Monday, July 17, 2017

#44 July 2 to July 17, 2017 Simpatico crosses her wake!

July 2nd

Don is packed and ready to go. I think he is somewhat disappointed to be leaving my good little ship. This morning it's a little overcast but, like all the past week it soon turns sunny. We have scrubbed and cleaned Simpatico and are now watching for JR and Sandi to arrive. They had a long, long wait at customs in Sarnia and got here kind of late.

Good by to a great crew in Port Sevren. 

Don hands over his duties to Sandra

July 3rd

Today was a bit overcast when Sandi and I set out into and up the East shore of the Georgian Bay.
Winds were  calm and the sun came out around 1pm. turned into ABD.
 Pte AuBaril Lighthouse.
 Sandi and I traveled 40 miles today and stopped at Sans Souci Island, home of Henry's.
What a neat little place. The very fresh fish dinner was excellent!

We played with Horatio, had a sundowner while enjoying the vista of the waterway. Pleasant evening
July 4

ABD!  Some beautiful scenery!  Many twists and turny passages - necessitates reading the charts well and double checking your location, making sure you are in the right channel. There are many veering off the main 'small boat channel'.  Thankyou JR and Sandi for the Software, coupled with my charts and other guide info it was a Godsend.  Don and I discovered I did not have the charts on my existing chip and had to use strictly paper charts. It was not difficult and we did very well. But, is always better to have redundancy.
We did 60 miles today through some of the most beautiful, rock strewn waterways. Almost Lava- Like. The area is called "40,000 Islands"!  I read somewhere there are actually 80,000.

This our first Anchorage , Byng Inlet just inside
the entrance to the open  water of Georgian Bay.

July 5th  We head out into the Georgian Bay to cross directly to Kilarney. 39 miles.  We have been very fortunate, the wind was light and the waves minimal.  ABD!

New owner in the last few years has made marked improvements to this Marina. 

Oh my!  Many seasons, many years ago, with great boating friends we spent many evenings sitting across there in the 'crows nest' drinking pina coladas, watching the doings and going on of Kilarney. Ann was the proprietress of the George Islander Marina and that boarded up little cottage was her home. She had a garden out front for all her boating clients to share. Great memories there!  and a bit sad to see it as it is now.

The Sportsmen's has been renovated as well. Unfortunately, powers that be, declared the "Bus" serving fresh fish and fries has been removed and a little pavilion has taken it's place.  The fish is still just as fresh and good.  We were just ordering when we heard  someone call out. It was Terry and Randy (an earlier crew) who had dinghied in from their anchorage at Little Portage Cove.
Was fun to have Sandi finally meet them. 

We're good! Life is good!
July 6th
Being a day ahead of schedule we decided to head out to Portage Cove, only 4 miles. Had a chance for a nap, relaxation and reading before sharing supper with Terri and Randi. Did a little dinghy tour and enjoyed their camaradarie.  That is their red Nordic Tug "Hogsbreath"
 July 7th
We arrived in Little Current around 1030 under a beautiful fluffy cloud and sun sky. Little Current also has been much improved over the years.  The boat got bathed and cleaned, laundry done and Sandi packed for her departure tomorrow.  There was a cruisers get together at the Anchor Inn we didn't want to miss.  Met lots of nice folks and shared lots of stories.

On the 8th my next crew arrived happy but a bit tired from their long drive. Above, Sandi handed over the crew duties to Kelly and Chris 
Kelly, Chris and I then proceded to provision for the next leg. First Lunch! The Grocery, a few blocks up the hill from the Marina does a delivery service for boaters.  Nice! They even stopped and waited at the Beer Store while we stocked up on "those" supplies.

July 9th

Our first anchorage, the Benjamin Island group.

We took the dogs ashore and I let Horatio off leash!  He never stopped running, run, run, run, so  happy.  Kelly and Chris went snorkling and Horatio found a frog.

King Neptune!

July 10th                               

The little Detroit channel, only good for one boat passing. We had to call a "Securite" to announce our entrance since boats on the other side cannot see what's around their next corner.

Anchoring near Bear Drop Harbor. We were the only boat. We deployed the dinghy and went through the passage into Bear Drop proper and found 7 sailboats and 3 power boats.

July 11th
"long" trip today, all of 7 miles, sort of around the corner to Long Pte Cove. A favorite among cruisers as you can see by the boats anchored to left of Simpatico (below).

At our bon fire tonight we tried to do
modified version of Jiffy Pop!
Needs some work!

We have been having a great time!
July 12

This day was Rainy and overcast. The winds were 10-15 from NE and forecast to 20 for tomorrow, so we decide to head out for Meldrum Bay.  Seas were 3 to 4 ft then built to 6-8 as we got toward the center of the trip. Right at first it took some getting used to the rolling action and finding the sweet spot with speed for the most comfortable ride.  Turned out to be a good move as the winds did increase on the next day.

July 13th
I woke early to rain and howling wind and cold; took Horatio out and got back asap and crawled back in bed.  We all just took advantage of what we determined to be a weather day.
In years past we always referred Meldrum Bay to Doldrum Bay. But to my very pleasant surprise the floating docks, electrical pedestals and services are all new.  Contrary to what we heard, the Grocery with just basic needs, ice cream (a necessity) and a Lunch Kiosk for burgers and dogs. For dinner there is the Meldrum Bay Inn. Now a Bed and Breakfast and an excellent restaurant. ur meals there were outstanding and it is a full bar service. Very special. I would highly recommend a stop here. At this time Gas and Diesel are not available but the owners assured us it is in the plans.

After our great dinner we took a famous butter tart and ice cream home to savor desert a little later.
The upper level of the Marina building offers tables, chairs and couches for guests.  Chris caught up on  some of his work and I worked on my blog, Kelly took care of Bosun and Horatio while it rained and blew!  Around 3 pm it seemed to be easing. At 5 the rain stopped and the  wind went completely flat. Along with 3 other boats that had arrived after us yesterday decided  to make a run for it. We only had 19 miles to Pilot Cove.  We left at 6pm on flat seas.

Here is a screen shot of chart showing entrance to my very favorite anchorage over all. Pilot Cove.
 We arrived at 2045 with plenty of light to get into the harbor. On the 14th we andexplored, gave the dogs a run stayed another night.
This is taken on shore at the entrance. notice the rocks going a bit deeper? Its like that on the other side also.  The whole entrance is maybe  30 feet wide. We just idled nuetral and slid in. Never saw less than 6 ft. Inside it is over 20 ft center.

although the day started drizzly and rainy til about 4 pm. the sun came out, we had our bon fire and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

My intrepid crew, Kelly and Chris helped celebrate a very special anchorage with me.  These past few days, my being so close to completing the journey; I am overcome. Overhelmed and have come to realize that dreams can come true. I'm anxious, excited for what tomorrow will bring
 July 15, 2017  at 1425

It's a beautiful morning, we approached Drummond Island Yacht Haven and checked in with Customs then headed home.  We approached the Cabin, sailed by to say, "Hey, Simpatico here!"
and. . . crossed our wake at the entrance to Detour Harbor.

Strike the white and bend on the Gold!
I am a Looper!
Thank you one and all for the support and especially my family and my crews. You are ALL awesome. I am overcome with appreciation to everyone.
God Bless and Keep you all safe, on land and sea!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

#43 -- June 20 --June 30

June 20th

The only thing that maybe put a damper on Jo and Howard's visit was the weather. This is another cloudy rainy day. ACRD! Our ordered Enterprise car picked us up right on time so Jo and Howard got back to their car in Brewerton in good time and I was able to be on time to pick up Don Gordon, my next crew at the airport.

Great friends that will visit in Florida and spend some time. Such wonderful memories we can share.

Don Gordon, friend from Atlanta Georgia was right on time and ready for his adventure! Horatio was thrilled to see him. We headed for the Grocery to provision, did a Mexican lunch and stopped at the "drug Store" for a little medicinal Rum before  boarding the boat and going through all the systems and procedures that I do with each new crew.

 This entire area has been experiencing heavy rains the last few months. Many times you hear of flooding and I have been watching the situation in Ontario and the Trent Sevren Waterway that I am soon to be traversing.  When the water is too high they close the locks. for safety reasons as the currents become a grave issue to boaters.

June 21  The day was met with some anticipation and a little trepidation since we were leaving Oswego NY to cross Lake Ontario to the Trent Severen Waterway.  The winds were Westerly with a little South in it at 10 + miles per hour. The seas were 2-3 as predicted and we were concerned that the waves would increase as we got further into the Lake.  Not just sailboaters are concerned with winds. As we left the inlet the boat settled into a sweet rhythm and we increasaed the rpm a bit to catch the waves just right.  Not a bad trip.  0730 departure and put the anchor down at 1520. 64 miles 8 1/2 hours.  And, we stopped in Trenton for top off fuel and pumpout.

At a peaceful, protected anchorage near Foresters Island. Sun, clouds
Docktails on back deck, good super and checked our charts for
the next day. 

Found Bay Marine so pulled in to their facility and I was able to
purchase "Canadian, Alaska" chip.  Alas, was the wrong size chip.
Once you open the package you can't return it to the store. Now I
am negotiating with Navionics for a credit if I send this back .
The girls at Trenton Marina were very cheerful, competent and enamored with Horatio.

Discovered, to my dismay, the charts for Canadian waters above Lake Ontario were not on my chart plotter.  Of course I have excellent charts, books and guides so we're good.  Did start calling around for a marina that handled Navionics Charts.

 June 22

Lock #1 Only 384 Kilometers to Port Severen. These locks are operated mechanically and manually. The huge doors are opened by the personnel by walking around pushing a big wheel; seems pretty easy as one person could do it.

Here is where we tied up for the night. Lower wall of Lock 3, on the Blue line, ready for first in the morning
 June 23
At the top of Lock 3 ready for what turned out to be a 10 Lock day!!

This is Lock 11 and 12, a double lift, in one and directly into the next.  We were told we should try to get above these locks today because of the rainy weather. The lower locks are in danger of being shut down and are near capacity of overflow.
Current at times has been tremendous when exiting locks due to the dams releasing water.  Every lock has been like a Park with mooring facilities for overnight. Sometimes with water and electric.

June 23    We are in Campbellford this morning and enjoying a slow start to the day.  Heard the Bakery around the corner was not to be missed. So I sent Don off to get some of those heavenly butter tarts that Canada is so famous for. After hosing the boat, topping off our water tanks we are underway at 0955.  Six locks today, including a second double one. Anchored tonight at Hiawatha First Nation just shy of the Peterborough inlet.  Grilled Pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli, salad and a glass of wine!  Life is Good!

June 25   Peterborough Marina, a very nice facility, more than helpful staff  --  seems like a nice little town!  We got in just in time to experience several thunderstorms and hard rain.  It has been doing this practically every day. Then the sun appears! When the weather settled we decided to head to Tim Horton's.  A fellow on the dock, kind of rough looking himself, warned us that the "n'er do wells' have taken to hanging out at Tim's.  WHOA!! -- he wasn't kidding. One guy couldn't stop shaking, or stand still; wandered in and out; congregating with others, weird!  We didn't feel threatened but uncomfortable.  Then, we stopped at drug store for a couple items. There was a line at the Pharmacy window that I thought was where I take my items.  The sign said "Go to register at Pharmacy"!!  Well,  there was a big line, guys getting a little cup of (as Don puts it, "Kool-Aid").  There was a dispenser of orange juice behind the counter, Pharmacist passing out doses of Methadone!!  Unbelievable! Never seen anything like it!  That evening when walking Horatio there were people all over the park area.  Not nice!!  Happy to leave Peterborough!

 June 26  

Another cloudy day but not to dampen the anticipation of traveling these waterways as the pioneers and entrepreneurs did before there were roads. Lots of logging was the one most commercial effort that prompted the development of these waterways.  Of course, now as you travel, there are cabins on almost every island, many simple abodes as well as opulent mansions and everything in between.
Today we left at 0820 and accomplished 9 locks and tied above Lock 30 Lovesick for the night.  Be on lookout for raccoons wanting a handout. One portion of the day was spent going through Hell's gate.  Threading and weaving through little rock islands with cabins; one had a Pretty little church on it and the LockMaster said it is in use often.

The most impressive lock was #21 -- The Peterborough Lift Lock.

This photo from the guide book gives you a perspective!

Looking aft at the tub above

Looking forward at tub above

Other tub going down as we go up

As other tub lowers you can see the park like setting beside the lock

We are at the top (see yellow indicators) 65 ft Lift

View as we leave the lock
 June 27

Off Lock 30 at 0900 on our way to Fenelon Falls.  Took the wall on the down side of Lock 32 around 1530. After  partaking of a bit of libation at "Murphy's" along with some munchie we walked to grocery for a few provisions. "Ned Pepper" with Mike and Jan Magee aboard were with us from Lovesick dock invited us for docktails. Nice folks. One thing led to another and we found the nice restaurant we going for supper was closed. So we checked Murphy's, No, his kitchen staff went home but he suggested the one "restaurant" around the corner on Main - - -

Need I say more?  Don had Sow, I had Cow   😋
June 28

Mike and Jan Magee we shared docktails with last night brought me a Birthday Cake!  Had to get a picture with them before we left this morn.

There she is! 76, for at least another year!

Today we did 7 locks and crossed Lake Simco.  Am glad we made it today as the weather wind tomorrow will make it a "no-go" day.  Mr. Horatio has taken a shine to a new friend.  Can't stay out of his lap.
 We anchored in McPhee Bay after an uneventful crossing of Lake Simco around 1715 in about 5 ft just off the private maintained marked channel. Protected from the winds predicted for morning.  We will have to run about 3 miles into the channel to the Narrows and on to Lock 42 and Lake Couchiching.
Nice Truck Pantoon
June 29

The weather man was right this time  -  we had a rollicking ride the first few miles into the Narrows -- then all was Well.

the following are some scenes along the way.

Narrows and SHALLOW!!!
Boaters Nightmare!

Hole in the wall!

June 30  Today was overcast and rainy - again!

Our next stop! The Big Chute! we took a public
dock for the night with the intention of locking
through in the morn.
This is what we saw! 

 July 1

Talking to you about this makes me shake all over again!  I don't get to shook up about a lot of things but this took me by surprise.  The boat moves into the machine over the straps, there were a small aluminum boat and a runabout in front of us. As soon as the straps were secure the machine began to roll up the tracks out of the water, up and over the road. Going down the other side was like hanging over a cliff. To make matters worse, it shimmied and shook a little.

 But we made it and traveled on to Starpath Marina for 2 days. First task was -- bath the boat, next - clean the inside .  Then shower and relax to reminisce the past couple weeks. Don has been an able and pleasant crew.  He has given me many welcome pointers and his insatiable sense of humor has been a joy. Tomorrow, well actually, today since I finally suffered through very weak wifi signal to work on this blog;  JR will deliver my next crew, Sandi and take Don back to head home in a few days.

NEXT! The Georgian Bay! The Thirty Thousand Islands, Collins Inlet, Killarney and on to Detour.