Saturday, November 28, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Hello again. Can you believe it's already December?!?!? Well, as of the time of this composition, it's about 30 hours from December 1st, but you get the idea . . . So, where are we now? I'll tell ya, it's now only six weeks until the Boat Show and a mere 11 weeks to go for FFFvIX!

Oh man, I really better get going on the year end video! I have some ideas in mind, but haven't actually started the editing part yet. I better ramp that up, or we ain't going to have much more than a photo slide show - and that's only good for so long. . .

One more note regarding the Year End Video. I want to right here and now apologize for one of the segments I have in mind. Not so much for the video itself. . . Wait a minute - now that I really think about it, I have TWO things to apologize for. First, the video segment itself (don't worry, it's not something we all haven't seen already), but more importantly, the accompanying soundtrack. So, with that said, I want to pre-apologize to the memory and heavenly voice of Karen Carpenter. I think by now, you know how my mind works (if not, you really haven't been following along) and I heard a song by The Carpenters that just clicked with some special moments from 2009 that I feel compelled to share with you all. Hence, the pre-apology. . .

Tonight I will present to you the final installment of the Canada Day Long Weekend trip. Good thing too, as typing that title is allot of work each time. Just kidding - I tend to say too much anyway.

But (you just had to know I'd have more to say before starting the show) before we get on with the formalities, I wanted to bring you up to speed with what's happening in the Boogaboo camp during these fun filled 'out of water boating' days.

As part of the winter home improvement projects '09, I was instructed to replace the kitchen counter top (and install pot lights, and paint, and replace the stairs with oak, and put in a tile back splash in the bathroom, and. . . ). Yep, Anchor Girl wanted a simple, blah 'post formed' top to go in place of the old one, but I used my previously alluded to powers of persuasion to sway her to a slightly more upscale finish. Granite. Believe it or not, granite worked out cheaper than a standard Formica top - when you consider that my current client is getting a 'special rate' on the labour;
Actually, I consider my labour rate on these projects more of a barter type of affair. Like Red Green always says 'If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy'. Lucky for A.G. that she found someone who is handy at least. Hey, it's not not what you know, it's who you know, right? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink ;-)

And while I've been working away, Anchor Girl continues to work out. Nice moves :-)
Hey Martha - how's your Wii Fit program coming along?

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Back to the show. The other show.

At the end of last week's episode, we found our intrepid bunch at anchor in Lost Channel. As we return, we find that everyone is busily departing the scene in search of new adventures and memories!

Let's look in to see what they have found . . .

With SunAria and Boogaboo having hoisted anchors and cast off lines, the crew of Water Wings is just now pulling anchor to set forth on the final segment of this extended five day weekend of new discoveries.

Three cheers for new discoveries - Hip-Hip, HOORAY!

Boogaboo heads back out through one of the narrow passages that protects this wondrous place for the outside world;

Back onto the Trent Severn Waterway, we encountered crazy traffic that is reminiscent of the Honey Harbour area of Georgian Bay! Look close and you'll see Water Wings and SunAria off to the right side, trying to avoid the local yokels;

Water Wings & SunAria bob around the lower reaches of the Swift Rapids Lock waiting to take the ride back up. Most of those boats you saw in the previous picture were all in a big hurry to get to this lock and simply tie up to the wall. With nowhere to tie up , we had to wait out in the open, shifting into and out of gear dealing with the current and waiting for our turn at going through the lock;

All this waiting gave Sanja some extra time to find a recruit to help her go through he lock. As a result of the efforts of one of her fellow traveler 'volunteers', a good Samaritan - Bruce Anchor - was cohersed into offering a helping hand and hitched a ride from shore to go aboard and help go through the lock;
Oh look - that same 'volunteer' was able to grab some video of this exciting event;

Our originally planned destination for the weekend was Deep Bay, just north of Sparrow Lake. Since we never actually got there on the way up, we decided to venture into the bay for a look see on the way back. Despite what the name implies, the entrance to Deep Bay is very shallow and should only be attempted at a dead slow speed. Here's a shot of Water Wings, taken on our cruise out;
Better hang on there, Mr. Ugly Wugley;

SunAria heading out of the bay taking up the usual rear position. Maybe next year we will see a little more initiative to help lead the way on our upcoming adventures??

After the short southbound crossing of Sparrow Lake, we got into Lauderdale Marina. Of all the spots we got to on this trip, Lauderdale was the only one that was actually planned for. And what a fun time we all had getting into this joint!!

Looking at this next picture, you'll see the twin Sea Ray's in their evening berths. Boogaboo is to the right of the picture, Water Wings to the left. Fortunately, I was first of the three to get into a slip and had the choice pick of where I wanted to go. Ahh, scratch that. More like the slip that the wind was going to tell me to pull into!

It was blowing pretty hard and we all had a challenge just getting into the marina (or finding it). We probably had about 15 knot wind gusts - not the optimum conditions for pulling into a slip, driving into the bright sun, in a marina you had never been to!

Well, Analus & I were able to get into our slips with minimal damage & embarrassment, secured and on the dock to help SunAria into her slip - the most challenging of the three. Or so we thought. . .

