Aug 032012

We should have known how today was going to go when just as we woke up the dead battery alarm went off.  Scott started the gen on the auxillary batteries and we were good to go……….or so we thought.   After a quick shower at the back of the boat and a general clean up we headed off into Sturgeon Lake.

We were about half way across when the starboard engine quit and would not start.  We knew that the marina that we were getting diesel from was not far so we puttered on one engine to their marina.  Of course our cell service was non existent and our internet flaky and the marina was not monitoring its VHF radio. I proceeded to wave down a fellow mariner who was washing his boat and he got on the radio.  Scott let him know we were down an engine and we were coming in.  He got some help at the dock and we were in pretty easily.  We were thankful that we made it there and asked for diesel.  The owner said that they have never had diesel and that the next place would be about 10 miles further down our  route.  Scott was now down in the engine room in 30 degree heat beside two engines giving off more heat.  He was drenched by the time he fixed the problem which was air in the fuel rails.  It is supposed to self prime itself and Scott did the filters correctly but was a bit short on adding diesel to the filter.  Note to self that diesel engines are picky when it comes to filling the oil filters.

Off we go again to find that diesel at the next stop.  The fella at Birch Point Marina was kind enough to sell us his stock of about 40 l  to get us down to the next stop.   We pull up to the diesel pump only to find out that the pump is down and that the only place after them is Orillia.  We don’t have enough fuel to get to Orillia.  Please remember that we have this trip planned very thoroughly and that fuel stops have been planned out but we didn’t plan for wrong written information and pumps that stopped working.  After discussing our options we came to the conclusion that the best plan of action was to make it to Kirkfield lift lock, call my mom right now and have her buy 6 – 20 L containers and drive to meet us.   Then Scott can run to the gas station with her car, fill up the 6 containers and do that 3 times.  So that is what happened.  We sat down to have dinner at about 8:00 or so and sent mom on her merry way back home, us happy with half full tanks of gas to get us to Orillia. Thanks again Mom!  We owe you a dinner at least!

I must add that the highlight of the day was a swim in Balsam Lake.  Beautiful open lake with clear blue waters and warm.  Balsam Lake feeds the entire Trent Severn Waterway going in both directions.  It is also the highest point navigatable by sea in the world.

We stayed on top of the lock only because there was road access and it would be easier to lug over those Geri  cans.  It is very industrial there.  The buoys are stored there and work barges are there too.  No park like setting but we did have a picnic table.

Tomorrow we lock through the Kirkfield lift lock going down instead of up like at the Peterborough lift lock!

 Posted by at 2:15 AM
Aug 022012

This beautiful country up here in The Kawarthas.  The only problem is everyone knows it.  Cottages are literally everywhere almost on top of each other.  The water is crystal clear and so far not many boats are on the water.  Leaving Buckhorn behind (much to my pleasure) we head on off to a marina in Bobcaygeon for those well waited for toilet parts. 

Upon arriving to the marina it is quickly noted that that the marina is really not equipped to handle this size boat.  After getting us set up at the end of the gas dock , the attendant says he has an alternate spot for us.  It turns out it is a bit shallow and the width will fit the boat but just barely.  He says we can stay at the front of the gas dock but is concerned for any house boat rental drivers that may be in for gas.  No kidding!!!  They are not only the worst drivers on the water but it is our guess that many have never really been around boating.  That goes for their crew as well.  After a 20 minute instructional video they are handed the keys to head out into the waters and those close quarters on dock walls and locks with the regular boats.  I can tell you it is quite the painful experience watching them try to manoever them. 

The boys made friends with two other boys around the ages of 14 and 16 docked behind us here on the wall.  They spent the day making forts, fishing and just being boys.  My mom made it down for the evening and we had some catch up time too.  Scott did the maintenance on the toilet, rebuilt the pump and changed oil filters.  They only real job left is changing the oil. 

Bobcaygeon on the upper side of the lock is a really good stop.  You can get all your supplies here, do some shopping, watch those boathouse drivers for entertainment, and the lock is a busy one but far enough away that you can still enjoy the beautifully kept park area.  New this year is a two hour stop until 5:00 and then you can overnight.  However, the lockmasters seem to turn a blind eye to that rule.  They are just too busy doing the locking.

 Posted by at 12:49 PM
Aug 012012

After the day of rain yesterday today was a welcome reprieve of breezes and warm temps.  We have decided to head to Buckhorn and stay on the wall.  Our books say the best place to stay is topside of the lock but now that we are here the bottom is the place to be.  The books seem to favor the city side rather than the solitude side of the locks.  Oh well, we’ll know for next time.  Today C spent the afternoon and most of the evening fishing.  He has hooked a couple big ones, trees that is.  His biggest catch of the day was finding a louwer.  His perseverance paid off after finding the louwer and He was rewarded with a small pickerel that the boys decided to keep for  lunch tomorrow.  Scott showed the boys how to clean and prepare fish.  Thrilled they are.  Now that we are here on the wall the boys are again fishing for that illustrious big one in a no fishing zone at that.


Buckhorn is a very busy lock with cottagers coming and going throughout the day.  I personally don’t like it much.  Hard to swim here, no fishing rules, busy streets and too many people.  We won’t do this again.

The hardware store was able to supply us with one engine’s oil for the change that Scott has to do.  That was a bit of a relief.

 Posted by at 2:22 AM