Friday, July 6, 2018

Another adventure comes to an end

The remainder of our trip went well. The highlight and one of my bucket list items was to do The  Big Chute. What is The Big Chute you may ask? Here is a brief description from Wikipedia “Big Chute Marine Railway is a patent slip at lock 44 of the Trent-Severn Waterway in OntarioCanada. It works on an inclined plane to carry boats in individual cradles over a change of height of about 60 feet (18 m). It is the only marine railway (or canal inclined plane) of its kind in North America still in use, and is overseen by federally operated Parks Canada." 

Here is a link for the complete history and story behind this marvel. 

Below are some pictures of the remainder of the trip and finally some trip statistics.

Our route from Ottawa to Kingston

From Kingston we crossed a small portion of Lake Ontario and entered the port at Trenton to pick up the Trent/Sevren
The Port of Orillia was having Christmas in June!

Many of the lock attendants like to put plantings around the locks.

This is the Big Chute crib that our boat was in and traveled the distance. The entire ride was only about five minutes.

The rails heading down back into the water.

Here we are coming out of the water
  Below is a video of us in the crib.

You do feel a bit unnerved as you descend.

Here is a side shot of the crib as it descends back into the water.

Our last stop before retrieving the boats onto the trailers. We entered into Georgian Bay and stayed the night at Beaudoleil Island, which is one of the many facilities throughout the Canadian Park System.

Always lots to drink when cruising.

Always lots to eat while cruising also.

All ready to tow home, go on a diet and get ready for another adventure. Stay tuned!....

Trip Statistics

Miles: nautical 428
Hours: 52
Average speed 8.23 KTS
Fuel used: 131 gallons
Consumption: 3.26 nmpg or 3.75 mpg
Locks - 90

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A brief synopsis

Traveling through the locks can be a long day. We were fortunate to be early in the season and there were few boats along the rivers. However, being early in season also means the locks were only open from 10:00 am to 4:00 PM. This means getting to the last lock by 3:30 to lock through. Almost every lock has space to moor for the night. Besides buying a lock permit, buying a mooring permit allows you to stay for the night. The cost for the permit is by the foot. We bought a seasonal pass which allowed us access on both the canals at less cost than paying individually and for a one time pass.

There are sections where you can speed up and make time, but many areas are 10 km/h, that is about 6 statute miles per hour. Slow and steady does it and going slow gives you a chance to see the surrounding areas. There are towns to stop at along the way to get your daily fix of ice cream and shopping for the ladies.

All the lock people are extremely friendly. There is virtually no radio communication between you and the lock master or between the locks. However, the locks do tend to coordinate among themselves via cell phone and you will often have a lock ready to go when you arrive. I imagine the summers are busier and it is a matter of being there when the doors open to let the boats out traveling the opposite direction.

Most of the locks are opened and closed manually with a cranking system as is the release of water. There were two locks that were actually lifts. You enter a big tub of water and then they close the door. The tub rises to the next level by a big hydraulic lift  and then the front opens and out you go.

Below are some pictures of sights seen along the way.

A typical lock door

This is the lock lift at Peterborough. For efficiency there are two, one is always up and the other down. Quite a simple principle, just float in and they close the door behind you. When you get to the top or the bottom, the door drops down and you float out. 
This little guy loved cruising. He was on a boat with a couple doing the Great Loop. They started in Texas
This must be a river tradition. We saw one on the Tennessee.
This was a big lift. King Fisher, a Rosborough, was traveling with us.  Here is a shot of him waiting for the doors to open.

A typical evening after running the locks. Relaxing, enjoying the view and a bit of wine, more wine and then some wine.

Some munchies with Dun & Becky

Many of the lock masters beautify their locks. Here is a little garden at lock 18

Nothing like an evening swim when anchored out.

The captains discussing lock strategy.

More to come...................................................................

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A new adventure from Ottawa to Port Severn

Another adventure has begun. This trip will take us from Ottawa down the Rideau (pronounced Redo) to Kingston, Ontario. We will then cross a fifty-mile portion of Lake Ontario to Trenton and then take the Trent Severn Canal from there to Port Severn.We departed Rhode Island with boat in tow and decided to make this an easy trip, an overnight in Utica, NY and then launch the boats at Dow’s Lake Marina in Ottawa. We are traveling with friends of ours, Dun and Becky, who own a Rosbourough. We anticipate our entire trip taking 3 weeks. Stay tuned……

At the dock in Dow's Lakeafter launch 

All locks have a docking area to wait until the doors are open.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to land

After our stop in Seattle we moved on to Tacoma, Olympia, Bremerton, Port Townsend and back to Roche Harbor for a grand Ranger Tug Rendezvous.

We arrived today at our last stop, Everett, Washington right back where we started. We left the Ranger Tug Rendezvous a day early since weather predictions did not seem favorable for getting back when planned. The Rendezvous was well attended. One hundred and seventy-five boats in attendance. They said this is the largest rendezvous in the world.

