We loved Ontario waterways. Turning toward Clare’s winter home

On Wednesday, 8/17, we began the travel toward trawler Clare’s winter home in Clayton NY, where we have a haul out date of 9/13. We hope this allows us to complete the full Trent-Severn Waterway to Georgia Bay and North Channel, north and west of Lake Huron in 2023. New friends that are there now are sharing amazing photos of the area and we can’t wait…although we have been waiting 3 years. God willing, next year!

We left Lock 30/Lovesick Lake on 8/17 with continued thunderstorms and rain threatening, and only hopped a few miles over to the Lock 18/Burleigh Falls upper wall. For our trip back through this portion of the TSW, we visited some new spots we had eyed and revisited a few favorites – we will be well experienced for next year, when hopefully we will have a few guests along. Some highlights along the way:

The weather has changed from sunny/scorching every day to predicting rain and thunderstorms each day, but *most* days the weather turns out partly cloudy with scattered showers. Thankful for and love our dry upper helm and cabin!

The Falls at Burleigh falls, watching some adventuresome teens/young adults ride the rapids

A quiet anchorage in Burleigh Falls bay with great kayaking and swimming, and singing loons. Like being off the coast of Maine.

Revisited Lakefield (lock 26)- such a great lock park and wall; we biked the transCanada trail towards Trent and Peterborough along the Trent River and beautiful farms, marshland. ***** rating. Enjoyed picnic table “docktails” with fellow boaters, sharing stories and hints.

Nassau Falls Lock 22 – great lock park, we moored alongside the dam alone; the opposite wall abutted a well used park/picnic area. A good hike along the dam/falls toward Trent University and the opportunity to jump back on the bike trail. We gave this one ***** rating.

Descended the amazing Peterborough Lift Lock! Lock 21 – just before the Lift Lock, we were in the narrow canal coming around a bend and, wow, a 95’ boat was right in front of us, heading the opposite direction. Thankfully he saw us before we saw him. Quick action on both captains’ part to pass port to port in the narrow and shallow area, with less than 2’ between boats and shallows/rocks on each side. Such a sight!

Not my picture, but another boater’s who was also surprised by the size of this 95’ vessel traversing the narrow canals!
A fellow boater shared this picture –
that is Clare peeking out from the upper pan!
The view from the top! Picture by Dean

Spent a night at the Peterborough Municipal marina in order to do laundry (needed!), pump out, fill water tanks, and restock the fridge and cooler, as well as do a clean up of the boat.

Beautiful rainy day cruise finishing up the winding Otanobee River into Rice Lake, where we found a quiet and beautiful anchorage on the eastern portion of the lake where the lake joins Trent River. Rainy quiet night with haunting loon and coyote calls.

Rainy day cruising along the winding Trent River. Stopped to moor at the lock wall at the top of the double lock 16-17 with a nice looping walk down to lock 15 to visit boat friends aboard Jill Kristy. Noted a great park and lock wall at the top side of lock 15 that we will be sure to put on our agenda for next year. Met another Monk, Felixio, from Quebec and there was lots of boat talk happening well into the evening. And a visit from an otter….

Sun returned! Descended two double locks as we went from Lock 17 down to bottom of Lock 11, past Peterborough. Excellent secluded wall with enough room for one boat before it shallowed, plus a great hike across a suspension bridge and thru extensive trails in the Ferriss Provincial Park.

Super quiet night…until it wasn’t. Just after midnight we had visitors on the dock wall, right next to our boat, loudly talking, whistling, yelling, flashing flashlights. Nothing nefarious, we finally decided, but highly disturbing to our peace. Stayed up for 1.5 hours making sure they did no damage before eventually going back to sleep when their flashlights faded and they left. At least the stars were gorgeous!

Lock 8, lower wall at Percy Reach, was truly quiet, rural and peaceful. Spent two nights here with a nice country walk, kayaking through marshes, and long conversations with the lock staff (John) and Dave, event planner by day but passionate about fishing in the evening. Learned from both of them a lot about the culture, government, and healthcare systems in Canada.

Love the double bus!
We were looking for moose on our walk but found…..

