The Bustard’s Islands to Killarney to Louisville

August 14 & 15

We left the town of Britt and cruised in a northeast direction to the Bustard Islands. A group of 30,000 islands with lots of breathtaking places to anchor. As we were leaving we saw this old wood Chris Craft that was probably built in the 50’s.

These boats were leaving the marina at the same as our little flotilla

Just before our departure.

Huge wind farm. Not much wind today so they were motionless.

Why should today be different? Lots of narrow channels with granite islands just waiting to bend your props.

These folks chose one of the many islands to go fishing.

Found our perfect anchorage. There were already 2 boats in there when we arrived.

We dropped the hook and once we had deployed enough chain we hooked our bridle on the chain, let out another 25 feet of chain and set the anchor. We use this bridle to take all of the anchoring stress off the windlass. The bridle ends are tied off on our bow cleats.

Girl needs a pedi.

Since there was no wind and we were in a very wind protected anchorage we all rafted up together. Debbie and I went in first, found a nice spot in 15 feet of water and let out a total of 125 feet of chain. Normally we would have only let out about 100 feet but since we had the other 2 boats on our anchor we felt it prudent to let out some additional chain. We then set our anchor alarm for safety’s sake. The anchor alarm is tied into our GPS and if the boat moves out of a preset circle it alerts us.

Since the 14th was the 20th anniversary of my 45th birthday our friends baked an apple pie for me. Love apple pie!

Dan and Janet took this photo of our raft up from their dinghy.

Departed the anchorage around 9 this morning. Idyll Time and Here’s to Us untied and waited out in open water for Debbie and I to lift anchor and join them. There is a couple of feet of clay on the bottom covering the underlying granite and the anchor sets well. But there is a whole lot of muddy clay clinging to the chain as we bring it up. On the bow of WB we have 2 wash down spigots. One is fresh water from our water tank and the other pumps raw water. Since we are in fresh water we just pump the water from the pool to wash the mud off the chain. It is wise to do so in order to keep the chain locker from getting really muddy and smelly.

Our arrival in Killarney and the Roque marina.

And another breathtaking sunseet.

The title of this installment of our blog mentions Louisville. About a month ago when I had changed the oil in all 3 of the diesel engines aboard Whisky Business I wrenched my back. If you have ever had a bout of sciatica, that is what it felt like. Kept hoping it would go away but it was not to be. It wasn’t terrible and it certainly wasn’t hindering my activities. Until we were in the town of Britt. I laid down on the boat to take a nap with an ice pack underneath my back. When I woke up the pain started. It is incessant. It never leaves. When I walk I am bent over at about 90 degrees. Can’t stand up straight. In these remote areas getting around can be difficult. No Uber, Lyft or taxi of any kind. For $500 I found someone to give us a ride to the airport in Saulte Ste. Marie on Friday morning to get a flight that would eventually end up in Louisville. Took 6 hours to get there. Really don’t care how much it costs. I am in that much pain. In Canada they have clinics that are staffed with a Registered Nurse. I visited one and was treated by a nurse in training. Can’t argue with the cost as there was none, even for a foreigner. She prescribed a muscle relaxer and Tylonol like painkiller. Neither has had an effect. Best to go home and get the scans that are not available here. I have an appointment with a back doc on Tuesday.

What is really killing me is I have been looking forward to this area in particular as it is the most scenic part of the entire Loop. I have made an appointment with one of my former customers who is a renowned back guy. Hopefully we can het this straightened out so we can return to the boat in short order and continue onward.

Having completed 3 New York Marathons, this is embarassing the hell out of me.

Wright’s Marina in Britt, Ontario

August 12

We were anchors aweigh at 9am yesterday. Half of the journey to Wright’s Marina at Byng Inlet was quite scenic as it wound through many little islands. Lots of photo’s.

Boat killer. Top of a rock that barely extends above the surface. If not for the well marked channel through this area, there would be lots of shipwrecks.

Best of all worlds, an airplane with floats and a pontoon boat.

The cottagers (that’s what the Canadians call folks with cottages) love their blow up water toys. Biggest yet.

