Friday, October 30, 2009

Boring Summer Holiday Stuff - Honey Harbour

Honey Harbour - 90.2 satute miles from our home port slip;

After spending two rainy days traveling through the Trent Severn Waterway system, we got onto Georgian Bay! The final leg of the lock system marked the first leg of The Bay adventure, 2009. We knew it would be a memorable adventure for sure, but didn't expect to have so much fun so soon. . .

After all the rain of the previous few days, there was lots of water rushing through the system on it's journey to Georgian Bay. The fun part for us was going through the final lock - #45 at Port Severn.

For those of you who haven't been following along at home, today's geography lesson will discuss 'where does all the water go?' All of the water that drains into Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching (from as far east as the Kirkfeild Lift Lock) finds it's way west to Georgian Bay/Lake Huron. From there it's down to Lake Erie, over Niagara Falls (or through the Welland Canal or one of many diverter pipes for hydro electric generation), into Lake Ontario, down the St. Lawrence River and ultimately The Atlantic Ocean. And you thought you had a long way to travel every day!

As an interesting aside, I recently read that a drop of rainwater that lands at the top (northern) part of Lake Superior takes 400 years to reach the Atlantic! Just one more piece of useless information that I'll never forget :-) Which also brings to mind a story I heard about how the ancient Romans traveled along the Severn River over 2000 years ago and placed the first aids to navigation there. . . It's really quite a fascinating tale - just ask anyone who's heard it ;-)

OK, all the history lessons aside, let's get back to tonight's fascinating tale. I'll give you a break from my typing and indulge you with my voice on video. This is some moving pictures I took both while waiting to head through the lock (remember happy Anchor Girl waiting for the lock in the rain?) as well as when we got to the bottom and out the other end. For those of you who haven't had the good fortune of traveling this way, the channel that leads from the bottom of the lock westward is called 'Tug Channel' and is EXTREMELY narrow right under the highway 400/69 bridge. The space between the markers in spots is roughly only 20' but feels much tighter when you factor in the fact that it's also really winding through here. It sure was scary for me the first time we went through there and I wasn't looking forward to the return trip back! But that was then and this is now. These times it's more hoo-ha, let's go for it! And by going for it, I mean pouring on some throttle to make up for the current. Last year I wasn't ready for the whirlpools exiting the lock (driving too slow) and it pushed the boat back and forth. A little disconcerting if you're not ready for it . . .

Alright already - stop typing and on with the video already!


Earlier in the day I had called ahead to Bay Port Marina in Midland to order a water filler thingy that was cracked & leaking aboard Boogaboo, so we had to make a side trip here to pick it up & fuel up before mooring in Honey Harbour for a couple of days. Upon entering Midland Harbour, we spotted this little toy tied up to the Town Docks. Apparently it is owned by Mike Judge, the creator of Bevis & Butthead, The Family Guy and a few other animated classics. Classics? Turns out that it wasn't owned by the guy who did 'The Simpson's' as had been erroneously reported earlier. The boat (boat?) is called 'Annica' - click on the name for more photos of it in Midland, and other places.

After leaving Midland, it was on to Honey Harbour. This is the famous Picnic Island store, where one can gas up, pump out (emergency or otherwise), pick up groceries or just dinky ride over for ice - or ice cream!
As it was getting close to dinner time when we arrived, the Sunday at 7:00 rule seemed to be applicable here, too - even on holidays;


Let's see what the eye witness report has to say;

We had spent a few days at this same spot last year and liked it, so I got in touch with the manager of Nautilus Marina to arrange for the same slip. Steve (the manager) was good enough to accommodate us ;-)

As many of the homes and cottages in the area are only water accessible, it's interesting to see what gets delivered by barge;

Anchor Girl & I took an extended dinky ride around some of the larger islands in the area and here's a really cool shot she took of this ruin of a boathouse;
Here's a 4 minute & 36 second compilation of videos I took while here. You'll be interested to also see the exact dock where I got my 2nd deep hull scratch (the first one was at Peterborough Marina, a few years back);


This is the Delewana Inn, looking northward along the Small Craft Route. HERE'S a link to their web cam. During the summer months, the camera they have is mounted right on the restaurant patio deck (seen in the middle of this picture) and it overlooks their docks. Sometimes you can see boats passing by. However, now that they are shut down for the year, it looks like they are feeding from a different location (too dark to see as it was nighttime when I made this posting).

