May I present the final part of our Great Adventure, delivering our new boat home from Michigan to Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada.
I know it's only taken me the whole winter to get it posted, but this was the hardest part of the trip - actually getting home and calling it a day. I tell ya, when we did get back to our marina and eventually left for home (our house, that is), it sure was tough. After dreaming, hoping, working for and finally realizing the dream - not to mention the fun and excitement of driving the Big Boy nearly 700 miles all the way from another country, through mostly brand new waters to us - it was difficult to walk away :-(
But, go home we did. After all, that was the point of the trip, right?
See, I feel better about it already :-)
Leaving our anchorage of the previous two nights, we were back on the main Small Craft Route heading south.
Here is 'Water Wings' approaching the turn at O'Donnell Point in the clear morning sunshine. What a beautiful day;
Rounding the big marker on the point of O'Donnell Point;
On the way down, we took a little side trip through a place called 'Indian Harbour' to see what it looked like. Very pretty with the rocks on shore being very smooth as they rise out of the water;
The route is very well marked, but, as with any ventures on the water, one must be careful to stay on the correct path.
A couple we know from our marina had been coming to this very spot for a number of years but ended up hitting bottom here two seasons ago. When I say hit bottom, I mean they hit with such force that one out-drive was badly damaged and the other one was sheared completely off!! The result? An abbreviated holiday and a $12,000 insurance claim. . .
This guy is known as 'The Hitchhiker';
The 'Big Boy' on The Bay;
The Picnic Island store at Honey Harbour can mean only one thing - we are close to the end of our time on Georgian Bay for another year :-(
If we study this photo closely, two things become apparent; First, we can see the highway 69 bridge in the distance making this the approach to the first lock of the Trent Severn Waterway at Port Severn.
Second, we can see the anxious look of trepidation on the face of my lovely wife who is not looking forward to taking this big boat through ANY lock for the first time.
Can't imagine why. . .
Oh ya, this is why.
Clearly, the up-bound channel to the lock under the bridge is very narrow and the current that tends to push the boat's bow from side to side is always a treat.
You'll be happy to learn that I managed to stay on course through here, but landing the boat on the lock wall didn't go quite as smoothly. The result was a HIGHLY animated 'discussion' between the Captain and First Mate.
I swear that the lock walls are still ringing!
Fast forward two hours and we are quietly, calmly secured to the dock at the five star Rawley Resort (and they even let people like us in);
Anchor Girl patiently wates for me to get a shot of our boats;
Walking over to the restaurant for dinner;
Mmmmmm, desert time;
You don't wanna mess with this guy's cake ;-)
'Boogaboo IV' climbs aboard the Big Chute Marine Railway for the very first time;
With the boats all settled in, the big machine starts it's upward trek;
Geez, it almost looks like I ain't got no pants on;
I know that there's allot of boaters who are apprehensive of going over 'The Chute', but after passing through all but one of the 43 locks on the Trent Severn Waterway, I can tell you that this one is by far the easiest and least stressful of them all.
For those of you who haven't seen my previous posts of this technological wonder, here's the view from inside the boat, as we travel up the hill;
And, as yet another bonus feature, some video of our ride;
And a zoomed in shot of the Water Wings crew waiting on the blue line for their turn;
The next lock is Swift Rapids, which has the highest average 'lift' of 47' (the distance that the boats are lifted or lowered) of any of the conventional locks on the system;
Passing through the MacDonald Cut;
Next stop is the last lock before home;
'Boogaboo IV' & 'Water Wings' inside of Lock #42 (Couchiching Lock);
Our home for the night, on the blue line;
The entire crew of 'Docked Wages' had come up for the night & met us here;
The three boats on the wall;
Wevvy & Jason come over to take a peek at the new boat;
Jason entertains us with one of his fishing stories;
Final day on the water for this trip as we pass through The Narrows, between Lakes Couchiching and Simcoe;
Crossing over the lake to our home port, Lake Simcoe gives the Big Boy an appropriate welcome;
Arriving at the gas dock to see where they was gonna put us. Ultimately, we ended up docking right here for the balance of the season while the marina operators figured out what to do with us.
I know some of you probably had a few ideas of your own, but . . .
To top things off, the 'Docked Wages' crew were in the midst of upgrading to a much bigger boat and needed a place to keep it as well. . .
The chart-plotter shows the final tally of 662.4 statute miles traveled on this great adventure;
Total Trip Time: 25 days
Total Distance Covered: 662.4 Miles
Fuel Consumed: Don't Ask
Result: A Dream Come True!!
Now, all we need is a new slip . . .