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Month: July 2019

Last day in Georgian Bay

Last day in Georgian Bay

July 30, 2019 Tuesday Bustard Island group, ON  to Sportman’s Marina, Killarney, ON  40.4 nautical miles.

45°58’11.7″N 81°30’54.2″W
45.969904, -81.515057
Elevation: 577 ft

This is our last day in the Georgian Bay. We’ve really pushed through it faster than we wanted to. We’ll be back again and stay longer. We just received notice of another 2 week lock closure near Chicago in September and need to catch the lock openings our we won’t be able to get to St Paul till next year.

Along the Way

With the water levels as high as they are we were lucky enough to be able to take the channel behind Phillip Edward Island. At normal water levels we wouldn’t have been able to take this run as there is a narrow section of water that is barely four feet. We entered at Beaverstone Bay, crossed Mill Lake and exited out Collins Inlet.

This run was the most beautiful we’ve had in Canada. It had a little bit of everything but locks. Open water, island, narrow channels, trees, spectacular pink granite and plenty of rocks.

A short open water run and then into the Killarney Channel that connects the Georgian Bay to North Channel.

It’s a Sportsman’s Inn is an expensive marina especially given where we are and what it is. NO internet on the island side of the marina.

We googled for the best dive bar in the area. Sportsman’s Inn topped the list. Turns out we were in it. The next closest dive bar is 155 kilometers away.
Sportsman’s Inn was a disappointing dive bar at $8 beer. Do they think this is New York City?

Worse yet, there was no bait store. Don’t Canadians fish? The ice cream store sells worms.

This sign pretty much sums up the town …. Barely open.
Disappearing propeller boat club off for an outing

Disappearing propeller boat (aka Dispro or Dippy) is a unique boat originally built in Port Carling, Ontario Canada. The unique feature is its disappearing propeller, in that if the prop hits an object it will retract into the boat preventing damage.

I came out of yes dear to see what all the noise was behind our boat. This saiboat came by with its foot just flapping in the wind. It was footloose, just flapping. I knew I needed to run for my camera. I was certain it was going to hit the boat dock and then it started going for the boats…

Meanwhile another fancy free boat came along with the sail flapping…

Back on course. It tried a different tack and things appeared to settle down.
LOL Wrong. They had another go at it.
Dale missed the sailboats… but he saw THE bear.


It was a noisy night with whistling in the wind sailboat lines and howling hounds.


There are no mountainous landscapes in Ontario. The highest point is Ishpatina Ridge 2,274 feet above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario.

Nauti Words

Footloose and fancy-free: someone acting without commitment.
Origin: The bottom of a sail is the foot and must be attached to the boom. If it is not properly attached it may become “footloose” causing the sail to dance randomly in the wind and the vessel not to sail properly.

Try a different tack/change tack: try a different method or approach
Origin: The direction in which a ship moves as determined by the position of its sails and regarded in terms of the direction of the wind (starboard tack). If one tack didn’t bring the ship up properly, one could always attempt another.

Drolleries and Yuks

How long do chickens work?
     Around the cluck!

Georgian (Bay) on my mind

Georgian (Bay) on my mind

July 29, 2019 Monday Snug Harbor, Georgian Bay, ON  to Tie Island in the Bustard Island group, ON  46.7 nautical miles.

45°53’53.9″N 80°53’50.3″W
45.898308, -80.897309
Elevation: 577 ft

We wondered why all our neighbors ignored the rule and didn’t turn on their anchor light on at night. This must be why…

Along the Way

Another grey day. At least we had the sun for most of yesterday.

The local experts recommend the open water run on the Georgian Bay from Point Au Baril Lighthouse to the French River Provincial Park/ Bustard Islands as the small craft channel going west from Point Au Baril Lighthouse isn’t as pretty what we’ve been through and very time consuming to travel.

~28 mile open water run.
We lucky enough to keep an even keel awith a 12 knot east south east wind blowing 18-24 inch waves on our beam and the port rear quarter panel.

After securing yes dear, a little bit of fishing and exploring was on the agenda.

Northern like the purple bait to. This good sized northern got to keep it. It danced on it tail and its teeth cut the line above the steel leader right after I snapped the picture. Dale’s real bummed. It was a great bait.


