Across Lake Ontario

Our “triangle loop” trip last year took us from Oswego across the eastern part of Lake Ontario to Kingston, an easy run of around 42 miles. The route to enter the Trent-Severn Waterway takes a more westerly direction, and is a bit over 70 miles, a full day’s cruise. We had a good start locking through Lock 8 at 0700, the first locking of the day. Conditions on the lake were a bit bumpy for the first half, but things smoothed out after noon. We crossed into Canada around 1000 hrs. Passage through Murray Canal marks our departure from bumpy water! We arrived at Trenton around 1730 hrs. We checked into the marina and checked in with Canadian customs, a straightforward phone call to follow up on an email I sent a few days prior. The email contains all the pertinent information and streamlines the process over the phone since you send all the information in writing. The phone call confirms actual entry into Canada, and completes the details of their report. Pretty easy, actually. Our experience has show that Canadian Customs is way more pleasant than US Customs, who could take a lesson!

The Port Trent Marina is brand new, and a beautiful facility featuring expansive floating docks and an impressive marina building that houses offices, meeting rooms, laundry, and resort-class shower facilities. The marina itself is quite large, although there were plenty of empty slips. We wondered how they can function with such low occupancy, and had to remind ourselves- municipal – TAXES!! We still have trouble getting used to seeing all those floating docks with no visible means of support- as in pilings! The floating piers are all chained to the bottom, and the chains aren’t visible! We saw numerous loopers come and go, and nearly everyone asked if we’re “looping” and we simply reply that we’re full time cruisers, not loopers. Just not high on our list of cruise destinations!

Trenton is the gateway to the Trent-Severn Waterway, the route to Georgian Bay, our destination. The Trent-Severn winds through Ontario’s lake country some 284 miles where it terminates at Port Severn and Georgian Bay. We transition through differing geological landscapes, from the relatively flat country near Lake Ontario to the Canadian Shield, granite outcroppings and features formed by glacial activity eons ago. The waterway relies on a series of 44 locks that enable navigation through the lakes and rivers that comprise the waterway. There are two hydraulic lift locks, the most famous is at Peterborough. One lock, “Big Chute” is actually a marine railway that lifts boats out of the water and transports them across land on a rail carriage. The majority of the locks are manually operated. A hand-cranked gear reduction that operates the valve in the bottom of the gate, and a leg-powered turnstile that opens and closes the gates to the lock. Today, the waterway is part of Parks Canada. I’ll post photos and narrative of our experiences as we make our way through the system.

Comments are closed.