Trenton to Hastings
So, who knew sailing the Trent-Severn would produce new bodies with bulging biceps?
In the first 12 kilometres we negotiated six locks, requiring strength training and resilience.
We were on a roll, when alas, coming through Frankford Lock 6 we were told someone had run into the gates of Lock 9 and the waterway was ‘closed’. Always look for the positives… We were at a very pretty lock and were able to tie up to the lock wall which had power. Not only that, the boat who moved to make room for us on the wall were Canadians who had lived not only in Australia, but in the next Sydney suburb to us! Ah – the conversations!
It was also a wonderful stop to do some cosmetic boat work. The old girl needed a bit of sparkle, so we took the opportunity of revarnishing her rails and bulwarks.
Early the next day, as there were quite a few boats parked waiting to continue the locking experience, we threw off the mooring lines and sailed to the next lock.
And the next lock, and the next…
In fact, we sailed to Lock 12, the spectacular Ranney Falls Flight Locks. Once through, we tied up at the top of the lock for lunch. We walked to the suspension bridge which is 32 metres above the river. I wish I could say I was dewussified, but could only manage a little way on the bridge. Mark took the photos for me.
We stayed the night on the town wall in Campbellford, and met more lovely boaters. Bought the one pound of dark chocolate at the World’s Finest Chocolate factory, bought the muffin from the much talked about Dooher’s Bakery, and walked the town.
Now that we have this locking routine off pat, we left early again to beat the crowd to the lock. Only two boats lock up together (unless you are really friendly). Arrived at the lock at 8.15 am for a 9.00am opening with one other boat ahead of us. No flies on our backs! Make hay while the sun shines… The locking gods were chuckling and in cahoots with the weather gods. We arrived at Lucky Lock 13 to be told the valve was not working and the lock inoperable.
Parks Canada were on the job: maintenance crew on hand, divers deployed, heavy rigging raised the valve. We climbed the stairs to the top of the lock to watch the workers. The repair was completed in one hour, just enough time to have a cuppa and do Sudoko, and in Mark’s case, a little more sanding.
As we locked through I gave the lock mistress some home baked biscotti. Luckily, I had already baked them… we went through five locks in eight kilometres. The only difference with these locks were we had to alternate between port and starboard tie-ups. Again, literally no flies on our backs! No time for a second morning cup of coffee. And did I mention the weather gods were at it again? It rained.
No time to stop for lunch, so we had it on the go.
Although the sky was grey, it did not dull the beauty of the waterway. Water lilies are blooming, cottages are decorating getting ready for Canada Day on 1 July.
Each lock is bursting with colourful flowers in eclectic containers. Everything is lush and colourful. It is such a treat to be here.
Such is Life!