Trent Severn Waterway (part 1)

After Trent Port Marina at Trenton, we started the Trent Severn Waterway.   The water way is over 240 miles long and has 44 locks.  The first obstacle after the marina was the second bridge before the first lock.   Even though we called and were told “yes” there is 22’ of clearance that is not what we found.  We quickly lowered the mast on Sanctuary so we could fit under the bridge.  Then we traveled up to the wall and waited for Lock #1—the first of six in a row for the day.

As we entered lock #1, they set up four boats to travel together and raft off each other going through the locks.  We locked with Tag Team a friendly looper couple from Texas.  We first met them in Clearwater, Florida last year.   The other two boats in the lock were Vega and Bucket List.  Our two friends, Moon Shadow and Southern Cross, were in the next set of boats to lock through.  So, all day long we were being followed by a Moon Shadow and they caught us when we stopped for the day after lock #6 in Frankford.   We all ate a nice home-style breakfast at Mama Bears near the lock.

As soon as we tied up on the city wall in Campbellford, we were automatically presented with brightly colored cupcakes by one of the attendants.  There is a great park next to the tie-up wall where power is available.  We rode our bikes back to lock 11/12 to view the gorge and swing bridge.  Due to all the rain and high-water levels, we saw a dramatic show of rapids through the gorge.

We left Campbellford and traveled to a nice anchorage at Steam Mill Island.  Since Moon Shadow and Southern Cross stayed another day in Campbellford, we had the anchorage all to ourselves.  They later caught up with us in Peterborough for the festivities there.

We scored in Peterborough with a BBQ festival where we thoroughly enjoyed sampling a variety of ribs and chicken.  The grills were supported by semi-trucks in very elaborate set ups.  Looking at the photos, you can see the signs towering over the crowds announcing the grill master’s menus.  The fountain we saw in 2004 is still operating in Little Lake bay next to the marina.  In the large park area, next to the marina is a concert stage where we enjoyed a free concert in the park by Tom Cochrane (“Life is a Highway” song).

Peterborough is home to the world’s largest hydraulic lift lock built between 1896 and 1904.  Instead of filling a chamber like most locks and then opening the doors to let the boats out, the Peterborough Lift Lock is comprised of a set of gigantic tubs that lift and lower boats.   When one tub goes up, the other goes down so they counter balance each other.

We decided to ride our bicycle over to the lock while staying at the marina before doing the lock with our own boat and check it out from the land viewpoint. Other loopers were entering the lock, so we took pictures of them being raised to the higher level. We wanted to watch them on the top side and then exit, so we again hopped on our bicycles heading toward the upper viewing area.  Steve made it just fine, but Teresa experienced a crash and burn on the rocky street. My Knight on a Motorcycle (Ed, I found out later was his name) was coming down the hill from the lock. He saw me sprawled out on the pavement, took pity on me, and dismounted his motorcycle to help me up. Ed pulled out a radio from his leather jacket and radioed a gal name Kathleen back up at the lock. Apparently, I fell at the right place because I soon learned that Kathleen was a medic and had the tools to clean and bandage a boo-boo. Just so happened that Ed was also the boss at the lock operation there at Peterborough. I was thankful he was so kind to take the time to assist a damsel in distress. We told them our story of being on the Loop for almost a year now and that we planned to go through this very lock in two days. BONUS: Kathleen would be on duty that day AND she took some awesome pictures from her perch above the lock. We’re also friends on Facebook now!

It is an amazing feat to see the lock in operation, and a little scary when you are at the top and look over the small barrier behind the boat out into open air. We visited the lock in 2004 by motorcycle never imagining then that we would be traveling through the lock on our very own boat.



Kathleen fixes Teresa’s knee at the Peterborough Lock



Peterborough Fountain in Little Lake


Peterborough Festival and sling shot chair


Peterborough Lift Lock


So many locks…………..


Falls and Rapids at Campbellford


Scenes along the water way


Burliegh Falls Anchorage



Part 2 will look at the second half of the trip thru the Trent Severn Waterway.


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