Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Boat Canvas Cleaning

We took advantage of a sunny and dry day yesterday to remove and thoroughly clean the canvas over our cockpit area. Late last season, we noticed that mold was starting to grow on the underside, but the year ended up being rainy most weekends so we were unable to tackle the cleaning job at that time.
Mold on underside of boat canvas.

It took us three hours to remove, scrub, dry and waterproof all of the cockpit canvas. A mild solution of bleach and Tide laundry soap does the trick on the Sunbrella material top.
Washing canvas.

'Boogaboo' looked partially naked with it's top off. Last summer we were able to perform the same task on the flybridge canvas and it has been mold free since.

Cockpit canvas removed.

 I took a bunch video during this project and hope to have something posted to my YouTube Channel in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

 Our plan is to do each section on rotating years - flybridge again next summer, and so forth. Hopefully that will keep the disgusting mold at bay - but not on any of the bays we visit ;-)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Summer 2013 Boat Cruise - Part Eight

Wow, I really gotta start doing these Blog posts sooner to the actual events ;-) It's hard to believe that this set of holiday pics are from last summer and we are going to be re-launched for the 2014 season in less than two weeks!! Oh well, it's always fun to look back on memorable times, and this is no less.

 Part eight takes us back to Young's Point and a nice evening with the owner of Islandview Resort. Despite the fact we were heading back towards home, there was still lots of fun and memories to be made :-)

Waiting to go up through the lock at Young's Point;
Up-bound through Young;s Point Lock - Lock #27 of the Trent Severn Waterway.

VIDEO: As the title suggests, I was having an 'off day' with my MS symptoms and my approach to the dock at Islandview was less than spectacular. On the good side, you have a nice, long video of the approach to and through the lock;

Immediately beside the lock - and a shorty walk from Islandview - is the Lockside Trading Company. apart from the store, they offer a full fledged ice cream shop and even have this little pig for the kids to sit on. Or, in this case, Anchor Girl.
Lockside Trading Company at Young's Point

Across from the lock stands this old bridge, built in 1884-1885 and is the only known surviving bridge that employed both wrought iron and steel in it's construction. It's also one of the oldest bridges along the Trent Severn Waterway. Once used for road traffic, it was long ago replaced by the Regional Road 28 bridge, a little to the west highway (both this bridge and it's replacement are viewable starting about the 3:00 minute mark of the video above).
Young's Point bridge.

Our host for our stay, one Mr. Kieth. Um, as a side note, he has a good connection with a guy that does a great job of fashioning drinking glasses out of empty beer bottles. How we got all those empty beer bottles between the two of us is another story ;-)
Hey Kieth, have you seen my empties ;-)

Another great spot to tie up for a night or two.
The docks at Islandview Resort and Marina.

Leaving Young's Point and heading northbound across Lake on a clear, sunny day;
A clear day on Clear Lake.

 Lots of pretty scenery as we approach Hell's Gate that separates Clear & Stony Lakes;
Hell's Gate on Stony Lake.

Anchor Girl still trying to get that perfcect shot of St. Peter's Church - an incident that got us into trouble the first time passing through here, years before! Watch the upcoming video for all the details;

Perry The Penguin sure enjoyed his time travelking through here. Warm & sunny is right up his ally!
Perry The Penguin having fun on his first boating vacation.

St. Peter's Church - on the rock.
St. Peter's Church on Stony Lake.

VIDEO: Our cruise from Young's Point and through the very picturesque Hell's Gate on Stony Lake;

The aptly named Stony Lake offers similar cruising grounds to that of Georgian Bay, albeit only for a short distance of just a few miles.

At the far western end of Stony Lake is the bottom sid eof Burleigh Falls Lock (Lock #28), and our stop for the next two nights
Approaching Burleigh Falls Lock.

Next time, we are at Burleigh Falls Lock for a very stormy night!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing a Book, One Brick at a Time

For those of you who have been following this Blog or my YouTube Channel for the past few years, you will have already seen the posts from our grand adventure when we purchased 'Boogaboo IV', back in 2010. Well, after retelling many highlights of that experience over the ensuing years, I have been inspired to put it all together in the form of a book. Yup, you heard right - I'm writing a book.

(Actually, I'm in the midst of writing two books, but the other one has a much deeper, personal resonance to it which I'll delve into more in a future post.)

Referring to that event as a grand adventure isn't mere hype. It was truly a milestones that would mark a turning point in our lives - not only in terms of our boating travels, but in our whole outlook on life and what we CAN do as a couple - and survive it intact!!

