123 miles to Drummond Island, USA

We went from Killarney to Gore Bay which is 51 miles, and is part of the North Channel.  We had a great night in Gore Bay met some gold loopers Steve and Ray on a very cool 36 Katie Krogen Manatee and had dinner with our friends Jeff and Beth from Tom Cat.  Jeff and Beth have cruised the great lakes for many years so getting knowledge from them was great.  Gore Bay Marina was a nice spot, good fuel and ship store on site along with good places to eat.  Gore Bay is a town on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.  Harbour master Lee can be reached at 705-282-2906 for reservations or info.

From Gore Bay we went to Drummond Island which is 72 miles.  It is a island on the north-east side of Michigan, we checked through US customs here at Drummond Island Yacht Haven (800) 543-4743.  This is a nice marina the loopers get a discount here, dockage is only 1$ per foot.  They have a ship-store, haul-out facility, fuel and a fleet of rental vehicles.  Drummond island hosts a very rare environment known as alvar, a grassy limestone plain found only in a few places worldwide, the best example being on Drummond Island. The last 130 miles on the North Channel has been pretty windy and rough, we are happy to stay here for two nights and catch up on some things.  The Bayflower will arrive today, check through customs and hopefully we will be doing some cruising together when we leave!


Killarney Light 


62 Nordhavn, great expedition boat single 375hp motor, 8-10knots with bulbous bow 


Barefoot Shoes gold loopers left and Tom Cat right 


51 miles to Killarney

The trip across the west side of Georgian Bay was great, had a 1.5′ following sea.  Stopped at Killarney Mountain Lodge 705 698-1497  This place is a resort with all the amenities anyone would want.  Lots of custom 4wheelers on site because that’s what the maintenance crews drive around.  they have fuel, pump out, new docks, coffee shop on the dock.  Pool, sauna, great restaurants, lots of room to relax.  Last night they played the Tragically Hip final concert on the big screen, thats  a very well-known Canadian band.  Another cool thing about this resort is none of the rooms have tv’s, they take pride in this fact.  I’ll for sure come back to this marina and maybe even drive the truck up here for some winter fun, burn some bonfires and what not.

below a video from Tobermory, the shipwrecks in Big Tub Harbour.  Taken from my dingy with the GoPro


101 miles to Tobermory

Crossing Georgian Bay was awesome, seas were 1′ or less in the morning and laid down to almost glass conditions in the late morning and afternoon.  Georgian Bay water is crystal clear, clear like Gin as my dad would say!  Its like the Caribbean, I never get tired of my prop wash looking like beautiful blues and diamonds.  Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula it is 190 miles northwest of Toronto.

The community is known as the “fresh water SCUBA diving capital of the world” because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Tobermory and the surrounding areas are popular vacation destinations.  People come for the beaches, the diving, the unspoiled countryside and the relaxed pace of life.  I will say all the tourists from the city make it seem less relaxed compared to the last couple weeks on the Trent Severn.  The town lies north of the Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Tobermory Harbour is a great marina with easy access docks and very protected from wind and waves. Call the Harbour office for availability of slips (519) 596-2731

Tobermory Harbour 4


beautiful conditions coming across Georgian Bay  IMG_8993

prop wash in different light conditions is so cool 


beautiful Little Tub Harbour



Finally found another Florida boat my new friends Diane and JP from St. Pete, on a very cool PDQ Power Cat the “MOONSTRUCK”.  They have spent all summer exploring the Canadian waters and Great Lakes.


