Chinook: Photojournal, Part 1

The Great Lakes Loop, a modification of its popular cousin, The Great Loop, is ideal for boaters looking to spend a season immersed in Loop culture. The America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association provides many great resources for both routes and their numerous variations, and is open boaters of all kinds: from year round ‘Loopers,’ to seasonal enthusiasts, and day trippers. During the summer of 2015, Klaus and Elizabeth, aboard their Back Cove 37 ‘Chinook,’ spent the summer of 2015 completing the Great Lakes Loop and cataloging their adventures in this beautiful and detailed photojournal.  

Seasonal Great Loop Map

Map of the Great Loop – portions in red give an approximate indication of the Great Lakes Loop

Beginning in Port Washinton, NY, Klaus and Elizabeth traveled through the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, to Georgian Bay and the North Channel, and then the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Chinook and her crew then traversed lakes Michigan, Huron, and St. Clair to the Detroit River, leading them to Lake Erie and allowing them to cross their wake at the junction of the Erie and Oswego Canals. Their adventure totaled 1750 nautical miles, and resulted in a beautiful and detailed photojournal that we are thrilled to share with you on the Back Cove Blog.

Part 1 follows Klaus and Elizabeth from their start in Port Washington, and through the Trent-Severn Waterway. Subsequent parts will be published in our upcoming posts, so stay tuned as we follow the Chinook and her crew along their adventure:

Approximate route of the Chinook, June 7/8 2015

Approximate route of the Chinook, June 7 to July 8, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015: Beginning Our Loop Voyage

Hi All,

Today, Sunday 7 June, was our first big day passing through New York City and starting up the Hudson River. Six hours and 55 nm, sixty road miles, and about 98 km.

On the East River just after passing through Hell Gate

On the East River after passing through Hell Gate

One World Trade from the East River

One World Trade from the East River

The Battery

The Battery

Flying our AGLCA burgee that's for Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association

Flying our AGLCA burgee that’s for Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association

Of course the Statue of Liberty or as most Germans might prefer,  "of Liverwurst"

The Statue of Liberty, or as most Germans might prefer,  “of Liverwurst”

From here up the Hudson River.

Love to All,
K. Pops

Friday, June 26, 2015: Chinook enters Trent Severn Waterway, Ontario, Canada

Picton, Ontario to Trenton, Ontario – we made it through five locks and moored at Lock 6.

Image 10

TSW Gateway

Image 12

In Lock 1 of the Trent-Severn Waterway

Image 11


Image 13


Sunday, June 28, 2015: Trent Severn Waterway (TSW)

Hi guys,

Today we made locks 6 through 12. We started at 9am and didn’t finish until around 3pm. Lock 11 is a double lock, each portion lifting us 24 ft – scary, even for the old hand! After they let us into Lock 12 the doors behind us closed with a resounding bang that could scare the daylights out of anyone. Actually, it turned out to be very easy.

Still smiling in TSW Lock 11

Still smiling!

From here we ran just a mile or so and docked in Campbellford Ontario. We are staying an extra day to replenish our energies (and sense of humor). We just bought a fresh strawberry pie in the town’s renowned bakery.

Klaus and Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 1, 2015: Peterborough Lift Lock 21 on the Trent Severn Waterway

Today, 1 July (Canada Day), we lifted through Locks 20 to 26 – a big job for an advance of only 9 nautical miles. The big event was Lock 21, the Peterborough Lift Lock built in 1904. One of few in the world, and the highest.

Approaching Lock 21

Approaching Lock 21

Image 16

Lock 21 – The pan is open for us to enter

Image 15

An easy side tie

Image 17

Looking back, the gate is up and we are ready for the big lift

Love to All,
And a Happy Canada Day to the believers,

Back Cove 37

Saturday, July 4, 2015: Trent Severn Waterway Ontario Canada

Hi All,

Another day in the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario region. Bobcageon to Fennelon Falls and finally to the second “lift lock” at Kirkfield. At Kirkfield we were at the highest point of travel, and the drop was about fifty feet.

Image 21

Entering one of two pans. In front of me is a barrier, and then a fifty foot drop. The willies!

Image 22

This is what it looks like from below

Image 19

Finally tied up for the night

Klaus and Elizabeth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015: Big Chute Marine Railway

Hello All,

Back Cove 37 Chinook at Big Chute Marine Railway on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Image 1

Big Chute Marine Railway on the Trent-Severn Waterway

Image 4

Another boat in the slings

Image 2

8:55 and waiting for the 9:00am opening

Image 5

In the slings being moved along.

Image 3

A look back.

Klaus and Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 8, 2015: CHINOOK Completes the Trent Severn Waterway

Hi All,

This morning, 8 July, we completed the Trent-Severn Waterway through Ontario when we passed through Lock 45 in Port Severn. We passed through 44 Locks including two lift locks (counterbalanced pans one goes up as the other goes down) and the Big Chute Marine Railway.

240 statute miles, 209 nautical miles or 390 km. The Trent-Severn Waterway took 13 days, including three lay days.

Image 23

Birds eye view of the area around Lock 45

We spent one night near the Park docks and had a fab lunch at Christie’s Mill Inn (right foreground of the photo above).

The current was challenging between the lock and Starport Severn Lower Marina. A very narrow channel with lots of current under the twin highway bridges (upper right in the photo above). Of course we had to meet an up-bound boat right there!

All our best,
The Crew on board CHINOOK

Chinook: Photojournal, Part 1
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