|Approaching Lake Simcoe
|Port of Orillia maina
We found a printing company online and walked over to place an order for a banner, we could put on the dinghy while it's lifted in the davits. With the dinghy motor lying on the platform we were hiding our boat name. So to make sure anyone wanting to pass us knows how to "hail" us on the VHF radio, we are copying what we've seen other boaters do and will have our boat name on the dinghy. Georgian Bay Printers did and excellent job on the banner (which we picked up the next day) and it looks really nice. We just need to figure out how we want to install it now.
We had called to order a new "chip/SD card" for the Lowrance GPS and we biked to the store to go pick it up. You cannot imagine how disappointed we were to realize it did not work on our device. We tried it on the laptop and all the content was there, but we still had nothing on our GPS. So Papi did some trouble shooting/pulled out the manuals to our Lowrance system... all that to realize that:
1 - we have an integrated antenna in our GPS;
2 - our external antenna ceased working for unknown reasons - which caused us to loose our charts on the GPS (but we had the paper charts as back up - so we were good);
3 - our current SD card/charts still work with the integrated antenna - so we are good until Chicago;
4 - our device/Lowrance HDS-10 cannot support the new SD Navionics card (Canada & USA), it has too much information on it (the card); and
5 - we will need to get multiple new SD cards as we progress along on trip - our devise is too old/doesn't have enough memory/space.
Papi was able to get the exterior antenna working again, he thinks it might have been the fuse that got loose with all the vibration... So I am happy to report that we have our GPS working again, we know now what type of SD cards/Charts we need to get before we pass Chicago and we learnt something new. Staying in Orillia for three days was time well spent for us. We accomplished what we hoped and best of all, we even got to see friends that took the time to come and hang out and go to supper with us. Donna and Bevan, it was great to see you!
9 Aug - We left the comforts of the marina a bit later than we usually do, thinking that the fleet of boats that left the marina ahead of us would have had time to go down the next lock before we got there... I'm happy we took our time and had an extra coffee that morning, as Couchiching Lock was having technical issues and everything was backed up... Boats that I saw leaving the marina at 8:00 were only being locked down at 11:00. We waited for our turn for over an hour, and I think they had it fixed by then. We stopped at Swift Rapid Lock that night - this is the highest lock on the system, always impressive.
|Swing bridge we were able to pass under - we didn't have to wait.
|Waiting our turn to pass Couchiching lock
|On our way to Swift Rapids lock
|Swift Rapid locks - part way down...
|Secured in lift
|At the highest point
|Looking back at the "Big Chute"
We stayed in Port Severn, the last (or first, depending what direction you are going) lock (lock 45) of the Trent Severn Waterway Canal for two nights (Friday and Saturday). We're glad we stayed put. The weather was awesome and the boat traffic "insane". It seemed like everyone who owned a boat was headed to "the Bay" as the locals call it. We did a lot of people/boat watching - you see some interesting ways to dock/stop/get off your boat when you do! (Do's and Don'ts... we saw a few) Weekends in this area are busy, and we knew we might have a hard time finding a nice anchorage or dock at Beausoleil Island (Parks Canada - the last time we can use our seasonal mooring pass).
|Port Severn lock docks
There are a few big marinas close to the lock and we biked over. Papi has been wanting to get extra chain and rope for our spare anchor. (If ever we need to cut the main anchor loose, we need to have that on board to set up the spare.) Starport Severn Marina had the rope and shackle, and their parts store at another location had chain. We got the rope and shackle and brought it to the boat, then headed out to the parts store (not that far) and bought the chain. Papi had his backpack, we knew this would be heavy - 40 feet of galvanized chain... it was heavy and awkward to put in the backpack (which did a good job and did not rip!), and off we went back to the boat. Who would have thought that he would do a rucksack bike ride? We are glad we got it, as now that we will be out of the "Canals" we will be able to/need to anchor out more often. (We have no intention of being in marinas every night).
|Rope and chain being shackled together
|Lock 45, our last lock on the "canal" systems in Canada
|Looking towards Georgian Bay
|Frying Pan Bay dock
|Overlooking Honeymoon Bay
Tina & Papi
"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with"