Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Following Miss Norma, A New High and The Downhill Run

The crew of Miss Norma, 32 ft Ranger Tug, have been the lead boat now for several days.  They have taken the lead of our four boat flotilla from Campbellford to the banks of Simcoe Lake, scheduled our stops to allow for weather and wall space, made reservations at marinas and literally fed us with gourmet galley prepared meals at each stop.  This had made our passage across Canada via the Trent Severn Waterway most enjoyable.  Great fellowship, fantastic water and scenery and good food.  What more could you ask for?

Our stay at Fenelon was very nice.  Once the cold front with rain and wind passed, the skies cleared and the temp dropped and gave a Fall like feeling minus the scattering leaves.  We got our bikes off the boats and hit the "Rails to Trails" path that took us down a shady path past beautiful farms and fields where steam engine trains once chugged carrying passengers and cargo.  Back in town there were plenty of shops to explore and a great grocery store for stocking up on food items.

Today's  passage took us to both a new altitude and a new latitude.  The lock at Kirkfield was another hydraulic lock like the one at Peterborough but not as high, 49 ft.  (We managed to burst one of our fender balls by snagging it on a sharp piece of angle iron while entering the "bath tub".  The net held exercise ball will have to do until we can replace the fender later on.)  The Kirkfield Lift Lock is located at the highest altitude along the TSW at about 800 ft above sea level.  It may be one of the highest points a person can take a personal boat.  Also, our Latitude is 44.5 degrees N, just one degree shy of  what we will see before turning south to cross back into the United States.

Another interesting portion of today's cruise was passing through the narrow canals that connects lakes Balsam, Mitchell and Canal Lake.  A Securate Call was broadcast before entering the first canal leaving Lake Balsam.  This was to alert any eastbound boaters that heavy traffic was coming their way. By then, there were six large Looper boats in a line heading west along the narrow path of shallow water.  We moved at idle speed as we picked our way around dead heads and shallow spots.  We met several smaller boats and had to come to a complete stop to allow them to pass safely.  However, the slow speed allowed us to soak in the scenery and unbelievable rock work that lined the canal in several places.  Millions of stacked, cut stones lined the banks on both sides.  The amount of human labor that went into the building of these canals was staggering.

After a leisurely day of excellent cruising we arrived at Lock 37 in Bolsover Ontario where Gypsy Spirit went through the lock to tie up on the down side and Viridian, Dash Away and Miss Norma tied up on the upside.  Captain Mike and I took down our bikes and rode to a local market to get some food items needed for our dinner later on.  At  6:00 PM  the ladys dressed up one of the close by picnic tables and brought out appetizers and drinks, from Viridian, and we watched an oriental couple fill a five gallon bucket with hand sized brem by fishing in the lock approach.  Soon, some fathers with young sons came by and caught so many fish they got tired of pulling them in. 

The main dish, Italian, from Miss Norma, was served with salad and fresh made, hot, pumpernickel bread and butter from Gypsy Spirit. Dash Away provided the perfect dessert to end our meal, Kawartha Salted Caramel and Truffle Ice Cream.  Yes, we ate the whole bucket.  We all decided we might need to get some elastic waist shorts!!!  Tomorrow night we will feast on leftovers from the previous three nights meals. I feel like we are boating in Food Network River.

The wind fell off, the water glassed over as the sun dimed and another day ends with Loons calling over the soft purr of generators sputtering just above the waterline at Lock 37 on the TSW.

That's the news and here's some views:

We are here

Today's route from Fenelon Falls to Gamebridge, Lock 41

16-17 July 2018 - Fenelon Falls Ontario

So many beautiful flowers planted everywhere

The Falls at Fenelon

Getting ready to leave Fenelon Falls

A perfect day to bike on a beautiful rails to trails path


Meg & Tim

Goodbye to Fenelon Falls Ontario

18 July 2018

Crossing Cameron Lake west of Fenelon Falls

Heading through the narrow and beautiful cut

Tight quarters

A view after we were lowered and looking up in the lift lock piston.  

Hole-in-the-wall bridge

Cruising through small communities along the TSW

Time for a little R@R after a brisk bike ride

George cooking some mighty fine smoked pepper bacon

The boats above the lock.  Miss Norma in front, Viridian then Dash Away

Picnic supper (Italian)

The fish were biting like crazy.  This man and woman had a lot of fish to clean when they got home!  He sure knew how to catch them

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