Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Campbellford, Ontario

Days on cruise:  95

Distance traveled today:  24.1 miles

Travel time:  3 hrs, 34 mins (6 hrs with locks and fuel stop included)

# Locks today:  6

Total trip odometer: 2, 168 statute miles


Yesterday, Monday, was a layover day.  It was rainy, cloudy and very windy, and we were settled on the free Lock #6 wall where we had electrical hook-ups, along with half a dozen other boats full of friendly people, so we stayed put, did some boat chores and read our books. Nice!


At 5:00 eight of us convened on Bruce and Anne’s boat for appetizers and cocktails. The group included 2 Looper boats and 2 Canadian non-Looper boats. The other Looper boat (besides us) was Charlie and Laurie on “Bama Belle”, he from Mobile, and she from Birmingham. Cathryn was born in Montgomery, Alabama so we did some ‘Bama talkin’.  Of the four couples, only Cathryn and Bob were married, an interesting piece of modern life.


Today we left Lock #6 and traveled north on the Trent-Severn Waterway in cool and windy conditions.  Much of the distance was in rural land where the shoreline was lined with modest summer cottages, or marshland with lots of blue heron, a few loons,  and wild swans, which are pretty common in these parts.


At one lock the lockmaster brought our attention to a cute red fox that scampered into the underbrush too fast for us to grab a photo. 


We saw lots of turtles sunning themselves on logs, and a couple of snakes in the water. A nice wildlife day.


We traveled through 6 locks today, including our first “flight lock”, which is what Canadians call locks that are built in tandem.  You enter the first lock, are raised to the higher level, then when the gates open, you immediately find yourself inside the second lock chamber.


You secure the boat again, are raised a second time, and when you reach the top you can see down the back side to the water 50 + feet below. The gate structure is impressively tall, and you can’t help but wonder what happens if one of the gates fails and the water rushes out while you’re tied to a wall at the top. Never mind!


Canadian ATONs (aids to navigation) are called stanchions, which translates as Skinny!  They’re hard to see from a distance.


At 2:00 we fueled up at the Esso gas station in Campbellford and learned we could stay on the canal wall there for free because we’d purchased fuel. The location is close to everything, including the Chamber of Commerce where we found wi-fi that allowed us to catch up on email and posting yesterday’s blog post.  And we paid only $4.48/gallon for diesel fuel, which is dirt cheap by Canadian standards!


We took a short tour of town to help us plan tomorrow’s activities, including stopping at the park where the “Toonie” sculpture resides. Canadians have $1 and $2 coins, not paper, and they’re referred to as “Loonies” and “Toonies”. This huge sculpture of a Toonie coin resides in Campbellford because the guy who designed the Toonie is from here. As an aside, the Canadians also did away with pennies recently as the cost to produce them was more than they were worth; a lesson the U.S. could probably benefit from taking as well.


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