Two men from Australia paddling the Trent Severn Waterway this summer


KAWARTHA LAKES- They’ve battled the wet, windy weather and “suicidal lake” waters so far this summer but Terry Bolland and John Breed are “buoyed” by the amazing scenery and the people they’ve met along the way.

The pair set out from Thunder Bay on July 7th and plan to paddle all the way to New York City, travelling through the Trent Severn Waterway on their journey. “I had the choice of going up the French River to Ottawa but I thought well, those places we aren’t seeing very many people” Terry tells Kawartha 411. “The Trent Severn looked like a good place to see what’s happening with Canadians.”

On August 8th they paddled into Coldwater, Ontario and the Big Chute Railway at Lock 44. Big Chute is a lift where boats are hauled over a hill, a mechanical portage of sorts. It’s the only still-operating marine railway in North America taking boats between water levels through the lock. “Since leaving the Big Chute we are seeing new things everyday, every lake is different but that has been happening the entire trip. When you think you know what’s ahead, around the next corner the scenery changes. That what’s make our journey so exciting.” Terry posted on Facebook.

The Kirkfield Liftlock was also a highlight. Terry talked about it on Facebook on August 9th. “Today we had the second biggest lift lock in the world at Kirkfield and that experience was truly amazing. Google it.” he says.

Camping at the Lock in Fenelon Falls on August 9th the men enjoyed some Canadian beer while watching the sunset. “Tonight we are at Fenelon Falls camped at a lock in the middle of town. We have been for a coffee and salad shop for me and a coffee and chips for John and replenished our food supplies at the super market. We have also had a beer or two sitting on supplied chairs at the lock watching a beautiful sunset. It couldn’t have been more perfect!”

Terry Bolland on the left and John Breed on the right.

“We have found the lock staff to be very friendly in every lock we have been to so far.” Terry remarks. They travel about 5 km an hour for about 8 hours a day. The weather has set them back a bit according to Terry. On August 6 he says the waters were too rough to continue. “We were laid up yesterday because the lake was suicidal.” he posted on Facebook. He’s been documenting the journey when time and conditions permit.

66 year old Terry hails from Perth Australia where he owns a canoe and kayak shop. John is  64 and retired. They love to paddle in Canada because we have lots of water. “You can paddle for thousands of kilometres without stopping, in Australia you can’t do that,” Terry says. “And of course the country is beautiful.”

This is the second leg of a very long journey for Terry. Six years ago he paddled from the Rockies to Thunder Bay. He picked up his most recent journey where he left off. “I’m now continuing that journey.”

“Lake Superior so far has been the most scenic but the Trent Severn has been the most social.” according to Terry.

Thursday night in Buckhorn they say they got they royal treatment. “When you tell people that you’ve come from Thunder Bay they say wow, you’ve got to have a beer with us or a glass of wine.”

Cheers to an amazing finale to your journey Terry and John!

To follow their journey on Facebook click here: