We stayed on site in Port Severn at Lock # 45. Andrew was not quite ready to undertake the adventure. No problem, as he had the day to figure out how he was going to load his equipment into his kayak. This rest day gave us the opportunity to catch up with our blog and stay in the shade of a big tree (as it was very hot all day long).
July 29, 2015
We were relatively early on the water to escape the heat. It was predicted to be at least 30°C today, without the humidity factor. Andrew was fascinated to paddle in fresh water (it was the first time for him). The region covering Port Severn to Big Chute is really pretty. It is also the gateway to beautiful Georgian Bay. Paddling toward the Big Chute Marine Railway, we kept on remembering our journey here last year. Paddling on the same path, but in the opposite direction, will be very interesting to do for the next few weeks on the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal.
Once we passed the Big Chute Marine Railway and we resumed our paddling, we had a wonderful surprise. Terry and Pauline (and Wynston) came to greet us by boat. We were so happy to see them. The last time we had seen them was in Florida last December. They offered us a big welcome and escorted us to their cottage. They had also informed the neighbourhood of our arrival. Lots of people cheered and congratulated us as we paddled. Wow! Very touching. Then, at Terry and Pauline’s cottage, we noticed that the Quebec flag was hoisted in our honour. What a great welcome. Terry and Pauline, you are fantastic.
July 30 to August 3, 2015
We stayed at Terry and Pauline's all of this time. On July 30, their friends Anne and Mark arrived; two great people. Throughout the week, we had fun, we laughed, we drank, we ate very well (Pauline is very talented). What an incredible week! We had a chance to boat, to Seadoo, to try their skiff, to swim and relax ... A dream week. We were not supposed to stay that long. We planned at first to leave on Friday morning, but Terry and Pauline convinced us to stay longer. They are really generous, honest and good people. They are great friends.
Terry and Pauline showed us their paradise; we met with their neighbours and shared a lot of stories together. On Sunday August 2, in the afternoon, there was a party at a neighbour's who celebrated their 100th year in the Bay; occupied from generation to generation. It was very interesting to see all these people together. A beautiful moment of fraternity. On Monday morning August 3rd, Anne and Mark left.
August 4, 2015
It was our turn to leave Terry and Pauline. We had a heavy heart. They will be greatly missed. What a great week we had. Before leaving, Pierre took down the flag of Quebec, under the direction of Terry, and then took his place in our canoe. Terry and Pauline accompanied us to the exit of the bay aboard their boat. Then we said, what we thought was our final goodbye, but it was not long before we saw them again. I had forgotten my sweater in the house. They came to find us shortly after discovering it. We must believe that we were really due to meet again soon. ;)
We paddled against the current. In fact, we will paddle upstream until we get to Balsam Lake, the highest point of the waterway. The locking went well during the day. We arrived in the afternoon at Lock #42, Couchiching. We camped here last year. We were pleasantly surprised at the upgrades. Now, there is a shower at this lock. Tents were set up quickly to take shelter from a rain that ultimately did not last long.
August 5, 2015
We left Couchiching with the aim to travel to Orillia. The conditions were not good to cross Lake Simcoe and the distance too great for Andrew. Orillia seemed a good choice. We landed about 3km from the campsite. Conditions were at this point too risky to go around the tip of the land separating us from the campground. The Hammock Harbour Resort & Campground staff were fantastic. They found us a way to cross the bridge and brought us safely to the campsite. Bill and Will, two residents at the campground, picked us up with Bill’s truck and trailer. A huge thank you to you both. Then in the afternoon, we met Patrick from Orillia Packet & Times newspaper. Patrick, thank you for your interest and your time. Subsequently, Pauline and Terry picked us up and invited us to a delicious dinner at a restaurant named Era67 located in Orillia. We had a tour of the town and walked into downtown. Another wonderful evening in their company. Thank you again for everything Pauline and Terry!!!
August 6, 2015
Perfect day to cross Lake Simcoe. We could not ask for better. The crossing went very well. It was hot and there was not much wind. Once in the channel, we locked lock 41, 40 and 39. It is at lock 39 that we stopped for the day. Kim and Randy, who we had met last year and with whom we had spent a wonderful evening, invited us to dinner again this year. Unfortunately we did not get their message in time. At Lock 39, there is no access by road. If we had stopped at Lock 40 or 41, we could have met up. We were very disappointed not to have opened their message in time. Kim and Randy, thank you again for your invitation. It is only postponed.
August 7, 2015
In recent days, we have had discussions with Andrew on the goals of this trip. Our routine and tempo is too fast for him and he is struggling to adapt to the type of day required to travel to Quebec City within a reasonable time. Despite the compromise, the pace is still too fast for him and he lacks experience. We therefore came to the conclusion that it was wiser for us to continue alone. Andrew, we wish you good luck in your personal adventure. Take good care.
We arrived in the afternoon at Rosedale Lock. There were a lot of boats. We had the pleasure to chat with Gayle and Jurgen. Jurgen does a lot for the Scouts and loves to canoe.
August 8, 2015
Big day. We paddled almost 60km. It was hot during the day, but we benefited from an overcast sky and some light rain to cool us down. We crossed several locks like Kirkfield Lift Lock (14,9m elevation). Then we crossed Balsam Lake. From that moment, we are now going downstream. Once in Bobcaygeon, we met again with Gayle and Jurgen. They offered us ice cream ... very appreciated! Thank you again to you both! Then we left for Buckhorn, where we stopped for the night.
August 9, 2015
Late check out today. We did some shopping in the morning before leaving. We stopped at Young's Point in late afternoon. When we arrived, we met Matt and Brooklyn (Park Canada employees and managers of the lock). Matt gave us good water to drink. Then we got cold water and soft drinks from Brad and Sandy. We also chatted with Cheryl and Ken from the boat Cher II. They wanted us to spend a nice evening and gave us some beer. Once again, we were well received by strangers. Thank you all for your kindness. It's all these little things that make our journey extraordinary.
August 10, 2015
Departed from Young's Point towards Peterborough. We went through several locks. Nassau Mills caught our attention (really pretty). Congratulations to the employees for their initiative and pride. Thanks to the money raised by the empty cans, they bought and planted flowers, bought chairs and decorated the station. Very well done! We also went through the Peterborough Lift Lock (19.8m). In this lock, we met with King and Sharon (Blue Moon). What a happy reunion! We also had the pleasure of meeting Tim and Francie, King and Sharon’s friends. We locked together. Then we continued to Lock # 19.
11-12 August 2015
We stayed at Lock # 19 both days. We had the chance to meet Clifford from the Peterborough Examiner (thank you for the beautiful pictures) and Evan and Julie from Traversing.ca (superb meeting, keep on doing your blog, it is really interesting).
The 11th, in the evening, we had dinner on board Blue Moon and then said goodbye to King and Sharon on the 12th in the morning. Thank you again for everything Sharon and King. We'll miss you. We hope to meet you again before next year. You have been so important in our adventure.