Healy Falls to Fenelon Falls
Posted on August 25, 2018
Wed, Aug 15. Departed Healy Falls headed to the marina in the town of Hastings. Only 1 lock and 15 miles but we aren’t in a hurry. We are on Island Time. Not much to Hastings but we did dinghy over to the BBQ place across the river, walked about the town, crossed over the dam where a local let me fish. I have been dying to fish but we didn’t bring any of our fishing gear along since you would need a separate license to fish in every state and country. And certainly not worth getting caught. Had a couple of good bites but didn’t land one in the few minutes that I took over his rod and reel. Passed a deer coming down for a drink and some kids jumping from the bridge.
Thur, Aug 16. Destination Peterborough Marina where the boat would be for 6 days while I flew home to surprise my mom and celebrate her 91st birthday. Wanted to leave Bob in a decent size city where he would have plenty to do while I was gone. Peterborough is the home of the biggest lift lock in the world (another World Heritage Site). From Hastings, it would be 38 miles and 1 lock to transit but it was slow going as there were many idle speed zones. Did not arrive into our slip until about 3pm and Enterprise was picking us up at 4pm for our car rental. Since we had the car and I would not get to see much of Peterborough, we drove over to see the famous Lift Lock and it did not disappoint. We wanted to see it prior to transiting it the following Wednesday and walked up the steep stairs and chatted with the lockmaster about the lock. Included are photos of the lock and also some interesting information about its construction and operation.
Fri – Tue, Aug 17-21. As I had an early flight out of Toronto, and we had been warned about the terrible traffic in Toronto, we left at 5am. Renting a car to take me to the airport was the best option to get to the airport and Bob was a real trooper to deposit and retrieve me as it was 2 hours one way. As Bob had the car for 24 hours each time, he made use of the car and ran errands and did some exploring. My mom was surprised when I walked in to my brother’s house Friday evening for dinner and we had a family birthday get together on Sunday at my house. Enjoyed being at the house, seeing family and friends and completing my at home “to do” list. Arrived back to the boat late didn’t land one in the few minutes that I took over his rod and reel Tuesday night.
Wed, Aug 22. Departed Peterborough Marina and headed to Lock 20 then on to Lock 21 – the famous Peterborough Lift Lock. We shared both locks with a Cruise Boat that takes passengers through the Locks so they can experience locking a normal lock and the lift lock. As we were right behind the Cruise Boat, we got to listen to the tour guide talking to all the passengers. The Lift Lock is very different from all the other locks we have been through. With most locks, you drive in, wrap a line around a cable (not tied off) and the water either raises you or lowers you in the lock. It can be turbulent at times so you have to hold on and sometimes use muscle to maintain position. The Lift Lock is like a large bathtub where you tie off and the whole tub or chamber moves up and down so no turbulence. The chamber lifted us up 65’. I kept thinking “Boy we would be in real trouble if that back gate were to give way and we dropped 65’ in the boat”. If you are scared of heights, its best not to look over the side. But we are still here so it was a successful lift and we had a chance to say hello to the lockmaster we had spoken to earlier in the week.
Our destination today would be the free wall at Lakefield (Lock 26). Only 10 miles but 7 Locks. While it was cooler today, it is still tiring doing so many locks in one day. Three of the locks were the most turbulent we had been in. Not sure if it was the recent rain but the lock was combative and the dams were putting out a lot of current. Lakefield was a quiet stop where we enjoyed chatting with other boaters and grilling out. In the morning, we walked into the small town and had some breakfast at the Nutty Bean. Great little breakfast before departing. The flowers up here in Canada are gorgeous. So colorful and so many different kinds.
Thur, Aug 23. Our original destination today was to be the town of Bobcaygeon which would be 5 locks and 37 miles. However, as it was taking longer than expected we decided to stop at the free wall in Buckhorn. NOT! The wall was packed and not an open space anywhere. We had heard that once we got into the Lakes Region, there would be a lot more local boat traffic and this was true. While we had enjoyed being the only boat in the locks until Peterborough, it was now not the case. As Bobcaygeon was another 18 miles away , it was windy and we were tired, we opted to find an anchorage and pulled out the charts and located one in the Gannon Narrows just before a bridge. The bridge embankment acted like a breakwater for current and wind so we enjoyed a wonderful evening at anchor. We got a chance to hear the wails of our favorite Loons.
Fri / Sat, Aug 24 – 25. Our destination today would be flexible based on whether we could find a space on a free wall or have to anchor out again. We were delighted to find space at Fenelon Falls so only transited 1 lock and 22 miles. Got tied up and headed for a late lunch at Murphy’s which was excellent. We shared the lamb meatballs and I had chicken curry. I had been craving Indian food (eclectic menu) so I indulged myself. Later we toured Lake Cameron via the dinghy and just relaxed on the boat. Fenelon Falls is a quaint town with many good restaurants, grocery, liquor store, etc.
As the weather was calling for afternoon thunderstorms, we opted to stay another night here which gives me time to catch up on the blog and other computer related work. Met the local AGLCA Harbor Host for Fenelon Falls & Bobcaygeon who owns a T shirt shop in Fenelon Falls. They also run the printing business where they print all their T shirts and service many local customers. Not sure about tomorrow’s adventure but this past week has been another great adventure. Stay tuned!