In Michigan with our soon-to-be 'Boogaboo IV'.

  Survival was the key to the whole story. And the whole story is a whole lot more than can be properly conveyed through mere Blog posts, hence the book. Survival, as you will learn, has many connotations and will be used in the context of this story to relate to not only surviving a voyage of nearly 700 miles, but also that of mental, emotional and yes, marriage survival! Perhaps 'ordeal' might have been a more descriptive term ;-)

Applying the name on the transom before leaving Michigan, making it 'Ours' :-)

 So, what the heck do bricks have to do with it all, you surely must be asking yourself? Read on . . .

 As I am going on about my day, especially when I am involved in physical labour (which is most work days, in my contracting businesses) I feel that my mind is somehow released and that more far reaching thoughts and inspirations come to me, most especially when I am working alone. Take this weekend, for example. As part of our preparations to move onto the boat full time, we had to make some changes to the house (see video below) and I was basically pushing a paint brush and roller for hours at a time. Put on some good music & it gives me time to think.

 And think, I do. Lots of it! As I continually point out to my lovely Anchor Girl, I could fill five more lifetimes with all the thoughts, aspirations and inspirations that come to me. But that's OK, because I firmly know that when this current plain of existence ends, I (we) will continue on with a much higher propose, so ultimately, I got lots of time :-)

 But I digress. Back to the bricks!

 I find it amazing how thoughts seem to come to me out of the blue, then only to be reinforced, or revisited a short time later by that same 'spark' being presented to me in another context. Almost like it's trying to show me something. . .

 Case in point (and finally getting to the darned bricks!); As part of my free thinking moments yesterday, I was reflecting on one of the 14,286.419 pieces of seemingly useless information floating around my head, that being a fact I recalled that Winston Churchill (former Prime Minister of England & 20th Century icon) would spend a great deal of time working at his estate, Chartwell, doing - you guessed it - bricklaying!

 From many accounts, Sir Winston derived a similar mental escape through building walls, fences and other brick structures that seemed to clear the way for inspirations to flow freely. His bricks, my paint brush. Or drywall trowel, or whatever the tool du jour happens to be. Perhaps it was through this release that Mr. Churchill found the abundant inspiration to write more than 50 volumes in his time.

 Do I have 50 books in me? Dunno. Two years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of me writing ONE book, let alone two! But here I am, knee deep into it and finding that writing and me seem to have a long suppressed destiny.  I hope that you will look forward to reading about our boating adventure - and more. I will promise you that I'm going to do my best to keep you entertained, and more importantly - inspired!

 Quickly getting back to the connections between these thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Yesterday I was thinking and jotting my notes to share with you about our Mr. Churchill and his bricklaying release. Today, I was looking at a web site (boating related, no less) published by someone we know but haven't haven't talked to in too many years and what pops up? A photo of a boat with the name 'Chartwell', along with a caricature of Winston Churchill on the transom, produced by this very person!

 Was this a coincidence? No sir. Just one more sign that our new path, book, rekindled relationships and so much more yet to be discovered destinies are meant all to be. And I'm grateful for that & the forces that are moving us along this path :-)

VIDEO: preparing to move pout of the house & onto the boat update - all part of my continued inspiration;


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Summer Boat Cruise 2013 - Part Seven

For the 2013 boating vacation voyage, this would be the farthest 'away' we were to go, Lakefield Lock. I was hoping to travel to Peterborough, but with the shorter hours of operation and the fact that our usual time off work was cut back back by almost a third this year, so we decided this was it.

 Not that I am sad that we didn't get any farther, on the contrary, despite have ventured to all of the areas we saw on prior trips, this was like seeing much of it for the first time. That was as a result of our ability to stay at a number of the locks for days at a time. Having the built in generator on the boat sure gives us so much more freedom to go where we wish, while maintaining most of the comforts we would enjoy tied to our dock at home.

Like most of the other locks, this one provides a peaceful and secure setting to tie up for a night or two. As you can see in this shot, I turned Boogaboo to have the bow facing 'back home', right at the end of the wall. This allowed us easy egress when we decided to leave, as well as a good view downstream to all the comings and goings while the lock was operating.
Tie up wall at the Lakefield Lock.

Video: A really nice clip of our short run over to the Lock. Another peaceful, sunny day on the water - complete with a notable docking manoeuvre at the end ;-)

Our view from the back of the boat, looking towards the lock;
Pretty view.

Sunshine, and lots of green;
Lock #36 of the Trent Severn Waterway, at Lakefield, Ontario.

