Big Chutes to fill


Two months ago today we waved goodbye to Big Daddy and pulled out of Washington.  Today we pulled out of Orillia—1,140.8 nautical miles later—just as the sun broke through the scary clouds that weren’t quite scary enough to make us stay another day.  Good call, because things cleared up nicely.

In places, the Severn River looked a lot like places along the Trent River.  Narrow, shallow, trees, etc.  It looks serene, right?

Mostly it is, but then you hit a lock.  Locks turn out to be collection points for all the people we like in concept but not in practice: other big boats, go-fast boats, jet-skiers. If the lock-master decides to be ornery, everyone gets jammed together in most unsafe ways.  The good folks at Lock 42 decided to see if Misty Pearl’s fenders would mate with the fenders on a boat with a 14-foot beam.  

The French-Canadians on said boat proved to be poor lock-mates so we tied up with Second Wave at Lock 43 to escape them.  Lock 43 unfortunately was just as crowded.

The big thing about the day—apart from our anniversary celebration—was arriving at Big Chute.

This is where we’re finally forced to confess that you can’t actually boat—as in float in a vessel on water—around The Great Loop.  That’s sort of an irrelevant  truth, however, because you can in fact travel the whole thing by boat.  Parcs Canada makes everyone stay aboard as the boat sits on a rickety-looking railway cart.

Basically you pull in over the submerged cart, they sling you up, and then after some five minutes of terror that rivals the terrorizingest ride Walt Disney could contrive they plunk you back in water.

Misty Pearl is our only home now, so it’ll be even worse for us if things go bad

Tomorrow we’ll pass through what technically is Lock 44 but even more technically isn’t a lock at all.  Great drone opportunity, right?  Mostly it would be, but today we scouted things out.  Either the lock-master was eavesdropping or Doug was injudiciously loud.   Turns out it’s highly illegal to drone over the Big Chute Marine Railway.  The last thing we need is to be sentenced by a Canadian judge to hours of synth-pop.  We aren’t even charging the batteries, therefore, just to avoid the temptation.  Video from the flybridge is the best we might do.

We finally saw a moose.

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