Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Walküre sets a record!

On July 23, 2006 Walküre and I navigated across Balsam Lake. At over 870 feet above sea level this lake is the highest water any where in the world that a boat can reach under it's own power. (There are higher lakes, but you have to truck the boat overland to get there. Balsam Lake is the highest you can get to by water.)

Today, I crossed Lake Simcoe without incident. Simcoe has a reputation of being dangerous, with sudden storms kicking up 8 foot waves, etc. By picking my weather and time of day, I found it just a bit choppy. It is spooky looking in certain directions across the lake and all you see is water.

Tonight I'm staying in Orillia. I expect to be in Port Severn by Saturday. Port Severn is the end of the Trent-Severn Waterway and the entry into Georgian Bay, where we become a sailboat again. Wahoo!

On July 22, I stayed at a neat little place called Fenelon Falls. A "mini-Niagra" (very mini) was located just a 100 yards or so from the dock. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of a waterfall. Neat, huh?

Most other nights, I've been staying at a lock. It's cheaper than a marina, but they don't have any services. I had to go nearly 5 days with no electricity other than what the solar panels provide. The batteries were low by the time I got to the marina at Gamebridge last night, but at least it gives me a good idea how long I can go between marina stops. At that's with partly or mostly cloudy skies the whole time.

So far I've travelled almost 517 nautical miles, nearly 10% of the total for the loop. I'm still behind schedule and it will be tricky to make Chicago by Labor Day, but it looks like I will soon have crew. I don't want to say too much yet as things could still get jinked, but I hope that by this time next week a certain lady from Cape Cod will be meeting up with the boat in Port Severn. Wish me luck.

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