The lock chamber, looking downstream, of course. There are rumours (reported to us more than once) that this lock has the BIGGEST spiders of any along the TSW. Anchor Girl was thrilled to hear that the first time we passed through here ;-)
Be wary of the Spiders . . ..

Video: One of the few dingy rides we took on this trip saw us heading back into the village to grab more food (natch) and BEER :-)

After the big workout from our dingy ride, it was getting to be cocktail time. A favorite spot for us to enjoy a cool drink is sitting on our folding lounge chairs, propped on the swim platform, feet up on the floating dingy;
Watching the world go by . . .

Evening of the second day and the joint had filled up. It was nice to wander and talk to the other boaters, discussing the TSW issues;
A full house.

Our spot on the wall. Nice;
Looking forward to going back here.

Cool shot across the port side deck, complete with funky lens flare;
Shine a little sunshine on me :-)

Video: Before heading off, we walked over to the local grocery store for MORE food & I took this clip of the local walking trail, which passed right beside our mooring;

The ending shot form the video was taken overlooking the control dam, just ahead of the lock. I was able to also snap a neat still photo of the big Chris Craft riding by;
A view of top and bottom.

The next segment sees us heading back to Young's Point and some time with our host to catch up and swap stories.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boat Holding Tank Replacement - Measuring For New One

Ask yourself this; How can a day crawling around in a cold boat bilge to measure for a poop tank put a smile on anyone's face? Easy - it brings us that much closer to having 'Boogaboo' ready for relaunch and moving aboard full time :-)

 Although this photo may suggest that we are far from being back in the water, the snow and ice are melting quickly now. With any luck, we should be ready to be splashed in a couple of weeks.
Shrink wrap to be coming off soon :-) Boogaboo on the left in this shot.

 This past Sunday saw me down in that very bilge, removing three heavy batteries, measuring, doing a lot of crawling around and talking to myself - out loud. The end result was that I was very happy to figure out that we will be able to accommodate a much larger tank than was installed from the factory. That's gonna translate into longer times between pump outs, not to mention one happy Anchor Girl. She has been somewhat paranoid ever since we got the boat that we will have another overflow, something that happened during the first week we had the boat. As far as we can determine, the gas dock attendant didn't pump out our tank completely and only three days later - at anchor on Georgian Bay - a flush of the toilet chugged some unpleasantness out through the vent. Needless to say, we made a quick exit and over to the closest marina for a complete pump out.

 A look at my template for the new tank. Nothing more than a cardboard box, but it was very close to the dimensions I needed to check.
Our temporary cardboard tank.

 Ever since that incident, and despite a new gauge on the old tank, Anchor Girl was FOREVER asking me if I thought we needed a pump out. Argh!! Bottom line is that we should be able to enjoy an extra 4 - 5 days between trips to the gas dock, for a new total of 10 - 12 days capacity. That's gonna be relieving - for a couple of reasons ;-)

VIDEO - Yours truley doing the aforementioned measuring and smiling in the engine room;

 A shot of the marina, looking out from the launch ramp. As you can see, the ice is opening up and revealing the beauty of open water once again!
Open water again at the marina!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Thaw - Finally!

 After the worst winter in recent memory, Mother Nature has finally looked at the calendar and started the warming part of Spring. Ahhhh, that's nice :-)

 We took a drive up to the boat twice in the past week to check on things and it's so nice to see open water again! Nothing much on Lake Simcoe right now, but many rivers have begun to open up and flow again. Here's a pic I took where the Trent Severn Waterway enters Lake Simcoe, at Gamebridge;
Open water again :-)

 Not only is the snow and ice fading fast, but it was so nice to see the wild critters out again as well. On Sunday alone, we spotted deer, wild turkeys, lots of little creatures and tons of geese - although they aren't that pleasant to have around the marina. . . The most encouraging to see once again flying around and claiming their nests was the Osprey, returned from their southern wintering grounds.

VIDEO: One happy boater looking at moving water. Everybody say 'Woo-Hoo' with me!

 All of the above says that once again we are moving inexorably towards another great season on the water. Soon be time to head onto the Trent Severn Waterway and take it all in :-)
Swing bridge on the Trent Severn Waterway.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Summer 2013 Boat Cruise - Part Six

After a seven hour run from Fenelon Falls (including five locks), we find ourselves at another favorite place to stay for a couple of days, that being the Islandview Resort in Young's Point. Even though we were traveling for most of the day, it a great one to be on the water and we drove at an easy, relaxed pace for the most part.

