Trent Severn Days 6 & 7

July 30 & 31

Made a short run on Tuesday to the town of Bobcaygeon, Ontario.

Below is a photo of the wall that runs alongside the lock. There are 6 Looper boats tied up here and we met at 5 for “docktails”. For some reason Saltaire does not show up on Nebo here. I swear, I think those Neals are in the witness protection program.

I am constatly learning new tidbits of info on this adventure. For instance, see the large orange fender (it has a 2X T shirt on it to keep it from getting nasty from the gunk on the lock walls)? Notice the line that runs forward from it? When WB is on a wall or dock and we pull away, the fender can roll around the back of the boat and allow the swim platform to hit the wall. Not anymore! That line running forward keeps it from rolling out of position. A Kiwi (fella from New Zealand) onboard Mo Whisky gave me this idea.

In the photo’s above and below you can see that we deployed the gangway or stairway to Whisky Business. This makes getting on and off the boat a breeze when the swim platform is too low to reach the dock or the deck is too high to reach the dock.

When I went to put the gangway in place I noticed the rubber foot had fallen off where the stairway mounts to the boat. Without the rubber foot over this aluminum tube it would put a really nasty gash in the fiberglass hull.

Taittinger Champagne to the rescue!

Fit perfectly.


Only cruised 15 miles and 1 lock to Fenelon Falls today. This is a very popular stop on the Trent Severn so we were wheels up and left Bobcaygeon at 7:15 this morning. Arrived at Fenelon Falls at 9 just in time for the first lock thru of the day. Fortunately for us a boat had just left the wall that has power pedestals so we would not have to run our generator here.

Took a stroll through this lovely town and shot these photos of the dam and other boats locking through.

Tried the Cow and Sow for breakfast but they did not open till 11.

A few doors down from the Cow and Sow was a pretty neat looking shop that had this T shirt in the window. Had to go in and buy it for a particular family member.

This killer 1970 Dodge Challenger with a 440 Six Pack (real car guys know what a Six Pack is on a Chrysler automobile) was sitting in front of the same shop. Had a sign in the window.

Bought 20 chances to win this baby. Deb thinks I’m nuts but I’m feelin’ it baby!!!

It’s 3 in the afternoon on Wednesday and Debbie is taking a nap. Got out the Instant Pot Haley and Nick gave us. Hope I don’t screw this up…

Found this on the boat today. Don’t say anything to Jonathan, y’all…

A few weeks ago I showed you a photo of a boat with a great boat name, “Check Magnet”. So funny.

Greatest boat name for a steel boat.

This is Steve and Kathy Parnell on United 771. Great folks! Steve is the kind of guy, the rest of us guys love to hate cuz he makes the rest of us look so bad. Their boat name, United 771. Where did that name come from? Steve had met Kathy while she was a flight attendant for United Airlines. They eventually fell in love and married. When they bought their boat Steve was trying to come up with an appropriate name for their newly acquired vessel. He goes back through his notes and finds the flight number of the flight where he met Kathy, United, flight 771. There ya go.

Manhattan’s on board Whisky Business with the Neals from Saltaire, Parnells from United 771 and Dan and Janet Farrel from Idyll Time.

Night all…

Trent Severn Day 5

July 29

Woke up at 5AM to this prelude to sunrise.

Left a bit late in the morning as a new bridge attendant was getting trained and a swing bridge would not be open until 9:15. On our way in the next couple of photo’s. Look how narrow this channel is, maybe 35′ wide. WB is 15′ wide.

A few rather shallow spots. Glad I’m running with light fuel and water. The inland rivers have mud bottoms, Florida and the east coast have sand bottoms. Here, it’s granite.

I suggested to Todd, the owner of this boat he may want to change the name as many would think the reference was to his lovely (and young) wife Cindy.

Crammed 3 boats in this lock.

Saltaire was a wee bit close to us in another lock.

Photo’s of Peterborough as we cruised through.

Best redneck pontoon ever!!! Belongs in Kentucky.

This is Majestic Island and below how it appears on our chartplotter.

