2 June, 2014

Ciao a Tutti,

Travel day today.  Anchor up at 0517.  Spraying off the anchor chain in 42 degree weather gets the blood flowing, coming back into the toastywarm pilothouse slows it right back down.  Today (Friday), we’ll make a beeline down Georgian Bay to Victoria Cove Marina on Hog Bay to get ready for tomorrows’ entrance to the Trent Severn.  Had to brave some 6” seas on the way down, but the trip seemed quick, as we both occupied ourselves with chores (MJT with things mechanical, MDO with techie stuff).  Ran all the way down the bay with stabilizers off, gaining a little better than .1 knots of speed. (when you live Life at 7 knots, .1 is significant)  Note:  The Girl is equipped with active stabilization-This system consists of a couple of fins that project from the sides of the hull below the waterline.  The fins are interfaced with an inclinometer coupled to the brains, telling the fins to tilt thiswayandthat, decreasing the roll of the vessel for a smoother ride.-cool stuff.  Who says we don’t get a return from the space program?  1430 arrived in a heartbeat, and we were greeted at the dock by a gang of gregarious Canadian marina dwellers getting primed for the upcoming weekend.  Didn’t have the last line cleated before the Admiral had one of the gals onboard Ooohing and Aaahing over the custom made pilothouse door screens, snappin’ away with her mobile (puhlease!... we don’t call ‘em telephones here eh!  Spent the rest of the afternoon making the boat shorter, as the fixed bridges on the Trent are as low as 22 feet.  That meant taking off the boom, dropping the mast, and lashing everything down all tight and tidy.  It’s good to have a strong wife (and smart too!).  After work was done, we took our usual stroll around the marina to look at the pretty boats.  Didn’t make it 100 yards before we met Doug and Ian, owners of a 30 something foot SeaRay.  Ten minutes led to a half hour, and before we knew it we were all at the marina restaurant, having dinner where, it seems, Ian is a fixture, right down to the waitress knowing what he would order (day of the week), and what he would have to drink (time of day).  Well…….woke up before dawn with a case of pregame jitters (used to feel this way before every swim meet).  Read and heard about the wicked currents in the narrow, twisty, shallow spot under the highway bridge at the entrance to Port Severn.  It lived up to it’s billing.  Slalom course between buoys barely wide enough for the Girl’s righteous butt.  Kissed the rock bottom in the guaranteed 6 foot channel depth (yeah, right!), but squirted through.  Locking was a breeze, and tied up afterword to buy our passesandpermitsetc.  Gave us a chance to chat it up with the lock tenders, and for Yours Truly to change his undergarments.  Off to the Big Chute-the second most photographed spot in Canada behind Niagra Falls (how do they figure this stuff out).  It’s called a lock, but in actuality it’s a rail car that you pull your boat onto.  The dudes strap you into place, then the car rolls up an inclined track, lifting you 58 feet to the next pool.  Very awesome, but over in around 7 minutes after the loading is done.  Gave us a chance to look over the Girls’ bottom-no damage couldn’t even find a scratch although I KNOW we hit.  Okay, on to Swift Rapids Lock, where we spent the night at the top, tied to the wall.  Oh, by the way, the temperatures are now in the 70’s, as opposed to the high 30’s and low 40’s that we saw over open water.  Sunny, beautiful.  We used to get a little jittery when the depth guage read 10 feet.  The T/S will cure us of that.  Ran through quite a few areas of 7 and 8 feet.  Of course, where the water shallows, it has to speed up to get through.  My new theorem:  Shallow water + fast current = need for Xanax.  What do you think?  Can anyone write me an Rx?  Off to Orillia, Ontario to spend the night at their megamarina-no kidding….HUGE, but empty except us and a few other craft.  We needed to get some cellphone issues ironed out where we had interweb access, and access to mobile (see, I’m getting’ it) stores.  That done, we’ll be heading out today for whoknowshowfar, and get tied up to a wall somewhere to wait out the predicted thunderstorms this afternoon.  The next paragraph in The Life.


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