Thursday, June 30, 2016

6/30 Midland Ontario and Murals

We are in Midland Ontario in the town harbor.  The weather is spectacular again.  We have decided to stay here for Canada Day tomorrow.  The parade will start here at the marina.  I got this picture of John this morning.  Notice he was trying to stay in the channel.
The view off the back of the boat looking across the harbor was so peaceful.

Midland was created as a town for the terminus of the Midland Railway in 1879.  Lumbering played heavily in the town's growth as did grain.  Many years earlier the Jesuits met with the Hurons in efforts to bring Christianity to them.  The Archer Daniel Midland grain silos welcome you to Midland Harbour with a HUGE mural depicting a Huron Native and Jesuit Priest with the land as it would have looked like then.

The town has over 25 murals.  I haven't seen them all yet. Most were done by Fred Lenz beginning in  1991.  He began the mural above in 1999.  He died in 2001.  His son and some others completed this for him.   The art is amazing.  Many artists have participated.  Most depict the history of Midland.
First Mural of the Midland Railway Corp which opened in 1879
Last panel of the Railway Corp mural

Runners of the Woods-Fur traders with the Hurons
Horse drinking from trough

Brebeuf Lighthouse-Note the window at the top incorporates the window on the building

Playfair Lumber Mill

James Playfair owned lumberyards, Great Lakes Shipping and the general store
Sailor and H.M. Schooner Bee sailed Georgian Bay beginning in 1831.

S.S. Lemoyne build in 1926-the largest bulk carrier on the Great Lakes until 1950.
Tribute to Girl Guides of Canada
So I didn't see them all today but will keep looking for the rest.  We did see this old boat in the harbor parking lot.
 John went to the barber and I had an appointment to get my hair done just up the street from the marina.  I made one trip to the grocery store.  They were cooking samples in store made specialty sausages.  They had some butter tart sausages, which are very good.  So I had to buy some.  Butter tarts are some of the best things about Canada!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

6/29 The Big Chute and Completing the Trent Severn

What a day!!!  In the morning we headed toward the Big Chute.  We expected to get in line behind many boats.  That would be a good thing because we would learn what to expect.  We got to the Big Chute and saw many boats who had spent the night on the starboard side wall.  They were all in still in their nighttime berths.  The blue line was empty!  We tied up to the blue line expecting to wait as other boats would be called in.  The locks (and the chute) open at 9 am.  The rail car began to move forward to submerge so boats on our side could get on.  Surprise!  They called for us to come forward and enter the rail car! 

The process is amazing.  Your boat goes into the rail car.  The boat is lifted on slings.  The rail car starts its journey up out of the water on rails that go over the land, including a street, and back down the other side into the water.  On the other side, the slings are loosened and you cruise away on your boat.  It was better than any roller coaster ride you have ever been on. 

The rail car comes over the land towards the water.

The rail car submerges.  Here we come.

The workers position slings to balance the boat out of the water
The ride begins.  As the rail car moves up the water drops away.  We are suspended in the slings now.
Looking down on the boards of the rail car
Looking forward in the rail car

Looking forward as we went up
Looking back on where we got on the rail car
John got this shot of the road we went over and the street light!
At the apex, beginning to go down.  AARRGGHH!!!

Almost back to water level

Looking back on the Chute with stairs for perspective
It was an amazing ride.  The entire time, I was saying, "Wow", "My Heavens", "Better than any roller coaster".  It was a once in a lifetime experience.

So with the Big Chute completed we headed for Lock 45 at Port Severn, the last lock of the Trent Severn waterway.  We have so enjoyed our time on the Trent Severn.  We learned about and ate many butter tarts, and tried poutine.  We docked at lock walls and terrific municipal marinas.
But, we are ready for the next adventure.  After this very tiny channel below, we entered Georgian Bay. We will do Georgian Bay and the North Channel before heading back to the States.
We are docked at Midland Harbour Town Docks for the July 1 Canada Day Festivities.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6/28 to Severn Falls

Hydrophilic at Severn Falls Marina

With the head repaired, we got back on the route to the end of the Trent Severn Waterway.  To be honest, I will be a little sad when we finish this portion.  From Marina Del Rey, we headed back onto Lake Simcoe.

It was a chilly day.  It never got out the 60's.  In the afternoon, the wind picked up some; that made the ride a little chillier. 

We headed back into the Trent Canal to join the Severn River.  This is really the last leg to Port Severn, the end of the Trent Severn.  We just missed an opening of this railroad bridge.  The area is narrow with no place to circle.  We were the first of two boats waiting for this passenger train to go on its way.  It was quite long for a passenger train.

We traveled through McDonald's Cut.  This is another very narrow section.  When these narrow sections exist, it is because the rock was cut by hand in 1905.  There was no machinery to assist in this work in the wilderness.
Entrance to McDonald's Cut
Rock was hand cut in 1905
There are many little islands that have just one home on them.  The homes and the islands are stunning.  However, if you live there, you have to haul in everything. 
At the marina tonight, we saw some folks put a refrigerator on their boat to take to their island home.  I was sorry I had missed the picture but about two hours later, the fellow came back with his old one to send away for disposal.

One of the locks we did today was Lock 43 Swift River.  This lock is unique because you lock down 47 feet!!!   The two lock mistresses were very efficient getting us on the cables and we locked down fast.  We were down and on our way in no time flat.  A seaplane was circling overhead to get views of the lock.

For the night, we docked at the municipal dock at Severn Falls.  This town has under 75 residents in the winter.  The Emporium runs the docks for the town.  The Emporium is run by a lovely young couple with two little girls under 2.  They have a limited grocery and a well stocked ice cream parlor.
Severn Falls Dock and Emporium

The views off the back of the boat are stunning too.  In the picture below you can see one of the red buoys.  Notice how thin the buoys are in Canada.  The green ones are the same size and just as skinny and have a flat top.  I love seeing the evergreen trees too.

Tomorrow, we will do one of the famous "locks" of the Trent Severn, the Big Chute.  Big Chute is very unusual.  At the Big Chute, we will drive our boat into pool of water and be loaded on a rail car.  The boat is put in straps and lifted up in the rail car.  The rail car then goes over land and then back into the water.  It can carry up to 110 tons.  I am ready to give it a try.

Lat 44 degrees 52.41 North
Long 79 degrees 36.10 West

Monday, June 27, 2016

6/27 Getting the head fixed

It rained hard last night.  This morning we woke to fresh air and sunshine.  It was much quieter here at Marina Del Rey as many folks had headed back last night to Toronto to work.  About 9, Dave, one of the boat mechanics, came to work on the head.  Soon, he was joined by one of the younger mechanics.  They fixed a few different things and flushed the vent.  It wasn't long until the head was declared healed.  We got a pump out and the wisdom was that we should wait until tomorrow when they will check it one last time before we leave.

Marina Del Rey is very peaceful.  I took advantage of the laundry and ran 3 loads, including the bedding.  After lunch, while John took a nap, I had a long shower, washed my hair and washed my bathing suit and cover up.  I love the hard choices of wardrobe and put on another bathing suit.  Back on the boat, I put my chair in the shade on the back deck and pulled out my book.  I had hung my bathing suit and cover up on the boat hook clothes line.  Our boat hooks are on the ceiling of our back deck and if I hook the clothes on the boat hooks, the clothes don't blow away.

So the only picture I have for you is my laundry, and the clouds and marina from my chair.  Life is relaxing.
When John woke up, it was back to work.  The list of chores is long.  We vacuumed the rugs, dusted the surfaces in the bedrooms and salon, cleaned the bathroom, swept and washed the hardwood floors, and washed the wood surfaces.  The boat is also our home, so we do so many of the same chores you would do on a cleaning day at home.

