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Trenton, Ontario, Canada
In June 2012 we started the Great Loop in our Bayliner Explorer. This blog is for family and friends who would like to follow our comings and goings and , for now, our getting ready for the trip. If you read this blog we would love to hear your comment& suggestions.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Now what...?

Wayne First Mate for the trip home
 The only thing was that she was on Lake Huron and we live on the Bay of Quinte at the beginning of the Trent-Severn Loch System. Gary asked a good friend to crew for him as he started to plan the trip.
 Following is his account of the trip home in Time and Tide

 As the sunrise rose on 09th May 08, we left Bayfield Marina. We arrived in Tobermory at 19:15 that evening. A very long day, enduring a very rough Lake Huron. There Time and Tide was Fogbound and unable to leave until Sunday 11 May 08.
On Saturday 10 May, we went as far as the slipping lines and moved out to the edge of the fog bank. The sound of the large Ferry operating out of Tobermory sounding its horn and looming out of the fog was the icing on the cake for us and a short couple minutes later we headed back into the safety of our previous nights slip.

We departed Tobermory Sunday 11 May

As we headed out into Georgian Bay I recalled a fellow boater telling us it is a very nasty and unforgiving piece of water. This was my first time as Captain experiencing no land in site and nothing but gray all around. I was very happy we didn't try to do this in the previous day’s fog.

After getting safely off Georgian Bay we stayed at a great little Marina called Uncle Henry’s. Soon Georgian Bay was slipping into the distance and we had high hopes of calm and pleasant travels ahead, and for the most part there was.

Monday 12 May we started the day early, refreshed and clean… two days without showering a person can get a little gamey. Tobermory had no water and their shower facilities were under construction. Further to that the folks that de-winterized the boat in Bayfield for us, didn’t get all the antifreeze out of the systems so we were not able to use the on board water for the first three days.

We cruised from Uncle Henry’s on through to Port Severn in no time. We were very excited and pushed on as the next important stop was the Big Chute Marine Railway.

 We wanted to make time so we kept on going until the end of the day. We knew we were at the mercy of the Lock Masters, or in our case the Bridge Master. We made it all the way past Sparrow Lake and into the Severn River where or travels came to an abrupt halt. We were just prior to Lock 42 at a little place called Hamlet. We missed the bridge by about twenty minutes. We tied off rite beside the road. The place was beautiful. We lowered our fenders and were able to tie off to a couple trees. We were not sure about the local young folks so we dropped the anchor. We were tied up but I didn’t want to take any chances. Later in the evening the Bridge Master paid us a little visit. Nice guy just dropped by to say high. He lives directly across from where we were tied up. He told us no worries about anyone cutting or slipping our lines in the night. He has been working the bridge for more than twenty years and has never had any trouble there… we left the anchor out anyway. The next morning we were awakened by the sound of another boat on and off his throttles in an attempt to maintain his position in the slow moving current. He was also beeping his horn, obviously trying to get the Bridge Master’s attention. This was about 07:00. We got up and told them the bridge didn’t swing for a while yet. We invited them to raft off to us until it did.

The next big adventure was in Peterborough and the huge lift lock there. We were trying to make time, so we rushed through Peterborough. We didn’t stop for any formal photos, we just clicked and motored. Peterborough Lift Lock was very exciting it was amazing how quickly the thing traveled once it started moving.

As we pushed on, one lock seemed to look the same as all the others. This was because Wayne and I were trying to make good time and push to the next lock. In reality the locks were not all the same, they were all different. They each had something unique to offer. Throughout the entire trip we only had one bad interpersonal experience. One of the lock guys must have been having a bad day...nuff said.

The lock masters prior to Healey Falls told us we may be delayed there. A short delay here worked out perfect. Our cousins Marty and Bernadette have a cottage just above Healey Falls Locks. We contacted them by cell phone when we were just entering their bay. The visit was short but great to see them again. About 30 minutes later we were on our way. The Lock Master at Healey Falls told us there was a log on one of the valves and required a diver to go down and clear it. This was done by the time we got there so again as luck would have it we were able to cruise on through.

This trip had so many exciting times, which made for some great memories. It was a trial by fire with this boat. I had never operated a boat with twins before. I had never operated a boat this big before. I learned a great deal from this trip, and was extremely glad I did it. Wayne and I made it safely to Trenton. I am sorry we didn't take very many more pictures throughout the rest of the trip. I guess once we got closer to home and into more familiar waters it wasn't scenery any more it was all familiar so we just pushed on.

Many thanks once again to Wayne Holbrook for all his help.

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