There are 5 Looper boats and 9 other boats with us in the anchorage tonight. Most are tied Mediterranean style drop short scope anchor and tie the stern to the land (e.g. rock, tree) to minimize swing.
We managed to do it too. It wasn’t pretty to watch.

☹ Docktails was cancelled due to rain.

We left our anchor light off, just like everyone else.

Good Night

After the storrm


Paul Bunyan missed a tree

It is widely believed that the legend of Paul Bunyan was inspired by Big Joe Mufferaw (birth name, Josesph Montferrand). Mufferaw was a lumberjack who was renowned for his feat of strengths. He became beloved for his courageous stand against big logging companies. Even though he was a real life logger and strongman, many of his feats were embellished. A statue has been dedicated to him in his hometown of Mattawa, Ontario. He was also the subject of the Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song bearing his name.

Nauti Words

Even keel – calm and steady. situation that is well balanced.

Origin: A vessel that floats upright without list is said to be on an even keel. A keel is like the backbone of the vessel, the lowest and principal centerline structural member running fore and aft.  Keeled over (upside down) was a sailor’s term for death.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did one hat say to the other?
     You wait here. I’ll go on a head.

On our way Georgian Bay

On our way Georgian Bay

July 28, 2019 Sunday Indian Harbour, Georgian Bay, ON to Snug Harbor, Georgian Bay, ON  47.2 nautical miles.

45°22’39.8″N 80°18’36.9″W
45.377722, -80.310241
Elevation: 577 ft

Along the Way

Cold grey morning. Again we zig zagged our way through channel markers in a serious rock avoidance course. We rocked out to Canadian band Tragically Hip.

We continue to be amazed a how many cottages/homes and how much boat traffic there is in these remote areas. (skipped these pictures today 🙂

Here comes the sun! Definitely prettier with the sun.

Parry Sound. I want to come back here.

Mary was tired of hearing Dale gripe about not being able to find a real bait store. Canadian Tire is NOT a bait store. After gorging ourselves with gourmet quiches, potato pancakes, salads, fresh fruit and MORE at the Country Gourmet Sunday brunch we went in search of a real bait store.

We didn’t get too far before we were stopped dead with the delicious smell of jerk chicken and pork at Fort Knox Island Grill. We were too full to eat again but Mary would go any further unless we bought some jerk for supper before we returned to the boat.

Dale stopped to ask Mike if he knew where there was a bait shop. Mike has a great little shop in one of the bays in the car wash he owns. Mike knew of a bait store a little ways up the road that a friend of his owned. He gave us a ride. All I can say is Thank you and Canada Nice!

Back the boat then on our way.

This whole area is one big hunk of rock. The Canadian Shield at its finest.


The local police rafted with three of our neighbors before the forth could get rafted. I suspect someone from one of the cottages complained. (They were pretty loud and zinging around with the wave runners.)

Good Night

Mary’s instructions were to drive the dingy anywhere she wanted to go as long as it was in the direction Dale wanted. Um, OK?

Dale’s new lure cost more than a single buffet brunch at the Country Gourmet. The lure worked! He probably caught his money’s worth of fish tonight. Below are pictures of the two largest bass. Purple works.

Dale’s done griping. He’s smiling now.


The Canadian Shield is composed of igneous rock resulting from its long volcanic history and covered by a thin layer of soil. With a deep, common, joined bedrock region in eastern and central Canada, it stretches north from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean, covering over half of Canada; it also extends south into the northern reaches of the United States.

Nauti Words

Gripe: complain, complain, complain. An act of grasping something tightly(archaic)
Origin: Lashings securing a boat in its place on deck or in davits. Vessel tending to come up into the wind in spite of the helm.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did the Tin Man say when he got run over by a steamroller?
      “Curses! Foil again!”

Poet Laureate

This is a special contribution from Vienna J

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!
Show your bum to Canadian Tire.

Competitive boating

Competitive boating

July 27, 2019 Saturday Bay Port Marina, Midland, ON   to Indian Harbour, Georgian Bay, ON   31.2 nautical miles.

