“There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be”.
This is a toast I’ve learned recently at docktails and it truly sums up this segment of our loop. For almost a month now we’ve been more or less traveling with the same group of boats and it’s been amazing. Each boat is different, each couple and individual is unique, but the commonality is our sense of adventure and appreciation for the beauty and challenges we face, as well as the willingness to share “our loop” with each other.
We spent two days in Gananocque, Ontario (called “Gan” by the locals) where we cleared customs upon entry to Canada. It’s a town with a population of about 5,000 that grows in the summertime when the “Islanders” come to their summer homes in the Thousand Islands area. We really enjoyed the small town experience there; we bicycled, pigged out at “RibFest” and went to see “Anne of Green Gables” at a dockside playhouse.
Next up, Kingston, Ontario which was very different from Gan! It’s a busy city with grand 19th century buildings and streets named “King” and “Princess” and “Queen”. There are lots of good restaurants and shopping and a thriving waterfront section with a huge marina. Our friends stayed downtown, but by the time I called for a reservation they couldn’t take us; sometimes the beam (width) of our boat makes it hard to fit into marinas. We need to be on a face dock or “T head” because we’re 21’ wide; most boats on the loop are probably about 12’ to 15’ wide. Since they didn’t have a space for our double wide, we ended up at a marina about 5 miles away. That meant MANY 5 mile bike rides back and forth to town so we could enjoy the city and the Canada Day festivities.
It was nice to have a break from the locks while we traveled through the Thousand Islands area, but after a quick stop in Trenton, we started our journey down the Trent Severn Waterway and back into the locks. Big time. There’s a lot of history along this route; it took almost 90 years to complete the “canal” that connects Trenton to Port Severn. The Trent-Severn Waterway is made up of 44 locks which gradually take you from 243’ above sea level to 840’ above sea level. Yes, 44 locks! So far we’ve done 12 in two days of travel. This is traveling at a snails pace unless you want to do a really, really long day. Yesterday, for example, we traveled 19.5 miles and it took us 6 hours and 47 minutes which included over 2 hours stopped in 6 locks. The picture below is a screenshot of a log of our journey.
We’re getting more and more familiar and confident with locks, but you can never say you’re good at them – at least I can’t, I’m way too superstitious. They’re tricky and everyone has a curfuffle or two along the way, including us.
Instead of marinas along this stretch, we typically “moor” to a wall in town. We stayed in the small town of Frankford for two nights. Our friends had actually gone ahead of us one day because we had to wait at a marina for mail and as we locked through the next morning, all of the lockmasters knew we’d be coming. Our friends had told them to watch for Done Diggin’, that we’d be coming along and joining them for our 4th of July celebration; Greg on TxAu (Texas Gold) had cooked some pulled pork and we had pot luck, docktails and a lot of laughs! We stayed an extra day so some of the guys could go golfing, and the other women and I took the opportunity to go to a salon, I really needed to get the roots done! Tom Pierga, my hairdresser and friend, if you’re reading this I’m sorry to say I cheated on you!!
So, this morning we are in Campbellford, Ontario, the home of the person that designed the “toonie”, Canada’s $2 coin – the “loonie”, by the way is the $1 coin – it’s hard to get used to coins being dollars!!!
The weather is perfect, it’s sunny and about 70 degrees, with a high of about 75 today; it’s been really hot and humid the last few days! We got here last night and will leave tomorrow, so later today we’ll check out the town which boasts the Best Bakery in Canada and a Chocolate Factory. I swear we do way more than just eat and drink on this trip, although it does seem to be a pattern…..gotta get moving and work off the butter tarts and ice cream!!
Thanks, as always, for following us and traveling along. Sending hugs.
Captain Dan and Cruise Director Jodi