So now we will spend tomorrow getting the boat prepped for land travel. On Tuesday, 09/13, we will load ILLUSIONS up on the trailer and hit the road. We will be heading south and making stops in Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit my cousins and Austin, Texas to visit my niece. Our travels on the boat this year will be 180 days. We covered a lot of ground and water. We are so grateful to be able to have this experience and to have met so many nice people along the way. They have become more than just passing ships in the night. As we were making our way towards Everett I received a call on the radio from someone. “Illusions, Illusions Illusions, this is vessel Tribute." I responded and was requested to switch to Channel 69. It was former Ranger Tug owners John and Laurie that now own a Kadey Krogen. They recognized our boat since it is one of a few tugs having the Laurene Green hull color.  We met John and Laurie in Florida when they were doing the completion of their loop trip in their Ranger 29. The boating world can be small and no matter where you are paths do cross more than once. And there is always someone you meet who knows someone you met. Below are some trip stats and below that some pictures of the towns along the way. 

Trip Stats

146 hours of engine time
1037 Nautical miles traveled  Average speed 7.10 KTS
1193 Statute miles traveled    Average speed  8.17 MPH

Fuel Consumption 347 Gallons
2.98 NM per gallon
3.43 Miles per gallon

While in Tacoma I tried my hand at a little glass blowing. Chihuly may have competition in the future.

A bit of help from my instructor. That is red hot glass he has in his hand. I was told it is 2,000 degrees. Those who visit us in Rhode Island can tour my masterpiece in our garden next summer.

A piece on display at the Chihuly Glass museum in Tacoma
Five floors like this of cars from every vintage to every make. An outstanding collection and a must see. The American Car Museum in Tacoma, WA

The Capitol Building in Olympia

Downtown Olympia

Our dock at Bremerton. We hit it right. They were having the Blackberry Festival the next day. It seemed everywhere we went in Washington and Canada you could find wild blackberries and just pick to your hearts content. Or should I say stomachs content.
A view of the waterfront in Port Townsend. Jess said this was her favorite stop.

Can you see our boat? A great spot for a Rendezvous and a spectacular event put on by Ranger and supported by many of their suppliers. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Seattle here we come!

After Anacortes we worked our way down to Seattle stopping at Langely along the way. Langley is a quaint seaside town and offers a nice Main Street with plenty of shops and eateries. It is a great spot for stopping halfway to Seattle.

The Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle couldn’t be in a better spot to stay. We were right downtown and were able to walk to everything. Seattle is rich in history and has quite an interesting beginning. We learned a lot about the history on the Underground Walking Tour. Seattle had actually burned to the ground on June 6, 1889. It was started in a Carpenter shop by John Back, an assistant, heating glue over a gas fire. The glue boiled over and fire quickly spread with one calamity after another. It hit a liquor store, then a saloon. Needless to say lots of alcohol added to the flames. To make matter worse the water pressure for the hoses was weak and the hoses were too short. Eventually an entire 25 block area was destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

Since they were rebuilding they decided they would level the city off somewhat by cutting the top of the hills and moving the fill to the waterfront to raise it. They estimated that the project would take ten years. The building owners wouldn’t and couldn’t wait ten years for new buildings. They decided they would build new buildings with the idea that once the land around them was filled their first floor would actually be the basement. How do you fill in around buildings and keep them open and accessible during the process? They built retaining walls around each building about twenty feet or so away from the building and about 12 foot high. The fill was then brought in and built up on the outside of the walls and this became the street. Ladders were put in at intervals to allow people to climb up and down to get to the businesses. I am sure if OSHA existed then they would have had a field day. Once the streets were complete they then installed beams from the retaining walls to the buildings and planked it over and then poured concrete over to make the walkways. The second floor was now the first floor and the first floor became the basement. The basements had windows and doorways that opened up to the now abandoned underground sidewalks. Our tour took us through sections that were musty and dirty with debris strewn about. It was a dank walk back in history.

We also rented a car and drove to the Boeing plant where we took a tour of their manufacturing facility. It is amazing how they build the planes on an assembly line type of environment, building one per month of the 747.

While in Seattle we looked up Jess's cousin Helen who she hadn't seen in 40 years. 

Next stop Tacoma.

Interesting way to store dingys in the marina at Langley. Photo courtesy of Laurie Hafener

Chihuly Museum in Seattle. Chihuly has installations all around the USA and the world

Boeing celebrating their 100th anniversary

View from the Seattle needle

Walking the underground

A typical glass walkway embedded in the sidewalk to allow light into the underground
The topside of the sidewalk glass

The entrance to the teller's cage when it was originally on the first floor.

Some Chihuly works on exhibit.

The Space needle

A Chihuly piece with the space needle in the background.

Great Picture of Jess, don't you think?

Pike's Market is a place to see. Several blocks of food and people selling their wares.

Just like the old Patty Duke show, "Identical Cousins, two of a kind."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Respite in Anacortes

We took a two week break from cruising in Anacortes, WA. We had a great time there with two other Ranger Tug owners, Ron & Libby from Tug O' My Heart and Steve and Laurie from Sea Life Too. We know Laurie and Steve from Sanibel, Florida and we know them from there and by happenstance we crossed paths in Anacortes. It was a great two weeks of hiking, seeing sights and crabbing. We now are heading south and going as far as Olympia, WA and then returning to Roche Harbor for a Rendezvous with 139 Ranger Tugs in attendance.

Stay tuned.

Entrance way and exit to downtown Anacortes

Mount Baker

An interesting sea wall in Anacortes

Mike & Jess, Steve & Laurie, Ron & Libby
The Anacortes Jive Six
Moonlight in Anacortes

Laurie took this picture of the reflection of our stern in the water.
"Reflections of Illusions"
Sounds like a good title for a book.