The approach to our 31st lock in 5 days. This lock is only accesible by boat.

Dropped the IPad on my toe. Bloody hurts!

Trent Severn Day 4

July 28

What an exciting and crazy day! We left Hastings around 8:45 headed to the famous Peterborough Lift Lock. More on that later.

Below is the lock door in Hastings. Notice the doors are made of 13″ X 13″ X 21′ long timbers.

Right next to where Whisky Business was tied up were spare timbers for the doors. Notice the rail tracks? I am guessing these really heavy timbers are placed on a tracked vehicle and rolled over to the lock which was immediately behind our boar.

Very picturesque day. Check ’em out.

Maybe a big blue alien spacecraft???

Narrow channels and lots of very shallow areas required constant vigilance. Not really stressful but our attention could not waver.

A lot of No Wake signs which required slow running. Lots of cottages along the water that kept our speed at around 6 MPH. If you wake one of these cottages with their boats, residents will call the next lock and the lock attendants will hold you there till the police arrive. A boater is responsible for any damage their wake causes.

Two buddy boats we are traveling with.

The majority of the waterway is lined with cottages and their attendant boats. Better not wake ’em.

So here’s where our day got really interesting and challenging. We entered the 18th lock at Scotts Mills. These locks are quite small, only 2 boats the size of WB will fit in one of these locks. Nothing like the huge locks you see on the inland rivers of the US. While we are waiting for the lock doors to open along side comes this tour boat. We are set up for a starboard (right) side tie when one of the lock hands comes and tells us the tour boat ALWAYS ties up on the starboard. Now Debbie has to move a fender to the other side of the boat and now we are tying up on the port (left) side of the wall and the wind is blowing the back of WB towards this tour boat full of tourists. Had we tied up on the starboard side of the lock the wind would have held us there and we would have had no problem. That tour boat is a big sail so that is why he always takes that side of the chamber. We never touched him but it was really tight.

Next lock is Number 19 at Peterborough, the worlds highest LIFT lock in the world. This is a 65′ vertical lift lock built in 1904. The engineer who designed and oversaw the construction was a guy named Rogers. Who knew???

Following are a number of videos and photos of this amazing feat of engineering.

Our departure from Scotts Mills lock and approach half a mile later at the Peterborough Lift Lock.

Our “lift” to the top.

Our arrival 65 feet later!

Some more photos of the lock. One of the two locking “pans” in the raised position.

Another angle of the same pan.

Our boats at the top tied up to the wall.

The tour boat we shared locks with in the lower pan.

This is how it works. Took a picture, too lazy to re-type it.

Once we get to the top and WB is secured to the wall, Deb and I get to take turns operating the lift lock.

This is how Debbie did it:

This is how I did it. The lock attendant really screwed up by giving me the microphone…


Went to this spot for dinner. Quite good.

Couple sitting to my right are Cindy and Todd, owners of My Old Beauty, an extremely well cared for 30 year old Symbol motor yacht. They are from Ontario and are thinking about cruising the Great Loop. We even met a couple on a boat called Mo Whisky from New Zealand. Remarkable that people literally from the other side of the world who come here to do this.

Saltaire tied up at the top.

These are the stairs we had to climb to get to the top of the lock.

Took these photos after dinner.

Trent Severn-Days 2&3

July 26 & 27

This waterway is simply stunning. The lock passages have been totally uneventful as they are quite small. Only 2 boats the size of Whisky Business can lock through at a time. Some channels are a bit narrow as evidenced by the photo below.

This guy found his own shoal. We know this is a shoal because it does not have a ____ growning on it???

Double lock.

After 5 locks yesterday we tied up to a wall in Campbellford, Ontario. Our great buds, Deb and John had waited a few days there for us to catch up.

Since John was instrumental in getting us going again when our water pump went south on us Debbie and I had a special bottle of Woodford made for the Neal’s from a photo I had taken of their boat.

One of the 18 locks we have been through in the last 3 days.

Livin’ the dream.

Some cool summer homes.

When was the last time you were in a blow up pool.

The last few days have not been long ones but locking through can be stressful. My able bodied crew takes a much needed break.

