Back the Trent-Severn

We left Swift Rapids on Tuesday the 29th of August, for a leisurely pace back through the Trent-Severn Waterway over the period of a week, stopping at some of the places we stopped on the trip west, with the difference that our stopoververs were overnight, moving on the next morning.

Some of the stops were intentional duplications: Kirkfield Lift lock for a very quiet night with a campfire that was extinguished by a timely rain shower at dusk, Orillia and the Mariposa Market for fresh baked goodies, Bobcaygeon where there was a live band in the park, Peterborough Lock 20 and dinner out, Campbellford for more Empire cheese and Dooher’s Bakery in the morning, and Lock 7, nothing special there, except for killing a bit of time since Lock 3 was closed for repairs. It seems that one of the lock doors started to come apart, and on the Labor Day holiday weekend (yes, Canadians have Labor Day that coincides with the US holiday)!

We were kept apprised by the lock tenders as we progressed, and decided to stay at Lock 7 in case the repairs took longer than anticipated. Lock 7 greeted us with pretty dense fog the morning of the 6th. Since we were in no hurry, and the lock schedules are abbreviated after the holiday, we started at 10 AM, when the locks open. As it turned out, Lock 3 was in operation that morning, and we continued with no additional delay. We arrived at Trenton in the afternoon Wednesday the 6th of September, early enough to pump out, catch up on some laundry, wash down the decks, and top off the water tanks. Our plan to depart early Thursday morning to cross Lake Ontario took a detour with winds in the 25kt neighborhood that afternoon and predicted to persist through Thursday. We needed to be in Oswego before 1630 hrs in order to enter Lock 8, that required leaving Trenton before sunrise, but since the swing bridges crossing Murray Canal were also on the 10AM schedule, it wouldn’t be possible to transit Murray Canal in time to put us in Oswego by 1630. Since the wind was blowing like stink, we decided to delay departure from Trenton until Thursday noon, then transit both bridges in the Canal that afternoon, stay overnight in the well-protected canal, then leave at first light to head across the Lake.

That plan worked quite well, the last bridge had a long enough wall to tie to, although it was adjacent to a section that’s collapsing, and we did scrape bottom on some rocks next to the wall, but it was just the stabilizer dragging on some loose rock next to the wall. We simply moved away from the debris. No tide other than a bit of wind effect so no worries there. It was a very quiet night, and there’s a mowed path that parallels the canal for about 3/4 of a mile. Up at dawn, the wind had laid overnight, and true to forecast, the Lake was about 3 ft. waves, going our way, so a fairly gentle ride to Oswego. We arrived in plenty of time to lock through and tied up between Lock 8 & 7 in Oswego, and walked back to the video check in to clear Customs. Back in the US on Friday evening Sept. 8, as planned. Saturday morning will begin our trip back through the Erie Canal.

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