November Boat-Ride

The month of November in Ontario Canada is not known for boating weather.
Rather it is the time when most recreational boats are hauled out and put to rest for the winter. Exceptions are the liveaboards concentrated around Toronto – a couple of hundred boats that remain afloat as private residences, not unlike us, except that we are alone in the north country (by choice).
Where we are is near the town of Bobcaygeon on Pigeon Lake, Lock 32, part of the Trent Severn Waterway that is also a big portion of the America’s Great Loop.
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This year, so far, we have been blessed with a mild and very pleasant November. So far….
We took the opportunity to go for a short cruise from our marina location to downtown Bobcaygeon, where the lock is, and these are some of the images of us being the only boat left on the lake, taking advantage of a perfect autumn day.
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Arriving at the lock in the busy summer season means chances are there’d be no room for us, but not so when we have the whole lake to ourselves.
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Ladies of the Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society ensure our town is always pretty – this image is from the swing bridge that crosses the Trent canal at the lock:
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We found the lock under repair; new gates are being installed.
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These snowbirds have missed the last boat south:
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A few more images heading back “home” to the marina:
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As a pleasant surprise, our friend Andrea McClure was in her backyard and took this image, which is great, since we never get a chance to see what our boat looks like from ashore:
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Remnants of Hurricane Patricia

I don’t know when they started to call Pacific storms “hurricanes”, they were always a “typhoon” before, but this one was true to its calling and nicely trekked east and north into Atlantic regions.
For us on the Great Lakes today, those remnants are merging with a local system to produce our so called first “winter storm” while it is still autumn….

I have the webcam set up on the dock, refresh set at 2 seconds, hoping to catch some wild water action, but the strong winds that will affect us, turning to west from east and south, will not materialise until tomorrow morning.

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Our onboard webcam is live 24/7 @ http://www.cruisingdog.com
Most of the boat shave been hauled out – we are enjoying the solitude now and are looking forward to being icebound.

Lift Lock on the Canal

Today I had a chance to fly over the Kirkfield Lift-Lock, part of the Trent Severn Waterway. I have heard that Parks Canada had recently instructed lock staff to disallow flying any “drones on their grounds”. I took off from an “off site” location, took the pictures in less than 11 minutes and was done before anyone even noticed. No harm was done and no aviation rules were broken.

Quite frankly, I can see governments in the not too distant future, establishing a “no fly zone” over these installations and other similarly security sensitive places.

All the innocent, interesting fun is being drained from our world…….

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Latest Briefing

1)- Have been very busy to do much here on my blog. Facebook seems to be the handiest at times for a quick post.

2)- Did a lot of painting and fairing on the boat and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

3)- I was asked to help out with planning of a webcam for the Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce. “Helping out” turned out being asked if I would rent out my own equipment since they did not make the 2015 budget for the webcam. So as a nice gesture (and free) I decided to go ahead and place a cam and a computer at the Boyd Museum office where the Chamber is located.
They were not ready for anything; had to put a cam in the window inside, trim a bunch of trees and we still don’t have a decent view of the canal and docks.
The Chamber’s plan is to purchase a good outdoor IP cam with my help and I volunteered for the installation. In the mean time, my camera and my computer are living at the Chamber office, I built a page on my own website for the Chamber’s cam and we are using my own server. A lot of plans and promises have been voiced but so far even the newly constructed website of the Chamber is lacking in intelligence and usefulness. So, I have tried to give advise and point out what is not right to one of the Directors, pretty much the only person I actually know at the Chamber (and, even that is only from facebook) but I have had no response, I am being ignored and don’t really know what to think of the whole thing………….

In the mean time, I am still running a cam onboard the boat, so now there are 2 URLs for my webcams; Cam 1 at Lock 32 / Cam 2 onboard the boat. The links to the cams:
http://www.marinesupportonline.com/cam1pa.htmspricam15-777

http://www.marinesupportonline.com/cam2pa.htmspricam15-778

Downtown Bobcaygeon webcam

As an experiment, I placed the webcam on a tripod on the side of the street in front of the Buckeye Centre. The cam, WiFi booster, netbook computer and power pack stayed for two day and two nights, overlooking the swing bridge and Lock 32 of the Trent Severn Waterway. This is a video compilation of some of the randomly archived webcam images:

Low Tide in Bobcaygeon

I am so glad I was home today. I got to take pictures of an event that is not likely to be ever photographed again (under normal circumstances).
I looked out my kitchen window and all of the water was gone in the channel we live on.
I took pictures, posted on Facebook and all that. Then, suddenly with a furious roar that I could not believe, the water was pouring back in and rising, ducks and geese speeding past on a current that was doing at least 10 Knots! Videos do no justice so I didn’t even bother…..

Being on the Trent Severn Waterway, we are essentially on a canal that is in portions man-made and is totally under control. Some of the canal sections, sometimes are drained in between locks in order to do maintenance.
Bobcaygeon is located at Lock 32 of the Trent system, but on a large body of natural water, Pigeon Lake. The channels in Bobcaygeon are never normally drained, but it happened today! By chance or by accident, or it was intended in order to fix something at the upstream dam, so far nobody knows.
I was told one instance when the wrong switch was turned at the dam, and the same canal was drained in midsummer while full of boats. Allegedly, damage was caused to boats at that time.

Here are some pictures of what normal waters in Big Bob Channel look like and during the couple of hours while water was drained out.
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And then, all the water drained out:
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Soon with a fury, the water was rushing back in:
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