Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Aqua-Fennatic goes Gold!

Aug 8th - It's a warm sunny day with light winds.  We finally got back to the boat and met up with Donna and Steve, "Wake My Day", in Twelve Mile Bay ... what a great feeling to be on the boat again!  They broke out a bottle of Champaign to celebrate our achievement ... We are Gold Loopers!  They also took the final picture for our blog ... Exxxcellent!

Thanks again to all of you that have been following our Blog! 

This is Mike & Maria on Aqua-Fennatic ... Over and Out.

Aqua-Fennatic goes Gold!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

We’ve completed the Great Loop: Lovesick Lock to Penetang Ontario – July 26, 2017

Jul 24th – It was a cold rainy day with moderate to high winds.  My brother-in-law called to tell us that my Mom passed away this morning … very sad news.  The funeral is planned for Friday thus we need to get home quickly so we can drive up north to support my dad and the rest of our family.  We left Lovesick lock this morning and travelled 60 miles through 7 locks to Bolsover lock.  We have 5 more locks to go before we get to Lake Simcoe and another 4 locks to get to Georgian Bay.  We figure that we should be at Hindson’s marina by Wed afternoon at the latest.

Jul 25th – It was a warm sunny day with moderate winds.  We left Bolsover lock this morning and travelled 62 miles through the Trent Severn including a Lake Simcoe crossing and pulled into the blue line of the Port Severn lock.  All the lock masters worked hard to get us through the locks as quick as possible so we can get back for my Mom’s funeral.  We crossed our wake today as we entered the narrows between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching thus we are now officially “Gold Loopers”!  It’s hard to believe that we completed the Loop … it doesn’t feel like we’ve been away for more than 1 year.  Tomorrow will be our last leg from the Port Severn lock to Hindson’s marina in Penetang.  

Jul 26th – It was a warm cloudy day with some scattered showers and moderate winds.  We left the Port Severn lock this morning and travelled 15 miles to Hindson Marina and pulled into our new slip marking the close of our Great Loop voyage.  Neither Maria or I can believe that our dream trip has come to an end!  Dave and Sue, Gold Looper friends of ours from Manana, met us at our slip and helped us load up the car so we could make a quick dash home for my Mom’s funeral.  Here are some interesting facts that I collected during our trip:  Our loop lasted 391 days, we travelled 6,788 miles, we spent $13,700 on fuel (4,690 gallons of fuel), we put 770 hours on our engines, $9,700 on marinas (158 nights on anchor, 16 nights on a mooring ball, 176 nights at marinas and 40 nights at free docks), our repairs amounted to $6,500 and in total we spent $51,000 for our Great Loop trip.  Note that all the dollar amounts are a mix of both Canadian and US funds.  I might scare myself if I converted all the US costs to Canadian!  We collected 145 boat cards and met many other boaters that did not have them … It was a very social trip.  I have many other statistics however I don’t want to bore you with details.  We really enjoyed the trip and if you ask us if we’d do it again our answer would be “Yes”, however not for a few years.  Thanks for following our blog and it’s time to say Goodbye, Farewell, ….  Over and Out.
Hold on … we can’t say goodbye yet … we haven’t put up a picture with us and our Gold Looper flag … Hopefully we can get to this sometime after the family matters we need to deal with.  Stay tuned for our final post sometime in the future!

Tight quarters on the Trent waterway

The Kirkfield Lift Lock

The Waubic ... Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to stop and say Hi

Everyone knows this lock .... Yep, you are right ... Big Chute

Our view from our celebration dinner - We are Gold Loopers!

