Sunday, June 19, 2011

Locks and more locks!

Happy Fathers Day! We just realized yesterday that yet another holiday had sneaked up on us. It's hard to remember the day, let alone the date these days.   

There are 45 locks in the Trent Severn Canal and add that to the 31 we just did in the Erie Canal and it makes for eventful days. This is the Peterborough lift lock and is world's tallest lift lock!  It actually lifts you into air while you're still in the water! 
 Once we pulled up and secured our lines the gate behind us rose and off we went!
 To think we would actually be at the top in a matter of minutes?
 It was very impressive and fun to ride. The view was amazing!
 Very efficient and we were done within 15 minutes of arriving!  My mom said I was here with her and my dad when I was 16, but I guess it was a bit more memorable in my own boat as I don't recall it.
 The Lovesick lock was located on an island and so cute and small. The lockmaster takes a boat to work each day.  Notice all of the houseboats as they are everywhere.  It is very popular to rent them during the summer months. You should see all of the dents in the pontoons. The lock tender said it can be quite comical to watch them get the boat into the lock.
Morgan really enjoyed gathering the stickers and cards at each lock.  We had a great routine when entering each lock. Craig of course captained the boat inside the chamber with always some type of wind, rain or current. I grabbed a line midship and secured while Morgan went for the stern line. Ryann would give the lockmaster a ticket which was a chance to win a prize if drawn at the end of the summer. Then she gathered the cards and stickers.  It worked well for us and the kids enjoyed their 'job'. When in a flight of locks you could have 7 in a row that were only a mile apart from one another.
 So many many neat homes we passed, so many pictures of beautiful scenery, wildlife/trees/rocks and locks. I just can't do this waterway justice with photos, it's a unique experience and one I'd recommend to anyone.
 Bobcaygeon was one of the many places we stopped at. They had a large well known shoe store (on right), a biker event the day we arrived and a great town.

 Fenelon Falls was yet another great stop. We started locking through during lunch time and on a whim I said to Craig "if they have a Subway, we should stop." As we locked up to the top there was a Subway RIGHT next to the lock. I must have smelled it...what are the chances...this is the first Subway we have seen since Cambellford.
 The dam next to the lock.
 Our friends aboard Messenger claimed we had to try Tim Hortons donuts and Skittles. We LOVED the donuts and the Smarties are actually chocolate candies....not like the chewy gummy ones in the states. 
 The kids want a dog and Craig said they could have one like this....fake! Haha...they didn't think it was funny and now think we should get a bulldog.
 "The Narrows" is how they describe these stretches (yes plural as there are many that go for miles and miles) of water that were all over the Trent Severn Waterway.
 No big deal to drive through it, but don't you dare get close to the edge as it's complete ROCKS and as they say 'not forgiving' if you drift off the middle.
 Just what you DON'T want to see is oncoming vessels. We were fortunate to see them ahead of time and waited in a 'wide' area to make a tight pass.  Good thing we all have a ton of fenders out for the locks in case things get a bit close.
 Kirkland lift lock was very similar to the Peterborough one. Another great view, but a bit spooky at the same time. Glad we're not afraid of heights!
 Locking down now for the remainder of the waterway. 
 Hole in the Wall Bridge. Many times during our experience it was hard to believe that we actually belonged here.  This actually had a 28 foot clearance and we only need 18. 
Stuck in the middle of a flight of locks for a night.  Ryann went out into the aft deck about a half hour after we arrived and the boat next to us said "Hi Ryann."  She said hi and ran inside wondering who it was?  I went out to meet them and they saw the burgee and boat name, went online, found our blog and read up on us.  Very funny, but they were great people with lot's of good advice!  We moored with two other boats and enjoyed their company in this pristine lock in the middle of nowhere. 
 Great exercise running the grassy hill and they were full of mud and strawberry stains as the hill was full of them! 
 After a ride through Lake Simcoe, the largest lake on the waterway, we arrived to this train bridge.  We waited for about 25 minutes as the bridge operator never responded on the VHF. We watched him looking at us as if he hoped we'd just go away.  Three men walked out of the upper station, over to the little house on the left, then back up and down again, and back up.  Finally a loud engine started and very very slowly the bridge started to turn.
 We are still seeing the remains of all the wind damage in the area. This gazebo didn't make it.
 It seems after every turn or bend is something new to see.  The waters before Swift Rapids here are as unique and pretty as so many other areas. 

There will be another new posting coming soon....