Double, double, toil and trouble…

I hardly know where to start. At the beginning seems most logical and there is a happy though very expensive ending.

We awoke early at the Big Chute Railway which I will give a dissertation on shortly. I went to crank the generator so Jan could make her morning coffee and we could charge everything up for the day. It would turn over but would not fire up. I tried everything I could think of and had to eventually give up. We would need to have someone look at it when we reached our destination.

Cbay was untied and moved over to the blue line. The blue line is a painted line on a lock wall that signifies the boats tied there are ready to lock through or in the case of the Big Chute Railway to ride through.

You see, this is truly an engineering marvel built at the turn of the century to move timber barges up and down the mountain. Boats are loaded into a giant cradle that drives down into the water and are stabilized with straps. Then the cradle is moved with cables on a railroad bed up out of the water and over the mountain and down the other side. Can you believe it?

Because of the peculiar design of the rail bed the boats stay level going both up and down. Cbay was first up and would travel this journey as a single. She will rest on her keel on a wooden floor. The struts and props will hang out the back because they cannot rest on the floor. I will show you pictures of another similar sized boat that made the trip but cannot show you Cbay as we were aboard when she made the trip and could not see our own bottom, though from my diving two days ago I can assure you she was clean. Now scroll through and enjoy Cbay’s ride on the Big Chute.

Now someone may ask why didn’t these crazy Cannucks just build another lock here rather than this unusual railway? The answer is that an evil creature lives down at the bottom and they do not want it to get up to the valuable fishing grounds at the top. It is a lamprey, as ugly a creature as you ever hope to see. It is an eel of sorts with a mouth like a giant leach. It grabs onto the side of a fish and chews a hole and sucks it’s insides out. Like an underwater vampire only worse. They can decimate a fish population and nothing eats them. So the railway seems to solve the issue unless one hitches a ride up the hill.

After exiting the Chute below we had a leisurely 8 miles to finish the Trent-Severn Canal at Port Severn where we would transit the final lock and enter the rock strewn beauty of Georgian Bay.

Once in the bay we turned south toward Midland. We chose this as a destination because our friends were there having repairs done and we were sure they could assist us with our generator trouble. Plus there was a West Marine Supply there where we could finally solve our Garmin Chartplotter trouble.

As we arrived at the Bay Port Yacht Center we were met at the fuel dock by Tara and Joe of Seabatical. They had heard us calling the marina on the VHF and wanted to see us before heading north to the deadly small craft channel. We had a visit and took on fuel. Then we said goodbye until the next meeting and went to our slip.

The fuel today was $647.63.

Our friends Beth and Dean of Kismet have just completed repairs to their boat. They ran over a rock in the Trent-Severn back near Lovesick and mangled both props and scoured the bottom. They required props and fiberglass work. Insurance covered it all and they are with our carrier BoatUS. Gives me confidence.

They had been traveling with Brown Eyed Girl at the time and then they split up to limp here for repairs. Within an hour Brown Eyed Girl had made an error and ran between a marker buoy and a day marker and hit a rock. They tore up props, a strut and bent a 2″ stainless steel shaft. They were blocked up in the yard here behind our boat. Sad sight. I am not sure how much it cost but I estimate over $10,000. The new shaft alone was $4000! They were putting her back together this afternoon.

At least with all these expensive mishaps surrounding us, I could not get too upset about ours. But here we are.

While waiting for the mechanic to arrive and look at the generator Dean came over and said he had a Westerbeke generator and bet he knew what was wrong. In two minutes he was able to start it! I was shocked. He merely reached down and manually held the fuel shutoff solenoid rod open and let fuel through to the engine. Apparently it had burned out.

I quickly went to the shop and cancelled the service call and then to the parts department to see if they had a replacement. A miracle, they did but the cost was staggering. $371.00 for a simple part but they had it. Dean had only paid $150 on the Internet but I needed it ASAP so we could leave tomorrow, so I paid it. In less than an hour Jan and I installed it and all was well.

Next there was an air conditioner malfunction. Remember that new pump I installed at Half Moon Bay? Well it got an air lock and both AC UNITS shut down due to lack of cooling water. Your home units have big fans to cool the compressors but on a boat, unless it is a houseboat with a rooftop unit, they are cooled by raw water pumped through the unit from under the boat and discharged out the side. If the water stops the unit overheats and kicks a breaker. If air gets into the intake line it will lock up the pump.

Now how you ask does air get in that line with the intake sitting in water? Apparently when we were picked up out of the water at the Big Chute the water drained out of the line and created this problem. I actually had anticipated this and closed the seacock on that intake before we came out of the water but it somehow did not hold enough water in. Must be a leaky valve.

The fix is simple but labor intensive. However labor is cheap around here as long as I hold up and it took about and hour to remedy. Lucky this was not a super hot day.

We also went to West Marine where I spent $157 for a chip. A tiny SD card for a computer that contained electronic maps of Canadian waters. This was because we had traveled all the way through the Trent-Severn using just an iPad and we could not take the chance in these rocky waters of Georgian Bay. Now I only have to convince Garmin Customer Service to refund my money for the download I could not get to work. I somehow believe they will don’t you?

After all that work and adventure today the Admiral fed us onboard and she was in bed by 2000. Surely tomorrow there will be no more breakdowns of any system and we can just be tourists.