After a heading well past her assigned slip (and quickly running out of space to drive a boat), Sanja was able to throw SunAria into reverse, turn hard to starboard, give her some throttle and back that boat perfectly straight into the the slip like the boat was on rails!

I kid you not, there was A.G. & I on the dock, along with the two Mike's (from the old Chris Craft next door) , the owner of the marina and Analus on the Bayliner to port all waiting for what we thought was going to be an inevitable CLUNK into the dock, Bayliner, Chris Craft of all of the above - but nothing! A perfect landing. And that wouldn't be the last time we would run into the two Mikes on this trip;

All safe & secure (and showered), we were able to grab a cold drink and check the place out. Hey Wevvy - don't that look like your boat in the background?;

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!

Here's a view of the marina office and store. This is also where the gas dock is. A little insight about the marina owners. Let's just say that they are of advanced years and getting gas is not a hurried event, by any means :-)

One more note on Lauderdale. When entering the marina, one must favour the port side inbound) of the entrance as there is significant shoaling to starboard. There were a few fenders in the water marking the shallows, but be aware when doing it against the sun or in rain;

Of course the last night of this mini holidays saw the best weather. Much like the last few days of our three weeks summer holidays saw the nicest conditions. Much like the last couple of weekends of the boating season were the best as well. Ya, and the weather was pretty good then, too;-)

Look at that beautiful full moon - both in the sky and reflecting on the water;

I took this shot looking out from the back of Boogaboo, with Sparrow Lake in the background. Don't those trees kinda look like palm trees (he asked wondering if he might get a response)?

The next two photos are a study in 'political correctness'. Both shots were taken at the exact same physical location, with nothing but two years separating them. One can see the first, current sign along the Severn River, roughly midway between Lock # 42 and Sparrow Lake. It indicates to boaters approaching the swing bridge that they might have to sound their horn to have the bridge opened for them to pass through. Pretty straightforward instruction, right?

I preferred the wording on the older one. It just seemed a bit more, aah, shall we say - to the point ;-)

Some video, taken just approaching the said swing bridge;

When we arrived at Lock#42, we found a whole bunch of boats already waiting to lock through. No doubt the good weather, plus the fact that it was a long weekend was the determining factors in our one hour wait, again bobbing around. This is where we again saw the two Mikes from Lauderdale Marina;

Southbound through the Bowling Alley marked the end of our 5 day journey. I remember when just going to Lake Couchiching was a big deal. Now, finding ourselves coming back onto it from the north mostly signifies the end to our newest adventures. Funny how perceptions change, eh?

And thus concludes the Canada Day Long Weekend Mini Holiday review.

I look forward to our continuation of the Summer Holidays/09 adventure in the coming updates. I think I read something about the 'harrowing lost the anchors' incident!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Just In . . .

I do apologize, but in m haste to get the Canada Day Duet post up and running, I plumb forgot to include this little video, taken from high atop Blackfly Mountain. I hope you enjoy it's sunshine on this dreary, rainy day;

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Canada Day Duet

Welcome to Part Two of the Canada day long weekend festivities. For your dining and dancing pleasure we are featuring a ton of photos and a whole whack of videos. I hope you have the capability of watching - and listening - to the videos clips. They help me tell the story.

Tonight I'm going to try my best to stick to the topic at hand and not veer into the outer reaches of my psyche. Or physics. Nor even physicality. . .

Except for the following - it'll be quick!

I happened to watch a documentary on Turner Classic Movies this week about the composer/singer/record company founder, Johnny Mercer. For those of you who are not familiar with his name, you will almost certainly know some of his music. One song in particular will be ringing in your head come FFFvIX. The song is 'Moon River' (wider than a mile; I'm crossing you in style, some day; Oh dream maker, you heart breaker; Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way . . .) and I look forward to including that tune to help score a special segment of the 2009 Year End Video. Can you possibly imagine what that is going to be about?

Mr. Mercer wrote an astounding 1500+ songs during his lifetime and this week marked what would have been his 100th birthday. I found an insightful article about him that was written to mark his birthday and I encourage you to read it HERE. The piece talks about his relationship with Judy Garland, who was - as everyone knows - Dorothy from the Wizard Of Oz.

Toto, I don't think we're in Oz, anymore. . . .

Wizard of Oz? I think I used that theme to great effect in the Year End Video about three years ago. Let's see . . . Wizard Of Oz & Moon River as inspiration. Judy Garland & Johnny Mercer. Coincidence or more of life's karma? Or is it just that I am somehow attracted to the older classics?

I tell you, everything happens for a reason and it is all interconnected. Not much is left to chance. Like Mr. Mercer says in the article, he felt that the words for his songs came to him "like you're tuning in to a musical instrument that's miles away . . " Bingo! It's as easy as tuning into those same types of inspirations to bring positive energy to all of us. It's everywhere, all the time - one need only open their eyes and heart to it.

I dare you to prove me wrong.

Where was I? Somewhere over the rainbow?

Yes, yes - I know - on with the show already!

