North Channel Presentation

I’m pleased to share a presentation on the North Channel created by Craig and Day Olney.  Presentation topics include:

  • The North Channel
  • Getting There
  • What about a boat?
  • Customs
  • Do we have to anchor out every night?
  • What to take
  • Five things to do before you leave
  • Two sample cruise itineraries

If you have questions about boating in the North Channel, would like to purchase a boat to explore the North Channel or would like Craig and me to present to your group about the North Channel, please contact me.

Get connected the North Channel Cruisers net facebook site, LCYC Cruisers’ Net.

THE NORTH CHANNEL Cover Captain Father John Simons


America’s Great Loop Presentation

Here you can view my 176 slide presentation that I am presenting at various yacht clubs in 50 minutes.

It includes Looper Basics, detailed route decisions and recommendations, and lots of photos!     The four sections make the full presentation available in smaller file sizes for easier downloads/viewing.


Great Loop Presentation Simons – Looper Basics


Great Loop Presentation Simons – Waukegan IL to Key West FL

Great Loop Presentation Simons – Marathon FL to Statue of Liberty NY

Great Loop Presentation Simons – Half Moon Bay NY to Waukegan IL

Here is a link to an article I wrote about cruising the first section of the Great Loop from Waukegan, IL to Green Turtle Bay, Kentucky.

Please contact me to request a speaking engagement for your yacht club or  other interested group.

Day 311 – Oh Canada

Miles cruised 83, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $136 includes 25% reduction for very favorable US / Canadian exchange rate .76, daily high temperature 81°

I took a stroll up the hill to check out the conditions on Lake Ontario before we cast off.  It was blowy and lumpy out there.  At the top of the hill next to the marina is Fort Ontario.  As with most forts we have toured it was built by the British, captured by the French, recaptured by the Americans and recaptured by the British. Fort capturing kept generations of soldiers busy for decades.

Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY


We cast off at 11:00 am and crossed Lake Ontario into Canada. The lake had been flat as glass the day before but a NE breeze blew in overnight and built up the waves to 3′ – 4′. The forecast was for the waves to flatten out in the afternoon. I guess the waves didn’t read the forecast. We were heading NW with NE beam seas. Crank up the turbos, get on top of the waves and in 2.5 hours we were across Lake Ontario and in Canada. It was a little rolly but after 40 miles we were in the lee of the land and everything flattened out.

Here is an update on our location.  We are the blue dot east of Toronto near Kingston, Canada.


We took the Murray Canal to the Bay of Quinte. There are two swing bridges on the Murray Canal. The Murray Canal is only five miles long.


There is a sign that says fee to open swing bridge $4.95. We had never paid to get a bridge to open. When we were passing by the bridge tender held our a basket on a long pole and I dropped a Canadian $5.00 into the basket. At the current exchange rate a US $5.00 bill is worth $6.75 Canadian.


There are lots of fisherman on the canal.  This one knows how to beat the heat.



We are staying at the brand new Trent Port Marina. Everything is new out of the box. It is so new it does not show up on some GPS charts. The marina is in the town of Trenton which is the start of the Trent Severn Waterway.


We cleared Canadian customs and immigration at the marina.  I had preregistered online to save time.  The marina has a dedicated phone line to call customs.  Even though I had an email confirmation that I had preregistered the customs agent could not find my information.  No worries, I gave it to her again,  it took less than five minutes.  She gave me a registration number to post in the window on CL.  One of the questions asked is do you have firearms, drugs or alcohol onboard.  I answered we have alcohol onboard. When asked how much alcohol we had I answered we have “ships stores.” Our Looper friend George Hospodar had researched this regulation because some Loopers were being charged tax by the Canadian customs agents.  Ships stores means we only have limited quantities for personal use.  The limits are one bottle of wine or liquor or a case (24 cans) of beer per person per week.  Since we will be in Canada for five weeks we were well within the limits of the regulation.  Alcohol prices in Canada are three times higher than in the US.

We will transit the 45 locks of the Trent Severn Waterway to get to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. One of the locks (number 44) is called the Big Chute. The Big Chute is a railroad car that picks up your boat and carries it over a hill into the canal on the other side. That will be cool photo.


We heard from our Looper friend John Halter on Mitzvah. He had a mishap with his propeller. He was anchored and tied to the shore in the North Channel. He put his engine in reverse to keep the stern of the boat pointed towards the shore so he could untie the shore line. As he jumped into his dingy to go to shore his anchor dragged and his propeller hit the rocks. He dove over the side and pounded the dents out with a hammer. Another Looper loaned him an axe under the assumption that an axe is more hydrodynamic than a hammer for pounding underwater.


Here is a photo taken of our sailboat Blue Heaven five years ago.   We are tied to shore with a stern line. We were in the the North Channel of Lake Huron in a location near where Captain Halter had his mishap.


We will stay in Trenton for two or three nights before heading up the Trent Severn Waterway.

Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.

“There is but a plank between a sailor and eternity.”
-Thomas Gibbons

Dr. Thomas Gibbons (1720–1785) was a London nonconformist minister who wrote hymns, sermons, and poetry.