Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bobcaygeon, Ontario, CN

After another beautiful run on the lakes and threading past numerous islands, we arrived at Bobcaygeon early Saturday afternoon, in order to hunker down for the weekend. The cottagers and local boaters arrive on Friday night and on a gorgeous weekend like this one, the waterways are full.

We walked into town and got caught up in a parade. The group, the Loyal Order of Orange Lodges. L.O.L. is similar to the Masons,  marching to commemorate William of Orange and religious freedom in Canada.

The town is very nice, with many good restaurants, a huge shoe store, the requisite boutiques, and necessities like hardware, groceries, and pharmacy.

Boating life at Bobcaygeon is entertaining. The Big Bob Canal is a narrow major boating thoroughfare, situated between two lakes with a lock in the middle. Two significant features making navigation challenging are high winds and fast current from an adjacent dam. Tall boats are blown off course and then the current takes them. The result is many end up sideways and out of control in the channel.

From our vantage point on the stern of Dunworkin, we've been watching an endless parade of boating mishaps. 

So far, we saw a pontoon boat repeatedly banging into the rocks on the far side of the canal, propelled by the rapid current. Why? He forgot to put his outboard engine down, so the prop was a big fan. He kept reving the engine, with no result, until Thom yelled "put the engine down". Then at the boat ramp, the captain forgot to put the drainage plug in the boat, which promptly filled with water as soon as it slipped off of the trailer. Much yelling, followed by frantic bailing.

We met a couple with 3 daughters on a big new Carver, trying to dock at the gas dock for the night. The fenders were way too high and out of the water, nobody on board knew how to untie the knots, so everyone on the dock came out to help. We came to find out he just bought the boat in Port Severn, and had never driven a boat before.

An older couple coming up for gas couldn't find their fenders and scraped along the dock. Another small boat had hit some rocks in the lake and was towed in by a jet ski.

There are many rental houseboats here, and it's fun to watch the first timers try to get into the lock. The lockmaster has a loudspeaker and tries to prevent as much damage as possible. It is not unusual to see a 40 foot house boat wedged sideways in the lock unable to move.


The day ended with a ruckus from the boat parked in front of us on the dock.  Their 100 pound rottweiller fell in and they couldn't get him back on board.  One young man jumped in the water, but soon learned you can't lift a large dog up when you are swimming. All you do is go down.  Luckily, the 11 month old dog quickly mastered swimming.  A few more helping hands, and he was back on dry land. The entertainment at Bobcaygeon has been non stop.  Great place!

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