Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thin Ice

As I've recently become known for my uncanny abilities for checking ice conditions - one of my many *talents* - I felt it was my resposibilty to inform you all that Lake Simcoe is starting to open up. With the rain on Sunday, there was some open water already on Monday with even more Tuesday. It sure was nice to drive up our road last night & tonight to see the sun sparkling on open water again!

And, in case you've forgotten the visions of open water & summertime boating, here's a video from last July 5th for you all. This was the evening of our first overnight out on the lake. Beautiful.

This next clip was taken the morning of the next day (huh?). As you'll see, Mr. Wevvy wasn't as excited about the prospect of a morning swim/wake up. I sure was, as I had already gone in for a dip ;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back From The Bay

Before we get into this evening's posting, I wanted to offer this amusing bit of insight for your consideration. I know we have a limited audience for the Blog, so I don't expect big numbers to show up. With that in mind, I can tell you that when I share a video clip and post it here, these vids usually garner roughly 30 - 40 views over a two to three week period.

Yes, even the ones like the FIVE MINUTE long 'Graham Make The Fire' clip that I edited from two videos and posted a couple of weeks ago that seemed to have minimal views . . . Don't worry, it only took me a couple of hours to download from my video camera to my computer, edit, render, upload to You Tube and post on the site. I guess the sights and sounds of summer just aren't as appealing to our viewers as I would have thought . . .

Ok, whining over, the amusing thing about our most recent video clip of the shenanigan's on (and through) the ice of the quickly disappearing Pefferlaw River is that after only SIX DAYS, there has already been an incredible 117 views!! I guess humour wins out over sentiment, eh?


Some shots of our 'trip back' from The Bay at the end of last year's summer holidays.

I bring this to those of you who have been this way & like to reminisce, as well as those of you might be doing this trip this year for the first time. Now you will have the benefit of seeing what is to be encountered along the way - or way back.

Right at the top of Lock #45, Port Severn is a number of nice spots to spend a night or two. This photo of the lock was taken form the Rawley Resort, which is right across the river. The shot at the top is of Mr. Von Analus in front of the building that houses the restaurant. This place is top drawer, all the way & the owners (Barry & his wife) park their big boat out front, as they are also long term Georgian Bay boaters. Besides owning this joint, they also own South Bay Cove marina in Honey Harbour. Here's the lock;

Looking the other way (from the same spot), you see Severn Boat Haven, a full service marina;

Here's where things get fun again. After leaving the challenges of Georgian Bay, this part of the Trent Severn Waterway is relatively easy to navigate. Just keep an eye on your charts, watch the markers and enjoy the ride. The one spot that can be a little disconcerting the first time going through is the Little Chute, which is just before (returning) / after (heading down) the bottom of the Big Chute Marine Railway. As you can see, there is ample warning of the fact that the man made chanell is quite narrow (one boat wide) and the current can be really strong here. Remember that next to the Big Chute is one of the larger hydro generating plants along the system, so the outflow all has to come through this spot;

Again, not a big deal. Just make sure you have some positive pwer to maintain control and be ready for some of the swirling water that can be present. With all the rain we had last year, there were a number of narrow areas like this that we had some strong flows. In particular, there is a passage called 'Hydro Glen' (the site of a former dam/power plant) where the water was moving so fast that we picked up 5 mph going downstream through there!

Here's Water Wings passing upbound (homeward) through the Little Chute;

Finally, here's a video of our boats running the Chute;

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Going Down?

I call this photo 'Man's Boots Drying In The Sun';

Well, today was another good day at the Cottage to get some work done around the joint. Yes, it all started off well enough, with everyone showing up to work on the boats and even help out with Sanja's roof extension;

I must say that with the Pefferlaw River opening up rather quickly, some of us thought that maybe the ice might not be safe enough to work on. At some point, I might have thought the same thing and may have looked a little apprehensive;

But, as the work moved on - and the river got closer - everything proceeded swimmingly and the roof work moved ahead;

After many, many hours and hours and hours of hard labour, it was time for a bit of a break. With all the open water right next to where we were working, Wevvy thought it would be a good idea to do a little fishing, so he brought down his fishing rods;

After all, it was such a nice day, what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing. . . .

Nothing, that is unless you throw in one silly contractor with a very powerful tool. And a poor judge of ice conditions. . . .

To help you out with what you are about to see, the tool that you see your Commodore show up with is called a Paslode cordless nailer. It's designed for house framing and firmly plants a 3" nail into lumber. It is very powerful. It can hurt. It was not designed to nail the ice to the bottom. . . . . I'm pretty sure on that last one.

It's a good thing that we had an Innocent Bystander to capture what came next and should have not come as any surprise at all.

Before you see this, I must tell you that when I watched this the first 2 or 3 times, I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard!!! I was in total hysterics with this one & can't stop laughing every time I see it it:-) Have Fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Snakes & Ladders

A couple of things I'd like to share with you on this Friday evening. . . .