This is where we entered the Georgian Bay at large. Out in big open water. Nuthin’ to see so we ran at cruise speed, around 18 MPH. We got to our destination around 1:30. I really like this NEBO app for tracking our daily voyages. I think I will start adding them to each post.

Cool old wood boat. These things are a real labor of love. Extremely labor intensive to maintain.

Along the inland rivers if you asked a fisherman what he was fishing for, the answer was always the same, catfish. Don’t think that’s the case up here.

Pretty cool, eh?

As you know, the United States of America is the greatest country on earth. BUT we have something called OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) The Canadians are much smarter than we are. They do not have an OSHA. See the images below. The top image is a Canadian gas can. It is amazing! You take the cap off, remove the nozzole and stick it through the cap and VIOLA! You can pour gas out of it WHILE USING ONLY ONE HAND! Truly amazing.

The gas can in this photo is a United States of America, OSHA approved gas can. I keep this in the engine room and it has a few gallons of diesel fuel in it. Diesel fuel has no vapors to explode so it resides safely in my engine room. Here’s how it works. Once you have the nozzole in place, you twist the green sleeve with one hand while pushing the nozzole in with your other hand at the same time. Then, using your third hand and arm you lift the can and pour.

I think I like the Canadian gas can better.

Snug Harbor

August 11

Breakfast of mimosas and bloody’s on Here’s to Us with the Crouses and Farrells. Oh yeah, I think there were Belgian waffles and plenty of bacon as well. Yummy!

This Great Lakes cruise ship came into port this morning.

A 16 mile cruise to our next destination, Snug Harbor for a night on the hook. Another day of beautiful scenery.

This is an image of our radar screen. Whisky Business’ location is at the bottom of the vertical white line. The large green blob is Golden Daze. It’s green because they are moving away from us at a faster speed. If we were moving faster and closing in on them, it would be red. Below the end of the white line in the center of the image you can see 2 red-ish blobs. Captains Dan and Sam were doing such a splendid job of matching WB’s warp like speed (that would be 9 MPH) that the doppler effect built in to our radar isn’t really sure if we are going faster or slower. Maybe fast-ish.

Idyll Time III and a really cool lighthouse. This is the entrance to Snug Harbor. Since this was to be the first time Sam and Rev on Here’s to Us have anchored we let them drop their hook first. Then Idyll Time came in.

Took a dinghy ride to Gilly’s for lunch. Only place around and not very accessible.

Damn airplane took up a whole slip. “Honey, let’s fly the plane over to Gilly’s for lunch!”

Sam and Rev. She is a SCREAM! Celebrating her newly acquired anchoring skill set.

A few words about Sam – Ass Hole.

At our last marina he checked their boat in before Deb and I did. Told ’em don’t believe me if I said our boat was less than 65 feet long. They charge by the foot. Sam was a U2 pilot while in the Air Force. For anybody reading this that is younger than 50, google Gary Powers. He was a U2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union in the early 60’s. Really interesting guy, Sam is. The other evening while he was on board WB we asked him if there were any stories he could tell us about his exploits in the U2 without having to kill us afterwards. With a ceiling in the 70,000 foot range, the U2 pilots had to wear a pressurized space suit like the astronauts. He proceeded to tell us how to pee in the space suit.

Queen Rev.

Screaming along in Half Pint, our dink.

End of another great day.

Great Ride

August 10

We left Henry’s Fish Restaurant today for Parry Sound. The winds were pretty high but we were hidden by lots of islands that prevented the waves from building up. We saw winds as high as 20 MPH but no wave action due to the lack of fetch. Fetch? What the heck is that you might ask. Fetch is the amount of space wind travels over water to have an opportunity to build waves. Yesterday, you know, the day we got our ass kicked? There was plenty of open water for the wind to build waves and then throw them at us. Traveling narrow channels prevents the wind from having the opportunity to build waves. We saw winds as high as 20 MPH but since there was no opportunity for the wind to build waves over long distances of open water we had a smooth ride today. Notice in the photos below that the water has no more than a light chop.

It was such an uneventful cruise that we were able to take lots of pictures for your enjoyment. So, enjoy!

In the photo below, you can see the 2 horns on the side of Whisky Business. They are loud. I mean really loud. When I press the horn button I am certain it can be heard as far away as Inner Outer Mongolia. Swear to God!

