Sunday with great weather in the middle of the short Canadian boating season, how bad can the crowds get? Being the only one out in the wilderness is great, but while maybe not something for every day, we had a great time out with the crowds.
We went through two large lakes with thousands of islands, most very small. Many would have a single vacation home. We saw one large enough to have several, still well spaced apart. Many just had a boat or two pulled up and tents pitched. Most had no people. Canadians getting away from it all. I’ve not seen anything like this in the US. If the people in California ever find out about this the summer population here will double and all those other islands will have someone camping on them as well.
Today we went through locks 31 and 32. In 31 we had more boats with us than usual. The last lock was a surprise. We entered a crowded narrow channel that suddenly became more crowded and narrower. We had to reverse the engines and stop a couple of times as smaller boats moved about. When we came to a bend in the channel we discovered the lock 32 gate a few hundred feet ahead with boats tied to the lock wall’s blue line on both sides. I wasn’t expecting that lock yet. Some boats on the walls behind the blue line were just hanging out while others might be waiting to get into the lock also. The concrete walls were completely full before and behind us. We could not go forward. Backing up was not an option because the channel, with boats lining both sides was way too narrow. Anyway there were boats coming behind me.
The folks on the trawler to our left realized this and called out for us to raft (tie up side to side) to them. We both had our locking fenders out, so we squished together nicely. I moved sideways into them and Sue passed them a bow and a stern line. The boats behind us just had to wait. There were boats in the lock that would be coming our way, and we all had to give them room to pass.
Since we were tied I jumped down to our neighbor’s deck, got off and ran up the wall to the lock. I informed the lockmaster of our presence and size, since he would not see me tied up on the “blue line” area before the lock gate. He would call for me on the PA system if I was to enter this time. He thought I might make it since this lock was larger than most others.
When the lock finally opened the boats had to leave slowly because they had just a foot or two clearance on each side in several areas, one of which was where we were. Once they were clear we untied and moved out to the channel center while boats ahead of us started for the lock. We then slowly followed. We heard the lockmaster direct several boats into their positions after which he called out “52 foot cruiser enter and tie up left”, so in we went.
Our marina was just a mile beyond the lock. I had called earlier and found one of the workers there has to drive into Lindsay in the morning to drop off her car for repair. I’ll go in with her and pick up the rental car I’ve reserved for the Toronto airport run to get Sharon and Paul.