I was pleased to find when checking the vital fluids that the oil level was still full. While the Ford Lehman 120 doesn’t seem to be burning hardly any oil it is weaping a little into the engine pan. I have to add a little oil after about 8 hours of running time. Occasionally, when we haven’t run very long I check it and it hasn’t gone down at all. I keep hoping it has healed itself but by the time we run 8 hours it seems to be down about half a quart.
We only had to lock through Hastings Lock 18 before we reached the very large, long, Rice Lake. This lock was 14.6 nautical miles from Lock 17 so we were off the wall at 0645 to make the run. We arrived a few minutes early to find there were two other boats already on the blue line that had stayed there for the night. We parked on the blue line to wait while another boat was brought down from the top and then all three locked through together.
Rice Lake begins at the top of Lock 18 but it is quite narrow and not unlike a river for the first few miles. Then it opens into a body of water 17 nautical miles long. Even though large the water depth through much of it is less than 10’ so sticking to the channel is important. The second half of the lake is more like 20’ deep in the main body but you end up traveling far from shore as that is where the channel is. It is dotted with many islands but we did not have time to explore so didn’t pass very close to anything.
Near the southwestern end of Rice Lake we found the mouth to the Otonabee River. This river winds on a very crooked path for 20.1 miles to our destination of Peterborough. Peterborough is a fairly large town and the main body of water near it is this river. The river is quite narrow for its full length. The day being a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 80’s and a Saturday too meant that everyone who owns a boat in Peterborough was out on the river. Many of these are go fast boats including some cigarette boats. They fly up and down that river like it was a slalom course and with all of the twists and turns I’ll bet it is fun. Then there is a slow deeper draft first timer boat trying to stay in the middle of the channel so as to not kiss the bottom of the sides. This makes for some tense moments on the part of the slow, deeper draft boat. As they fly around a corner all appearances are that you are on a head on course but at the last moment they choose a side to pass, usually within feet, and fly on by. Traversing this river on a sunny Saturday in July was not the most relaxing activity imaginable.
Lock 19, Scotts Mills was closed when we arrived so we waited on the wall with two other boats. When we pulled in I forgot that the lockmaster about 10 locks ago had warned us to stay back in this lock as the water entered from the front and created significant turbulence. Mistake! Part way up the bow of the boat started to swing to the center and it was all Vicki could do to hold it with my one armed help. Fortunately the lock attendant saw that we were struggling so slowed the water down some until we got straightened out.
At the top of the lock we pulled into Little Lake and headed directly to the Peterborough Marina. A great slip was assigned to us and the dockhands were very personable and helpful. We were only three boats out from shore and had all of the amenities including a strong wifi signal. This was a real plus as strong wifi signals are not easy to find. After docking we toured the docks to find at least four other looper boats here. We then walked into town and to the big BBQ Rib celebration going on at a waterfront park.
Our marina was right next to another waterfront park and there was a very good folk/rock band playing that night. We spent a little time visiting with friends, make new ones and then to the boat to catch up on a big backlog of email and do a little blogging.