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Exited Trent Severn Waterway Canal and now in Georgian Bay!

Approaching Lake Simcoe
6-8 Aug - We left Bolsover as soon as they were ready to pass us through as we had spent the night at the top of the lock. We knew it would be a good day ahead of us and we wanted to cross Lake Simcoe as early in the day as possible. We did the three remaining locks in good time and we crossed the lake using our charts and compass. We still could not use our GPS... The wind was up a bit and we had a "rolly" crossing, but we made it to the Port of Orillia marina where we got a slip for three nights (buy 2 get 1 free deal).  We've stayed here before and it's a good stop to resupply.

Port of Orillia maina
There were a few other "Loopers" at the marina and we went out for drinks with them. It made for a nice outing with lots of laughs.

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...
 10-11 Aug - We passed the most intimidating Lock today! The railway "Big Chute". We did this "chute" in our cuddy "Paco2" three years ago, so we knew what to expect... but we were still nervous going in. I have to admit, it was easier being on the foredeck of the boat this time because it is flat and I could walk around a bit. It's amazing to see the water recede as the platform raises along the tracks, then crossing the road and going down hill to slowly see the water rise to float the boats again.

Approaching lift

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
12 Aug - We passed the last lock! We are now officially in the Georgian Bay! The weather was beautiful and hardly any wind, but you would never have known it by the waves we had to boat through - there were boats zipping by us at top speeds in the narrow channels... you know they had to be local. We had decided to try our luck and see if you could find a spot at Frying Pan Bay, one of the bays on Beausoleil Island, managed by Parks Canada. We got lucky! We got a spot at the end of one of the two docks there. We'll have to come back some day as it was a beautiful spot. Clear waters to swim in and nice walking trails.

Frying Pan Bay dock
Overlooking Honeymoon Bay
What a great welcome to Georgian Bay.

Tina & Papi

"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with" 

– Charles Schultz


  1. It must be an amazing experience for u both. You both have the same passion the luv for the sea. Great journey my friend. Journey safe.

    1. Thank you Jo! Hope all is well with you and your family. We are enjoying this experience! We've learnt so much since we left.


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