We have been anticipating our time in the Trent-Severn Waterway ever since we started our trip. It has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in North America and makes a great place to spend the summer with its warm days, cool nights, fresh water and friendly people. The waterway is 240 statute miles long and runs west from Trenton on Lake Ontario to the Georgian Bay. It contains 44 manually operated locks and meanders through lakes, rivers and canals that are dotted with quaint towns, parks and bicycle paths along its entire length.

After crossing the U.S.-Canadian border, stopping in the town of Gananoque, checking in with Canadian Customs, exchanging our money and raising our Canadian courtesy flag, we cruised to Trenton, the gateway of the Trent-Severn Waterway. We were fortunate to arrive on Canada Day (Canada’s Independence Day, July 1), with the Estrellita situated in a marina slip that gave us a front row seat to a fantastic fireworks display. We also celebrated our son Sam’s 22nd birthday with his arrival in Trenton after a fragmented journey from Charleston to DC by train, then by plane, bus and automobile! Since his arrival, he has been in awe of the beauty of Canada and of course, enjoying the relief of cool temperatures as compared to what he left in Charleston.

During a lengthy 4th of July cruise, which included about 15 miles and negotiating 10 locks, the Canadians continually yelled out “happy birthday” wishes to us and our country as we passed by them in their back yards, in the parks and on their boats. The Canadians are genuinely some of the most friendly people we have met and they are extremely happy to have us as guests in their Canadian waters. On the night of the 4th, five “looper” boats tied up to a mooring wall in the town of Hastings and organized an impromptu celebration with flags proudly flying, a pot-luck cookout, great music and wonderful fellowship until dark. Our lack of fireworks tempted us to improvise by firing our flare guns, but we restrained ourselves after discussing the fines that might be imposed for sending false distress signals! Happy Birthday America and thank God for the freedom to travel through the waterways of our country and those of our friendly neighbor of Canada!