Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Rosedale Marina, Fenelon Falls Ontario to Sunset Cove Marina, Bolsover, Ontario – July 4, 2013

We did not get an early start this morning but our start was accelerated by the fact they needed to use the gas dock.  The other boat that was on the dock with us left about 20 minutes before us. Apparently when the locks open at 9:00 the gas dock gets busy right away after the first lock-thru.

I looked at the genny water intake strainer again and could tell that the intake pipe was full of weed. I pulled out what I could reach and then tried to get the hose connection off the strainer but that did not happen.  The marina has a service yard so I asked for some help and they came down to the boat and the gentleman was able to get the hose off and fished out a lot of weed.  The genny sounded great when it was started.

We did not have a great distance to travel today.  I thought we could stay at or near the Kirkfield Lock.  Kirkfield is another of the hydraulic locks where there is one basin for up and the other for down.  They just add an extra 1’ of water to the upper tub and that is enough to push the lower lock up as the upper one descends.  There is limited tie up space at the lock and no marinas close by.  After looking what we could do the next marina was Sunset Cove Marina in Bolsover just before the Bolsover Lock.

The Trent Canal was really something today.  As we entered from Balsam Lake there was a sign that boats 40’ and over should issue a security notice on the radio.  A little unusual, but readily apparent why once we got into it.  This section was about 3 miles long and not much wider than the boat. The certainly was not enough room to even get a small fishing boat past us.  The boat that was following us stayed at the start of the canal for a short period of time but then came in.  It did widen out somewhat as we neared Mitchell Lake but after Mitchell Lake it narrowed for s short distance and then
got a little wider.  It is a good thing because we had some boat traffic coming from the Kirkfield Lock.

The Kirkfield Lock was really something.  It is the highest point on the Trent-Severn
Waterway so we entered the lock and would go down.  Entering the basin was pretty strange because the other end of the basin from the entrance is only about 2’ above the water and you look out over the tops of the trees. The drop at Kirkfield is approximately 48’ so it is a long way down.  This is really hard to capture in pictures. It was also interesting to note that the waterway on the upside goes over a road because you can see the traffic on the lower side so it is really an aqueduct.

We crossed Canal Lake which was created when the Trent-Severn dams went in.  A well marked channel and the guides all tell you not to stray from the channel.  As you cross the lake you pass under a bridge which is called “Hole-In-The-Wall”.  See the photos and it is obvious why.

We arrived at Sunset Cove Marina and it is a really nice small marina that is family run.  It is a good stopping point coming up from Lake Simco and we all set for tomorrow with
an early start to go to Lake Simco.  The Marina is dog friendly as the owner has two dogs that have free run of the marina grounds keeping the geese off and the chipmunks at bay. Candy was mildly interested but after a while the other dogs wanted to get back to their daily routine.

One interesting thing that took place while we were at Sunset Cove Marina, I was at the table near the marina office when the Bolsover Lock let out 5 boats southbound.  This
section of the canal has a 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 mph) speed limit.  The first boat thru was going a lot faster and the marina owner’s wife yelled to the captain to slow down.  When he did not, the owner yelled and then the marina worker really yelled.  So what did the boat captain do, he yelled back and kept on going. He never slowed down.  It is a good thing he did not need a slip for the night.

We did see an older couple come into the marina late in the afternoon.  They were travelling on a pontoon boat that was completely enclosed in canvas and screens.  The pontoon was probably a 22’ or so in length and was rigged for shore power so they had some 120 volt conveniences on board.  Quite a site and very unusual.

One real nice benefit of the shorter lock hours is the peace and quiet at night after the locks close.