Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trent Severn Here We Come!

Our departure from Kingston was Bitter Sweet. It was time to push on, Anna and I had a great time in this city. The day before, late in the afternoon, we took the bikes off the top of Blue's deck and went for a wonderful bike ride on Kingston's waterfront trial. It was a beautiful day, the kind you tend to remember all year. Kingston has no beachfront, what it does have is a wonderful line of parks stretching along Lake Ontario. People could be seen with books and picnic blankets all along the lake. It reminded me of the early season on Nantucket when you have your first warm day of summer and everyone feels compelled to get outside and soak it up. As Anna and I sat and looked out on the lake it was as if we had a spell cast on us. I imagine you could spend hours staring endlessly at the subtle changes on the horizon. Surprisingly, the commercial traffic is much less on this area of the lake, what was once a horizon doted with large ships is now a blank canvas stretching endlessly as far as the eye can see. When Anna and I returned to the dock, we were greeted by the noise of a group of cigarette boats pulling into the slips around us. Man were they loud. I bet they used more gas pulling into the marina than we did so far on the trip. I had to laugh when I saw they had to shut down their engines to talk over the radio to ask for their slip assignments. Once docked I was surprised to see that each boat was not filled with the cast of Jersey Shore, rather each one had a young family. They set up their chairs and tables on the dock and had a huge gathering. I guess you can't always judge a book by it's cover, this group of boaters did not fit the image I had always associated with that type of boat. In the morning Anna and I pushed off for the Bay of Quinte. It was a full days steam to Trenton, the gateway to the Trent Severn Waterway. Our trip down the bay started with some rough seas, but after a few zigzags we finally made our way into the lee of the bay. Once we found some cover from the wind, the seas calmed down and we were able to hold our course. As we left Kingston behind, the landscape changed dramatically. What was once a sky line of a city was now a vista of rolling hills and farms. Small homes could be seen on the banks. These homes did not have the aura of wealth that the homes on the Hudson and St Lawrence had, rather they seemed like small cottages and family homes. It was nice to think that this was not an area that was caught up with the competition with the Jonse's. I was surprised at the lack of Marinas and stops along the way. This is very much untouched county when compared to what we have seen down south. We are told the farther we head up to Georgians Bay the more remote it will become. The idea of boating in a area where things are only accessible by boat is something we have been looking forward to with great anticipation. Our arrival in Trenton was a great relief. For some reason it had been a long day on the boat. I feel it had a lot to do with the rough seas we had dealt with at the beginning of the day. When the seas get to rough, we can no longer run the autopilot, which equates to a long day standing at the wheel. It also could have been do to the rain that settled in on us for about three hours in the middle of day. Whatever the reason Anna and I where happy to be in port, the city of Trenton is the home to Canada's Air Force Museum we had heard they have a great exhibit. The next morning was a total change from the day before, our bike ride to the Museum was accompanied by a cool dry air that made us feel great. We were extra excited to see that there where no hills between us and our destination. Every time we embark on these little excursions we joke about "Sunnyside" and the dreaded hills. The Museum was very impressive, but we were shocked to find that it was not the planes that caught our attention. In the back corner of the exhibit hall there was a small section devoted to a group of men that dug there way out of a military prison in WWII. I had remembered watching "The Great Escape" as a boy and thinking Steve McQueen was "The Man" as he jumped his motor cycle and tossed his baseball in the cooler. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the whole film was based on factual events. The exhibit showed some hand drawings from the actual men whom designed the tunnel systems along with a mock up of Tom, Dick, and Harry, the three tunnels dug under the camp to the woods outside the wires. It was a great time, only made better by the enthusiasm of our tour guide, a retired Air Force volunteer that spent a good two hours with us explaining all the exhibits. Leaving Trenton the next day, Anna and I began our journey trough the Trent Severn. The locks are similar to what we saw on the Eire, yet this canal has a totally different feeling. The nature we have seen is breathtaking. Taking advantage of a nice night, we opted to pull off the Canal and anchor in a cove called the Blue Hole. We soon found ourselves totally alone. In a tree across the anchorage a huge nest could be seen with a bald eagle chick. Anna and I spent the evening passing the binoculars back and forth as we watched these beautiful birds. There is no question why our county chose this bird to represent the USA. It is one of the most impressive animals I have ever seen in my life. Beautiful graceful and deadly all at once. The eagle made us think of home and how lucky we are to have been there with it in that cove on such a peaceful night.

Every house sports it's countries flag with pride.

This barn looked great against the backdrop of trees.

This Nordic "Somewhere in Time" gave us a nice wave then called on the VHF to say "Man you guys are a long way from home."

It has been a long time since we saw a sailboat enjoying a favorable breeze.

This kid had fun showing off his sailing skills. I bet my Nephew Will is enjoying the trapeze on his 420. I would love to use it with him but I think we would need a hurricane to keep from flipping with me on the wire.

Notice everything in Canada is in English as well as French.

This plane was raised from a lake in Norway after it crashed in WWII.
Click on the picure to enlarge it and read the story.

Here it is today totally restored.

This Russian MIG was a gift to Canada from East Germany after the unification.
Guess they didn't need it any more.

One of the main jobs of the Canadian air force is to offer search and rescue to its countries waters and wildernesses.

Anna liked the name of this plane.

" Negative Ghost Rider"

Ok this is way more impressive than a cannon.

"Blue" sitting pretty in the first lock on the Trent. Anna loved this lock because the lock attendent held the lock so she could get ice cream at a corner store a few meters away. She got a flavor called "Birthday Cake". It was interesting.

Much like the Eire the dams are cool to look at along side the locks.

The Blue Hole.

Hello Hello.......

One farm could be seen way off in the distance. It was no surprise that the eagles picked this spot to nest.

A family of swans came to say hello.

We were told that as the eagle matures, it will develop the white head that gives the bird it royal look. When it spread it's wing we could truly see the size of the bird. The nest was the size of a large tractor tire about thirty feet in the air.


  1. Sounds so lovely, I'm so happy that you all are doing this!

  2. Tommy will like that you compared the eagle's nest to the size of a large tractor tyre :)
    They really liked the postcard.
    Loving the blogs.