Looking south from the same position as the above is a view of a simple set of docks. What is so cool about these docks is that they are for the LCBO store in Honey Harbour! Yep, it's the only one of it's kind that I know of in the world. Very convenient when anchoring out in Beausoleil Bay, as you can do the 1 hour dinky ride from your anchorage, tie up the dock and be only steps from the Liquor Store- which also has an expanded beer selection;

And if what your after isn't at the LCBO Store, there is an all inclusive hardware/grocery/chandlery/restaurant/ice cream store just up the street from the brown bottle place;

Sunset #1 from HH;


Anchor Girl took this pretty picture - nice, or what? Ahhhhhhhh . . . .

Coming up next, our anchoring time in Chimney Bay - including the harrowing "The anchors broke loose & we're drifting into those boats!!!!" incident. . . .

:-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All She Wrote :-(



Looks like our final chance to do some On-Water boating is behind us for the 2009 season, as almost all of the boats on B Channel are now out of the water :-(

Graham & I dropped in to the marina today to warsh the bottoms of our boats. Graham even sprinkled some ferris induced H2O on Water Wings;





So, from here on in you are simply going to have to check right here for your weekly boating fix. Heck, I think I already have another fun filled post ready to go - but let's not go too fast. It'll be much better to take our time and savour each special moment in all it's splendor . . .

Ohh, I'm getting so excited ;-)



Friday, October 23, 2009

And Then . . .

"And then depression set in in . . ."

There was a movie made in 1981 called 'Stripes,' starring Bill Murray. In the opening scene his girlfriend leaves him, despite his failing objections. The point being made was that the leaving was inevitable and completely out of his control. Kinda like the end of summer and all that means for us boating types.

That's when he uttered the line quoted above. For some reason, that line came to mind recently. Quel suprise? (And French isn't even my 2nd language).

So where am I going with this. you ask? Follow along and I'm sure you'll pick up on the sentiment. After all, I am a sentimental kinda guy (in case you haven't noticed). Sorry for all the pictures, but as the saying goes - 'a picture says a a thousand words'. Well, I have allot I want to say - so pay attention. Please.

It's Friday night and the season is over. Kaput. Just a memory.

No more rushing to the boat.

No more BBQs;

No more sitting around the fire with good friends and passing the time engaged in deep, meaningful conversations or plain old story telling;

No more dingy rides;

No more spectacular sunsets;

No more fast boat rides;

No more slow boat rides;

No more on water sunsets;


No more tying to shore;

No more dinners under the gazebo;

No more dinners at Henry's;

No more dinners at Rawley Resort;

No more goofing around on the deck;

No more Lagoon City;

No more rafting;

No more anchoring out on Chicken Bay;

No more GORGEOUS Georgian Bay scenery;

No more sunsets behind 'B' channel;

No more emergency pump outs.

No more Maple Leaf;

No more HOT fires;

No more Georgian Bay dinky rides;

No more swim showers;

No more 'Mid-Bay' ice cream deliveries;

No more returning to port;

No more boating;

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Our Way To The Bay!

It's that time again kids - Holiday Pictures!!

Hey! Stop the groaning. And no whining, as this is going to take quite a bit of time to get through, so you might as well get comfortable while I take you all along for the ride. And this is only the first of many parts to come . . .

Pre-Departure Check. Sanja goes over the charts one . . . last . . . time the weekend before we all headed out to make sure she finds her way to the rendezvous location on Georgian Bay. Will she make it? Will she run out of highlighter? Will we see her studying these same charts again during our holidays? You'll have to look for the upcoming episodes to find out.


