On the Road, Again

With the repairs all finished, and fresh provisions, “it’s good to be back on the boat”, said Maddie.

Rock Me Gently, Rock Me Slowly

Thank you, one and all, at Queen’s Cove Marina in Victoria Harbour, Ontario for the exceptional service.  We were very excited to see Exhale gently lowered back into the water! Without a doubt, Robin and her team are beyond compare. Thanks, Robin, for the amazing lesson on the navigational routes along the Georgian Bay. We now have an exciting route mapped out for the northern channel – subject to weather, of course.

Penetanguishene with Houlegan, again.

It was a pleasure to begin our Georgian Bay travels with our good friends, Ray Houle and Caryl Moulder, Houlegan, again.  Our first stop is known locally as “P’tang” (cuz Penetanguishene is waaay too hard to say). Caught in very heavy rains, we found refuge at the historic Discovery Harbour.  Fun times!

Discovery Harbour

When it rains, find a museum, or a pub, or both.  We opted for Discovery Harbour.  We got drenched by the rain, but it was in the midst of good company.

Discovery Harbour traces its roots back to the original British naval and military base in Penetanguishene, built to safeguard access to Upper Canada after the War of 1812. To learn more click here.


While Houlegan, again is on a brief solo expedition via the southern route of Georgian Bay (those guys are rebels, you know), we moved on to the northern route.

Henry’s Fish Camp

A popular spot in Georgian Bay, we found over a dozen looper boats at Henry’s.



At Henry’s Fish Camp we docked again with Gypsy. Fellow loopers Miss Norma, Viridian, Gypsy Spirit and Dash Away joined us for picnic table ‘tails.

Float planes galore! Reminds me of Lake Hood in Spenard, AK.

Parry Sound

The Georgian Bay is absolutely spectacular!  Bucket List Item in Progress.



In Parry Sound we docked with Viridian, Gypsy Spirit and Dash Away.

Canada Model A’s on Tour



What a treat to see twenty-six Model A’s parked at our dock!

Anchored out in Tiny

Traveling with Gypsy, we anchored out in Hopewell Bay (did we mention, Jim Merritt took a very brief break in Queen’s Cove for a root canal – oooowwww)AnchoredOut1


Small Craft Advisory

When the weather gets rough – stop, stop, stop.  Thanks to Captain Rick and Jim, they did not hesitate to find a safe little cove for us to take refuge when the water got really choppy.  With a little help from the Nebo app, we found more loopers in the cove (hello again Viridian and Dash Away).  A spontaneous dinner aboard Gypsy was an unexpected bonus.

Hang Dog – Alexander Bay

Yep, she is tied to a tree.

Another “first experience”. In a small protected cove, Exhale dropped her anchor, then Gypsy rafted off (tied herself to Exhale). The stern of the boat was snuggly secured to a tree about 150 feet away.  With zero risk of swinging towards the rocks, we all enjoyed a VERY peaceful evening!


Signs along the way – “Safe Passage”, or, “Rum found here”

“Site of the Original Barrel Denoting Safe Passage Through Turbulent Waters”

Brilliant advertising for the local pub at the next port? You decide.

A MESSAGE TO OUR FAITHFUL READERS: We are sorry the blog postings have been rather irregular.  Unfortunately, (or perhaps we mean fortunately), cellular service and wi-fi connections continue to be hit or miss on this great boat trip. Although a tremendous inconvenience and source of frustration when we need to meet a deadline for WORK, most of the time we are just forced to Exhale 🙂

Next Stop:

Enjoying Georgian Bay, with no pre-scheduled stops.

Where Have We Been So Far? Thanks for asking 🙂

Total Locks completed = 126, includes:

  • Florida – Lake Okeechobee area: 7
  • Virginia – Great Dismal Swamp: 2
  • New York – Troy & Champlain Canal: 12
  • CANADA – Chambly Canal/Quebec: 9
  • CANADA – Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway: 5
  • CANADA – Rideau Canal/Ontario: 47
  • CANADA – Trent-Severn Waterway: 44

States and Provinces traversed on the water, commencing March 1, 2018:

U.S. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont.  Canada: Quebec, Ontario.

Side trips (via land or air):

Los Angeles (MS [2 – April and May], Rick [3 – May, June and July] & Maddie [May], Cleveland (RMG, MS & Maddie [2- April and July], Craig [April])

Go Dog, Go!

Tyler’s favorite book is “Go Dog, Go!“, written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman.  One thing for sure, the author fully tapped into the energy of a two-year old – like the dog in the 1961 classic child’s story, Tyler likes to go, go, go!

Walking Maddie
Go dog, go!

What do you love to eat when you are two? Pasta, hashbrowns and peanut butter – especially if you can double fist it!

Tyler likes his pasta with butter and a little salt. 1-2-3 bowls, please.
What’s that? Hash browns, with Arizona watching closely.
Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter, Heck Yeah!

Graham grackers taste better one nibble at a time.  Equality is key – all four corners are gone!

Everything must be balanced, what do you think, Mo, a CPA or an engineer in the making?

Lions and Basketballs!

Lions growwwwwl.
He’s a natural athlete.
Favorite Book!

Do you want some milk with your coffee, Papa?




This fashion statement is beyond comment …  thanks for the hat, Uncle Scott.


Thanks Aunt Cindy and Uncle Scott for a fun day swimming, and for letting Maddie stay at your house!

It was also great seeing Mike and Sue Gillespie for a relaxing day at their pool, with Scott and Cindy.  Thanks for the pizza and libations. Looking forward to seeing you guys on the water!

Jamie and David‘s return flight to Cleveland was cancelled, delaying their return by roughly 24 hours. Meanwhile Nona and Grandpa Dan got another chance to play with Tyler! Thanks again, Dan & Rita (Tyler’s other grandparents) for spoiling us.  Without a doubt, the VERY BEST bagels on the planet are made by D & R Bagels, click here for their website.

Cleveland to Queen’s Cove, Ontario Canada ~ 350 miles

Before driving back to Canada, WWRD?? Stock up with groceries from Costco. After 8 full days in Cleveland, Maddie was one exhausted dog.




Repairs in Progress – Reunited with Friends



While we were in Cleveland, Trevor helped expedite the imported parts from China (Thanks so much, Trevor!), the prop was re-shaped, the custom nuts arrived, and now we are crossing our fingers the repairs will be completed by the Marina on Monday (tomorrow) so we can get back on the water …

Meanwhile we are thrilled to be reunited with our friends Ray Houle and Caryl Moulder, Houlegan Again.

Cheers everyone, the Georgian Bay awaits.


Elevated out of the water …

Lifted out of the water for 1) a broken prop and 2) a unique marine railway; a great time to visit Tyler!

A Damaged Prop

Perhaps you already heard the Captain successfully “reshaped” the prop back in Merrickville. Details remain a little foggy, something about an early morning departure, a navigational beacon, and a bed of rocks that was not at all like the sand in Florida, you get the idea.

You might be asking, to solve the problem, WWRD? Rick’s Answer: “if you travel slow”,  just how slow can this slow boat go ?? – “you won’t feel much vibration”. Meanwhile, Maureen and I cleaned the boat, again, to make sure nothing could wobble its way to the floors. The Plan: find a qualified mechanic to fix the boat, hopefully in Queens Cove.

Normally, one does not look forward to being elevated out of the water, with one very special exception – the Big Chute!

Lock 44 – The Big Chute Marine Railway

Under the masterful direction of the Parcs Canada lockmasters, up to 100 tons of watercraft, in various sizes and shapes, float onto an 80-foot wooden cradle.  Captain Rick says Exhale weighs 25 tons, more or less.

Going up …
In the cradle

Once the flotilla is stabilized and secured, the passenger laden vessels are lifted out of the water and gradually elevated roughly 60 feet.

Exhale Up
Exhale gets elevated. Photo by Gypsy.

Via cables and dual railroad tracks, the railcar traverses dry land, then gently drops its cargo into the lake waters below.

Crossing over dry land. Photo by Gypsy.
Going down … Photo by Gypsy.
Floating again! Looking back at the tracks.
Here comes Gypsy!

To learn about the Big Chute, click here.

Hello Gypsy

We first saw Gypsy at Osprey Marina, early in March.


It was such a pleasure to reconnect with Jim and Susan Merritt, captains of Gypsy.  They seem to be testing capacity as it appears 8 or 10 guests joined them for the day long adventure on the Marine Railway. Thanks guys for the great photos from the Big Chute!

Good Bye Trent Severn Waterway

We waived goodbye to the TSWaterway as we completed Lock 45. To see the official Parks Canada photos of each lock (1 through 45), click here.

Port Severn, is the smallest lock on the waterway.

Lift: 3.7m Width: 7.0m Length: 25.6m

Hello Georgian Bay

While it was quite the adventure to complete all the locks in the Trent Severn, we were excited to see the majestic Georgian Bay.




First stop – Queens Cove Marina in Victoria Harbor.  The boat was lifted out of the water, again, this time to assess the extent of the prop damage.

Queen’s Cove Marina, Victoria Harbor, Ontario, Canada

So far, it appears the prop just needs to be reshaped by the local “black smith” equivalent. Crossing our fingers that is true.  

Murphy’s Law – we ordered another prop to be delivered soon, so there will be a spare part in stock, hopefully never to be used. BTW – the prop weighs about 400 lbs; it required a massive wrench, heat, and a cutting torch to be removed. Unfortunately, replacement bolts meant a special order from China … meanwhile, we are hanging out in Cleveland.

Damaged Prop

Big Tools

With the boat out of the water we embarked on a pre-scheduled side trip, traversing back to the USA, via New York’s Peace Bridge, destined to Cleveland, Ohio.

Yet Another Side Trip

A belated Happy Anniversary, Jamie and David, and a special Happy Birthday, Jamie.  It is a privilege to hangout with our grandson, Tyler, while you take a little break to a resort in Mexico.

