Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

We were in Buckhorn this morning by Lock 31 across the lock channel from the Mainstreet Bar and Grill. It was a hoppin’ spot last night.

So hoppin’ that they did Karaoke from 8:30pm to 12:30am.

Terrible karaoke.

It was a miserable night for us, at least until 12:30 am. We finally got to sleep at 1am.

We were outa there this morning so fast and are now settled in at Lock 35 next to a bucolic campground with friendly people.

Quiet people. Very quiet people.

I hope we catch up on our sleep tonight!

I’ve been sitting on the back of Selkie reflecting on our trip so far.

We are more than halfway through the Trent Severn.

It’s July 1 in Canada, otherwise known as Canada Day. It’s a big holiday up here, just like the Fourth of July in the US.

According to Wikipedia, “A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act, 1867 where the three separate colonies of the United Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empirecalled Canada.”

(I left all those hyperlinks in there in case you wanted to do more research. )

The Tres Amigos

Our buddy boats and ourselves (we call ourselves the Tres Amigos) have been pretty compatible.

We had to go through a bunch more locks and some long lakes with no wake (meaning very slow) zones in several days, not an unreasonable objective as long as all the locks were working.

I’ve learned that when breakdowns hold you up from proceeding, there is usually something to do.

Or you take a nap.

Either way, the time goes by faster when you do either.

That proved the case when we pulled into Lock 19 just before Peterborough. It was down hard with a broken valve. Our destination that afternoon was just around the corner about a mile away. But we needed the lock functional to get there.

Fortunately some ingenious maintenance guys were able to fix the lock by closing the broken valve.

We were able to pull into Peterborough Marina for one night to provision.

We also had one of the best Indian Dinners we have had since leaving the Bay Area.

We left Peterborough the next morning and went through the Peterborough Lift Lock.

To get to the Lift Lock we had to get through Lock 20 at 9am. It wasn’t ready when we got there as too much water had accumulated above the lock and they had to release water through both gates to get the water level down to a safe level.

We locked through Lock 20 at 10 am.

We arrived at the Lift Lock to find it was down too, for an electrical issue.

That was fixed as well, but that delayed us another hour.

If you want to see an impressive amount of engineering from the early 1900’s, you should plan a trip to visit the Lift Lock. It’s an amazing thing to look at.

Libbie standing next to the Loft Lock to give some perspective in it’s size
The bottom of Peterborough Lift Lock 21 showing the hydraulic ram that lifts it up. It’s the largest Lift Lock in the world.
A diagram showing how the locks work

It takes a bit of shuffling, but the capacity for boats was bigger than most locks in the Trent Severn.

Once you are in, you are in one of the largest elevators in the world.

You start to rise, and then the acceleration rate increases until you are rising at a startling rate. Essentially, it takes about 45 seconds to raise who knows how many tons of water and boats almost six stories.

Then, you’re at the top, the gate opens and you drive out.

One interesting thing: we were waiting for the lock to start rising but there was a pause.

One of the lock attendants grabbed a curiously built shovel, and started picking rainbow trout out of the top of the gate where they had become trapped and flipping them into the lock water.

The trout also took a six story ride up with us.

The view from the top of the Lift Lock

We continued on our trip with no more lock incidents for the rest of the day.

Each time we entered a lock that day, we were asked by the Lock Attendants, “how far are ya going today?”

The answer we always gave was, “as far as we can go today.”

At which point, they would call ahead to the next locks to let them know we were coming.

We then pulled into Lock 27 and decided to call it. That was the 8th lock for the day, and the Tres Amigos and their crews were tired.

The next day, we proceeded through some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve seen to date. We had officially entered Ontario’s cottage country.

Ontario Cottage Country

We wound through Stony Lake with its small channels around little islands with pristine cottages, docks and various water toys.

There was a white church on an island all by itself.

We started seeing the red granite that is part of the Precambrian Shield, some of the oldest exposed rock on Earth

The scenery was breathtaking. The water was clear and smooth with barely a whisper of wind to stir its surface.

We then arrived at Buckhorn, not knowing what terrible karaoke we would be subjected to that night.

Today, we continued on through a couple more locks.

Fenelon Falls was the most popular lock. There were a ton of people celebrating Canada, watching us lock through.

Everyone saw the US flag on our stern. They were asking us about where we came from and where we were headed.

The locks are very busy on Canada Day.

We asked someone if there was a parade in town

They responded we were the parade.

That was fun.

We are settled in at Lock 35, next to a very quiet campground.

We will sleep well tonight.

By Tad Sheldon

I'm a retired Silicon Valley Technologist and Director. I teach skiing as a 4th (5th? 6th?) career for fun, and am passionate about Boating. I'm even more passionate about my family and friends. I volunteer occasionally for non-profit Boards, and currently serve as the Secretary of the Board for Western Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America / American Association of Snowboard Instructors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s