Wonderful anchorage off the river, Blue Hole, which really should be named Green Hole as it is a little break in the green marshland with just enough swing room for an anchorage. It was Saturday 8/27 so had visitors on fishing boats, boats pulling tubes, folks anchoring to go for a swim, and the inevitable yahoo jet skis, but overall pretty quiet, beautiful scenery, birding, swimming, and kayaking.

Anyone know what type of dragonfly?
Our “good morning” greeting

In the 50s at night these days but the boat stays cozy. Traveled leisurely to Lock 6, Frankfort, to stall our finishing up the TSW until after the weekend. Enjoyed the company of a pair of rowing sculls who were traversing the TSW over several weekends, camping at locks along the way – very cool adventure! They will finish before we will!

I do love herons. Learning to love swans in flight as well. Just can’t capture them yet…

Finished up the final 6 locks (6-1) on the wonderful Trent Severn Waterway on 8/29, then returned to Port Trent Marina for three nights while rain, thunder/lightening and wind storms passed through the area. Perfect municipal marina with groceries nearby, clean showers, free laundry, and great facilities. Also a good trail that goes for many miles. We explored by bikes over to the Murray Canal by Presqu’ile Bay, the official start of the Trent – Severn waterway from Lake Ontario. We enjoyed dinner out with new friends, David and Robin on Bobby Jo II, at the highly recommended Tomassio and it was fabulous.

A full double rainbow!

On 9/1 the storm fronts had fully passed, and we watered up, pumped out, said goodbye to our new friends, and headed off on the Bay of Quinte, looking for new anchorages to explore. Fall has definitely arrived with cool evenings/nights/mornings with warmth midday.

Explored two anchorages near Belleville ON. First one was behind Grape Island and was lovely, especially since a pair of eagles and a heron called it home and there were no other boats.

Juvenile bald eagle

But the wind sustained and shifted west, so we lost our island protection and we went back to our first thought, off of Massasaugus Point. Joined a group of sailboats, and the wind gradually faded nicely. This area has beautiful conservation land, and we enjoyed a morning hike along the trails. No eagles, but ospreys and ravens soaring.

Next, we revisited the city of Kingston at their Confederate Basin Marina. One night turned into three due to weather/storms. It was Labor Day weekend, so there were loads of happenings, including a Multicultural Arts festival in the park next to the marina, and amazing school spirit at Queen’s University Freshman orientation week. This area is amazingly diverse and there are many different languages being spoken. Lots of walking around this historical city, found our first Canadian vegan restaurant, and enjoyed a bakery treat from Pan Chanko Bakery.

Did you know that a fire destroyed most of Kingston’s downtown, including old City Hall in 1840? To prevent this from ever happening again, the city prohibited building with wood and therefore began building with brick and stone (mostly local limestone) – which is why Kingston is referred to as the ‘limestone city’ today since most of the historical buildings are made from beautiful limestone.

Royal Military College Kingston
The paintings along the Delta Hotel, beautiful rendition of a heron

Bittersweet, but we are beginning our final leg and starting to think about tucking sweet Clare into winter storage and heading home. The weather changes make it a bit easier to think about leaving, and we are eager to be home to be with family and all the fun fall events, especially the arrival of baby girl Bensley, our first grandchild. Thank you for your continued prayers for my sister, Donna. We head into the 1000 Islands for a week or so, before finishing up in Clayton NY. Stay tuned!

By the grace of God we go,

~ Karen and Dean

Look, no fenders! Done locking so fenders finally stored.
Thank you, Karen Martin, from MV Tropical Horizons II, for the capture! Heading out of Port Trent into Bay Of Quinte
Categories: 2022, Canada, Trent Severn Waterway, Uncategorized


  1. What a wonderful time Alec and I have had with your adventures. Thanks for sharing and keeping in touch. It is a highlight of my sweet man’s day. Enjoy your remaining week and we will see you in October if it is not Wednesday we have to get an attitude adjustment. Safe travels and blessings to you both. Love Alec andLynne🫶🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how I love reading your colorful, descriptive blog entries! ❤️


  3. Love all the stories.


  4. Another great posting of your adventures. Love reading them all and your great explanations. You went past one of our friends former homes on the river on your way into Kingston. We visited them and just loved the area. Keep up your great writing, we love it. Toby and George

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Happy very last leg of your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: