Tuesday, 31 May 2005
Day 20 Tuesday May 31 Ports of Call Marina in Bolsover
It was my worst nightmare. Entering the tub of a lift lock 50 ft in the air and having the engine stall. Can I stop the boat before hitting the end of the tub and soaring into space. That's what happened today. Fortunately we were going very slowly and the lockmaster and Mavis got the lines secured before we hit the end. Next I found that putting the shift lever in neutral stalled the engine. The engine would start in gear so we left the lock and continued on but at anything over 1500 RPM the engine started to heat up. We slowed down but then wrapped weeds around the prop. With now way to put the prop in reverse we had to run at 3 MPH to minimize the vibration. We made it to Ports of Call Marina in Bolsover and were able to land safely with some help. The former owner, Ted, is a marine mechanic but is continuing to work during a transition period. Ted quickly established that the transmission had locked up in forward gear and will have to come out and be rebuilt. He will pull the unit tomorrow and take it to Orillia where there is a transmission shop that can repair it. It will probably be Friday or Saturday before we can get moving again.
Posted on 05/31/2005 8:40 PM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 30 May 2005
Day 19 Monday May 30 Bobcaygeon
The weather was just like yesterday which was just the day before. It did rain a little at dinner time. The cruise to Bobcaygeon was very uneventful. There were just 4 locks. The town has changed a great deal from our last visit in 1974. Where there was a beautiful old cottage there is now a gated community. The main street has many shops. The most interesting being a shoe and clothing store called Bigley's. Their marketing strategy is very high end brand name products with enormous selection. I have never seen so many shoes in one place. Apparently people come by the bus load to buy shoes here. Tonight we dined on board. We are at a lock and are running the generator for the first time since Oswego. Tomorrow we will pass through the second lift lock at Kirkfield. It is downhill now all the way to Georgian Bay.
Posted on 05/30/2005 8:06 PM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 29 May 2005
Day 18 Sunday May 29 Stoney Lake
Talk about a slow day. Today we went 23 miles in 6 hours. That's an average of less than 4 miles per hour. There were 8 locks and even though we were the only boat on the entire canal each lock took forever. The weather was just like yesterday with sun and blue sky followed by a little rain and very threatening looking sky. It clears up at night. We are at Viamede Resort at Mt Julian on Stoney Lake. The lake is well named as there are rocks sticking up everywhere. The entrance to the lake is through a channel know as Hell's Gate. Fortunately there are lots of buoys and channel markers so we haven't hit any rocks yet. The Resort is one of the few 1800's resorts left and very nice. The owner, Don, has done part of the loop and is a want-to-the-rest. We had dinner at the gourmet restaurant on the property which was very good. There was one other couple there. He is involved in Canadian hockey and is convinced that there will be no professional hockey again this year.
Posted on 05/29/2005 8:24 PM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 28 May 2005
Day 17 Saturday May 28 Otonabee River
The weather today was identical to yesterday. Sunny, clouded over, a little rain, then cleared up, and warmed up with a nice sunset. Only one lock just before Peterborough. We cruised Rice Lake which is long and shallow for about 8 miles straight, then up the Otonabee River which meanders quite a bit. We docked at the town marina and after walking around downtown found ourselves getting to know the 'natives'. This marina is a lot like Kenlake with quite a social life. Our neighbor beside our slip was installing his party dock complete with sunshade. Of course everyone had to 'help'. (see photo). They are still talking about the Great Loop Rendezvous that was held here last July at the same time as the Antique Boat Show. It was the highlight of the year.
Posted on 05/28/2005 7:41 PM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 27 May 2005
Day 16 Friday May 27 Hastings
Hastings is another small river town but a very popular stop on the Trent-Severn Canal. It costs $0.70 per foot to stay on the lock wall with no services or $1.00 per foot to stay in a brand new marina with power, water, and a pump-out in every slip. There is a computer with high speed Internet access for us to use. We chose the new marina and took advantage of the pump-out. The town is very complete with post office, bank, several restaurants, and the usual antique/junk stores. The most exciting event of the day was a double lock that had one boat going down and our boat going up. When we both got to the same level we had to pass. The locks on the Trent are very small about 120 ft long and 30 ft wide so it is a pretty tight pass. Tonight we will dine aboard and head out early for Peterborough. There are no locks for 38 miles so we can leave early for a change. Lat 44.31 Long 77.96
Posted on 05/27/2005 4:23 PM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 26 May 2005
Day 15 Thursday May 26 Trenton to Campbellford
Tim Horton's provided breakfast and we were off at 8:30AM. We got to lock 1 at 9:05AM but had to wait on the blue line while they emptied the lock. A 'transit pass' cost $C156 but you can get a refund for the 7% GST tax. A transit pass is a one way ticket to Georgian Bay.Then it was lock after lock with only one long stretch of 11 miles. We learned at Lock 9 that because the 11th lock is a double lock you have to be there by 3:45 to get through. We made it at 3:40PM and got through by 4:00PM. Cambellford has changed since the last time we were here 30 years ago with nearly all the old factories torn down beside the canal. Mill Park where we are moored contains a huge 'sculpture' of the $2 Canadian coin (see photo). It seems that the artist that designed the polar bear on the back of the coin lives here. We walked downtown and got a rhubarb pie at Dooher's Bakery. Tonight we had dinner at Caper's. Tomorrow we will have to change our plan to reach Peterborough as it will take too long and we won't be able to make the last lock just below the city before closure. We will take an extra day and stop at Hastings.
Posted on 05/26/2005 4:22 PM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 25 May 2005
Day 14 Wednesday May 25 Picton to Trenton
This was the first sunny day since Saturday with temperatures in the high 70's. We covered about 40 miles to reach Trenton in 4.5 hours. The photo is on the Bay of Quinte near Belleville. This is one of the best places to sail in Ontario as the Bay is deep, wide and windy. I washed the boat for the first time since Winter Harbor. The new Awlgrip paint job seems to keep the boat a lot cleaner and makes it much easier to wash. The military training airport is just east of here and a large 4 engined Hercules short take off jet transport practiced making touch downs all afternoon. Another couple pulled in this afternoon in their 30 ft sedan cruiser with two golden retrievers. They left their condo at Burnt Store near Ft Myers just a month ago and are on their way to their Michigan home for the summer. They will cruise back in the fall and complete the Great Loop then. Tonight we all went to the movie Monster In Law at the nearby theater. The Trent-Severn Canal locks don't open until 9:00AM so there won't be any rush to get going as the first lock is just a mile from the harbor. The locks close at 4:00PM. We hope to cover 12 locks and 30 miles tomorrow to get to Campbellford.
Posted on 05/25/2005 8:39 PM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 24 May 2005
Day 13 Tuesday May 24 Kingston to Picton
Today like the last 2 days was windy (15-20 mph), overcast and cold (50 degrees F). We left at 7:51 for Picton and arrived at 12:00 noon. The wind was from the North East and blew straight down the Adolphus Reach on our stern. The autopilot couldn't cope with the 3-4 ft waves so we had to steer manually. We were glad to arrive and get out of the waves. Picton is a great Ontario town miles from anywhere so it has a full downtown with lots of stores (no Walmart) and even a theater. We had the finest dinner since Emily's in Beaufort, SC at the Merrill Inn. It is a B&B but also has a restaurant that serves dinner (see photo of dessert). I had the seared pork tenderloin with spatzle. Spatzles are like tiny dumplings made with some kind of sieve. Mavis had a fancy salad and crab cakes with rubarb pie for desert. Tomorrow we cruise to Trenton, the start of the Trent-Severn Canal which will take us to Georgian Bay.
Posted on 05/24/2005 8:19 PM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 23 May 2005
Day 12 Monday May 23 Kingston
I spent the morning at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. (see photo). The ship in the picture is a retired Coast Guard icebreaker the Alexander Henry. The officer and crew cabins are used as a B&B in the summer. They are just as sparse as they were when the ship was active. After lunch we walked to Maureen's 1845 designated historic home. They have done a beautiful job of restoring it. We have supper aboard and then walked to the movie theater and saw the Interpreter. It is kind of complicated and you have to be awake the whole time to follow it. All together we walked 6 miles today.
