Sunday, July 13, 2014

7/11/14 Lock 40 to Orillia

After departing lock 40, we traveled the short distance to lock 41 and got through in 10 minutes.  After exiting Lock 41, we arrived at the entrance to Lake Simcoe.  There are warnings on the charts that this is a dangerous lake in bad weather with high winds.  It is a shallow lake and is 20 miles across.  Ken (our former pilot) is a good planner and he told us several days in advance that this was the day to cross.  He was absolutely correct.  The lake was like glass. 


As we were crossing, we saw a large boat in the distance.  Through the binoculars, we could see that the name of the boat was Elegante.  We have talked about this boat since our first trip to Lake Michigan 14 years ago.  We saw her in the Illinois River as she headed for Charlevoix.  At that time, the owner was the builder of Home Depots and the captain and crew were a young couple.  When we arrived in Orillia, we talked to the current captain.  He said that the first crew only lasted a year, but he and his wife have been crewing for 12 years.  The current owner was one of the first entrepreneurs to put food kiosks in large airports.  When the previous owner sold the boat, the current captain and his wife bought it so that they could be sure they would work for "nice rich people".  There is some financial arrangement in which he leases the boat to the current owner.  She is a lovely boat.

 As we entered Orillia Harbor, we saw another Nordic Tug painted dark blue and dark green.  Ron recognized it immediately.  We had met the owners of Taitug three years ago at a Great Lakes Nordic Tug Rendezvous.  Their home port is Sault Ste. Marie, Canada.

Orillia, Ontario is the home of Gordon Lightfoot. He is 75 years of age and lives in Toronto. There is an alley in Orillia named for him.

The docks here were nearly empty when we arrived.  The harbor is huge and boasts new docks.  They are really nice.  They have unusual cleats on the docks.  They fold down when not in use so that you don't trip on them as you walk along.  We're not sure that we like them because they seem to be less secure and not as strong. 

Adjacent to the marina is a bike trail.  Decorations abound throughout the park.  The marina staff here presented us with a packet of materials containing information and coupons for Orillia.
We walked to the conveniently located downtown.  The main street is several blocks long and contains lots of specialty shops.  Ann pointed out a hair salon and I took advantage of a $16 haircut. 

For dinner, we chose Studebaker's, a block from the boat. 

By the time we returned to the marina, a number of boats had arrived.  Some were loopers and others were here for the weekend.  A fishing tournament is scheduled tomorrow, so there were lots of small boats, too. 

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