Woke up in our beautiful anchorage to cool temps and overcast skies. Enjoyed coffee and a light breakfast then decided to continue our journey as it was supposed to stay cloudy with rain off and on… not the best dinghy weather. Explored a little further by boat to the end of Lost Channel, there were more anchorages – some that would handle multiple boats (C-Dock, hint-hint!).
Continued toward Lock 43 at Swift Rapids, cruised down the Severn River past more cottages in the summer community of Severn Falls, Encountered some narrow areas with pretty swift currents then more open areas with what looked like may be good anchorages.
We were just enjoying the scenery when we saw what looked like a large building and were wondering out loud what it was when we realized we had already made it to Swift Rapids Lock 43, time to get busy. This lock is a 47′ drop or elevation in our case. It is the most isolated of the locks with an 11 mile unpaved access road to it. An impressive lock with huge rapids to the right. There were several boats in the lock with us, and we had to pay close attention and work a little harder so we didn’t drift into the boat behind us. It all went without a hitch.
We continued on through McDonald’s cut which is a very narrow rock lined passage that was excavated by hand in 1905, another swift current, of course :-). Went through small Sparrow Lake, a low swing bridge for cars then another swing bridge for trains. There was a train going over so we waited, they still couldn’t swing the bridge because another train was coming so the bridge operator went below the tracks and monitored our progress. We cleared by about a foot.
We were ready for Lock 42, it’s in a beautiful area. Our trip through the lock was very special as there was a youth group in eight canoes in the lock. They started singing then started a “call back” song about some guy that likes to drink juice in his bed. All was going well, I was tending my line, video taping the kids when I felt something on my arm… of course it was a spider! Don’t drop the phone in the water, don’t let go of the lines but I did manage to brush the spider off my arm, onto my leg. Kicked it off, have no idea where it went. May still be on me somewhere. I really do dislike spiders.
On through Lake Couchiching to the lovely Port of Orillia. Very nice marina with full facilities, town is right by the marina. There are many “Loopers” here. Boats from Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia. All with great stories. The couple next to us was from Goderich and said he’s been doing the Loop since 2009! A very little river-style boat, we couldn’t figure out what make it was. Their journey included Chicago, down the rivers, spent a couple years around Florida, got side tracked in the Bahama’s (for two years), back to Florida and bought a house, then around Cuba, decided to go down the island chain to Barbados, bought a different boat, then up the intercoastal and is now trying to get back to Goderich. Yikes…they’ve been at it a while. Makes us wonder what we’ve been doing all these years…
Thursday evening treated us to a spectacular rainbow, then a double rainbow. Dinner at Studebaker’s, which was very good. Quiet night with some rain.
Friday explored Orillia, Mariposa Market (all kinds of baked and canned goods, and “stuff”). Bad place for maintaining a diet!! Off the wagon… !! Nice little town. Will have dinner at Cosmo’s on the recommendation of a fellow boater. Rainy this morning but warm, clearing this afternoon.
Will try to contact FNBA by phone tonight. May watch the Scottish Festival parade Saturday morning then continue on the Trent Severn. Weather is clearing up!! Hot and sunny right now!
Having a Blast!