The Crew: Jonas, Kent, and I.
The Mission: Voyage our 63′ houseboat 157 kms from the Dot Calm Marina in Kamloops to Waterways Houseboats in Sicamous.
First I spent days preparing for the journey by making sure all the components on the boat were operational after the winter. Fuel also needed to be hauled to the boat, so I made several trips to transfer fuel to fill the tank for the long, upstream voyage.
The other major challenge was getting the CN Rail bridge in downtown Kamloops opened. My first contacts with CN were useless. Finally through some personal connections I reached Sheridan Walker (250-371-1612), who coordinated the necessary crew. Robin Marcello (250-318-1399) was also instrumental in getting the bridge opened.
We embarked early Thursday morning to make sure we’d have plenty of daylight time on the water. Our first stop was Riverside Park where we tied to a piling while we waited for the bridge to be opened. It hadn’t been opened for some time, so replacement parts needed to be installed by the railway crew. Finally around 12:30 we passed through the bridge. (Jonas or Kent, you have pics of that?) It was a beautiful warm day of 28 degrees celsius as we plodded up the South Thompson. Kent made his exit at the LaFarge bridge around 16:30. Shortly after dropping Kent, we were cutting corners to try and make up time. That’s when we ran the front up on a sandbar a couple feet under the surface. It took about 30 minutes of manoeuvring to dislodge the boat and we were back on our way. Jonas and I continued on to Pritchard where we landed in the dark a little after 22:00. Luckily Amanda met us with some cold beer and we shared a late dinner of steak.
It was another early morning on the second day. (Amanda departed for the day, to return later in the evening.) Jonas and I had an uneventful morning until the S-curves leading into Chase. That’s where the current picked up a lot and we had to up the RPM’s to 3000 to make painstakingly slow progress. After an hour battling the current of the S-curves, we sailed into Little Shuswap Lake. As it was Friday, we spent most of the afternoon coordinating with our party crew; where to pick them up, what to bring, how they’d get back. St. Ives was the chosen pick-up and drop-off. Later in the afternoon a storm chased us across the lake and gave us a good tailwind. We met Amanda, Carly, Christina, Marcel, & Virginia at St. Ives around 21:00. After quickly installing and testing new marine speakers for the top deck, we continued on to Nielsen Beach. Again we made landfall shortly after 22:00 in the twilight. After a family dinner, a quick drinking game, (What was that called? No teeth!), and filling our cups for a wander up the beach to meet our neighbours. All in all, a pretty uneventful night.
Morning brought rain and we had to get moving to stay on the sailing schedule. After dropping everyone back at St. Ives, I continued on solo to Waterways, just past Sicamous. Two and a half days, 34 boating hours, and 157kms later, I arrived at Waterways! Epic Voyage of a lifetime!
(See below photos for customized route map.)
Map of 157 km Epic Voyage by Houseboat: