Peterborough with Friends

August 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday, Hastings to Peterborough, ON

The goal was to arrive in Peterborough as early as possible so we could visit with friends Dodie and John from our Rideau adventure. We left around 8:30 am and traveled the Trent River to Rice Lake, which was much calmer than the day before, and then up the Otonabee River to Peterborough, about 40 miles with one lock. It still took us until 2:30,  going our normal speed and slowing down for all the fishing boats, and “No Wake” signs and boats in narrow waterways.

The marina fortunately put us right next to Dodie and John and Barefoot Lady. We had spent time together at the Newboro and Chaffey locks on the Rideau and were glad to see them again. After settling in and getting the marina paperwork done we caught up a bit and headed to a Belgian Restaurant, St. Veronas, for dinner, walking along beautiful paths along the way.

We were happy to discover that it was Dodie and John’s anniversary, and John had given Dodie a tenor ukulele as a present! I gave her some extra copies of ukulele music I had with me, and sent some of the lesson powerpoints I used when I taught ukulele. Dodie has played guitar, so we were already playing songs together (in the key of C) after dinner at their boat. Fast learner!

This morning John and Dodie left early to continue north, as we well will do on Monday. We have one more repair on the starboard engine planned for Monday before we can move on.

We decided to walk over to the next two locks and scout out an overnight location to save money versus paying for another night at the marina. On the ways was a great water park that of course made me wish that our grandson Arden was with us.

After looking at the Lock 20 we finally saw Lock 21, the famous Peterborough Lift Lock. The Peterborough Lift Lock was the first lock to be built out of concrete, and at the time was the largest structure ever built in the world with unreinforced concrete. More importantly, the lock’s dual lifts have been until recently the highest hydraulic boat lifts in the world, raising and lowering boats 65 ft simultaneously. What’s amazing to me is that no external power is needed: the lift lock functions by gravity alone using the counterweight principle, and this huge structure was completed in 1902! We watched as boats moved into both the upper and lower chambers, and then reversed positions. Pretty amazing.


Later in the day we moved our boat to the fuel dock to fill up and get a pump out before heading to the lock for the night and while there we were offered the option of staying another night in the marina for only $25 (vs $75). Yes please! One more day of electricity and WiFi is delightful.

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