Georgian Bay is calm ... It's welcoming us to our new home

We managed to fit this stuff into our son's car that he left for us at the marina

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Campbellford Ontario to Lovesick Lock – July 23, 2017

Jul 20th – Happy Birthday to me and our daughter Amanda!  It was a hot mostly sunny day with showers in the middle of the day.  We left Campbellford this morning and headed 18 miles through 6 locks to Hastings Ontario and docked at Lock 18.  We received some bad news about my mother and we’re trying to determine the logistics to visit her.  While we waited for updates on my mom’s health we manage to get some enjoyment out of my birthday during docktails with a group of Loopers and then a nice dinner in town.  A couple of waitresses surprised me with a complimentary desert with a sparkler while they sang Happy Birthday … What a nice surprise!  Then shortly after a couple of drinks showed up at the table from a Looper couple that were in the same restaurant.  Our thoughts are with my Mom and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Jul 21st – It was a hot mostly sunny day with moderate winds.  We got up extra early to leave Hasting Ontario and travelled 39 miles through 1 lock to Peterborough Marina.  We pulled into the marina and our brother-in-law, Terry, just arrived to take us to the hospital to visit my Mom.  After a 3 hour drive to the hospital we spent the rest of the afternoon with my Mom who isn’t doing very well.  We went back to my parents place for dinner and stay over night with the rest of the family.

Jul 22nd – It was a hot mostly sunny day.  We got up early to get to the hospital to visit my mom and she seemed to be doing better however degraded a bit during the day.  There’s lots of family there to take care of her thus we decided to return back to the boat to finish our trip so we can visit again when we get the boat to it’s final destination in Georgian Bay.  When we got back to the marina we were visited by old friends, Kathi and Don, that live in Peterborough and went out to dinner together and then to Peterborough’s Music Fest in the park and enjoyed a Journey tribute band.     
Jul 23rd – It was a hot sunny day with moderate to high winds.  We left the Peterborough Marina this morning and headed 25 miles through 9 locks to Lovesick lock and tied up to the overnight wall.  During the day we had a number of updates regarding my Mom’s condition from my family and so far things aren’t looking very promising.  With this news we’ve decided to travel as far as possible each day to get our boat to its slip in Penetang.

Looper Docktails on my Birthday in Hastings ON

Date night on my birthday!

My Birthday singers ... they did a great job and brought a great desert with a sparkler

Dinner with Don and Kathi ... friends of ours from Peterborough

Watching a Journey Tribute band in a park beside the marina

Wow ... there are a few people here!

The Peterborough Lift Lock

The fountain in the Peterborough harbor

Another narrow channel on the TSW

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Thousand Islands – Wolfe Island to Campbellford Ontario – July 19, 2017

Jul 17th – It was a warm mostly sunny day with low winds.  Last night we had a number of thunderstorms pass by with a few rounds of rain.  We also expected that today was going to be filled with thunderstorms thus we left Wolfe Island and travelled 50 miles on the St Lawrence then the North Channel of Lake Ontario and ended up in the Bay of Quinte in Picton Ontario and anchored in Hollowell Mills Cove.  We were originally going to stay in the Thousand Islands for a week or so, however a number of factors including the weather, high water levels and weedy bays helped us change our mind thus we’re heading for the Trent Severn Waterway sooner than expected.  We had high expectations for the Thousand Islands based on a number of conversations that we’ve had with others, however our personal preference is still Georgian Bay.

Jul 18th – It was a hot sunny day with moderate winds.  We left our Picton anchorage and travelled 45 miles through 4 Trent Severn Locks and tied up to the overnight wall at the top of Lock #4.  The current on the Trent Severn is very strong in a number of spots … Like Capitan Kirk I had to say … “Give me more power Scotty”!  On the way we crossed paths with another Tollycraft and travelled through the 4 locks with them … Burt and Karen on “Almost Heaven”.  We stopped together at Lock 4 for the night and we got the chance to compare the 2 boats.  Burt has done all kinds of work on his boat and has given me some great ideas for jobs that need to be done on ours.  I mentioned it was hot thus you probably guessed that we had a few cold ones to lower our body temperature!
Jul 19th – It was a hot day with a mix of sun/clouds and moderate winds.  We left Lock 4 and headed 26 miles through 8 locks to Campbellford Ontario and stayed at Lock 13.  The other Tollycraft stopped before us at the Frankfort Lock to do some boat chores and get provisions from town.  On our way we stopped at Lock 12 to walk to a cool suspension bridge to check it out as well as walk along a riverside path to town to grab some groceries.  Afterwards we moved the boat to Lock 13 since the construction noise near Lock 12 was annoying.  The weather is getting better … knock on wood …!

