Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 26 - Ranney Falls, ON (top of Lock 12)

24 June 2016
Day 26 - Thu 23 Jun 2016
Docked – Ranney Falls, ON (top of Lock 12)

[photo: you can't see them all but there are 4 large boats and one smaller boat all snugged into this lock]

We slept in until 0545 this morning; boy, are we getting lazy. The sun was up for a bit already and the temperature outside was delightfully cool and comfortable (to me). Meaning no disrespect to the other cruisers at our current location, we figured that if you want to be the first in line at the next lock, you need to be the earliest one to move.

We slipped our lines and quietly and slowly eased up river at a sedate speed of about 5 kts running on one engine not far above idle. The scenery was really pretty and it was extremely quiet at 0630. We tied up on the blue line at Lock 7 over an hour later, knowing we had until 1000 for the first opening. Before too long, Willy Nilly arrived and we enjoyed some casual banter. Then Trawler Life and Sadie Too came up and tied up.

The lockmaster arrived about 0940 to get things ready for 1000. As great as we have found these Parks Canada folks to be, some of them show up with 1 minute to spare and are not really ready to lock you through for a bit. This young man was the exception and said that we could all four lock through by rafting two by two. I was not a party to the discussion, but agreed we would raft. What I did not ask was how wide the lock was.

We got in first, tied up quickly (Diane has it down to a science now), and then Willy Nilly tried to squeeze beside us. We needed at least 2 feet more than we had, so we went to plan B where we moved up as far as possible and they switched over to the wall astern of us. Then Trawler Life squeezed beside them and the two boats had about 4 feet to spare. Then Sadie Too had just barely enough room astern of Willy Nilly to fit, but we made it work. A fifth boat, only 21 feet, squeezed in, as well. When we exited, we all agreed that maybe Willy Nilly and we would be far enough ahead at the next lock to make a locking and let the others have the next locking to themselves, avoiding a little stress and making the process for each locking much faster.

That was not to be, however, because the next lockmaster and all the subsequent ones decided we would continue the rafting. We lost the fifth boat, but the four Loopers continued. I did not time it, but I swear each of the next 5 lockings went faster as they all got the routine down. After Lock 12, we parted ways for now as we stopped and they all continued. Our earlier plan had been to stop at Campbellford in the early afternoon to explore, then press on one more lock for the overnight. It was only 45 minutes to the last locking of the day (at 1530), so that plan would not work.

By stopping here, we use more of our Parks Canada mooing permit and avoid paying a private marina fee. We will stop for a few hours in the town tomorrow and then carry on with the locks. We were adjacent to a few small roads and the swing bridge at the lock, but it really was quite serene. Three boats from Ontario were headed S, but not 20 minutes after we locked the lockmaster declared that the lock was malfunctioning and needed a repairman. Since it was close to the last locking of the day, that never happened and all three were trapped on this wall with us.

After some relaxation and refreshment, we had a light supper of another portion of the crockpot lasagna, which we both agreed was the best yet. Freshly made garlic bread is always a big hit, too. After supper, I got off the boat to say hello to one of the Canadian cruisers who were sitting at the picnic table. Before long, Hank and Jacoba were aboard Diva Di getting a tour and exchanging stories about our mutually interesting lives. We have loved getting to know the other Loopers so far, but it is nice to be on your own to meet locals, too.

When they left to cook supper, we got out our books and enjoyed the setting sun and the mostly quiet setting. Tomorrow, we will stop at Campbellford for a few hours in the morning, and then try to make another 6 locks to stop at Hastings for the night.
Vessel Name: Diva Di
Vessel Make/Model: PDQ MV34 Power Cat
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, FL
Crew: Duane and Diane

Diva Di Crew

Who: Duane and Diane
Port: Punta Gorda, FL