We had frozen pizza for dinner and it tasted pretty good.  It was a Canadian brand, I had never heard the name or seen the logo before.

It is cooling off tonight and the forecast is chilly.  Tomorrow's high is supposed to be only 63.  If the head is repaired, we will be on our way to Severn Falls.

Lat 44 degrees 34.61 North
Long 79 degrees 19.37 West

Sunday, June 26, 2016

6/26 Lake Simcoe

We awoke to another beautiful morning.  The day was in the 80's and bright and sunny.  We had two more locks to go through to enter Lake Simcoe.  We could see Lock 40 with binoculars from our position in the Lock 39 lock wall.  We waited until 8:30 to move up to the next lock because the locks begin to open at 9.  The farm between the locks is pictured below.

When we entered Lock 41, we paid for our mooring for the night before.  The system here is quite good.  The lock master asked if I wanted to pay cash or credit.  He bought the hand held credit machine lock side and we did our transaction without me ever leaving the boat.  How convenient!

Then we headed out on Lake Simcoe. Lake Simcoe is named for Sir John Simcoe who was the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.  In 1793, he abolish slavery. Lake Simcoe is a large freshwater lake.  It is 20 miles long and 16 miles wide.  It is the largest lake on the Trent Severn Waterway.  We headed to the north along the east shore to McPhee Bay. 

We headed into Marina Del Rey to have the work done on the head tomorrow.  What a fabulous place!  This marina is not visible from the bay.  Once you identify the markers you go through a small channel and surprise, there is a very large marina.

Marina Del Rey has mostly covered slips and maybe 40 uncovered slips.  The docks have wide areas of grass behind them.  The patrons have set up tables, chairs, umbrellas and grills along their boats.  They get parking at their boat too.   Many of the slip owners live in Toronto and come up here for vacations and on weekends.  It is very family friendly with a play area for children and a basketball court. 
I took advantage of the pool.  Tomorrow,  I will use the laundry while the head gets fixed.
We grilled hot dogs on the fly bridge tonight.  Beans and franks and fresh air, nothing is better.

Lat 44 degrees 34.60 North
Long 79 degrees 19.37 West

6/25 The narrowness of the Trent Canal


Friday, June 24, 2016

6/24 Lake Sturgeon with an unexpected detour on the way to Fenelon Falls

Rock shapes that create a sailboat and a marina garden on the lock wall.
Another beautiful day!!  We were waiting  to leave Bobcaygeon when  a drone was flying overhead from the beach just beyond the lock.  I waved, just in case we would be in a You Tube video.
 We headed out on Sturgeon Lake.  The views were stunning.
Due to an unexpected detour, we ended up heading into a very narrow channel toward Lake Scugog.  There were some amazing things to see there.  There were many fisherpeople.  I asked one what he was hoping to catch and he told me the prize catch was perch.  He didn't have any yet.
Along the way, there were fishing camps in various stages of disrepair.  Each one made a stunning reflection in the water.

Once we determined we were heading in the wrong direction, we turned around to get back on Sturgeon Lake.  In the meantime, our wake even had reflections of the sky and we saw a pair of swans.

We did get some weeds around the prop, so John hopped in the water, which is in the 70's, and removed them.  Yes, we shut the boat off first.

Finally, we went through the Fenelon Falls lock and tied up to the lock wall.  They have electricity here and water on the lock wall.  Some other boats that we know are here too and they came out to catch our lines.  So thanks to Su Sueno and TriVail. 

This is a small city with a large tourist population.  The schools finished up this week and the increase in tourism is noted.  I went to the farmers' market with Carolynn from Su Sueno and got more butter tarts to freeze.  Then I walked over the bridge that had decorative planters to Tim Hortons for an iced coffee.
This town has a wonderful mural on a wall of a business.  I felt like I could take a right and walk right into the scene.

Lat 44 degrees 32.21 North
Long 78 degrees 44.43 West