Posted on 05/23/2005 8:17 PM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 22 May 2005
Day 11 Sunday May 22 Kingston
Last night we watched the movie Jaws on our DVD. It is 30 years ago that we saw the movie in the theater here in Kingston. After the movie we spent a restless night on our boat in this same marina. We walked over to the nearest Tim Horton's Donuts for breakfast. It was jammed with people and the service was not good. We should have gone to one of several bakeries and coffee shops that are nearby. My cousin John and his family (Janet + 2 girls 0.5 and 3 years old) drove here to visit from their cottage at Presqu'ile Bay. As a result there is no need for us to go to Presqu'ile saving us 2 days. We will stay in Kingston an extra day and have one day to spare. The photo shows one of the three Martello towers that were used to defend Kingston during the war of 1812. The conical roof was just to keep the rain off the guns. Before a battle the roof was removed.
Posted on 05/22/2005 2:47 PM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 21 May 2005
Day 10 Saturday May 21 Brockville to Kingston
This was a near perfect day for the cruise to Kingston. It was partly cloudy but with the wind behind us we were able to sit up top where it was warm. Herb, Katherine, and Maureen all came with us. I learned that there are some earthworks on Bridge Island that are left over from the war of 1812 where Canada fought the Americans. Although I have passed that island many times I never realized that the earth piled on the rocky island was a war relic. When we got to the Bateau Channel it clouded over and I made the call to go below. My timing was near perfect as it has been raining ever since. We arrived in Confederation Basin at 3:00PM. Of course then it had to start raining hard for the docking. I was told to call the marina on Channel 67 but never received any response, so we had to dock ourselves. After we checked in I was told that they only monitor Channel 68. Tonight we had pizza at a nearby restaurant.
Posted on 05/21/2005 2:46 PM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 20 May 2005
Day 9 Friday May 20 Brockville
This was a good day to tour Brockville and see the changes that have been made. We spent a couple of hours at the Yacht Club and saw quite a few people we used to boat with. Word had gotten around town that there was an American boat in Molly's Gut and people were wondering who it was. One of the people I met had the job of closing down the Automatic Electric plant where I started my career. It was bought by Northern Telecom in a deal to get more business from the British Columbia Telephone Co. and then closed around 2002. Our friend Herb picked us up in his 1997 Jaguar Vanden Plus and we had a great dinner at Bud's On The Bay. The view is from a friends porch looking east down the river. Probably the best view from any home along the river. You can see at least 5 miles downstream. Tomorrow we head for Kingston.
Posted on 05/20/2005 9:35 PM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 19 May 2005
Day 8 Thursday May 19 Brockville
It was sunny today and gorgeous. The water here is perfectly clear. It was a good time to take a movie of the bow thruster in operation. It sort of makes a big bubble and was not terribly exciting. We took Lou's car and went into town to get Canadian cash so we can avoid the new 3% charge the credit card companies are putting on foreign exchange transactions. Our friend Herb and his daughter Maureen came by boat and we had a great time reliving the golden days we spent in Brockville. Herb and Maureen will come with us to Kingston on Saturday. Maureen is an artist that has painted many beautiful paintings of river scenes. One of her latest is in a collection at the law office of Jean ChrÃ©tien, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Tomorrow we will see the sights of Brockville. Dinner was barbequed (see photo) chicken salad aboard with Lou and Marg.
Posted on 05/19/2005 8:08 PM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 18 May 2005
Day 7 Wednesday May 18 Headed for Brockville
Had breakfast at the Harbor Inn for the last time. We had to wait for the UPS truck to come to the museum with a part I ordered for the generator. We left the dock at 11:00 and headed for Brockville. The current under the 1000 Islands Bridge was running about 2 mph so we made good time. We passed the many beautiful summer homes built about 100 years ago by wealthy New Yorkers (see photo). Canadian Immigration and Customs are at Rockport, Ontario. The new procedure just has you call a phone number and answer a bunch of questions. They give you a number which I guess is used if you get stopped somewhere. Pretty painless! Our friend Lou drove to the dock at Rockport and left his car there for the cruise to Molly's Gut just west of Brockville where we are now tied up at his dock. Later we drove another car back and picked up the first car. Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant in Brockville. Today started out sunny and warm and we were able to run the boat from the flybridge. Once it clouded over it got kind of cold. The water temperature is up to 47 degrees.
Posted on 05/18/2005 8:57 PM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Day 6 Tuesday May 17 Clayton
Over the air TV reception was pretty good here last night and we were able to watch the "Everybody Loves Raymond" finale. The Directv satellite tracking system doesn't show the networks since we are so far from Nashville. Breakfast was at the Harbor Inn (see photo) where they even have USA Today and WiFi. However, my laptop is all mixed up now between wireless and cell phone access. I have run the restore to a previous date and will start over again on installing the cell phone access. It's kind of academic here because Cingular does not offer the data service. Jim from Winter Harbor arrived at noon and soon diagnosed the bow thruster problem. It seems some set screws in the coupler had worked loose. Jim tightened them up with Loctite checked the rest of the unit and it tested OK. We had lunch together at the Harbor Inn. He told me about the big Chris Craft he rescued on Sunday afternoon that ran aground on rocks in 6" of water on Oneida Lake. Both struts and the transmissions were ripped off. As the people on the boat had been removed by the Coast Guard, Winter Harbor will get the salvage and the repair job from BoatUS. They had to use air bags to float the boat, high powered electric pumps to keep it from sinking and a portable generator. It was after dark when they towed it back to the marina. We will spend another night here in Clayton and then set out for Brockville tomorrow after a generator part I ordered is delivered to the Museum.
Posted on 05/17/2005 3:17 PM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 16 May 2005
Day 5 Monday May 16 Clayton
I spent the first part of the day on the phone with Winter Harbor. They are ordering every part they think might be bad and when the parts arrive (hopefully Tuesday) they will send a mechanic to work on the boat here. We could not have a nicer place to wait as the 1000 Islands Antique Boat Museum is right at the end of the dock. So far the cell phone has not bee any use for Internet access but the Museum has a wifi network so I will use theirs. The Museum has brand new buildings and is well worth seeing. It has preserved boats and artifacts from both sides of the river. (Canada and USA). The heyday of the 1000 Islands was before the first world war. That is when huge hotels and mansions were built for wealthy New Yorkers to spend the summer. When the first world war came along and then the depression people just walked away from their summer homes. Many buildings were destroyed in fires. The boat in the photo is the largest launch of its type ever built. It is 48 feet long. It will be available for rides this summer at $200 per person. It has a 12 cylinder Packard torpedo boat engine that burns 150 gallons per hour.
Posted on 05/16/2005 2:16 PM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 15 May 2005
Day 4 Sunday May 15 Arriving in Clayton
At 6:45AM just when I needed the new bow thruster to get out of our slip it failed. A loud squeal and then just the motor spinning with no thrust. We got out without hitting anything on a heading of 006 degrees true for Galloo Island 29 miles north. The waves were 1-2 feet high from the south west so it was pretty rolly for 3 hours. Rounding Galloo it was 14 miles to the St Lawrence River. Visibility was about 3 miles with a heavy haze on the water. The radar showed a big blob right in our track where there was not suppose to be any land. A little later with binoculars I could make out a huge building that looked like a grain elevator. Then it became clear it was a ship anchored at the end of the lake. We arrived at Clayton at 2:15PM and tied up to the town dock. This is very early in the season so we have most of the dock to ourselves. The power and water were still off so we used the generator. Dinner was at the Harbor Inn and Restaurant. We had fresh caught bull heads which Mavis had not eaten since her Grandmother used to cook them. The food was really good and the Harbor Inn is must see place in Clayton.
Posted on 05/15/2005 2:15 PM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 14 May 2005
Day 3 Saturday May 14 Oswego River
It was a rainy night but no leaks so we didn't mind at all. We left about 7:45AM and encountered our first lock within 20 minutes. There were 7 more locks along the Oswego River. Lunch was at a restaurant called Lock 3 at Fulton NY. It was good but service was slow. Almost everyone there was all dressed up for Saturday lunch. I needed to find a check valve for the aft head as part of a plastic pipe had cracked and was leaking lake water into the bildge. We had no luck in Fulton but when we go to Oswego we took a taxi to a new Lowes and got all the parts I needed. This evening I glued various pieces of pipe together and it now appears to be fixed. Oswego is impressive from the canal which runs along side the Oswego River (see photo). There is a flight of 3 locks that take you down to the Lake Ontario level. The marina we are in is a municipal marina owned by the city. It is the best one but there was no power in our slip so we are using the generator. It is mostly for charter fishing boats that go out into the lake. The 'expert' say we should be OK to cross tomorrow. A family of 4 just came in on a 40 ft Silverton. They bought it in Connecticut and are importing it into Canada as they live in Port Severn on Georgian Bay.
Posted on 05/14/2005 2:13 PM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 13 May 2005
Day 2 Friday May 13 Prepping for departure
Last night was a record cold, but today was beautiful day warming up into the 60's. This morning we toured the new paint booth which was used to paint the Katy Leigh this morning. It can hold an 80 foot boat. We found out the epoxy paint they use works out to a cost of $1000 per gallon. Katy Leigh was first in the booth. We got lucky because now there are boats, transport trucks, and construction equipment lined up waiting. Winter Harbor apparently has the only paint booth for large vehicles for miles around. Next we went to a Holiday Inn Express and used their WiFi to download the software needed for the cell phone to be able to access the network. Then it was south to North Syracuse to provision the boat for the trip. Tonight I installed the DirecTV satellite antenna. It took about 2 hours to find the satellite but once found it works well. Unfortunately we can see Nashville TV as the transponder does work this far north. Tomorrow we will travel the Erie and Oswego Canals and to get to Lake Ontario. We expect to cross the Lake on Sunday if the weather is favorable. In a west wind with 200 miles of fetch the Lake can get pretty rough.
Posted on 05/13/2005 2:13 PM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 12 May 2005
Day 1 Thursday May 12 Brewerton
It's great to be back. We arrived at Winter Harbor marina about 4:00PM. The Katy Leigh was launched and just shining with its new paint job. A worker at the marina was washing the boat down. The power was on. The water was on. Everything we tried was working. We could not ask for more. Tomorrow, Jim will come at 9:00 and show me how to run the new bow thruster. The new bimini was up but for some reason all new stainless steel tubing was installed and there does not seem to be any way to fold it up. Canvas guy will also be here tomorrow. We have to shop, do some laundry (lot of dust from all the work that was done), and get fuel. The cell phone signal is 5 bars but I forgot to install the software that lets us get to the internet using the cell phone. I'll find a Starbucks in Syracuse tomorrow and get the software sent from the office. We had dinner at D&G's Italian Restaurant here in Brewerton.
Posted on 05/12/2005 12:20 PM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 6 May 2005
Leg 4 Planning
Potential scary days in a trip like this are the crossings of large bodies of water. Next weekend we expect to cross Lake Ontario. If you want to see how high the waves are on our crossing there is a phone number that provides reports from buoys floating in the middle of Lake Ontario. You can get the wave height, wind strength and direction, air temperature and water temperature at two locations on the crossing from Oswego to Trenton or Kingston. http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dial.shtml shows how to use the dial a buoy. http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/EastGL.shtml gives a map showing the location of the Lake Ontario buoys. To get the report by phone from Buoy #45135 which is off Prince Edward Point on the Canadian side you dial 228-688-1948 then enter 1, followed by 45135#. This morning the wave height was under 1 foot and the water temperature was 39.4 degrees F. Isn't technology great!!
Posted on 05/06/2005 9:41 AM by Bob Duthie