EXTREME Cold Warning

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As we move into a few cold days, the wood fire burns and all is cosy inside the icebound boat.
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The frozen surroundings are harsh, but peaceful and serene.
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Only the television set reminds us of the even harsher world of the “normal” citizens living their mundane and structured, system dependent lives …..
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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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February in Bobcaygeon

Wendy and I have lived in BC, in Mexico, the Turks & Caicos, the Florida Keys, Toronto and Keswick, yet I never stop amazing myself about Bobcaygeon. To me, this little town has something more special than any other place. Maybe because I am getting older and slower, perhaps I have more time now to smell the proverbial roses.
Bobcaygeon is said to be perched upon “the land (in) between”.

A Land Between is what ecologists call an “ecotone”; a transitional area of geology and vegetation between two differing land masses.
This ecotone lies between the rocky Canadian Shield and the grassy St. Lawrence Lowlands, stretching across south-central Ontario from Georgian Bay to Kingston.
This landscape is less rugged than in the near-north, but not as flat and arable as to the south. Here, you may notice more open areas and exposed bedrock in shades of grey and pink. Looking further you will see that the landscape undulates in patterns of low to high and wet to dry. It has fewer roads than areas to the south, small dispersed communities like Bobcaygeon, scattered farm lands between woods, and a diversity of nature.
Our Land Between is home to a host of overlapping species from the north and the south, which has encouraged sharing between First Nations cultures for thousands of years. European settlers couldn’t figure out what to do with its ever-changing patchwork of rock barrens, rivers, lakes and marshlands and it wasn’t until the Victorian fascination with “wilderness” that The Land Between found a place in the collective psyche of Canadians.

So, that’s the scientific description but to me, this “land between” means that I live somewhere between the tropics and the arctic, so to speak. I enjoy the change of seasons and even winter, but I don’t like the completely frozen tundra where ice covers all the waters that are so important to me. (Neither can I handle the tropical heat like I used to anymore.) In Bobcaygeon, in between the beauty of snow and ice, there is always some open water to sooth my soul and I am fortunate to live on the side of a channel of rapids that don’t freeze over and there is plenty of places for me to see open water, year round.

It certainly helped to make the transition of going from 30 years of full time living on a boat, to a seasonally land based residence.
Here are a few images I just took on this wonderful day around Beautiful Bobcaygeon:
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On this day last year

We miss being on the boat, even though living in town makes more sense now and the water is only a few steps out in our back yard, Big Bob Channel and the rapids that never freeze.
We miss the intimate connection with nature. We liked it on the boat, even in winter.
On the boat you could hear and feel the wind howl across the bay, we could hear the pressure cracks form in the frozen lake. In the apartment we are so cut off from all that, and feel disconnected from the raw nature we were surrounded with for 30 years full time on the boat….
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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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