Lakefield to Lovesick

A much better day was had by all. Yesterday was a boater’s dream.

It started off with a lazy morning, enjoying coffee and reading emails and newspapers in the idyllic setting of Lakefield. Tired bones were rested after the gruelling day.

We set sail in sunny but slightly windy conditions. We are now in ’cottage country’. Canadians have a different meaning of ’cottage’ to Australians. I think of a shack, a modest dwelling used as a holiday home… not so, the Canadians. There are modest holiday homes, however, there are amazingly huge mansions with all the accoutrements of playthings for the rich and famous. One ’cottage’ even had a water plane tethered to its pier. And to think these homes are used as holiday bolts for a couple of months of the year!

The scenery is drop-dead gorgeous. The islands are scattered with shoals and boulders hiding just beneath the surface. The channels are well marked and circuitous. Many times Mark had to navigate with caution close to islands. I wisely chose to relinquish the helm.

We saw a church on an island, where the parishioners attend by boat. So cool!

We tied up to the upper wall of the Lovesick Lock with two other boats. We are an international flotilla: Aussies, Canadians and Americans, with a Scotsman from the lower wall. We enjoyed docktails with a gorgeous view. And after dinner, we resumed our socialising around the blazing fire pit, courtesy of Parks Canada.

I have been on bear watch since arriving in Canada. Although I did not see one, it was a good day.

Such is Life!

A hard day’s slog

No other way to say it … today was a hard slog! We sailed 10.2 miles in 9 hours! Just when you meticulously plan for things to go one way, you forget ’life’ and the actions of others have consequences.

The day started well. Canadians were sleeping off the effects of partying late into the night on Canada Day. Aussies were up bright and early to race for a pumpout before continuing on the Trent-Severn.

  • Foiled at the first mark. Another boater was ahead of us. No problem, as the lock didn’t open for another 45 minutes.

Then we looked towards Lock 20 and noticed a build up in the line of boats to lock through. We were aiming to be in the first lock through but by the time we reached the lock line we were the 8th boat. No problem, we would make the second locking. Ha!

To cut the saga short:

  • There was low water in the canal, so we had to wait, not the estimated 45minutes, but 2 hours before the first boats locked through. We ended up anchoring just outside the channel as there was no room on the lock wall.
  • Thought we would make the second locking – Ha! A commercial vessel turned up, which has priority over pleasure vessels, and Bushranger, being the 8th boat, was bumped out.
  • We waited four hours before exiting the first lock, and we had seven in all.
  • We had to wait for boats to lock down, before we could lock up.
  • We had to wait for kayakers.
  • We had to negotiate windy locks.
  • We had to wait for Parks Canada staff to complete multiple jobs as they are short-staffed after Covid.

We were sure our friends had sailed into the sunset… What a surprise we had when we found them waiting at a lovely lock wall in the pretty town of Lakefield! We had much laughter as we regaled each other with our tales of woe. Just when we thought we had the Trent-Severn to ourselves, it was a reality check that Canadians use their own waterways. We have been spoilt. Now we must learn to share even if we do scream and shout a little.

But share the chocolate cake we found on our deck? No way, Jose! We do so appreciate good friends!

Such is Life!

Oh Canada

Today is a balmy July 1 – Canada Day. We are sitting in the bridge of Bushranger, in the best seat in Peterborough Marina.

The live concert is strumming away in the park bordering the marina. The colour red is everywhere. Happy Canadians are enjoying themselves.

The sky is likewise red and magnificent.

The fountain is changing colours. And the crowds have gathered.

Earlier, we hosted two USA couples and a Canadian couple for docktails. We had such fun and much laughter with the topics of discussion. Nothing was off limits: pumpouts, taxes, guns, American navigational guides, Australia’s friendly and not so friendly animals, differences and similarities between our countries. Yes, there was much mirth.

During the afternoon, and before hosting, Mark and I walked to the spectacular Peterborough Lift Lock. We wanted to see it before we negotiated it.

And now, to finish off a very satisfying day, we have been entertained with fireworks. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Such is Life!