45°02’04.5″N 80°00’39.3″W
45.034582, -80.010915
Elevation: 577 ft

I couldn’t wait to go to the bakery this morning. The smell of fresh baked bread wafted over the marina last night! Better yet, Midland is the famous for its butter tarts.

Along the Way

Canada Nice! That sums up the marina and our marina neighbors. Our neighbor Chuck from the big boat next to yes dear in yesterday’s blog took us to the bakery and the grocery store to provision before we took off.

LOL we forgot beer. Ken, the Bay Port Marina owner, drove us to the Beer Store so we could pick some up.

We stopped for fuel as we were leaving the marina. The service attendants descended on us like we an Indy car. They fueled both sides at the same time and a third person was standing by in case we needed a pump out. Ken runs and awesome marina with great customer service.

And we are off!

You get pictures of the whole run entire run from Midland to Honey Harbour to Indian Harbour. The small ship channel which we are following runs in and out of the islands and sometimes into the bay. It was a dark dreary day but the temperature was quite pleasant.

This area of the Georgian is often referred to as 30,000 Islands but it more likely has over 100,000 islands as there are so many land surface inches below the waterline.  We’re really glad we attended the navigation overview last night in the marina. Without plotted charts it would be so easy to get lost.  Too bad we don’t have a month to spend here. We are really trying to get back to the Twin Cities by October.

Ken forewarned us of the heavy boat traffic in this area and competition for anchoring. He wasn’t exaggerating. Competitive boating at its finest. It was nary impossible for me to take picture without a boat in it.


Our first attempt to anchor tonight was Bernadette Island Cove in Monument Channel. We found a great place to anchor but people in a cottage came out and started yelling at us to leave. Go Home!  Go Home!  Not that they owned the water, we decide to relocate rather than deal with them.  Bernadette Island Cove already had several boats anchored so we decided to move on to Indian Harbour.

Entrance to Indian Harbour

LOL. Indian Harbor was a little smaller and had more boats than Bernadette Island Cove! Competitive anchoring at its finest. At least no one was yelling at us.


The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier canadien (French), is a large area of exposed Precambrian igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks (geological shield) that forms the ancient geological core of the North American. It covers about two-thirds of Ontario and is exposed in the Georgian Bay.

Nauti Words

We binge ate our butter tarts. It’s a good thing we only bought four.

Origin: Binge
Rinsing or clearing something out or soaking a wooden vessel. The word binge was first recorded in 1825 and spelt ‘benge’. The word, written as we know it today, was recorded in 1854, and was a form of English dialect that meant ‘to soak’.

I wonder how many butter tarts I would have to eat to feel full?


Our second life jack opened. This too was in a dry storage area!

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call a fake noodle?
     An impasta.

Locked Out

Locked Out

July 26, 2019 Friday Lock 44 Big Chute, Severn River, Coldwater, ON   to Bay Port Marina, Midland, ON   17.1  nautical miles.

44°45’40.9″N 79°53’41.7″W
44.761358, -79.894919
Elevation: 577 ft               Locks 1   Descent 16 feet

Pierrre and Renee used too much dish washing soap last night and look what happened!

Along the Way

Good bye to the Big Chute

Our last lock in the Trent-Severn Waterway. We parted ways with Shoreline Traveler a buddy boat at the top of the lock. The lock was so small it could only take one larger boat at a time. Shoreline Traveler had lost their starboard engine yesterday and are only running on one. They’re headed a different direction than we are so they can get it overhauled. 🙁

Locked out! Passed through our final lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway, a total of 43.

Headed into the Georgian Bay

The Bay Port Marina owner Ken MacDonald hosts a wine and cheese, cruising the Georgian Bay informational meeting every other night for Loopers. About 20 of us showed up. The presentation was extremely beneficial.
We biked around Midland. Mural on downtown wall.


Yes Dear’s new friend is on the left


The Georgian Bay, just north of Lake Huron, is a bit of a misnomer. At 5,792 square miles it’s not that much smaller than Lake Ontario (7,320 square miles), earning it the nickname “the sixth Great Lake.” With more than 1,240 miles of grayish-pink granite shoreline, it is part of a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

At the moment, the Georgian Bay is 55 inches above mean water level.

