We’ve made it to Canada and we’re loving it. We’ve been here for 3 weeks and are totally obsessed with this country! Any place that calls their one-dollar coin a Loonie and their two-dollar coin a Toonie, has my heart! Plus, the Canadians sure know how to do summer right!
WARNING: Long blog post ahead. I know, I need to get better at this blogging thing. Some days we’re just so wrapped up in life and the beauty that surrounds us, that social media and blogging escape me.
We had a super easy crossing on Lake Ontario to the start of the Trent Severn Waterway in Trenton, Ontario. The Lake was flat and eerily boat-less.
Captain even snoozed the whole way!
I had no idea what to expect with the Trent Severn waterway, but it exceeded all my expectations. The Trent Severn is a 240 mile waterway that connects Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay (Lake Huron). It is made up of lakes, rivers, natural cuts and canals. And it was breathtaking! I totally see myself becoming a *cottager* and spending my summers here.
The Island Church is only accessible by boat!
Of course there were some magnificent sunsets.
My theme song for the Trent was “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger!” So. Many. Locks. 43 to be exact. Big locks, little locks, old-fashioned hand cranked locks, up locks, down locks, the worlds largest hydraulic lock, and the unbelievable Big Chute Marine Railway. When all was said and done, we navigated 240 miles in 9 days…and it was the time of my life. Did I mention the 43 locks? 😂 At one point, the Trent reached its highest point of 840.5 feet above sea level. But in true locking fashion, what goes up must come down. So annoying!
A double lock and then a swing bridge, eh?!?
Doing it the old-fashioned way here.
Lock 21, the Peterborough Lift Lock, was a highlight! It’s one of two hydraulic lift locks on the Trent and is the tallest hydraulic lift lock in the WORLD. Basically, you drive your boat into a bath tub and get lifted 65 feet into the air. Weeeeeeee.
The lock towns were small and quaint and each lock provided their own unique flair.
Another neat touch is that Parks Canada added 102 red Adirondack chairs throughout Canada in select National Parks and Historic Sites…always with killer views.
Can we just talk about the butter tarts for a minute?! This goodness of sweetness is a staple of Ontario and OMG I tried a butter tart in every town. Plain, raisin, chocolate, fruit, moose tracks. You name it, I tried it! So far I haven’t met a tart I didn’t like.
Kirkfield Lift Lock is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 49 feet. The lock is situated at the highest point along the Waterway at 840.5 feet above sea level. All the locks from this point on lowered us to our eventual meeting with Georgian Bay. In fact, in the next 12 miles, we were lowered 120 feet.
Aside from the sheer beauty of Canada, and the insane amounts of fish and chips and butter tarts we ate, the highlight so far has been the welcoming spirit of the Canadians. I can’t say enough about the people we have met. So many stops through the Trent we have met *ambassadors*…folks who have swooped us up, showed us their town and embraced us with love.
We met Joe in a pub in Campbellford. Before long, and after a few beers, we made arrangements for him to pick us up at the boat the next morning and show us the town. Visions of a serial killer definitely danced in my head, but Campbellford was charming and Joe was amazing! A few days later we met Alana in an ice cream parlor and within minutes of chatting we made plans for her to pick us up for dinner. Again…serial killer visions, especially when she picked us up in her boat!! But Alana and her family were the nicest! She cruised us through areas we would have never seen with Nautilus and then went to a boat access only restaurant. Lastly, we met JP while walking the docks in Orillia. He spent so much time with us and provided tons of useful information on Georgian Bay. It was obvious that he really loved sharing knowledge of his country with us.
This is what going to Church in Campbellford looks like! Let us all pray for good beer!
Orillia had a cute artsy feel to it.
The grand finale of the Trent was the Big Chute Marine Railway. Nautilus was floated into a cradle, carried across a road, down a hill and put back in the water. We were aboard the whole time. It was mind blowing!
Grrrr, technology sucks. I can’t get our trip to upload, but here’s some friends going down. The whole trip lasted about 7 minutes.
We are now in Georgian Bay and its 30,000 islands. More like 100,000 if you count all the ones under water! Navigation is slow. Hitting a submerged rock is much different than running aground on sand. So far so good! Georgian Bay is by far my favorite spot on the Loop! It is so picturesque and there are islands after islands…as far as the eye can see. We’ve been anchoring out night after night. We have found coves where we are the only ones…just us and the Loons!
Thanks to our new Canadian friends, Bruce and Jennifer for showing us the hot spots and loaning us fresh water lures, pickerel has been on the menu for days!
Oh Canada you will always hold a special place in my heart! And so will the butter tarts! But, like Arnold said “I’ll be back!”
See you tomorrow USA!
Over and out!
xo, The Admiral