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Brighton Road Bridge, near Trenton, Ontario 6/12/2019
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, Ontario 6/13-15/2019
I’m a planner and really like to know where I’m going. Thus far on the Loop we’ve had very few times where we’ve had to really change our game plan, but yesterday was a day when Tom’s mantra, “all plans are subject to change” really came true! Since we got so much done at Ess-Kay Yard on Tuesday, including the transmission fluid change, we were ready to go on Wednesday morning and the weather, according to "Wallace" was going to be perfect to cross Lake Ontario. We had done our planning for our entrance into Canada and had decided to head up to Kingston, ON for a few days and take in the 1000 Islands (home of 1000 Island dressing) a perfect fit for us right?! But, we had one more lock on the Erie Canal and seven more on the Oswego Canal before getting to Lake Ontario and then what would the Lake be like?
So we took off at 6:40am to be at Lock 23 by 7am when it opened and start the 5-6 hour slow, lock filled 32 mile cruise. We had slip reservations in Oswego in case it was too late continue on or we couldn’t cross the Lake because of weather. As we processed thru the locks on the Oswego Canal, it became clear that we were making good time and I started calling Kingston marinas to find a slip for a few days. This is where the plan changed……there wasn’t a marina available ( I tried four). We were shocked. Between the flooding and being full, we couldn’t find a marina.
We needed to recalculate, but really wanted to take advantage of the calm conditions on Lake Ontario. Tom looked at the weather, and rain, wind and high waves were forecast for the next week. We really didn’t want to stay in Oswego for a week waiting it out so we had a Plan B: cross over to Trenton and Trent Port Marina, the start of the Trent-Severn Waterway. It would be another 85 miles, but we’d be up on plane and it was only 12:30pm and we could be there in about 3 ½ - 4 hours. We would still be able to do the 1000 Islands and Kingston, but by car instead of boat. I had programmed in several routes in case something like this happened, so all we had to do was load the new route and take off.
Lake Ontario was beautiful!!! We had a great cruise across albeit a little chilly! It was actually cold. We both bundled up and enjoyed the ride into Canada. We slowed down the last 16 miles as we made our way into a cove and then Murray Canal. Murray Canal is part of Canada’s Trent-Severn Waterway. It’s about 6 miles long, has two bridges that have to swing for you ($5 please) and it’s beautiful! We called the first bridge to request an opening and to hand them our $5 passage fee and found out that they were closing in 20 minutes (SURPRISE!!!) and they would swing for us but the next bridge would be closed and we would be stuck in the canal for the night. We just needed to decide which bridge we wanted to hold up at for the night. Tom was like, did you know this Miss Planner? Nope, I didn’t. I had only figured out that there were bridges in the Canal on the ride over. Whoops!
Well, the whoops turned into a God thing and we tied up right after the first bridge and met Lucas and Peter, the two bridge tenders at Brighton Road Bridge. They were delightful and more helpful then you can possibly imagine! Because this was our first stop in Oh Canada, we had to check in with Canadian Customs. They make it super easy. All you have to do is call their number and have all your documents ready as they ask you questions pertaining to your visit, etc. We had read that we would be charged duty tax for any alcohol, tobacco or cannabis (I know) above their regulated amounts. I verified we didn’t have any of the three aboard since we drank most everything on board in anticipation of our entry in to Canada. It wasn’t a tough job 😊 With that said, Lucas volunteered to drive Tom into town to the liquor store so we could restock our beer. Seriously nice huh?
We had a few bumps as we sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the canal, had leftover enchiladas bake for dinner and went to bed. We had a calm, wonderful night tied up on the wall at Brighton Road Bridge on the Murray Canal. Definitely a top five night. Below are a few pics of the Oswego Canal, Lake Ontario and the Murray Canal experience.
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, ON
Since the bridge between us and Trent Port on the canal wouldn’t start swinging until 10am, we had a leisurely morning. Coffee, emails and a nature walk. We hit the trail by the bridge and did 3 miles. It reminded me of walking the trail at home at Bear Cave. We checked in with Lucas and Tom, another bridge tender at Brighton before we left to thank them for their unbelievable hospitality and cast our lines off at 10:30am. We moseyed down the canal to the next bridge and then out into the Bay of Quinte. We went from a serene canal to a choppy, windy, rainy bay. It was only 9.5 miles from the canal, but it felt like we were in a washing machine! I radioed the marina to let them know we need to take on fuel and do a pumpout before we slipped. They directed us to the fueling station beyond the marina. Perfect. We’ll head there first. Not so fast. From all the rain and flooding the water was at the same level as the fueling station and the fueling station, just like everything else, is on a concrete wall! It was a cluster-you-know-what. We pulled up and there was nothing for the fenders to push away from. We ended up standing and pushing the boat away from the concrete wall in the wind, rain and current while we fueled and pumped out. It was crazy!
We are now tied up for a few days at Trent Port Marina. It’s raining and blowing and yucky out. We'll spend a day checking out Trenton and the Quinte West area and then head to Kingston and the 1000 Islands Saturday. Below is a pic of the fueling station......
After finally getting into our slip, we decided we needed a drink!
More from the 1000 Islands later~
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.