Nauti Words

Origin: Overhaul
To prevent the buntline ropes from chaffing the sails, crew were sent aloft to haul them over the sails. This was called overhauling.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where are average things manufactured?
     The satisfactory

Oh Chute

Oh Chute

July 25, 2019 Thursday Chiefs Island on Lake Couchiching, Orillia, ON to Lock 44 Big Chute, Severn River, Coldwater ON   29.8  nautical miles.

44°53’02.8″N 79°40’36.8″W
44.884114, -79.676898
Elevation: 593 ft             Locks 3   Descent 126 feet

Good Morning! I’m beginning to rethink my previously held position on spiders. Dale wouldn’t let me use the spider sucker a couple days ago because there were two deer flies in its web.

Bug clean-up is a whole lot easier to wipe off a web than wipe down a surface. These bugs look like miniature mayflies and their carcasses stick to the surface. They don’t blow off or suck up.
Pulling anchor. This is one of the reasons we’ve been hugging the lock docks rather than anchoring out.

Along the Way

We’ve paired up with Looper Boat SHORLINE TRAVLER (Pierre and Renee) for the Georgian Bay run.

Our original thought was to time up at the top of Lock 44 Big Chute then chute it in the morning. As long as it was still early enough why not do it today? **Blame Mark H if there are toooooooo many pictures in this section. He told me to take lots so I did.

Taking turns at the lock. Unlike the locks the first boat in line isn’t always the first boat loaded. The lock master (chute master ???) needs to ensure boats are proper balance. Also, unlike the locks little boats are loaded first and larger boats last.

Waiting at the blue line for our turn


After a pot luck supper swam using noodle for over an hour. Where were you? We needed someone to take our picture.

Tastes just like the label – tractor oil


The patent slip (aka marine railway) was invented by shipwright Thomas Morton in 1818, it offered an alternative to the expensive and time-consuming process of dry docking a ship to perform maintenance or repairs to its hull below waterline.

Big Chute Marine Railway is a patent slip. This engineering marvel physically lifts the boats out of the water in individual cradles and over an inclined plain 60 feet on a track system, before launching them back into the water where they can continue their journey.

The railway is built is such a manner that the deck remains level over the hump. It’s an extremely simple design. Essentially there are two sets of tracks. The ‘downhill’ legs run on one track/wall ‘uphill’ legs on another. All of the leveling and height adjusting is designed into the construction of the height of the track/wall. It is pulled by a cable either up or down.
This the is only marine railway (or canal inclined plane) of its kind in North America.

The old system was decommissioned by Parks Canada, to conform with modern safety standards, although the old tracks and carriage still remain. The last operation of the old system was in 2003.

Nauti Words

Origin: Taking turn
Changing watches with the turn of the hour glass.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why can’t male ants sink?
     They’re buoy-ant.

Wild Wild Noodles. I got to ride them today.

Wild Wild Noodles. I got to ride them today.

July 24, 2019 Wednesday Lock 39 Portage (middle of nowhere) Brock, ON  22.8 to  Chiefs Island on Lake Couchiching, Orillia, ON       nautical miles.

44°39’11.1″N 79°22’41.9″W
44.653082, -79.378298
Elevation: 719 ft               Locks 3   Descent 26 feet

Lock 39 Portage – It was wonderful night. Cool and crisp. Nice sleeping weather. We slept well except for the two trains that came through somewhere nearby. But it wasn’t the trains that disturbed our slumber. It was the darned pack of coyotes that got riled up at the trains.

Oh! Good Morning to you! 7:00 am

Along the Way

Locks open at 9:00 am.
9:05 am at the top of Lock 39 Portage. It’s a straight shot to Lake Simcoe 2.4 miles, 2 more locks and a couple of bridges.
Lock 41 These trees are not dying. They are changing color and dropping their leaves.
This is about the time of year that we would hear the first acorn drop onto our roof at our house in Lake Elmo and roll down. ☹

We pulled into the Orillia City Marina for lunch and to pick up a few groceries. We were greeted by about a dozen Looper friends before we got off the dock.

