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05 August 2005 Father's Day

19-Jun-06 It was a lovely sunday as well as being father's day. I had gotten up that morning and recieved some wonderfull gifts from my wife and daughter including a new toilet for the pocket cruiser which I quickly installed. I had made plans earlier with my nearby neighbour Fred to go out for a cruise that afternoon at 1:00PM so myself and Jeanette spent the morning getting everything ready. We got gas for the loud mower (Jeanette calls my gas outboard that.), cleaned up the boat, and made sure there were plenty of snacks and water aboard. Actually I did the work. Jeanette supervised.

At 1:00 Fred arrived with his wife and daughter. We loaded up and headed down to eccoland park for our adventure. Once there I discovered that we were short a life jacket. I normally will not take a person out in the boat with no life jacket. People say it is their choice and their decision. I say when a person is drowning they tend to panic and grab whoever is near. That means someone else not having their jacket could end up with me or my four year old drowning. Not acceptable. Fred's wife Stephanie was willing to stay one shore, but we discuseed it and decided that would not be fair. Fred would go to a nearby Canadian Tire to buy a life jacket while we were launching the boat. Once in the water I would take everyone a short ways north to the locks there so they could see them. Then I would head back and pick up Fred.

Stephenie helped me launch the boat and we were on our way. Jeanette my four year old decided to let me use my gas motor this trip. She cried and said she wanted me to close her up in the cabin while I was trying to start the engine, but I refused. Once the engine was going however she was quite happy. I had considerable trouble starting the engine at first. It had leaked gas into the car and because of this there was probably no fuel in the line. It did start eventually.

We went down to the northern locks. I asked Stephenie if she wanted to steer. She took the engine and for a little while we went around in circles. To be fair my boat is very difficult to manuver. It turns on a dime. Get distracted and you are in for a surprise. I took over from her and we headed up to the lock. Jeanette had a toy plastic fishing rod, and she kept throwing the line into the water. The line wasn't very long but somehow she always managed to have it closer to the engine then I would have prefered.

We went back and Stephanie pointed out Fred standing on the launch. We gestured for him to go over to the far dock and then motored over there on the electric drive to pick him up. Once we had him we headed down towards the southern locks. I drove sometimes and sometimes Fred drove. Fred is a very steady driver with a nice smooth course. Of course I accused him of being a shore hugger. The last trip out he made me very nervous the way he stayed in the shallow waters close to the shore. I told him he was the reason I got the fish finder. Not true but what the hell.

We drank our water, the two children ate their snacks and we motored along. Jeanette continued trying to catch a fish with her plastic fishing rod. Occasionally she would get excited when she would catch a bit of plant life from the water.

On the trip my new porta-pottie got tested by both children. It is really nice that what used to be a major problem is now a simple matter of unhooking the toilet. Pumping a little liquid in and letting them do their thing. I can't imagine a adult on that little thing, but I guess eventually a adult is going to have to use it.

We reached to southern locks and tied up for a little walk and a break. Both children got a big kick out of the machinery which ran the ancient locks. We climbed the stairs to the top leve and had a little snack which Fred and Stephenie had bought.

After a little while we went back to the boat and headed back. We used the gas motor until we ran out of gas then went on electric for the rest of the trip. The gas engine had leaked in my car the last time I transported it and although it was my own fault for leaving the gas line turned on I was still a little paranoid and wanted the tank empty.

Put the boat back on the trailer with the usual amound of difficulty and another trip complete.