Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Chute Marine Railway and Cousin Patrick

 We departed Orillia at 8:35AM bound for the great chute marine railway "lock" a distance of 35 miles and 2 locks.  Bryce with our friend Barb, is checking out the scenery.
 I looked ahead and saw a railroad bridge with only 14 feet of clearance according to my chart. It was supposed to be open.  They didn't answer the radio so I blasted my horn a few times and, voila, a man appeared.  he walked control booth, started a noisy engine and after creaking and moaning it opened.

A passenger train passed by complete with domed sightseeing cars.  
 We passed a very deep spot in a narrow channel, 94 feet!
 The next lock lowered us 38 feet, very large for this old system though you can tell this lock has been rebuilt,  Note boats waiting on the "blue" line to enter after we depart.
 A great boat house along the way.  cottages are every where so many times our speed is limited to 10 km/hour or 6.3 MPH, just above an idle.  
 We tied up at the Big Chute Marina for the night.  We walked over and checked out the marine railway which would lower Island Hopper 68 feet to the next canal system.  Here is a small Ranger Tug being held up by straps.
 Here is another view from the top headed down,  Island Hopper will be in the position of this boat tomorrow, held up in slings and then the car is lowered by cables to the canal below.  Quite a thrill.
We were met by my cousin, Patrick Vincent and his wife, Patience at Big Chute for dinner.  They live in a suburb of Toronto, about 1 1/2 hour drive.  Though I have communicated with Patrick I had never met him before.  Patrick had the family tree with him, we are second cousins related through our Grandparents who were siblings, if that makes sense.  My Dad emigrated from England with his family at a young age so I have many cousins in England I have not met.  Patrick is also a transplanted Brit.  His effort to reach out to meet us was very appreciated.

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