Lunch and grocery shopping. Once we saw the do-it-yourself bread cutter we knew we needed to try it. Custom slice your own bread. After we cut 10 loaves we took the best looking two and placed the other 8 back on the shelf.

Just kidding about the other eight loaves. But we really did cut and buy 2 loaves.

It was a tough decision to stay the night in the marina or continue on and anchor out as we had planned. Anchoring out won. We haven’t anchored out since July 9. (Staying on a lock is close, but not the same as anchoring.) . We both wanted to swim and Dale wanted to fish.

Nice toys. The sea plane looks exactly like the one on Mary’s new sweatshirt. The plane looks like it is sitting on some sort of a platform in the water.
Swimming! Wild Wild Noodles. I got to ride them today.
The black thing is a rope tied to the noodles so I don’t blow too far away from the boat.


Mary went to investigate what the whole lot of cussing and stomping on the swim deck was about. Dale had tossed out a fishing line and was fending off deer flies with the fly swatter. What did the Indigenous Peoples do?

The deer flies won. Fishing didn’t last too long.

One deer fly managed to get into the boat. Die sucker! (Do you think we need a new fly swatter?)


Lake Simcoe is name for Sir John Simcoe who was the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1791. He is well known for having abolished slavery in 1793, 72 years before the United States.

Britain abolished slavery throughout its empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (with the notable exception of India), the French colonies re-abolished it in 1848. The Indian Slavery Act abolished slavery in 1843.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why did the chicken go to the séance?
To get to the other side.

Crossing the Summit. High altitude boating.

Crossing the Summit. High altitude boating.

July 23, 2019 Tuesday Big Bob Channel Lock 32, Bobcaygeon, ON to Lock 39 Portage (middle of nowhere) Brock, ON     35.7 nautical miles.

44°29’56.5″N 79°07’55.7″W
44.499026, -79.132147
Elevation: 745 ft   Locks 2   Ascent 30 feet. Locks 3 Descent 95 feet

Along the Way

A little squirrel for breakfast and then a little preening

Fenelon Falls. From one cutesie town Babcageon to another Fenelon Falls.

High altitude boating across the summit at Balsam Lake 840 feet. Pull down the oxygen masks!

Kirkfield Lift Lock

Gee I hope these readings are wrong. (There is a lot of grass on the bottom of the channel throwing off the reading. Disconcerting never the less. yes dear scrubs the bottom at 3.9)
Mary’s new Canadian Kawartha (like the ice cream) sweatshirt matches the blue line where boats wait to lock up/down
Canadian supper Deluxe cheddar.
Why does it say President’s Choice on the box? Shouldn’t it say Prime Minister’s Choice?


Absolutely no one.
Lock 39 – Portage is remote enough that the lock attendants drive out here on a service road.


– Marshmallow was originally made from the mallow plant (Athaea officinalis) that grows wild in marshes. 
– The French were introduced to marshmallow in the early to mid-1800s.  candy makers replaced the mallow root with gelatin.
– Americans buy 90 million pounds of marshmallows each year, about the same weight as 1,286 gray whales.

Drolleries and Yuks

Did you hear about the fire in the shoe factory?
The police said some heels started it. 10,000 soles were lost.



July 22, 2019 Monday Otonabee River Lock 26, Lakefield, ON  to Big Bob Channel Lock 32, Bobcaygeon, ON     35.0 nautical miles.

44°25’10.3″N 78°16’13.2″W
44.419535, -78.270335
Elevation: 810 ft            Locks 5   Ascent 59 feet

We were startled awake in the middle of the night with a loud bang and something that sounded like electricity crackling.

Humidity so high the inflatable life jacket popped open (bang) and velcro released (crackling).

Along the Way

It was pretty cool this morning. With Mary’s new hair cut she now knows how Dale feels when he says is head is cold.

Hells Gate area. I imagine someone has a good business fixing props. It’s so beautiful it’s hard to limit pictures. (That and I have free internet)

Neither Dale or I get it. Some people really want to live on and island or more accurate, a big rock. I suspect it sounded good at the time they bought it. We are not big rock people. No electricity. Wonder where their septic is going?

Hells Gate Church.
This little church is on an island with no access other than by boat. Sunday parishioners attend by boat and tie up on the long dock in the background of the picture.

