… fast forward to a week later.
We are back in LeFroy (thanks again to Casey) and have met up with Jason and Kerrin to help me bring Becky back to Wiarton. As much as I felt confident with how I handled the trip to LeFroy I still wasn’t in a position to do this on my own.
We arrived at Canadian Yacht Tops mid afternoon and they were still working on the bimini. Craig had warned me that he will need our boat right to the end so we planned on staying in Lefroy that night. Craig generously allowed us to use the slip beside his shop. Since I had Jason along I was hoping to also to install the anchor and chain.
We are very happy with the results but man there are a lot of zippers. The overall design is great. We have more headroom throughout and especially at the helm. I don’t have to crouch down to look out the window. Craig gave me good size window to look out while operating the boat and it is a lot brighter in the cockpit.
Here is a photo of part of the team that installed the bimini. I didn’t get a photo of the equally hardworking fabricators.
From left to right …. Kole, Derek, Craig, and Gerry. Gerry was the one who came out to Wiarton to measure for the carpet. It fit perfectly.
Jason and I … I mean mostly Jason …. ok … Jason all by himself … got the windlass working so we were able to put the chain in and hook up the anchor.
250 feet of chain fills up the locker pretty quickly.
Poor little William managed to get a splinter in his foot from the dock. He was very brave. I was pretty sure I saw Jason crying.
Kerrin and Gerry all ready for the trip home.
So here we are heading out from Lefroy with me feeling so confident.
Let me tell you a little something about Jason. He is a reasonably intelligent guy who loves technology. He not only loves it he understands it. Add marine to that and you enter a new level of obsession. He spent quite a bit of time figuring out the chart plotter.
Jason also loves to study the navigation charts before he heads out for a trip. Not having much experience with that I might opt to use the chart plotter instead because hey … technology is better right?
Cut to the next scene …
Within minutes of leaving Lefroy we were safely in the wide open waters of Lake Simcoe. The weather was great with a beautiful blue sky and low winds.
Here is a map of Lake Simcoe.
The arrow labelled 1 is pointing to where we started out in Lefroy. The arrow labelled 2 is where Jason saved our propellers.
When I mentioned that we were “safely” in the wide open waters of Lake Simcoe that wasn’t exactly accurate. There is a very small area what I believe is called Long Shoal. The important word there is shoal.
For some reason I put us directly over a shoal out in the middle of open water. Jason quickly realized where we were and had me stop the boat and directed us to safety. When I looked at the chart plotter it indicated the depth of the water was 4′. The draft on our boat is 3-1/2′. If you are reading this and you have any experience with boats you could probably guess how I was feeling at that moment.
After we were in deeper water (and my heart restarted) I promised myself … and Jason … that I would make sure I knew about all the possible issues facing us. I now realize that it is actually fun to go old school and look at actual paper maps.
The narrow parts of the Trent were amazing. It helps that it was such a beautiful day.
It was a perfect afternoon to stop for lunch at a lock.
We took the opportunity to put up the canopy over the bow lounge chairs. It was a fantastic place for Kerrin and the boys to watch the world go by. Their portable playpen fit perfectly between the chairs.
William was a great help in the locks.
We were hoping to make it to the Big Chute in time to make it to a marina near Port Severn but unfortunately we were 15 minutes too late. We ended up staying at a marina on the high side of the Big Chute and luckily they had a restaurant.
… and ice cream!
The next morning Jason and William took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring. This was the old marine railway.
… and the “new” one.
Once 9 am came around and the lock opened we were back on track.
The final lock … or the first depending on the direction you were heading …is small. There were two small boats ahead of us and I was a bit nervous maneuvering Becky in behind them. We had about two feet to spare between the dinghy and the lock doors. Our anchor was about 3 feet from their platform.
We were now on the last leg of our trip … heading for Wiarton.
Jason was going to do a bit of work on the air conditioning controls when we got back to Wiarton so he did some prep work en route.
William was a little sad that our trip was coming to an end. He loved having the top bunk in the mid berth all to himself so I promised him that I would take him out on the dinghy when we got back.
Which we did …
The trip was a great success. I had a crash course (without any actual crashing) on the use of our boat and was very happy with how she handled. I experienced a number of different scenarios that I might not get to for a quite a while and all with the guidance of two great captains …
Stay tuned for more…