this is a good boat name for a doctor


18 miles to Midland locks 44 Big Chute & 45

Today are the last two locks we have to do on the Trent system, the next locks will be just south of Chicago.  It’s nice to know were not going to have to do anymore locks for a month or two lol!  we have done over 80 so far.  Big Chute was really a sight to behold, and one of the coolest things I have done with Pura Vida this far!  After Big Chute and lock 45 we arrived at WYE Heritage Marina in Midland Ontario the number here is 1 705-526-0155.  This marina has great private shower facilities that are brand new and you could literally have 10 people in the private shower rooms and not be crowded lol they also have a heated swimming pool, Floating docks for vessels up to 100′, full service repairs, marine chandlery and parts department, indoor and outdoor storage, multi-purpose sports surface, laundry, playground, 24-hour surveillance, social events, dockside amenities, complimentary wifi.  The World famous Henry’s Fish Restaurant is located on-site.  While here I replaced a coolant hose on my STBD engine that was leaking, and refilled the cooling system with CAT-ELC coolant.  With a parts department a short walk from the boat, I could get what I needed.  I met some very awesome Canadians while I was here, they went out of their way to be frendly and make me feel welcomed.  I love the frendlieness of all the people up here, its been so refreshing.

 below is a link to a short youtube video I put together of the Big Chute.

below is a video my dad made on his phone of the boats that went before us

Arial of WYE Heritage Marina, this marina has 1,000 slips which makes it the biggest fresh water marina in Canada.


35 miles to Big Chute locks 42&43

Another beautiful route, we stayed at Big Chute Marina 1 705-756-2641.  This is a wonderful spot to stop and watch the Big Chute Marine Railway in action.  it is right next to the rail, they have power and there is also a restaurant here at the marina that has very good comfort food.  I’ll add a video of the marine railway in action on my next post.


These unlucky cruisers missed the channel completely and ramped a few dozen rocks, always know where you are so this doesn’t happen to you 


Big Chute in the background 




25 miles to Orillia locks 37-41

We did locks 37-41 which are all in a 4 mile stretch, all these locks lower you when heading west to Lake Simcoe.  We crossed lake Simcoe to get to Port of Orillia Marina (705) 326-6314, this is a nice spot to stop and provision and get a nice dinner out on the town.  The Italian place called “Cosmo’s” was the best Italian ive had all trip and it was amazing!  If you pay for two nights here the third is free.  We are staying two because the weather is rainy, this area really needs rain its been dry and there is a watering ban.

 IMG_8864IMG_8863IMG_8866IMG_8867Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 3.27.10 PMIMG_8891IMG_8905IMG_8904IMG_8889

72 miles on the Trent, locks 28-36

Going through the town of Bobcaygeon was cool.  34 miles to Bobcaygeon, it is the busiest lock on the system.  Centre Point Landing Marina (705) 738-3463 right after lock 32 was a great spot to overnight with power and water, the owner and her daughters were very accommodating and the town is only 2km away which is a 6min bike ride.  They can also order boat parts for you here.  We found an Italian place to eat Donattela Bar & Grill, food was great and we got a salmon pizza to go for the next day of cruising.

From Bobcaygeon its 38 miles to the Talbot River where we stayed at Sunset Cove Marina, this is after Liftlock 36.  Liftlock 36 (the second of two liftlocks on the whole system)  is the summit of the lock system on the Trent.  At this point we are at 840ft above sea-level.  From here on out the rest of the locks will be lowering us.  Sunset Cove Marina (705) 426-5221  is a super great spot to stop as well.  water is great for swimming, big gas grills are available for use ice cream store on site and quiet easy in easy out with fuel and pump out.

Trent Canal was beautiful and narrow, you have to perform a security call before entering because if two boats of size 30’+ meet in this ditch someone is going to have to back up the whole way because there is no room for passing or turning.  Walls and bottom are jagged rock so make sure you don’t have to get close for any reason.

another short clip


16 miles on the Trent, locks 20-27

This is over at my friend Keith’s marina, Islandview Marina.  This was a great place to stop.  Met the owner and instantly became friends.  We took his 2015 Duramax on a run, all the gauges on his truck are set up for Canada everything is KM.  State of the art truck with exhaust break and tons of fancy features you would find in a BMW.  His marina property is great with a swimming beach, waterside, 4wheelers, tricked out snow mobiles, fancy shower/washroom facilities.  Pump out and fuel available.  They have the ability to haul boats out for the winter here. This is a great spot to stop right after lock 27