Vacation season

These houseboats were in a great little spot. Small rapids circle around the back side of the rock.
Lock 30 Lovesick Lake. I hate these little locks. They are actually harder than the bigger locks. It’s a beast to catch the low ropes and tend the fenders.
Mary also hates lock slime. Down to one lock glove. The right one blew off the boat.

Some of the passages are as narrow as the locks. We are not good sharers and always wait rather than to pass between with an oncoming vessel.

Looper boat pride. A boat mustache and anchor grass
unnaturally white rocks

Bobcaygeon is the Nisswa MN of Ontario.

Karwartha Dairy. Smalls.

Geography Lesson


Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined.

Drolleries and Yuks

Bobcaygeon by Tragically Hip

I left your house this morning
‘Bout a quarter after nine
Coulda been the Willie Nelson
Coulda been the wine

When I left your house this

It was a little after nine
It was in Bobcaygeon, I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves, one star at time

Drove back to town this morning
With working on my mind
I thought of maybe quittin’
Thought of leavin’ it behind

Went back to bed this morning
And as I’m pullin’ down the blind
Yeah, the sky was dull and hypothetical
And fallin’ one cloud at a time

That night in Toronto
With its checkerboard floors
Riding on horseback
And keeping order restored
‘Til The Men They Couldn’t Hang
Stepped to the mic and sang
And their voices rang with that Aryan twang

I got to your house this morning
Just a little after nine
In the middle of that riot
Couldn’t get you off my mind

So, I’m at your house this morning
Just a little after nine
‘Cause, it was in Bobcaygeon
Where I saw the constellations reveal themselves
One star at time

Archimedes Principle in practice

Archimedes Principle in practice

July 21, 2019 Sunday Peterborough Marina, Trent-Severn Waterway, Peterborough, ON   to Otonabee River Lock 26, Lakefield, ON       8.9 nautical miles.

44°25’10.3″N 78°16’13.2″W
44.419535, -78.270335
Elevation: 751 ft            Locks 7   Ascent 134 feet

Along the Way

First breakfast – McKenzie brother’s special, eh! Tim Horton’s Timbits for first breakfast. Vienna J we have jellies!
Yet another attempt by the Jackson’s to Canadianize the Tobins.
We’re off. Good bye Peterborough.

Peterborough Lift Lock 21 National Historic Site of Canada.  Lock 21 is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world at 65 feet. Opened on July 9, 1904. It still runs perfectly 115 years later. The water powered lift lock is an engineering marvel that operates on a balance system entirely without electricity.

Our turn.

Water is let into the upper chamber and the heavier chamber automatically descends, forcing up the lower chamber to start a new cycle. Because of Archimedes Principle, adding the boat displaces the equivalent weight in water, so the mechanism doesn’t have to deal with any more weight.

Check out the window and doors in the walls. They don’t flood because water stays in the tubs.

The Peterborough Lift lock is said to be haunted by one or more ghosts. One story of the many stories is that during the construction, a worker fell over the side and into the wet concrete into the middle of the structure’s three pillars.  As was common in the old days of construction, workers could only helplessly watch their friend be buried alive. The ghost of construction worker said to work overtime at the lock and is often seen on the walkways standing at the edge before vanishing, spending his afterlife wandering the site of his last job.
Locals honk their horns as they pass through to scare the ghost(s).

Alex, Vienna and Chanda J, we are bummed to see you leave. It was fun to have you aboard!

Good bye!

Trent University in Peterborough.
Just like the UoM Minneapolis, a river divides the campus. UoM has a covered bridge. Trent University doesn’t. Bet it’s a cold walk in the winter.

Lock 22. This is our 132nd lock on our loop. We still have 235.4 kilometers to Port Severn at the end of the Trent-Severn Waterway (22 more locks).

Last lock of the day.

lock 26 lock mates

Good Night

A locking glove coozie for a Canada koolaid. (It was really good. Refreshing.)


Canada’s official phone number is 1-800-O-CANADA.

Canada is just 1.5% larger in land than the U.S.A.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where are fish in orbit?
     In trout-er space

Which one would you pick?