Day Six - July 1, 2005
Back through the locks; Past the Marina; Ellesmere
Late sleeping today and it seems there are not many boats passing our mooring spot. Very peaceful here, no birds and cows are quite.
We get off around 10:00 a.m. The first lock is close but we don't realize how close. There are three boats moored just our side of Bridge 12 and we don't realize the lock is right after and cruise on through. We didn't see any boats beyond and the pool is clear when we arrive. Not sure why the boats didn't pull up and we worry that we jumped line. A boat is coming up so we wait and figure one of the boats beyond the bridge will come up so we wait. They don't and another group from below grabs the lock and brings the water back down so we all miss out. The boat finally comes in and makes a comment to my mom about not going through. As they are waiting ahead of us, the boat coming up is coming out of the lock and another boat is coming into the pool. They skip in front of us and grab the lock next. Guess they are in quite a hurry.
We get to the lock and Jamee is ready to go. There is a man painting the locks and he helps us a bit by pushing open the top paddle and closing it. We head out to the lower lock. There is one boat just coming up, two gals bringing their boat through. Jamee helps with the bottom gate. Once they are into the lock we get to talking about where we are going and they help us by showing us their Franklin book for the upcoming winding holes. This is quite helpful as we didn't know where to turn around at or past Ellesmere.
No problems with the final lock and we cruise on down but we do hit a rain squall. We go past some very nice farms/ranches. Nice looking sheep and cattle, calves and lambs look fat and healthy. The pastures look good too, not overgrazed and smelly like some of the ones higher up the canal.
Our plan is to stop in to the Maestermyn Marina to get fresh water, pump out and have the check things out. However, the mooring is extremely full. It is just past 1:00 p.m. We pass on by towards Ellesmere.
As we cruise into the Ellesmere Junction we spy the mooring for water and do we need water. It takes awhile to fill our tank but we enjoy the short break and decide to see if we can find mooring on the Ellesmere branch. We need dinner for at least one night, cheese for our lunch quesadillas and toilet paper.
As soon as we make the turn to toward the bridge we see a mooring space and decide to take it, just in case there are no more. We pull into the space and there are two older gentlemen that gently harass my mom who is on the bow line. As we "park" our boat they tease and ask where we come from. They are good humored but have been drinking and tease about the hired boat, saying we must have the top of the line that come from the Maestermyn Marina.
After we get settled we walk into town. The sign at the Junction said there was a population of 3,000, so not much smaller than Port Orchard. The town is very nice, older but well kept and clean. We find the butcher and have him cut us some steaks. He is great and tells us about the old buildings that were closed down 40-50 years ago and that at one time employed 300 people at the old creamery. Next we head to the grocery and then the bakery.
Back at the boat we relax and get ready to fix our pork chops, roast potato's and green beans. After dinner the girls play cards and Shirley and I listen to a little Willie Nelson to the girls disdain.