Kirkfield to Lock 40
6 July 2012
From Kirkfield it was a short cruise through Hole-in-the-Wall to Lock 40 where we planned to spend the night.
|MV Black Tickle going through|
It was, again, a very warm day and we spent most of it sitting in the shade next to the boat while Jessie played around us. We have created a monster allowing her to get off the boat, now, every time we stop, she mews to get out. It is a full time job keeping an eye on her.
|Jessie enjoying the grass|
and cool shade under a picnic table (Lock 40)
|Ignoring the No Swimming sign|
It was very hot and the water was nasty but I had to cool down!
Just after we went to bed I heard a weird noise, later I heard a scream. Gary told me it was nothing but I knew he was nervous too and a few minutes later he jumped out of bed with the flashlight and ripped the forward hatch’s screen off…we had heard something on the deck! We went out to check but didn’t see anything.
The next morning the lock master confirmed that it was probably a raccoon as the scream that I had heard the night before was from another boater who woke up to find a raccoon half way into the boat…..
We woke to a lovely rain shower. After the heat of the previous few days it was refreshing to get some cool rain. We moved down to Lock 41 where we waited for our visitors; Ron and Denise Franklin and Nick, Jenn and the kids.
|Ron and Denise|
|Freddie eating cheezies|
It was wonderful to spend the day with them and after saying sad goodbyes we headed to the bottom of the swing bridge to spend the night. As we pulled up to the wall the first thing I saw was a HUGE spider. Mike, the bridge guard, casually said, oh they are just dock spiders…..These things are ENORMOUS!!! Gary sprayed the lines and side of the dock with spider ban. We decided to close the hatches and went to sleep. Thankfully it was a cool night and we slept without any raccoons or spiders waking us up.
8 July 2012
We crossed Lake Simcoe early in the morning to avoid the nasty waves that can churn up the lake in a split second. As we entered Lake Couchiching I was amazed at the clearness of the water. After the murky Trent canal the water was gorgeous!!! All through Lake Couchiching all I kept saying is; look at the water!!! Back into the Trent canal heading toward Lock Couchiching we came around a corner and an unexpected bridge. Stupid me, I spent too much time looking at the clear water and not at the charts…we had no clue what to do, so Gary got on the loud hailer and called to the bridge guard. The guy came out and was most upset with us for not beeping our horn ( even though there were no signs anywhere telling us to do so) He made us wait 15 minutes in a narrow channel with boats coming and going around us, before he swung the bridge. I thought we got him on a bad day but according to locals he has a reputation of being a bit of a troll (get it? Bridge? troll?)
After all that excitement we arrived at lock 42, Couchiching where we got chewed out by the lady lock master for not having out permits stuck on the boat (we made it through 41 locks but she was insistent that we stick them on)
|Swing bridge after Lock 42 , where Gary and Wayne stayed overnight|
on the way back from Lake Huron where we bought Time&Tide
Next stop was Swift Rapids, the highest lock (47 feet) in the system and decided to call it a day. We sat under the trees and watched boats coming and going (aka Gary’s heaven) and we swam in the crystal clear water and Jessie got to roam around in her new harness and leash.
|Gary's tomato plant|
9 July 2012
Swift Rapids is the biggest lock on the system. It is an amazing sight see when boats are lifting and going down. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
|47 Feet drop|
After a short cruise we arrived at the Big Chute. It is the only marine railway in North America. The cable powered marine railway carries you over a hill in a train cradle. You drive into it; the boat is raised in slings, just high enough to maintain support on the keel. They empty the water out and you sit high and dry as they use a system of cables and pulleys to lift the boat to a of height of about 60 feet. I felt like I was on roller coaster. Gary kept asking me to smile for the camera but I was quite nervous.
All ended well of course and we are now safe and sound at Port Severn, the last lock on the system.
Tomorrow we are going to do some laundry and grocery shopping before we head out to Georgian Bay.
A shout out to Alice and Barry MV Prowess who we met at Big Chute. They are avid Looper followers and had a list of the boats that they were expecting to see on the water this year. It was great touching base with them and it made us feel very proud and honoured to be part of this club of boaters.
to be continued