There was a swing bridge about 1/2 mile before the lock today and it is operated by the Lock operators. We were waiting at 5 minutes to 9 so we could get a quick start. I had talked to several people at the marina and they suggested that the way the locks were being operated this year the trip to Lake Simco could take 4 hours. There are 5 locks and the total distance is slightly less than 5 miles.
They opened the swing bridge at 9:10 and we went on to the lock. The people at the 1st lock stayed with the three boats until the 3rd lock and there was a new set of lock operators for the last 2 locks. We had another swing bridge after the 5th lock, just before the lake. The bridge opened just as we approached. We were pretty lucky as we were entering Lake Simco at 11:10 and the lake was absolutely flat. The wind that there was light and variable.
The weather today was overcast and it started to rain just as we were pulling the lines at Sunset Cove Marina. The rain was never really heavy but it was on and off until after we were docked in Orillia. It cleared in the late afternoon and we had a warm sunny end to the day.
The 18 mile trip across Lake Simco was fairly uneventful. Lake Simco is separated from Lake Couchiching by a river called the Narrows. There are several marinas in that area and lots of boats in their slips. I am glad it was early Friday and raining so the boat traffic was pretty light.
Lake Couchiching is long, narrow and fairly shallow at about 9′. Lots of boat traffic considering the rain. We had been advise to watch the area closely and stay in the channel because of known shallow area near the Narrow in Lake Couchiching.
The Port Of Orillia Marina is about 2 miles off the Trent-Severn Waterway route. We have been to this marina probably 4 previous times in our vacations in the Georgian Bay. The Marina had replaced their docks last winter and added slips and put in all new electrical and water to the slips.
We did see Off Leash (catamaran from Connecticut) docked in the marina and had an opportunity to talk to them later in the day. Candy like Orillia because of the large park along the shoreline. There are plenty of dogs being walked from local residents as well as the boaters. We have pictures of the marina and the park. With the weather the way it was we were lax in getting photos along the way today or was it 5 locks in 5 miles in the rain.
We are here in Orillia for the weekend and Monday we will travel the last 4 locks, including the Marina Railway, to the Georgian Bay. We are going to South Bay Cave Marina in Honey Harbor. I always felt South Bay Cove was the finest marina on the Great Lakes and it still is right at the top after we have seen all the marinas we stayed at during this trip. I hope it has not changed.