4:35 PM, Friday, July 24th - 'Boogaboo' departs slip # B5 and WE ARE OFF!!!!!!

Not allot to see in this video clip, but the sound of my voice says it all. Watch and listen;


Wow, look at that lake. Calm as glass as we put 'er up on plane to cross Simcoe.

Still not out of the woods from bad weather though, as this is the reason I pushed the throttles forward. That rain in the distance is just off of Georgina Island. Luckily, we were able to get ahead of it. Too bad that wasn't the last rain we would see, as we saw lots of it the over next few days. But heck, we were on holidays & MOVING!!

I was dead tired from the previous couple of weeks of overtime work, so we decided to pull into Orillia for the night. I think we were in bed by 8:30 that night.

This video is the next day as we left Orillia behind us and continued moving northward;


The 'Bowling Alley' at the top of Lake Couchiching;

These next two videos are brought to you by my Trent Severn Waterway web site - TheWaterway.ca.

For your entertainment I have will share this time lapse video of us locking through Couchiching Lock. Yes, I know I did this last year at this spot, but this time it's even longer. Wow, eh? Yes it is. Hey, if you had anything more fun to do, you wouldn't be watching this right now . . .


Next lock, #43 at Swift Rapids;

As we had a few minutes to wait to take the boat through the Swift Rapids lock, I had some time to do some video capturing. Much like I am capturing your imagination with these intriguing moving pictures.

Admit it - it IS both intriguing and imagination catching ;-)


I took this shot after exiting the lock to show how much water was being released from the dam beside it and to give an idea of how much excess water was in the system. In case you didn't notice, we had lots of rain this season & all that extra water pushing it's way along showed itself in the narrower passages one had to drive through with some really strong currents;

Arriving at the Big Chute, we found that were already ten boats ahead of us waiting to go over. Given the time of the day, I figured we wouldn't get a chance to make it over the big train ride, so we went right to the overnighting docks to call it a day. That night (???) we were again in bed really early;

The next morning we awoke to see that a number of boats that were there the night before hadn't been able to go over the Chute. So, at least we got a really needed good night's rest.

Check how far out this boat on the marine railway is sticking out. The boat is a British made 'Broom'. The skipper was so nervous about taking his vessel over the big train, that he spent the night with the boat on the dock while he walked back and forth to see how the thing operated and to make sure there wouldn't be any problems with his baby.

Some people worry waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much;

Weeeee, it's our turn to go over! See the hook on our railing to the right? That's from my buddy Cam helping out. This is the easiest lock on the system, as they take your lines and do all the work. All you gotta do is drive your boat to where they say and they do the rest;

One of the most fun parts about going over the Big Chute Marine Railway is watching all the pedestrians who are all watching you! A good time for funing with them, as well as the guys operating the railway;




Another 'Stern Shot', this time leaving The Chute. Again, you can see how much water is being released through the chute (at the right). Hey look, it's Adrian behind us in his Bayliner;

One more storm to race, this time it's just before the last lock. Well, our luck wasn't as good as when we left home because we got caught in this one. Nothing to do but pull the throttles back and hit the wipers;

The rain was still coming down when we got to lock #45 at Port Severn. As a matter of fact, the rain was there when we arrived, while we waited 1-1/2 hours to lock through and when we got onto Georgian Bay. Actually, that last part was a full blown thunderstorm;


Looking out from the top of the lock. That's Georgian Bay on the bottom side - the part with all the water rushing into it. Because the way this lock is situated, boaters transiting either way have to deal with the current from the main dam to the south, the outflow from the water control dam on the north side and the water rushing out for the lock itself. On days like this, it proves to be a challenging venture. But what a rush!


I'll be sharing the videos I took here - as well as us going through it - for the next installment of 'Boring Summer Holidays 2009' . . . .

Fear not, there will be lots of SUNNY shots coming up :-) And lots of wonderful memories.

**** S T A Y T U N E D ****