We have spent a number of our getaways here and over the years the owner, Kieth has become a friend that we look forward to seeing each time we return.
Islandview Resort and Marina in Young's Point.

Located right along the main route, all the boats going through here have to pass right in front of the docks, making for some prime boat watching. Unfortunately, with the reduced hours in the navigation season, traffic was down quite a bit when we visited.
The gas dock at Islandview Resort.

The resort also has a good restaurant, complete with outside patio that overlooks the waterway.
Old Mill Restaurant patio.

Video: A look around at Islandview

This was the first visit for Perry The Penguin & he really enjoyed it as well :-)
Perry relaxing.

Video: A quick mop down of Boogaboo before heading off to our next destination

Video: Leaving Islandview, passing through Young's Point Lock and on to Lakefield Marina;

As you saw in the video, we arrived to sunshine at Lakefield Marina, but by late afternoon the skies turned stormy.
Passing thunder clouds at Lakefield Marina.

Here me with the BBQ set up on the dock, hoping that the rain will stay off until dinner.
BBQ on the dock at Lakefield.

The very lovely Anchor Girl relaxes while waiting for dinner.
My beautiful First Mate.

Walking back from yet another food shopping trip ;-)

 The next morning we were off again, this time to the farthest east we would get on this trip - and another new place to stay. But first, one quick look at the marina on a sunny morning;
A sunny morning at Lakefield Marina.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Thaw - Finally!!

 After a very long (!!) and bitter (!!!) winter, Anchor Girl and I took a drive up to visit our beloved 'Boogaboo' to check on how it fared the cold, wind and snow. The good news is that it appeared to have survived nicely :-)

 The sorta down side was that there had been lots of settling under the wood pile supports, making it somewhat unsafe being aboard. Good or bad, I did get a chance to climb up to have a look around in the engine room - before I discovered the settling issue. Unfortunately, I was unable to do my final measuring for the replacement waste-water replacement holding tank. Next weekend I will do that, for sure, as the marina contacted me today to confirm that they have shimmed the blocking to make in once again safe to board the boat.

 At least I was able to capture some nice video of me SMILING while I was back on 'Boogaboo' :-)


Monday, March 31, 2014

Summer 2013 Boat Cruise - Part Five

This time we leave Fenelon Falls and head south and east to our next destination of Young's Point.

 The morning was beautifully calm when we departed.
Fenelon Falls railway swing bridge.

An easy one this morning, as we had zero wind and only one other boat to go through the lock with.
Heading towards the top side of the lock.

Video of us leaving the tie up wall and heading to and down-bound through the Fenelon Falls Lock;

After exiting the lock, we are into the picturesque Fenelon River which, in turn, took us into Sturgeon Lake. At the far east end is the village of Bobcaygeon and this marina - Centre Point Landing - is on the north shore, just before town when heading in from the east.
Center Point Landing Marina

Approaching the Bobcaygeon Lock, one sees the unmistakable 'Bigley's' store for ladies fashions with it's bright pink roof, located immediately beside the lock chamber. Bobcaygeon has the distinction of being the site of the very first lock along what was to become the Trent Severn Waterway, having the first one built way back in 1833.
Approaching the top side of Bobcaygeon Lock.

Video of the trip to and down-bound through Bobcaygeon Lock

After getting a pump-out at Gordon Yacht Harbour and continuing east, we passed through Pigeon Lake, which becomes Buckhorn Lake (Upper) at a spot called Gannon Narrows.
Gannon Narrows Bridge.

At the far east end of Upper Buckhorn Lake sits the hamlet of Buckhorn and the Buckhorn Lock, which drops us down into Lower Buckhorn Lake. Phew, that's a lot of Buckhorns :-)
Exiting the bottom side of Buckhorn Lock.

These guys were occupying a nest/perch just past the lock.
One of the many Osprey nests to be seen along the Trent Severn Waterway.

Crossing Lower Buckhorn Lake we saw a number of these rental houseboats. One must be wary of these slow moving, heavy vessels, more likely than not to be piloted by a less than experienced captain. Can make for some 'interesting' stories ;-)
Rental houseboat on Lower Buckhorn Lake.

Another lake and another lock. This time it's Lovesick Lock, with the shortest 'lift' of any of the locks on the system. At only 3.5' it usually only takes a few minutes to get through, but with the shenanigans by some of the staff in 2013 we found ourselves taking longer than expected. . . Hopefully that isn't the case again for the coming season.
Lovesick Lock

Next update is for our time at Young's Point