Port Trent to Ranney Falls
Posted on August 15, 2018
Wed – Fri, Aug 8-10. Arrived at the Trenton Port Marina just as the skies opened up and in the pouring rain. The dockhands were there to assist and we all were in our rain gear. The Trent Port Marina replaced an older marina and opened in 2016. Nicest marina we have been to since starting the Loop and probably in the top 3 ever. New floating docks, wide fairways, good signage that made finding the pier and slip easy, beautiful grounds with flowers, benches and art work, fabulous showers, great laundry room which was free including detergent, conveniently located with 5-10 minute walk to grocery, pharmacy, banks, liquor store, restaurants and not expensive. Ended up staying 3 nights here. Dick & Sandi on Amazing Grace came in Friday afternoon and we enjoyed another fun evening with them. A game of Mah Jongg for Sandi and I, chess for Bob & Dick followed by dinner out. We bid them farewell as we would be heading out in the morning and they would be staying a few more days.
Sat, Aug 11. Departed Trenton in the morning to start the Trent Severn Waterway. Destination the free wall at Frankford, Ontario which had us transiting 6 Locks but only about 8 miles. Since most of the locals or Canadians have already taken holiday, we were the only ones in all 6 Locks heading north. It was great having the whole lock to ourselves and chatting extensively with the lock personnel. We thanked them for giving us the concierge service of our own private locks. We did pass a few boats heading south but overall great day locking albeit hot.
We had been in communication with the Harbor Hosts of Trenton, Eric & Karen Martin, and found out they were on their way back from a week’s vacation to Peterborough and on the Trent Severn (TS) coming our way. They keep their 41’ Sea Ray in Trenton and said they would be in Frankford (our destination) and to let them know when we were close as they wanted to take photos of our boat locking through. They took great photos and a couple of videos and gave us a flash card with all the photos. The lock wall was very picturesque with large weeping willows and picnic tables. We enjoyed docktails with them on the picnic tables and they shared information with us about our upcoming portion of the TS. As Harbor Hosts, they also provide an information booklet about the town, services, and the TS to all Loopers checking into Trent Port Marina that was really helpful.
Sun, Aug 12. Departed Frankfort with plans to anchor out at the “Blue Hole”. Short day with only 1 Lock and 14 miles. Again we were the only ones in the Lock. Shortly after leaving, we got the thrill of watching a sea plane take off right behind us and came right next to us. How cool is having a sea plane in your back yard? Found our anchorage and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. We get many, many compliments on our Tiara 38 Open up here. We really haven’t seen any similar styled boats on the trip and especially up here. Mostly cruising style boats like Sea Rays, pontoon boats, small outboard boats or larger motor yacht style boats. So everyone is constantly coming by to ask about our boat and today was no exception. A man and his son came by on their small speed boat and peppered us with questions so we invited them on for a tour. He owns about 7 boats himself and a couple of houses / cottages in the area but had never seen a Tiara. When he found out we were staying put for the night, he said he would be back with “the wife”. Sure enough, about 8:30pm, Rick, his wife Chandy and another couple came by and we entertained them until about 10:30 pm which is well past our bedtime and Looper midnight (9pm).
Mon, Aug 13. Prior to departing the Blue Hole, we took an early morning coffee cruise on our dinghy while the mist was still covering the water. Rick had told us about the eagle’s nest a couple hundred yards away and sure enough the nest and the eagle were there. No baby eagles spotted in the nest but there was another bird of prey close by and it may be a juvenile. Weighed anchor and headed to the town wall at Campbellford and transited 5 Locks (all by ourselves again). The docks are operated by the Chamber of Commerce and while it wasn’t free, it was very reasonable and included electric. Walking distance to grocery, liquor store, Doohers Bakery, restaurants all in a park like setting. Of course, we hit all of them. The park has a large sculpture of the Looney which is Canada’s $2 coin. Apparently the artist that created it was from Campbellford so it is proudly displayed here.
We were the first to arrive on the wall but it soon filled up with boats and we met the boaters in front and behind us. Ended up at dinner at Apollo’s with John & Oolie, a couple of friends that were delivering a 43’ Sea Ray to the Toronto area. Fun evening.
Tues, Aug 14. We had heard about the suspension bridge over Ranney Falls Gorge so took our coffees and went to explore by dinghy. Docked our dinghy by Lock 12, and walked over to the suspension bridge. Beautiful views of the falls and down river and a queasy walk over the bridge especially when looking down at the edge of the cliff and realizing how high up you were. Glad we made the effort. Again we were the only boat in the 5 locks we passed through. Docked at the free wall beyond Lock 17 and we were the only ones there all night. Took our dinghy and crossed over to the other side by the dam and walked down to Healy Falls. The lock master controls the dam and water in the falls so there wasn’t a lot of water in the falls but it was fun walking over them.
Another great week on our great adventure. Life is good!