Return to Penetang

Our tour of Georgian Bay and North Channel complete, we returned to Beacon Bay Marina at Penetanguishene. Our route took us on the small craft channel. The route is very scenic, with cottages at every point of the compass. One landmark we heard many locals mention was “Henry’s”, a famous popular restaurant, known for it’s fish & chips, a tradition spanning some 40 years. Recently, the restaurant was closed due to challenges of staffing and operating the island location, accessible only by boat or seaplane. It was reopened in June of this year, but the reopening was short-lived and it remains shuttered.

We arrived at Beacon Bay Sunday afternoon of the 27th, in time to do a quick deck washdown, clean the dinghy, cover it, do wash, prep the boat deck and get some help to lower the mast in preparation for returning to the Trent-Severn waterway. Yes, we must dismantle part of the rigging and lay the mast back onto the railings to reduce our bridge clearance, or “air draft” from our normal 24 ft. to 16ft 2 in. This allows us to clear the “controlling bridge elevation” of 20 ft. on the Trent-Severn, as well as the Erie Canal. It’s not terribly involved, it takes a little less than an hour from prep to secured, and a strong back, which is not nearly what it used to be, so we enlisted help from one of the dockhands who looked at us incredulously as he remarked, “you two do this by yourselves!?” Well, yes, we have. Despite having rigging to take most of the weight, the whole rig is about 150 pounds or better when it must be guided down by hand on final approach onto the blocks that support it. It gets heavier every time! Mast lowered, antennas lowered, dinghy put to bed, we’re ready for canals! The mast will remain stowed until we clear the Troy Lock, the last of the 20 ft. bridges as we re-enter the Hudson.

We slipped lines Monday morning, arriving at lock 45 at Port Severn at about 0915 hrs. to begin our return trip on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Cool weather prevailed, skies slightly overcast, we had our 3 days of sunny weather, time for some clouds! We entered the lock alone, a marked difference from our locking a month ago on the weekend when we had to pick our way through a wall of boats waiting to lock through!

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