Thanks Aunt Cindy and Uncle Scott for letting Maddie hang out with you in Cleveland, a welcome respite from the Energizer Bunny two year-old.


Next Stop:

Georgian Bay, with no pre-scheduled stops, for the very first time on our journey!

Where Have We Been So Far?

States and Provinces traversed on the water, commencing March 1, 2018:

U.S. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont.  Canada: Quebec, Ontario.

Side trips (via land or air):

Los Angeles (MS [April and May], Rick [May, June and July] & Maddie [May], Cleveland (RMG, MS & Maddie [April and July], Craig [April])


Trent-Severn Waterway

The Trent-Severn Waterway spans a distance of 240 miles, with 45 locks along the way.  Beginning in Trenton, Ontario (Lock 1), the waterway leads to Port Severn, the entrance to Georgian Bay. If you want to learn more about the canal, click here.

Let’s just say, it’s a lot easier to do those locks with Craig and Maureen onboard.

Reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn“, this hearty little tree is made of stern stuff.

Trent – Celebrating Canada Day

We celebrated Canada Day (July 1) with Caryl, Ray (Houlegan again), Maureen & Craig.

Campbellford – the Red & White celebration continues

Yep, those refreshing drinks are red and white.  Do you know the secret ingredients?Thanks for taking this welcome photo, Maureen, you are right, the icons include martinis!

Signs along the way

It’s always fun to notice the customized signs along the way.

A unique reminder to go slow.

Peterborough – Wednesday Concert – The Trews

Summer concerts at the Peterborough Marina – on Wednesdays and Saturday – are free, attracting thousands of folks.  Upfront seats to a Canadian favorite, The Trews, the music was exceptional!  Check it out for yourself here.

Peterborough Lift Lock – 65 ft above the Trent Canal

Breath taking views.  Engineering at it’s finest.  Powered by gravity, the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world lifts two counter-balanced bathtub like chambers.





Buckhorn – Infamous, World Renowned

Words cannot adequately describe our adventures in Buckhorn.  Craig and Maureen were there.  That’s all you need to know. The night included campfire songs from Key Largo musicians, the Sunshine Band.

Ken and Carol Schryver, fellow Loopers from the Voyageur.

Fenelon Falls – Best Men

Somewhere, somehow, Exhale snagged a line. Retired Canadian firefighter, Rick (such a great name), from Knots Buoy, dove under the boat – reporting back a sturdy line was wrapped around the prop, about 8 times. When diver Rick couldn’t cut the line free, Captain Rick hailed a boat across the channel; successfully coaxing one of the able bodied young men to give us a hand. We later learned there were roughly twenty of them, headed to a Bachelor’s Party.

Mark, the “Best Man” from the Bachelor Party, dove, no less than 20 times, slowly cutting away the stubborn tangled line!  His reward, a Carbon by Design t-shirt (thanks, Dominick!), a random Florida hat that fellow boater Tania found, and ice cold beer!




Lock and Roll! BobCaygeon

When we reached the top of the lock, Craig and Maureen hopped out.  The lock attendants were amused as they realized our crew was jumping ship, it helped they brought minimal luggage … thanks for the memories guys – celebrating another fun filled Miami Vice holiday!


Next Stop:

STILL Navigating the Trent-Severn Waterway.  Coming Soon: side to visit Tyler!

Where Have We Been So Far?

States and Provinces traversed on the water, commencing March 1, 2018:

U.S. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont.  Canada: Quebec, Ontario.

Side trips (via land or air):

Los Angeles (MS [April and May], Rick [May and June] & Maddie [May], Cleveland (RMG, Craig, Maddie, & MS [April])

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day is July 1.  Today we are in celebrating with Craig and Maureen in Trent, reunited with fellow Loopers HMS Vagabond, and Houlegan again. Surrounded  by Red and White, tonight there will be fireworks!

Fish on! Rick & Craig

Life is good when you are fishing! And there is nothing like a good old fashioned competition – especially when it’s the smallest fish that wins!





Changing Signs – when it is critical that you stay between the navigational beacons, we appreciated the reminder that the colors had changed, in other words it was NOT red right returning.


Rideau Canal

We continue to travel with Ray & CarylHoulegan Again, awesome boating buddies!

When Exhale finished the Rideau Canal we had completed 79 locks (Fort Myers, Florida through Kingston, Ontario).





Some of the locks reminded us of filling-up and draining a really really big  bathtub!



Smiths Falls – the walls of Smiths Falls were truly daunting!  



These bugs tried to hitch a ride, without permission, of course. They ended their journey in a unique, tidy pattern …


Pictures taken at sunrise by Rick, the happy early riser.


Next Stop:

Navigating the Trent-Severn Waterway with our most experienced crew members, Craig and Maureen still on board! And, YES, Craig has been cooking us some splendid meals.

Where Have We Been So Far?

States and Provinces traversed on the water, commencing March 1, 2018:

U.S. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont.  Canada: Quebec, Ontario.

Side trips (via land or air):

Los Angeles (MS [April and May], Rick [May and June] & Maddie [May], Cleveland (RMG, Craig, Maddie, & MS [April])