Firstly, I wanna give everyone a 'heads up' on the conditions at The Cottage, as I was there this evening doing Boogaboo's bottom. The Pefferlaw River is about 2/3 open, with the openness slowly but surely creeping into B Channel. And don't call me Shirley.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get the overhang extension built Saturday before the ice isn't anymore. Sure is easier to work off a ladder around there when the water is stiff, rather than in it's liquid form like we had to do getting Free Bird's tarp up over the slip last year.

When I got home, I had a quick bite & headed to the garage to sand down the teak sections of our swim platform, whilst listening to the heavily amplified music from ANKORGRL's heavily amplified car stereo. A little something from side one of Beatles Abby Road to set the mood. Guess which track & win a prize ;-) Go ahead, guess. . .

Any who, it came to mind a story I heard on the news this week - which has nothing to do with the Beatles, but my mind has a tendency to wander. I wa-wa-wa-wa wander. Sorry, back to the story, which was about a guy who was arrested at the New York border attempting to smuggle snakes & other reptiles into the States. And not just any snakes. We are talking non other than the infamous Massasuaga Rattler. And not just one or two, but 33!

I mention this because as part of my Georgian Bay summer holidays research, I came across a very interesting video about the Massasuaga Rattler and all of his little friends that reside in that part of the world. And yes, I did have AG watch it. Not to scare her, but to inform her that we are all better off when we know a little bit about these animals. Hey, knowledge is strength. So, if you want to get a little stronger - or are planning to venture to The Bay, I urge you to watch (remember to hit the HQ button) (Quick note about the above photo. This was taken at Henry's Fish Restaurant on The Bay, just after we had gone for a dinky ride to check out the local sights. This was snapped no more than 10' from the swim platform of Boogaboo. Well, I tell you, my lovely wife nearly had a conniption fit when she saw that thing!! That, and she screamed like a little girl stepping off the dingy and onto the swim platform. I probably don't have to mention the fact that she spent the next 1/2 hour checking ALL the compartments on the boat while I went swimming . . .);

The next little tidbit I'd like to share with you all is another video I found awhile back. This was produced for the Ontario Marinas Operators Association (OMOA) and is an overview of Lakes Simcoe & Couchiching. No doubt you will recognize many of the areas shown on this video, but there is one very brief portion in particular that caught my eye. Pay close attention to the segment that shows up at 2:06 of play. Post your comments on the Log Book for that one. Sorry, no prize this time, just some old fashioned fun! And a bit of lump in your throat Rotten Row history;

Keep an eye out for my next update, as I have some fun & funky photos & one video from our trip back through the system last year at the end of our holidays. Some cool shots of Water Wings going through the fast current of the Little Chute. Stay tuned, my friends . . .

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yes, I Remember

Thanks for the pictures you took last weekend of the Old Row there, Mr. Porker. Thanks for reminding us all how dark, dingy and closed in the old joint looks :-)

Calm down, no offense buddy. Yes, the memories are great, but now that we have been spoiled for more than a year with the lovely surroundings at The Cottage, I'm sorry to say that seeing them pictures only makes me & AG realize how happy - & lucky - we are to be at our new home. Like I said, Thanks!

Now, on to some of the pics I took last weekend at The Cottage, where a bunch of us Dock Crocs were enjoying the lovely glow of the sunshine, the outdoors and the company with our first Bar-B-Que of the year!! Not to mention about a half dozen Tim Horton's coffees ;-)

The top photo was taken on Saturday evening, around 7:00 when Analus & I had just finished up working on the boats for the day. This was the first sunset picture of the year. Sure to get about a million more with the fantastic western exposure from our docks.

It sure is nice to have the deck already built for this season. And the ladies sure were enjoying it. Check out Anchor Girl - in a short sleeve shirt. On March 15th!!

I think Sanja was the instigator for this event with all her messages and calls to everyone on Saturday to get us all together for the BBQ. Besides, she was the only one with a BBQ left at the Cottage;
Analus gets a few mechanical pointers from Graham. I hope he was writing everything down. I'd hate to see him forget something and have to take his out drives off and on FOUR TIMES!!;

Finally, here's a quick video clip. Remember to hit the HQ button;

Lastly for today, I wanted to share a video clip I put together from one of the fires we had last season. Given the fact that Friday is the first day of Spring (HOO-HA!!!), I thought this clip was appropriate, as it was taken on the first day of summer, 2008. Enjoy the crackling of the fire;

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remember when

Hello to all the old Rotten Row Crew..I was down painting the bottom of Getaway2. So I thought I would take a couple pic's for your Musement. Summers coming and the winters going. But the memories will last forever..I hope you all had a great winter, and have a happy and Save 2009 boating season...This is Parker ..over and out.