_ _ _ _ = = = = = * * * * * * * *>^< * * * * * * * * = = = = = _ _ _ _

Leaving Severn Falls on Thursday morning with a light rain falling;

Next stop was Big Chute Marina for fuel and a walk in the sunshine. Wait a minute - scratch that last part. More like liquid sunshine.

Rain or shine, it was a good time;
Get the popcorn out - it's movie time. Notice how Anchor Girl is the only one in bare feet;

In retrospect, this part of the trip ended up being a rehearsal for the beginning of our summer holidays - traveling through the system in the rain. I'm so glad that Santa got us those Sea Ray raincoats.
Ahh, if you're listening Santa, maybe this year you might want to consider some hats or sun screen. Something that might be bring us some weather more conducive to boating;

Our destination - Lost Channel. You can see it here on the chart - just north of the Severn River and 3,000,000 miles from 'been there, done that';

This is the entrance off the Small Craft Route along the Severn River. Man, Wayne's description was top notch, right down to the sign advertising the fireworks - which ended up including guns being fired off!

Entering the first narrow passage in to the Channel. Nope, it sure don't look like Water Wings is gonna fit;

Ahh, no problem. We sure took it slow through here, though;

In case you missed it the first time I posted this video, here it is again. Right where it's supposed to be;

SunAria is close behind. Remember, Sanja - it's up to you to lead us out from here;

This is just another one of those really cool shots. Beautiful!

Once the anchors were set, we took Sanja's spare anchor line to tie to shore;

Remember Frankie, do it the German way and make it gutentight!

Too bad we got that brand new line all dirty, but it had to be broken in sometime;

Now that everything's secure, Little Pugsely was able to go for a relief run to shore and claim 'Pugsely Point'. Notice the boys' reflections on the water?

Swim shower time;

Next, it was time to help out the crews with the technical stuff.
Figuring out how to work Analus's video camera. Hey, skipper - any chance of getting to see some of that there video? I might be able to use it on the year end video;

And helping Sanja figure out how to work her camera.
Now, those pictures I already got, thank you very much. We'll be seeing some of them real soon;

Look at that! Here's one of those pictures already!
If I recall correctly, I think I was helping Billie Sue to find the number for Casino Rama;

Here's some video Sanja took of the two Paul's trying to determine where Lost Channel was, exactly;

Once all the technical stuff was figured out, it was on to the dinkies and off to explore. What a (and, yes, I realize I use this term allot) beautiful shot;

Everyone was excited to go for a dinky ride - even little Ugly Pugsely Wugsely;

Hi Analus!
Heading into our destination which was a water control dam at the end of one of the little fjords, just to the south of the bay we were anchored in. When we got there, we saw a sign stating that this is part of an O.F.S.C. (Ontario Federation Of Snowmobile Clubs) trail.
We didn't see any - not even any tracks;

DAMN! I mean, ahh - the dam;

Not only were there innumerable mosquitoes inhabiting the lower reaches of the spillway, but those little blood suckers were just waiting for some sucker to come down and get . . ahh . . . bitten ;-)
Yes, despite the peril I put myself in - for the greater good of my audience - I set forth to capture photos to share with you today. And video. And sob stories to garner any sympathy I can. . .
And I think I got a boo-boo on my finger :-(
And while we're at it, how come nobody has ever pointed out the fact that I have a tiny (yet highly noticeable from this angle) bald spot on the aft/starboard quarter of my square head?

Here's some of that hard won video from the mosquito basin;

The infamous 'Pugsely Point' where we later saw the illusive Lost Channel black bear;

Von Analus with a lovely Pike. Though we were only about 15' from shore, we were in about 10' of water, as it dropped off quickly here. The same afternoon as this, we saw a couple of boats (about 24') anchor here, with their sterns tucked right into shore;

A moving review of the moving pictures of the Pike release;

Some of the rugged shoreline leading back to our anchorage;

Blackfly Mountain in the mist. This reminds me of a shot I took up in The Bay this summer, at Gilman Bay - but them photos are for another day;

Looking off to our port side line to shore;

A panning video of our anchorage, all the way from Pugsely Point to Blackfly Mountain;

Despite not being comfortable swimming in water over her head, Anchor Girl made the plunge for a swim shower. Like I told her, if we were going to spend allot of nights on the hook during our holidays, she better get used to it.
She did:-)

Little Mr. Ugly is getting all excited because it's DINNER TIME!

The 'Three Rays' all lined up in a pretty pose;

Anchor Girl & I hiked all the way to the top of Blackfly Mountain just to get this photo.
And to enjoy the view. Very nice;

Here's a picture of Sanja taking a picture of us taking a picture of her;

And here's the view looking back. See us way up at the top?

Looking over to La Point du Pugsely'

Notice how the tree branches frame the boats in this shot;

Yet another shot of the boats at anchor, but this time it's sunny!
This beautiful Osprey had us believing he was an Eagle at first;

Listen as we discuss what species this bird of prey might belong to;

Here's a collage of five of Sanja's photos that I put together to create a panoramic view;

And one lovely evening photo;

Part Three is coming up, including our stay at Lauderdale Point Marina. See you back here . . . I'll be looking for your comments on the LogBook!