Are you kidding!  ... I'm not touching those weeds ... You do it!

Fort Henry in Kingston from the water

The Kingston Penitentiary

We stopped in at Crates in Bellville and said Hi to Ryan Crate

Entering the Trent Severn Waterway (TSW)

Turtles everywhere!

You mean we still have 45 locks to go through!

Two Tollycrafts docked for the evening

The water is really flowing on the TSW

A cool suspension bridge

The water is flowing quickly ... Let's body surf!

Did I take a wrong turn ... Yikes!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Brewers Mills Ontario to Thousand Islands – Wolfe Island – July 16, 2017

Jul 14th – It was a cool cloudy day with a thunderstorm and scattered showers with moderate winds.  We left the Brewers Mills Lock and headed 14 miles through 4 locks to Confederation Basin Marina in Kingston Ontario.  We arrived at the Kingston Mills locks when they opened, however we had to wait for an hour or so as they brought a boat through the set of 4 locks.  Once we got through the locks we had to sit at their blue line for an hour to time our departure with a bridge opening in Kingston which was 4 miles away.  When we arrived at the marina we decided to walk into town to check out the downtown area which was fairly busy with activity, however I’m sure that it would have been busier if the weather was better.  We expect better weather tomorrow for round 2 of our exploring.

Jul 15th – It was a warm mostly sunny day with moderate to high winds.  We stayed in Kingston to continue our explorations of the area.  We walked to Fort Henry and followed a tour guide around to take in the official tour and then continued to explore the fort on our own.  Afterwards we walked through town and grabbed a few things from Food Basics and then headed back to the boat.  Looper friends of ours that live in the area, Lee and Janice (“Relax Now”), came by for a visit and after a cocktail we walked into town to have dinner.  They left their boat near Lake Okeechobee in Florida and plan to head back this winter to enjoy the warm weather before they bring their boat back to Canada OR they may keep it in the south … Decisions … Decisions.  It was great seeing them again!
Jul 16th – It was a warm mostly sunny day with moderate winds.  We left Kingston this morning and travelled 22 miles in the Thousand Islands along Bateau Channel and across the St Lawrence River and anchored in Brakey Bay of Wolfe Island.  Along the way we noticed that the Parks Canada docks at their islands were full with weekend boaters enjoying the mediocre weather.  When we arrived it looked like bad weather may be approaching however this didn’t stop me from going for a swim … the water was Exxxcellent … 70 degress F and great for snorkeling.  Later a thunderstorm passed by and we were hit with a little rain thus I decided to diagnose my lighting issue on our back deck and I managed to fix most of my issue by replacing a positive wire that supplies power to the lights, however one of the lights isn’t working thus I’ll need to replace or rewire the light sometime in the future.  I also ran the water maker for a while to rinse out all the remaining salt in the system with what looks to be the cleanest water we’ve seen since the Bahamas.

I'm the "I" in Kingston!

St Mary's Cathedral in Kingston

A Choo Choo Train

A gun firing demonstration at Fort Henry

No Thanks! ... I'd rather sleep on the Boat!

Tunnels and rooms below Fort Henry 

Fort Henry mascot

An interesting machine gun

Kingston as it looks from Fort Henry

A tank at the Canadian Military College

Out to dinner with Lee and Janice from "Relax Now" ... they live near Kingston

Cruising through the Thousand Islands

The water is 3 to 5 feet higher than it's supposed to be

Lots of tour boats waking our day!

Finally ... I'm swimming again

A storm has just passed us at Wolfe Island