Beautiful home and boat house.

How ’bout a fixer upper.

Jeez, another 6 MPH speed limit posting.

Love seeing this guy!

Deb says she wants a home on the water…

John took this video of a double lock we went through today. You can see WB in the lock.

Whisky Business in front of one of the locks waiting for the doors to open.

HA! Gotta love it!

I mentioned in the last post the method used to open the locks on the Trent Severn. The 2 Debs were walking to see the Loopers on Mo Whisky and when they crossed the bridge, Debbie asked if she could open the lock doors for 2 Loop boats in the lock chamber. Here’s Debbie making here lock hand debut!

Trent Severn Waterway

Day 1

July 25

Pulled out of the docks at Saint Lawrence Restoration at 8:15 this morning. Pior to going home we had to leave the marina where we had stayed for a few days as there was a Poker Run scheduled and the marina was booked. Since our trip home was thrust upon us I was a bit desparate to find room at the inn for Whisky Business. A short walk from the Clayton Municipal docks is Saint Lawrence Restoration. A business that has probably 50 boat slips and they refurbish old wood boats. Our boat was a bit big for the slips there but Nuggen, the manager moved a boat and made room for us. Must be a dog lover too cuz when I ‘splained my predicament, he found a way to accomodate us. I did not even ask what they were gonna charge us. Other marina was $113 per day and we were gonna be gone for 9 days it turned out. When we returned I went to pay, the office manager asked why we had to leave so quickly and I told her about Jake. Said she didn’t know just yet what the charge would be but come back in an hour and she would have a bill for me. Took that time to return the rental car that got us back to New York. Came back and she handed me this bill. Bear in mind that on top of the $1.50-$2.00 per foot marina’s here charge, they also tack on $10 – $15 daily for electricity.

$25 per day. Almost fell over. Coulda charged $1,000 and I would have gladly paid it. Something Debbie and I have found out on this trip about folks. There are people out there that will come running to help their fellow man when in need. Deb and I have found more than a few of these kind souls on these travels. I do my very best to pay that kindness forward.

Last night we anchored out ILLEGALY in Canada. Decided to wait till this morning to check in with customs. Cruised to Picton, Ontario to do that. Interesting, tie up the boat near a customs office, give ’em a phone call and that’s it. They ask if we have firearms? Nope. Pot? Nope. Liquor and/or wine? Uhhh, yeeeaahh, we are carrying “ships stores” which I think means just a bit for personal consumption. With a boat name like Whisky Business? We were allowed to bring 1.5 liters each.

After dealing with beauracracy for a bit we make our way to the Trent Severn Waterway. A rather narrow, shallow waterway that will take us to the Georgian Bay which many Loopers have said is the best part of the trip. Photos while underway.

City of Kingston, Ontario.

This is near the start of Trent Severn. Look at the bottom right of this image. See the “10” in a circle? That’s the speed limit on the TSW. And it ain’t MPH. It’s KPH (Kilometers Per Hour) which translates to 6.2 MPH. For 250 miles…

The first of 45 locks on the TSW. And they are really small. Maybe 2 boats the size of WB will fit in one of these locks.

Lock hands at Lock 1 making sure we know which way to go.

A video of our transit through Lock 2. Couple of things to watch for. Notice how the wind whips us around while we are waiting for the lock to open. Also near the end of the video when WB has been fully lifted watch how the lock hands open the doors. Crazy!

This is the device you saw the lock hands use to open the lock gates.

The lock gates are made from 18X18 inch timbers.

Notice how far WB’s “boot stripe” (really black line with a slender white line running beneath it) near the water line. The TSW has a controlled depth of only 6 feet. With 2 running aground incidents fresh in our minds we have cut our complement of fuel and water in half. Diesel is a tad lighter than water. Even so, we lightened WB up to the tune of around 2500 lbs.

This is our home for the night. No room for us at Lock 6 so we tied up to the wall at the top of Lock 5. Nobody else here. Very peaceful.

Saw this guy swimming around. Can’t see his tail in the photo, but wide and flat. Beaver me thinks.