Oh Hell, more narrow channels.

Another alien craft floating in the Georgian Bay

This swing bridge opens on the hour for 15 minutes. It was a couple of hours into our voyage for the day and we got there early. It absolutely kills me to write this, but my brother says there are only 2 times in a day. Early and Late. We decided to be early so we waited for 20 minutes for the bridge to open.

Idyll Time III making a pass. Pretty boat and great owners.

We

Trying so hard to rain on our parade.

The town of Big Sound.

Bunch of tourists…

I call BS! I’m NOT goin’ in there.

Great restaurant. Deb and I had the Jager Schnitzel. Almost as good as the Gasthouse in Louisville next to Party Mart. They had great memorabilia in there. The timeless image of Louisville’s own Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking him out was displayed prominently. That’s Rev Crouse from Here’s to Us taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. Bet she puts it in her blog.

If you are from Louisville you would be looking for the GoatMan.

Sea plane coming in for a landing. Would have like to have flown in one of these but no time.

Relaxing on the bow of WB.

Just before we took this photo we walked the dock to find all of the Looper boats that were on our dock. Found 8 including us. Our friends from Here’s to Us told us to look up the Looper folks on Golden Daze if we ran across them. Found their beautiful 60 foot Fleming down the dock from us. Great folks. They were entertaining Jamie and Trish Mackey from About Time. The party just keeps getting bigger!

And then the sun went to bed.

A Wild Ride

August 9

Weather was not looking good for traveling today. Below is a report I get daily showing wind and wave height in particular bodies of water. In the case of the Georgian Bay at 8AM this morning winds were 21 knots (almost 24 MPH) with wave heights of 4 – 5 feet. Was gonna cruise with a 48 foot Bayliner captained by a retired Coast Guard fella Dan Farrell and a 50 foot Carver with airline and Air Force pilot captain Sam Crouse at the helm. After reviewing the below info I sent them a text backing out of todays travel. Felt like the safe and prudent thing to do. After discussing with the Coastie and looking at the maps with all of the little islands that would block all the wind action we decided to go.

Big mistake. Got hammered. No photo’s as Debbie and I were too busy hanging on. Below, 30 mile an hour wind.

Water was pouring in around the windscreen as the bow of the boat would ride down a wave. So now we look like the equivalent of a boat trailer park. Carpets were soaked so now they are drying out on the bow of the boat.

Water looks pretty tame as we leave Midland at 9 this morning. Look at the really big flag blowing in the wind. Shoulda known…

Idyll Time III led the way today. He was really rolling in those seas.

It’s a Wonderful Life (from Bedford Falls, no less) and Here’s to Us.

Beautiful sailing vessel.

This is an image of Georgian Bay from our Aqua Maps software installed on our IPad. Bottom right of the photo is Midland where we had been staying. In the square above Midland you can see the our boat icon. Only 30 miles.

Finally made it to Henry’s Fish Restaurant.

These belonged to some hapless boaters.

In planning our route tomorrow, Sam had purchased paper charts from our marina and the manager theere marked routes to cool anchorages and marinas. Itoo, purchased these charts ($128) but when Debbie went by the marina this morning he was too busy to mark the routes for her. I went over to Here’s to Us while Sam, using the paper charts made waypoints on his navigation software that is on his phone and then downloaded them onto his Garmin chartplotter. Saaaay, I too have a Garmin chartplotter. We took his phone to WB, synched it with my chartplotter and VOILA! All of the waypoints are now on my chartplotter.

Smooth Sailing tomorrow for a 15 mile run to Parry Sound.

Orillia to Midland, Ontario

August 3 – 8

Dinner out for a few nights with fellow Loopers in Orillia.

Cool visual at our marina in Orillia.

Underway from Orillia to Rawley Lodge just before our very last lock.

Had to wait for these boats to clear the chamber before we could bring Whisky Business in.

Same lock chamber from the west side.

Steal Away, a steel ketch (a ketch is a sailboat that has a second mast located in front of the rudder. If the second mast was located behind the rudder it would be called a yawl. Whatever…) doing the Loop.

