Monday 24 November 2014

Up The River, But Not Up The Creek, Part One

" the face of a hurricane west wind..."
                                  -Gordon Lightfoot

  This time last week, the temperature was below freezing, and the first snow of the season was flying.

   Today, the snow is gone and the temp is positively balmy, but we are getting slammed by a meteorological freight train that hasn't slowed down since it left Kansas.  Steady 40-50 knot winds hurt your face.

   Here's how the Lake looked this afternoon:

     Steady 40-50 knot winds hurt your face.

   So, I figured this a good time to revisit a more placid day in Port Dover.

   It's mid-September, and the weather is well and truly balmy,  not too hot, not too cold, not too humid, not too dry, a little underwindy, but oh, well... one of those late summer/early fall days that are too good and too rare to waste.

   SWMBO and I decided to put it to use by making a Quack run up the River, seeing what we could see.

  Th is is hardly the Canadian equivalent of a Joseph Conrad/ Coppolian saga- the Lynn River is the tributary that inconveniently divides Port Dover...

                                                                                         -image courtesy of

..... it is also the source of some small controversy.  As you can see on the map above, the Lynn flows from Northwest to South, through the town of Simcoe, then into the town of Port Dover, where it meets Black Creek, flowing Northeast to South, and then discharges into Long Point Bay.

      The controversy arises below the Y- is the waterway south of the confluence the  Lynn River, or Black Creek?  Some refer to this stretch as "the creek", others as "the river", others, noting that aforementioned body of water has been dredged, widened, straightened and breakwalled, refer to it as "the channel."

       Personally, I figure a creek can flow into a river, yet a river cannot flow into a creek, just as a town can grow into a city, but a city cannot grow into a town...ergo, it is the Lynn River which empties into the Bay, not the Black Creek.

      (Not that anybody really gives a shit. -ed.)

      Er, anywater, we had been up the River and up the Creek dozens of times, always aboard the mothership, but had never turned left and taken the Lynn less travelled, as it were.  Concerns over the uncertainty of draft, airdraft and general  there-are-never-any-sailboats-there-so-sailboats-must-not-be-able-to-go-there logic led us to mark the upper Lower Lynn with "here there be dragons" on our mental chart.

     But, not wishing to leave any local waters unexplored,  we decided to take an hour or so and make a Quack attack.

    We tied up NextBoat opposite the old Misener fish plant, clambered into Quack, our 7 foot long inflatable, cranked up our trusty Suzuki O/B, bid our floating condo adieu...

...and headed upstream.

   We putted past the Port Dover Harbour Museum...

  ... past the new dinghy dock, snapping pics of the intriguing boat tied up...

lifeboat/tender/pilot boat from a freighter?

 ( Please comment if you have any info.)

     ...then under the lift bridge and past the Scruton fleet...

... then past the Bridge Yachts yard, and then past Dave Matthews yard,  into the heart of tug town...

   I admit, I am a sucker for tugs...

    and who doesn't like a beautiful woody?

  ...  get your minds out of the gutter.

   We pass the Nadro Marine yard...

... bear to port and head up the Lynn, into the elephant's graveyard of the Harry Gamble shipyard.

  Meanwhile, to starboard...

The juxtaposition between banks is almost jarring.

   and back to our port side...


 and then things start to get ...interesting.

     The Gamble yard is acres of old tugs, barges, lifeboats, pleasure craft, engines, winches and rust, covered with an increasingly impenetrable cover of foliage.

      It's intriguing as hell.

We spotted this inlet....

...before we noticed the cottage beside it


Of course we had to steer in, to see what we could see...

      As our outboard began to bounce along the bottom, I realized how silted up this basin had become.  That tug  is never leaving again.

      We retreated back to the Lynn and continued upstream.

  More to come later this week.


"Talk the Dock!"




  1. Don't know if hell is intriguing, but that place shure is

  2. Love the picture of the lake in november. Dont think Im brave enough to venture out in that. Up river looks like a great afternoon excursion for next season. Thanks Brian. :-)