This is why we have locks. Boats do not traverse shallow, rocky waters very well.

This is known as a “Whisky Lick”. Kinda like a dent in your car. Must have scraped a lock wall today.

Unforeseen break in the action

July 13 – 15

While we were in Gananoque we did quite a bit of walking around. In Canada Sin Taxes pay for their healthcare system. Free healthcare? Not exactly, drinkers and smokers pay for that “free” healthcare. In Kentucky where 11% of the wholesale cost of a bottle of liquor makes Kentucky one of the highest liquor tax states in the US and this bottle of Maker’s is still $20 less than it is in Canada. Canadian prices are usually 50-100% higher than US prices.

Read the shelf tag. Maker’s Mark, it’s not just for breakfast anymore!


Beautiful homes.

Breakfast with the Neals and a sendoff for Dave and Sue as they wait for a taxi to take them to a rent a car for their drive back to Louisville.

Dominoes with Pappy 15. Half the bottle evaporated during the games.

Pizza for dinner on the restaurants deck as this large vessel goes by.

This is the 13 foot long replacement propeller shaft that came in on Monday for Saltaire.

Deb and I had to return home as it had become clearly evident that it was time to put our furbaby down.

I hate playing God.

Incredible how much unconditional love a dog can bring to a home.This is my bestest, favoritest photo of Jake. Great photo, but that dog could not spell!

Deb and I drove 13 hours to return to New York on Tuesday morning. We left Clayton, NY at 11:30 today to continue the Loop. We traveled 60 miles to this wonderful anchorage.

Ahhhhh, another beautiful sunset.

After a great dinner of grilled pork chops Deb and I retired to the bow of Whisky Business for Manhattans made with our own Bourbon Board of Directors Woodford Double Oak Single Barrel Solera bottle.

And then I went fishing

Then we went to bed.

1000 Islands

July 10 – 12

The Thousand Islands area (actually 1864 islands) of the Saint Lawrence River between Canada and the US is truly stunning. I have included a lot of photo’s of island homes as they are so unique and like nothing I have ever seen before. Enjoy.

Thousand Islands Bridge.

Another photo as we passed the Boldt Castle. On Wednesday we cruised up the Saint Lawrence about 20 miles to an anchorage that sounded perfect. We passed the Boldt Castle again and got some better photo’s of this amazing place.

Boldt Castle Play House.

Lighthouse on a “shoal”. It’s a shoal cuz there is no tree.

This actual island would not have held a case of whiskey it is so small.

Approaching Singer Castle on Dark Island. Castle here was built by Frederick Bourne at the turn of the last century. He was the 5th president of the Singer Sewing machine company.

After our tour of the castle we found our anchorage just across the river. Deb and Sue got out the smoked salmon and cream cheese and we had a lovely repast.

Dropped the dink and took a ride around our anchorage. Saw this mini gazebo on this mini shoal.

A refreshing dip in the river. A bit brisk. On the George Castanza Shrinkage scale, I believe it was about an 89.

Grilled pork loin for dinner.

Great sunset.

Pulled up the anchor this morning and it was full of seaweed or seagrass whatever. At times there would be mounds of the stuff larger than a basketball. And when the anchor came into view, well it didn’t actually come into view as it was encased in the stuff. Got as much of it off as I could but when we got back to the marina I had to lay the chain out on the dock while Dave cleaned out the chain locker which is located in the very front of the boat in front of the forward bed.
Cruised back down the Saint Lawrence on the Canadian side.
The tree makes this an island.
There has been so much rain in this area that a lot of homes are flooded. In marinas docks are still underwater.
Mr. Bill’s cottage. Only old people will get this.

Made it to the town of Gananoque (gan-an-ok-way), Ontario. We are in this huge marina. See the sailboat leaving the marina? We are 3 slips to the left and have to walk a long way to get to the street. This is a aerial view of the marina.

Went to the Gananoque Inn for beer and apps. Love the menu.

Took a walk around this nice town.

A memorial to lives lost from this area in previous wars

I think this is the best boat name EVER!!!