The Admiral on Steal Away, a Kentucky girl!

Our turn in the lock chamber. There were 7 jet skis in with us, Steal Away, Carolina Dream and 2 other cruisers.

Had to remind the captain of this vessel that this area is a no wake zone.

More narrow channels…

Yes, a fire hydrant.

HA! A rope on a tree!

The Peterborough Lift Lock was pretty cool. Never seen anything like that before. The Big Chute however, has to be the craziest way to move a boat! The granite in this area was too hard to blast through so the Canadians built a big rail car that transports the boat over the granite on railroad tracks.

This is it, Lock 45 at Port Severn. Our last lock until after Chicago. Such a great relief to put those 45 locks behind us.

Who’s got the “bedhead” in this photo??? Not me! So glad to be finished with locks for a while. That’s the entrance to Lock 45 behind us.

After 45 locks the T shirts we protected our fenders with were retired to the nearest trash receptacle.

More narrow channels as we head to Midland on the Georgian Bay.

Getyerass outta that chair. Time for dinner and cocktails!!!

Such a saucy wench!

We stayed at Rawley Resort for a night before heading to Midland. Had a great meal there.

At the fuel dock at Bay Port Marina we saw this pretender.

T shirt my buddy John was sportin’.

Our friends on Steel Away got bumped from the list to get their masts raised so the intrepid gang of Loopers chipped in and raised these 2 mighty tall masts.

Quite a job to raise a steel mast without the help of a crane.

But in the end…

Goterdone!!!

Debbie and I took John and Deb Neal from Saltaire to Toronto today to catch a flight home to see the new grandbaby Hank. Found the stadium where the BlueJays play. They must really love us here!

Our last night out in Midland. Charlene and Sam had never heard this joke before.

Our Looper family in Midland. Debbie and I will be traveling with 2 other boats tomorrow to begin our exploration of the beautiful Georgian Bay for the next few weeks.

Trent Severn Days 8 & 9

August 1 – 2

Entered the Trent Canal on Thursday. This home sits on the eastern edge of the Canal.

This is the canal. It is narrow and we never saw more than 3 feet of water beneath our boat while in this narrow channel for 2 days. It was grueling and stressful.

You can see the side of the channel. Granite not mud.

At a few points along the way there were some wide spots but there was never much depth.

Can you see the granite outcropping on the left of the photo? Thats a prop eatin’ monster!

This bridge is known as the Hole in the Wall. If the water is perfectly smooth it makes a circle. Boaters will take turns taking pictures of each other in the “circle”. We didn’t as there was just a bit of wind.

Entering a lock. We will be to the left of Idyll Time III.

Floating docks at the top of Talbot Lock. This was our home for the night. Got here in the early afternoon and enjoyed the parklike setting.

Took a swim behind the boats.

Walked around the lock after dinner. These are a few photos of the equipment used to operate the lock.

Had to lay down on the bridge over the dam to take this photo.

Nick and Haley gave us an Instant Pot that we had yet to use. I told Debbie I would fix dinner. Found a recipe that looked pretty good. The description of the recipe said it would be a “creamy” chicken and mushroom dish served over egg noodles. Nothing in the recipe that would make it creamy.

And it wasn’t

Debbie recommended I bring out the one secret weapon that can improve almost any entree.

Worked out just fine.

For breakfast this morning, Debbie and John Neal made fresh blueberry pancakes and fried ham, bologna and bacon. Debbie Rogers scrambled up some eggs. All is right with the world.

Today we started downhill. We start in locks that are full of water and now we are lowered instead of being raised. The last 6 locks will take us down to the Georgian Bay

A short video of Saltaire entering the lock behind Whisky Business. It gives you a pretty good idea of how tight these small locks are and what an able bodied Captain my friend John is. At the end of the video you can see how we fix ourselves to the side of the lock.

The item on the right of the picture is the bow pulpit of Saltaire. A wee bit close as these locks are very small.

Crossing Lake Simcoe on our way to Orillia after the Trent Canal we passed Whiskey Shoal. That’s it in the blue outline on the right.

Folks we had dinner with from Saltaire, Idyll TimeIII, Here’s To Us and My Old Beauty (gotta change the name of that boat!)