Grey Skies

Three to five foot waves and a following sea thwarted our attempt to sprint across the Georgian Bay to Killarney. This side of the bay is full of immense rocks, small craft and twirling windmills but the seas are calmer. Wrights Marina in the town of Britt, Ontario, proved to be a safe haven. The town, population 278, has a hardware store, a liquor store, a grocery store and a restaurant all in one small building; the ice cream store and post office are down the street.

We found the toilet bowl cleaner but it only did half the job we thought it would.Other products suggested for getting rid of mustaches will have to wait their turn for trial until we are able to obtain them. Denny has some FSR he thinks might work.

Recycling seems to be what the town wants to be noted for.  No trash disposal unless in thin clear plastic bags. The bins are labeled for clear and colored glass, soft plastic bottles, ridged plastic bottles and cardboard.

Had lunch in the only restaurant in town with Drifters and it was surprisingly good. The forecast for tomorrow is for sunny skies, 60 degrees and 5 mile an hour winds.





Parry Sound, Ontario

No! don’t anchor there. It is too far away from land and I will freeze on the dinghy ride. No! Not there either, too much wind, no not there, not pretty, so we stopped at Big Sound Marina in Parry Sound where we found three other Loopers.

No Ubers in this part of Canada and we miss them, Taxicabs come, but not on our schedule. Taxied to the grocery store but had to wait 30 minutes to get back.

Magic potion, Poli-glo, rust remover, lemon juice and considerable scrubbing, but to no avail. Removing the mustache off the boat is proving to be a very daunting task for Denny, just holding the dinghy steady in the water is impossible. The consensus from on lookers is to try a well-known toilet bowl cleaner.  I guess we wait until we get to another grocery or hardware store.

What a terrific bookstore in this small town, the concept is simple and it works elegantly. Bearly Used Books sells gently used books at very discounted prices. Patrons bring in books and get a credit, the books are catalogued and priced and put on the endless shelves. I was there for two hours and only spent thirty-eight dollars.  I could have stayed much longer but I was spirited away by Victoria inviting us for drinks: First things first.

Georgian bay is the northeastern arm of Lake Huron, characterized by rugged bedrock and white pine forests to the north and sandy beaches to the south. The average depth is 150 feet. Cabins built on large flat rocks, float planes landing on the vast expanse of water and squawking Canada Geese, these are the scenes in Georgian Bay. We will be here at least two more days.


Georgian Bay, Ontario

Ken, the owner of Bay Port yachting center, shared with us two hours of his local knowledge about Georgian Bay. Denny was thrilled!  We now are the proud owners of many new cruising books and a 4×4 foot map of Georgian Bay, suitable for framing because it surely is too big for our map drawer.

Three days of preparation for this sojourn across the bay: more groceries, more hardware, and more liquor. Lots of taxes here in Canada, a 1.75 liter bottle of rum costs fifty U.S. dollars, about half of what it costs in the states.  Good thing I stocked up on my Dewars. There is a VAT tax on almost everything.

Three Looper boats have joined us at the Marina, one is marooned with a seized engine, one is in a hurry and the third we will cruise with for a while; Mike and Victoria aboard Drifters. They are both from Kentucky, as is Denny.

Two locks south of Chicago are closing September 21 for two weeks and it would be advisable for us to get through them before they close if we are to make our objective, home for the holidays.  Sorry about the if, we will make our objective even if we have to leave Dream Seeker in a marina for a while.





The Big Chute Marine railway

Anchored in a large primal Bay last night just before the rain started. The only boat in the Bay, washed almost clean by the heavy rain. Dream Seeker has a brown mustache on her enormous bow that has been building up for five months.  Denny says it is a sign of seasoned travelers and he likes it, I say it is just dirty and the boat would look so much better when it is clean.

Actually cleanliness has been my mantra for the past five months. He has been promising me he will get in the dinghy and wash the moustache off when we hit the pristine waters of Georgian Bay.  Uncle Boo gave him a magic wash to accomplish that.  Tomorrow we reach the legendary Georgian Bay.

Today, Dream Seeker was loaded onto a large rail, put in slings and mechanically hoisted out of the water. The Big Chute Marine Railway carries boats daily, in individual cradles, on an inclined plane, over a sixty-foot change of height. Like a giant roller coaster, the railway drives the boats up the tracks and down the other side in less than four minutes.

Yea!  A welcome change, no more locks until we get to Chicago. Locks have become a way of life for us but we are about to get a reprieve. No more descending into the depths of a dreary dungeon or soaring into the sunlight.

Summer in Southern Canada

Canadians really know how to enjoy their summer. They are everywhere on the waterways and in any kind of watercraft imaginable; mostly they seem to prefer houseboats. A great family vacation, rent a boat, go out on the water and then learn how to maneuver it. They are very hospitable and fun loving and always available to help with a line.

The weather here has been perfect, cool nights, warm days and low humidity. No wonder all the Canadians I know in Florida go home for the summer. Spotted two golf courses on the way, a reminder of home and its many pleasant pastimes.

A narrow shallow tree covered waterway, a wide lowland full of marshes, an occasional farm and homes built on huge rocks, all are reasons to slow down and smell the roses. It is difficult to envision the same scene in winter, snow covered, frozen and cold.

2500 miles of our 6000 mile journey are completed; including negotiating through 128 locks. It’s a wonderment!


The Lift Lock

Peterborough Marina was a wonderful stop.  They were very accommodating to Loopers and the grocery store was close by.  During our stay, the music was playing, the fountain was running and we were sufficiently far away from both to enjoy them.

Put two rectangular baskets on two different but connected water filled cylinders; then fill one basket with ten monkeys, the other basket with eleven monkeys. The basket with eleven monkeys is heavier so it will go down and the ten-monkey basket will go up.

Now make the baskets larger and of concrete and fill them with all size floating boats and lots of people, add one inch extra  water in one of the baskets and you have a “lift lock.   A fun way to ascend to the next canal!

We cruised through the lift lock and on to six more locks finally reaching Lakefield, exhausted but feeling good.  Ceci Kay came through one lock with us on their kayaks.

We tied up at the town dock, had drinks with Scott and Meredith on Thunderbolt and settled down for the night.

The current temperature is 81 degrees, humidity 31%.  Oh Hum!


Campbellford to Hastings

All the lockmasters were happy; nature was watering their plants again. Torrential rains at lock three of seven. Thunderbolt and Ceci Kay pulled over. Do we keep going? (it is only noon).  Oh well, we are wet anyway. On to Campbellford and as before, the rain stopped just as we got to town.

A town dock wall with electricity, water and Wi-Fi, it is a real find. The town has a “world famous” bakery with cream puffs and butter tarts, a cheese factory, and a very large replica of a Toonie, the two-dollar Canadian coin. The clouds parted long enough for us to see the sights but they did not part long enough for us to attend the county fair.

You would think that with all this rain the boat would be forever free of spiders but it seems to just drive them into smaller and smaller crevices.

The next morning, partial showers and six more locks, brought us to Hastings. The town has a grocery store, a liquor store and a hardware store, all in walking distance. We never pass up a hardware store. In this one we found the motion sensor lights to put on the out side of the boat to dissuade critters from joining us.



lockmaster house
typical lake house
lock # 4
Haley falls
inside the lock looking up
Smith Falls