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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Buckhorn From Above

Flying my drone over Buckhorn Lock 31 of the Trent Severn Waterway and Reach Harbour Marina, just outside of Buckhorn Ontario:

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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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Tiki Island Radio Bar & Grill

About a year ago I found an internet radio station that perfectly filled the void of not being on an island and not being on island time. We love it here on the Great Lakes now, this part of Ontario is absolutely beautiful and we enjoy the change of seasons, snow in the winter, but the tropics are always going to be remembered as the fondest of our memories, of younger days, and to some degree will always be missed. – (as usual, we normally retain more of the upsides and quickly forget the sometimes unbearable heat, nasty passages and hurricanes…)
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So, it is http://www.tikiislandradio.com. We have been listening for about 9 months now and the experience have become what feels like our extended “island family” as far as everyone goes from station owners to listeners and artists. What DJ John does really is original and while I am not an internet radio expert, it probably is pretty unique.
There are two live shows daily, after a shoeless flight to a virtual barefoot island destination, way far south of somewhere north.

A few days ago DJ John asked for us listeners to come up with some station ID submissions. I recalled the awesome accent and voice of a Jamaican lady doing one of Jimmy B’s station IDs on Radio Margaritaville.
Well, after some rum, Wendy and I decided that I could sound like some Bahama Joe and we sent a “station ID” à la Hungarian Joe, to DJ John. He actually aired it, so I posted an MP3 file of it on my Facebook page, as I kept thinking of the Ziggy Marley song John plays in this little segment. I keep correlating Ziggy’s dragonfly watching our environment going down the drain, to our recent toxic Blue-Green Algae bloom here on this beautiful lake, which I have been quite distraught over for the last four weeks. I know a lot of my Facebook friends have been reading about the algae problem that I and some other locals have been trying to put out there, so I hope they hear the message in the Ziggy tune….      (just click the play button)

Blue-Green Algae Bloom on Pigeon Lake

A month ago today, an unprecedented pollution induced algae bloom was born on Nogies Creek Bay of Pigeon Lake North. Then finally, today it would appear it is dying off.
This is a huge local environmental concern and I started a discussion about it on our Bobcaygeon Facebook page, which in turn caused our local community newspaper to take action and shed some light on the problem of our authorities hiding their heads in the sand; turns out as always, politics coupled with failing to understand how time can run out for us to make the much need corrections to the poisoning of our waters.

Here is a link to the Facebook page and a few images of what toxic Blue-Green Algae looks like: (No, that’s not blue paint spilled into the water, that is the toxic component of the bloom!)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/96509669049/permalink/10151984225839050/

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This image was taken mid bay, 10′ below the water surface:
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