The Arrival of Winter Wonderland

Many people ask us what it is about being up here, when most people who live on boats want to go south. To us, the change of seasons is a wonderful thing and we enjoy winter, once the snow and ice had set in.
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As I look across the vast, open stretch of the bay of solid ice, I get the serene feeling not unlike when I used to look across the stretch of ocean under our boat on a calm passage.
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And, this winter, being here alone on the bay, is the greatest feeling of all.
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Still No Snow 2…….

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It was about a week before Christmas and all aboard the boat were wishing for snow.
But there was only fog and then a rainbow….
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So, they just counted their blessings, considered how much less they were spending on shorepower, and turned the lights up on the Christmas tree…. 🙂
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Ready to be Icebound and gearing up for Christmas

All done with my winterising chores, and our wind and solar installation has worked out well.
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Very happy with the stove Will Dicks built for us; simply awesome.
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And, the topic of a tree on the dock had come to my mind. We had a little tree up the last Christmas we spent on the boat, in 2013:
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But the Tiger was still with us then. Now, we are facing a Christmas without a German Shepherd Dogchild for the first time in some 30 years…..
It took a bit to get into the mood, especially with rain coming down, but what is the season without a Christmas tree! So we cut a manageable size tree on a gracious friend’s offer to pick what we wanted on his land and today, in the rain we secured the 12′ tree on the dock.
Decorating will happen in the next few days and official lighting will be once we get snow on the ground.
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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.

Living On An Island

Last day of the first year we became seasonal boaters, after 30 years full time on the boat.
No longer “liveaboard” boaters but we still live surrounded by water, on one of the three islands that make up beautiful Bobcaygeon Ontario.
And, we’ll be back on the boat come summertime. 🙂
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Landlubber Report

Now that 2 weeks have gone by living ashore, I draw the conclusions that logistically it will be more convenient.
The bars are strolling distance. We walk to shop. Wendy walks to work…

We also conclude that it will not be as much fun regarding nature and wildlife, albeit we already have a new pet living in a tree 15′ out the kitchen door. (Still learning to say “kitchen” instead of galley.)  🙂
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We do miss the boat, but this isn’t too bad: the nice blue water pouring by at 3 to 4 knots out back in Big Bob Channel will never freeze and we could not ask for a more beautiful place to spend winter.
Can hardly wait until 4′ of snow is out there and icebergs are flowing past.
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A great view of the channel in both direction.
That’s Gordon’s Yacht Harbour across the channel in the background, and our webcam is pointed at the Main Street Bridge.
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