August 3, 2012

July 31, 2012  Day 81    Big Chute to Papoose Bay   Total miles to date:  1513.1

Loading Carried Away on the Big Chute
Here we go!
Getting ready to go down
This was a big day for us as we took our turn in riding the Big Chute. We arranged with Our Time to take photos of each other’s boats. We went first and tied up on the blue line to be the first ones through at 8:30 when the lock opened. We pulled into the structure and the crew positioned us into two slings. Once they were satisfied that everything thing was right (they insist on being perfect – and we agree with that!), the railway car took us up the incline and then lowered us back in the water.  It was a fun ride and over all too quickly!  We tied up our boat below so we could walk back up and take pictures of Our Time.  One advantage of having someone else along is that it gives them the chance to look at the props. We have a small ding in one prop but overall not too bad considering we hit something in Otter Creek in Vermont.   Our Time had a long orange line wrapped around their portside prop and the Big Chute crew backed up the railway car so they could reach the props and remove it for them.  We might add that the day began cloudy but the rain did not begin until we were through the Big Chute!  Then we did travel in a heavy rain or about 45 minutes. 
We arrived at our final lock in Canada, the Port Severn Lock 45 at 10:45 and had to tie up for a while to be able to lock through. Because of the thunderstorm that had developed, they were not able to open the bridge for 30 minutes after the last lightning strike, so we waited until 12:15 and went through the lock and then the swing bridge. We immediately pulled into a marina to buy oil for the boat, and then we were on our way once again with Our Time to head to the Georgian Bay!  The first part of the bay was challenging with a very shallow and narrow channel but it eventually opened up into a wide body of water. We had chosen Papoose Bay off Beausoleil Island as our destination and we anchored there with Our Time and several other boats who had also come here.  As soon as we arrived Joyce pulled in all the fenders, tied up all the lines, and cleaned the decks!  We have a wash down pump and the water here is so clean it makes sense to use it to wash the boat. The fenders still need cleaning but that will get done later this week.
An anchoring neighbor at Papoose Bay
This was a day of firsts – our first time to ride the Big Chute and our first day to travel in a thunderstorm. It was also a day of “lasts” – our last lock in Canada, and our last day on the Trent Severn!  (It is also the last day of July!) We also just crossed 1500 miles! We will be on the Georgian Bay for a few days with its challenges of navigating through rocks, but the beauty of the area is supposedly unequalled.  We had a nice dinner on the grill, planned our route for tomorrow, read and just enjoyed a quiet evening at anchor.