Day 84/85 ... July 13/14, 2017 ... 15.2 miles & 2 Locks in 4
Bobcaygeon, ON to Lock Wall 34, Fenelon Falls, ON
|another dreary morning|
It's cold this am ... 58 degrees, raining and it is the middle of July. I have on flannel lined jeans, a t-shirt with flannel long shirt over it.
|lots of Canadian flags everywhere; lots of Canadian pride|
especially this, their 150th year celebration
|sometimes you feel like you are driving in someone's back yard|
|there is a back up at this lock ... so ...|
narrow, rock cliff area with lots of current while trying to hold the boat until a lock wall space opens up for us
short run today to another popular lock close into town. It rained overnight
and then again this am, mostly stopping by the time we could fit into the first
lock, which was right by the marina where we stayed the last two nights. A call
over to the lock let us know how long to wait before heading over. As close as
we were, we still couldn't see the lock. He had several boats going up, need to
lock down a big house boat and then several small cruisers up before taking us.
Once we saw the big houseboat come out, we could go over the the "blue
line" to wait our turn. The cruisers went into the lock as the house boat
came out ... allowing us to take their spot on the blue line. The blue line is
painted on a lock wall and those at the blue line signal to the lock guys you
are ready to go.
crossed Sturgeon Lake and entered into a narrow passage lined with homes and
boathouses, then to the lock. We skipped lock 33 as it is a side trip and not
on the direct path of our planned route. They were backed up, so we waited in
the Canal area for maybe 25-30 mins. As the boats on the lock wall, blue line
and not blue line, were called by overhead speaker into the lock, we were able
to take their place on the lock wall. Firestorm was able to squeeze into the
lock before us. They were the last out of their group in the lock and we would
be the first out of the lock group behind them. They found a spot for
themselves and us ... and with power!! Double score!!
|Garden area overlooking the falls|
|the story of the bell at the park|
cute town ... some pics before it started raining again.
Cally and I will go wandering and see what there is to see here.
|This town out does themselves with attractive landscaping along the town and lock walls|
|town is right beside the lock; just the other side of the street|
|our view out to the bridge we will go thru when we leave|
important to go thru the LEFT span!!
|cottages and house boats on the opposite shore|
|sunset overlooking Rosedale River|
Day 86 ... Saturday, July 15, 2017 ... 25.8 miles & 5 Locks in 5.5 hours
Fenelon Falls to Top of Lock Wall 40
We planned on a run across Balsm Lake with only 4 locks to move us closer to Orillia.
|lots of narrow passages today|
|some right beside someones backyard|
|Hole in the Wall bridge ... do we fit??|
|easily ... it is 28' high at the center|
At lock 35, the first one today, we were at the highest point a boat can go on her own bottom at 841' above sea level. After #35, we will go down in the locks until we get to the Georgian Bay... including the OTHER Lift Lock #36, only now we will go down ... so peering over the edge of the pan is so cool.
|Kirkfield Lift Lock; only we are going down|
inside the pan before they lift the '"tailgate" to hold the water in
|the view out overlooking the canal we are being lowered to|
Corkscrew on the wall
The lock wall at 39 didn't have room for both boats, so we moved on (a whole 1/2 mile) to the top of lock wall 40 for the night.
|What you do not see are the ROCKS on each side of the canal|
the water is so clear, you can see how close they are
|entering a narrow passage ... too rocky and too narrow for 2 boats of our size to pass|
|the sign tells you to call out on the VHF to see if anyone is in the passage and to alert others we are entering|
PLEASE stay out until we exit
|see the rock edges???|
This is a very rural setting, no town; not even a public road for access. We joined lunch makings with Firestorm for burgers, hot dogs, etc by the boats in our little private park. this was so nice, we all grilled out together for dinner, too.
|just chilling at our private park dock|
|we are actually facing the wrong way so we can run our generator|
this is facing the last lock we went thru today
Day 87 ... Sunday, July 16, 2017 ... 20.4 miles, 2 Locks in 3:10 hours
Lock Wall 40 to Port of Orillia
We planned on a leisurely start, but with afternoon thunder storms predicted, both Captains and crew readied ourselves for locking through first when they open at 9am. This meant turning Lab Partners around in the tight lock wall/canal area to face the lock gates.
|more narrow passages|
|then Lake Simcoe!!|
|the sky finally brightened for a while|
We locked down 2 locks and then crossed Lake Simcoe, the largest Lake on the TSW. Thanks to Firestorm we have new running shots of Lab Partners. Guess we should have pulled the fenders on board. Oh, well. In normal cruising we never run with fenders down, but with all the locks and so many so close together everyone leaves all the fenders down (both sides). Not pretty, but effective!
|Firestorm heading into Orillia|
Just as we were leaving Lake Simcoe, it down poured on us going thru a narrow passage then cleared as we approached the marina.
Once settled in and the shore power connected for AC, the sky let loose again and it really rained hard for a while.
Port of Orillia looks like they are trying to be Port Trent Marina (the really nice one) ... but they are really lacking in execution and in helpful personal. First off they having FOLDING CLEATS. WTF?? As we pulled into our slip all the cleats were down. NO marina staff out to help us (FIRST time no one helped). Luckily, Marshall from Let's Go saw us and came over to raise our cleats so I didn't have to jump off the boat with a line and secure us. Firestorm came in right before us and had no one to raise their cleats. Luckily, there isn't current in here (nice break water walls at the entry) and no wind when we arrived.
|long water front park|
|Lab Partners secure before the down pour|
|boat ramp, pavillions, beach, play ground, walking paths, biking paths and more|
|pavilion for use by the public|
|even though it rained substantially twice yesterday ... the plants are being watered again|
The park setting, which is mostly for locals, is MUCH larger than most we've seen along the way and quite impressive. The marina boaters facility, though very new, pales in comparison; it is nice, but a poorly executed version of Trent Port Marina, IMHO.
However, town is near by and ice cream VERY CLOSE!!