Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Sunday June 5th was a “weather day”. The rain started in the middle of the night and continued much of the day, along with very high winds, so it was an easy decision to stay put at the Frankford Lock #6 and get some other chores done. Only two boats moved on and later in the day, two more joined us for a total of seven boats. This is the most traffic we’ve seen so far. Of the seven boats, we had three Canadian boats and four US boats. 

Mid afternoon, our gang gathered on Tug’n for a board game called Sequence. It was the ladies against the men and this time round, the men won it in a best of 15 rounds. The other big excitement of the day was a severe thunderstorm watch just after dark. Dave, from Sir Tugley came by to warn us and we put out extra fenders and checked the lines. The bulk of the storm passed north of us, but we did have a fair bit of lightening for about 15 minutes.

Monday June 6th, 2016
We were all up and organized in good time. Initially the sun shone, but then the strong winds returned and the clouds rolled in. Our short “crew meeting” at 0900 confirmed our plans to continue through the remaining six locks. We caught the first lock of the morning at 1000 hours and the remaining locks were well coordinated with each one open for us when we arrived. We were through the 6 1/2 mile run and six locks in just 3 hours. 

So, here are the Trent-Severn Waterway numbers:
  • Total length - 240 miles or 209 nautical miles or 386 kilometres from Port Severn to Trenton
  • 44 locks, lift locks & a marine railroad
  • We climbed / rose 264.9 feet from Georgian Bay to Balsam lake (high point of the waterway)
  • We descended 597 feed from Balsam Lake to Bay of Quinte / Lake Ontario
  • An 11 day trip including one weather day
We all headed into the brand new Trenton Port Marina on the Bay of Quinte to help Wings raise their mast back into position. This job was completed within an hour. Wings and Sir Tugley had decided they’d stay at the marina overnight, while Fran and I decided we’d like to head out into the Bay of Quinte and anchor. The Bay of Quinte is very familiar boating territory for us as we boated out of Mimico Cruising Club in Toronto for 22 years and most years our summer vacations were in the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands. 

The Bay of Quinte is a long, narrow bay shaped like the letter “Z” on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario. The name Quinte in the Mohawk language is the name of an early French Catholic mission located on the north shore of what is now called Prince Edward County. 

The Bay, as it is known locally, provides some of the best trophy pickerel or walleye angling in North America, as well as most of the other sport fish common to the great lakes. The Quinte area played a vital role in bootlegging during prohibition in the United States, providing large quantities of booze being produced in the area. It was shipped via boat on the Bay to Lake Ontario and finally arriving in New York State where it was distributed. Illegal sales of liquor accounted for many fortunes in and around the Belleville area. 

Fran and I headed out from the marina in Trenton at 1500 hours intending to anchor at Massassauga Point or Sandy Cove as the locals call it. The wind was 20 to 25 nautical miles per hour (Knots) from the south west, so this anchorage would be fine. As we made the turn at the point we saw one boat near the shore. Part way in, we found ourselves mired in an unbelievable weed bed in what was supposed to be 12 feet of water. The weeds had grown all the way to the surface and getting good holding with our anchor would be difficult. In all our years of boating in this area, we’d never experienced weeds like this. After a brief attempt at finding clearer water that was close enough to shore to be out of the stiff winds, we quickly determined this was not going to work. So, off we headed further east to look for an alternative. A planned 11 mile trip to an anchorage turned into a 25 mile trip, but we found a calm, comfortable anchorage at Green Point, at the northwest end of Long Reach in Bay of Quinte. The sun shone while we enjoyed a glass of wine and a lovely dinner at about 1830 hours. 

Around 2030, we got a text from Dave on Sir Tugley. They’d just had a squall go through the marina with winds up to 50 miles per hour. We saw the dark clouds to our west and quickly put out more anchor rode (chain). Twenty minutes later we got winds of 20 knots with gusts to 34 knots, some rain and a 90 degree wind direction change. Our sizeable anchor and all chain rode held us fine, but another look at the forecast shows we can expect high winds, some rain and possible thunderstorms up to midnight. In the end, we had a lovely night at anchor, enjoying the boat peacefully swinging back and forth, less and less as the wind petered out.

Great Blue Heron on the Trent

Sir Tugley Blue on last stretch of the Trent

Sir Tugley & Wings passing under "Gateway to the Trent" sign

Wings is happy her mast is back up in its proper position

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