!
Doug & Kathie

1 comment:

norm & leslie said...

Glad to see your return. You and J.K. Rowlings have kept us in suspense.

We leave in the morning for Panama City to work on the Blackwatch. I decided to keep it on the trailer there until after hurricane season, but when we get it home it will be ready for sailing.

I also see you are skipping Erie where I have all my contacts.