Islandview Resort-Marina & Trailer Park (705) 652-8498

16 miles on the Trent, locks 20-27

We left Peterborough Marina around 0930, lock 21 is a very special lock on my trip.  It is called Peterborough Lift Lock, it’s not a conventional lock design.  (here are some facts I learned about it from Lock Master Jon) The lock has two identical bathtub-like ship caissons in which vessels ascend and descend. Both caissons are enclosed at each end by pivoting gates, and there are pivoting gates at the upper and lower reaches of the canal at the junctions with the caissons.  The gates on the caissons fit into slots on the gates on the reaches, so that they open in unison.  Each caisson sits on a ram, the shafts for which are sunk into the ground, are filled with water, and are connected with a pipe that has a crossover control valve.  The caissons are guided up and down on either side by rails affixed to concrete towers.  No external power is needed, The lift lock functions by gravity alone using the counterweight principle. One caisson always ascends and the other always descends during each locking cycle.

check out my video, its long even though its running at 4x normal speed so just enjoy the lift lock with JJ Grey & Mofro “Blackwater” 5.5min





80 miles on the Trent, locks 7-19

The Trent has been something that every looper and cruiser talks about, it’s a navigating pleasure that requires lots of attention and study.  My dad being a Merchant Mariner by trade has really been a big help up in this area, having his experience and help has made this part of the trip a piece of cake.  I’ve really been able to enjoy the beauty of it all even more having him along for the ride.  The Canadian people are great and happy to have us in their Province, Pura Vida is a big boat for this area.  Our first stop the last 2 days was Hastings, where we stayed at Hastings Village Marina.  I met some awesome folks at this marina, everyone on our dock was so friendly and wanted to know about us and Pura Vida.  Jasmine the dock master ran the whole marina herself and helped us get tied up and checked in, she is great at what she does and the marina is lucky to have her!  Hastings is a small town and was a great place to stop after doing 12 locks in 34 miles.  The Lock Masters on the Trent are so friendly and they will ask where you are going so they can call ahead to the next lock and let them know you are coming.  Your reputation precedes you in this so make sure you are kind and respectful, and that is the name of the game on my boat.  As the locks come in sight they start opening the gates and I can slide right in get tied up and usually the whole lock procedure takes 10-15 min.  Which is fast for all that goes on,  This day we had 2 sets of double lift locks.  This is where two locks are stacked back to back and you get a 35′ lift in the first one move into the next chamber and get another 35′ lift for a total of 70′.  These were super cool, and we had lots of spectators watching the boat get lifted to higher elevations.

Our next day we had a 20 mile run across rice lake, and only had one lock, #19.  We arrived in Peterborough which is a big town with lots of big stores and a beautiful downtown and park.  I needed to get a Go Pro battery here so we broke out the folding bikes and rode 2 miles to the nearest Best Buy.  Peterborough Marina is awesome, the staff is great and had lots of good things to make our experience special.  I love the summer up here, dry air not so humid, cool at night and in the mornings.  It’s just a perfect get away from our Florida heat.  When my friend louis visited he brought a folding bike that he donated to Pura Vida so we have two bikes on board now and well, thank you for that louie!


At the top of a double lift lock 



Pura Vida lookin fine as some well aged wine 



Lock master manually opening the gates on this historic lock, its quite a busy phisically demanding job!

Peterborough fountain and a ATV used to launch the jet ski, you don’t have to worry about that salt water corrosion up here! 


These fields are beautiful and below, Cocomo! my friends I met in Apalachicola, we ran into them at Trent Port Marina.   We all spent a week together in Carrabelle and crossed the gulf to tarpon springs together.  It was awesome to see Wayne and Vickie again and Jack their boat dog!  I tell you what the people I have been meeting on the loop will be lifetime friends, its such a great network of people it makes me want to keep going and going! Life is so good and a blessing to us all.  The Harbor hosts here at Peterborough Marina are some Gold Loopers Don and Freya, they put together a really nice goodie bag for Pura Vida and welcomed us with warm wishes and instant friendship.  Their 48 searay is called “The Last Resort”.