Thursday, July 18, 2013

Peterborough to Fenelon Falls

After our extended stay in Peterborough, it was good to be moving again, but it's also good to stop and take a good break every now and then.  For others looping behind us, we highly recommend the town as a good stop.  We left on our own this time - Galen and Becky needed to replace a couple of batteries, and the vendor would not do the work on the weekend.  This will give Galen a chance to run a little faster and burn some of that fuel - pretty sure they'll catch up in a day or so.

We have realized there were not many cows to entertain Rhonda along the Atlantic Coast but we are starting to see more now.  For those that may be just joining the blog, my wife loves cows and we posted a lot of cow shots previously.  Well, here's a nice shot with pretty wildflowers and birds to boot.

You also see lots of airplanes docked in front of homes here.

This entire leg was quite nice with an assortment of narrow canals and open water lakes.

There are lots of villages along the way, many with community beaches, small marinas, etc.. It seems like there are millions of small boats in Canada, the 15 to 30 foot cruiser types great for tooling around, pulling skiers and such - SeaRay, Doral, Glastron, Crownline, etc. and a bunch of I guess Canadian brands that seem to all end in ........craft.

This next stretch was probably the prettiest we have seen yet, called Hell's Gate.  It's about as far north as we get on the Trent-Severn and is said to be similar to what will be the norm in Georgian Bay and the North Channel - crystal clear water (lots of underwater weeds in some sections) and lots of pink granite rock.  The channels are very narrow and you have to be very attentive to where you are going - granite rock and propellers don't mix well.  There are small pieces of the granite rock and entire islands, many with single homes on them.  If they haven't already, someone needs to come and make a movie here just to capture the scenery and the remote feel of the area.

People attend church by boat here.

They say the exposed granite rock has a brilliant pink color to it when it gets wet from rain.

We could have taken hundreds of pictures through here, really stunning and beautiful shots of God's creation.  Leaving this area all of the cruise guides tell you to be sure and note the glass house, so we did and here you are - interesting.  Can you imagine the cost of window treatments for this thing??? Not sure what the horse statue in the left bottom room is all about.

We spent the night at Lovesick Lock on Lovesick Lake where there are several stories of how everything "Lovesick" in the area got its name.  Here's one of them.

The lock location is very remote, on an island, and the lock employees have to come to work by boat. You can walk across the dam to Wolf Island. Our guide book said you could get lost there and bears live over there, so a stroll was not to be undertaken lightly. We walked across the dam but did not continue on - too much poison ivy in addition to the bears! The lockmaster showed us a video he made of a black bear that resides in the area lumbering across the top of the gates - apparently he/she has figured out it is easier than swimming across. We did not see a live bear, but we are pretty sure we saw some evidence of its presence recently, if you get my "drift."

We did have one neighbor for the night on our side of the lock behind us and a small houseboat on the other side.

Rhonda always gets some good flower shots.

And I finally got my nerve up for a swim, assuming the water would be very cold.  After all, we are in Canada!  To my surprise, it was perfect and Rhonda even joined me.  As you can see, the water is very clear here, good enough for me to swim under the boat and check everything out underneath.  Everything looked good - no gouges in the hull, no bent props or shafts, intakes were clear.  The bottom paint is starting to show signs of wear, but that's expected after this many miles.  By the way, we checked in with Galen and Becky to see how their progress was and just as we suspected, they had almost caught up with us after getting their batteries installed - only two miles behind us for the evening at the lock before Lovesick.

We had a slight delay the next morning at Buckhorn Lock so that gave "Mooring Dove" time to catch up with us. The town of Bobcaygeon was our next big town and is a very popular spot.  Seems like lots of the activity in many of these towns centers around the lock, which makes sense - the lock was the reason many of these towns developed in the first place.  The small basin just before we reached the lock was slap full of all sorts of boats and PWCs moving in every possible direction.  Houseboat rentals are very common on this part of the waterway also, and you learn to be careful around some of the inexperienced boat drivers.  This one below right kind of had everyone in limbo for awhile wondering what he was going to do but he finally managed to get her off the dock wall, turned around and headed in one direction. We decided to move on to the next town of Fenelon Falls.

Fenelon Falls is one of those towns that has decided to try and capitalize on the transient boat traffic.  They offer shorepower for a minimal fee of $13/night and no charge for dockage.  When the temps are high like they have been for the past few days (heat index over 100 degrees), we were definitely interested so we could have the air conditioning on.  Restaurants and shopping are close by and we enjoyed a nice meal at The Dockside Cafe.  The waterfront is quite nice.

Here's a good shot of HMR with Old Glory flying on the boat and the Canadian flag along the waterfront.  They also had USA and Great Britain flags flying.

Here are the falls for which the town is named.

The town is known also for its street signs and flowers everywhere.  In addition to having the street name, they also have signs for significant locations and points of interest on the street.

All in all, another very pleasant day.  Tomorrow we will venture on through some very narrow canals (room for one boat at a time only), another lift lock at Kirkfield, and the largest lake on the Trent-Severn, Lake Simcoe.  From Kirkfield Lock on we begin locking DOWN again.  Really looking forward to that - there is no turbulence in the lock going down, just a nice easy ride.  See you again probably in the town of Orillia.

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