Classic Muskoka Part 1 – All Systems Are “GO” Including Amelia Who “Went” Today!

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Karen & Bill Ballard up from Michigan in their very cool 1954 20′ (19’6″) Century Resorter named “Karen Ann”.

WE FINALLY MAKE IT TO MUSKOKA TODAY and are now settling into to our outstanding accommodations at Chris & Julie Bullen’s cabin on Morris Island – on Lake Muskoka. This afternoon we were joined by Karen & Bill Ballard who made the 10 hour trek up to Muskoka from Michigan with their 1954 Century Resorter. (Don’t forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them – Texx)

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So late this afternoon (Wednesday) we decided to do one final check our equipment to make sure we are organized for a busy day on the water today (Thursday).

Century Coronado shoot boat fuel and safety gear – Check…
Camera gear, lenses and batteries – Check…
Computers x 2 – Check…
Chris’s Drone (named “Amelia”), test flight – Check…

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Woody Boater HQ for the next few days at Chris & Julie Bullen’s lovely cabin on Morris Island. In the foreground is “Sam’s Smile”, “Karen Ann” beside the boat house, “Gatsby” & “Riot” in the boat house.

Chris & Julie also have an amazing, all original 1988 Century Coronado powered by it’s original 454 Mercruiser that still looks like new. They use the Coronado on a regular basis as their go-to-grocery-getter and that’s what Chris picked me up with today for the short trip over to Morris Island.

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The grocery getter – an all original 1988 Century Coronado.

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I didn’t do a very good job with this shot, but wanted to include a static shot of the Coronado to highlight how great this 27 year-old boat looks. – Texx

Then Chris gave me my first flying lesson with his drone which was exciting, especially over the water. I think Chris might be a closet fighter pilot because he can fly that crazy drone like a seasoned expert. This technology is truly remarkable, as it operates with a GPS locator, as Chris demonstrated. Operated with a small iPad device, you can set the home location with the GPS and it will hover in a fixed position while you shoot photos with the on-board camera. It has a battery life of around 17 minutes and is capable of flying at 40 MPH.

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Look Ma – No Hands!

So we decided to do a test run out on Lake Muskoka about an hour before sunset while the light was still good, using the Coronado as the shoot boat to grab a few shots of “Karen Ann” – the wooden Century. Then we decided to bring “Amelia” (the drone) along so we could also get some shots from the air. They named the drone “Amelia” months ago and she lived up to that name today…

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Karen Ann – running “Karen Ann” on Lake Muskoka with an outcropping from the legendary Canadian Shield in the background.

We were about a mile from the cabin on Lake Muskoka and everything was working nicely, I was shooting the wooden Century, Julie was driving the Century Cononado shoot boat, and Chris was operating “Amelia” from the back seat of the Coronado.

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We got both boats up on plane and everything was going just as planned…

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Then all of a sudden Chris said “JULIE – TURN AROUND AND CHASE THE DRONE! – I CAN’T CONTROL IT!!” As we frantically watched the drone take off towards the cabin. Chris was trying to regain control with the joy stick.

“Amelia’s” GPS was set on the location of the dock at the cabin and when the battery began to run low on power, “Amelia” decided (on her own) to ignore Chris’s controls head for home… Julie cranked the Coronado 180 degrees and opened up the big block Chevrolet in an attempt to catch the fleeing drone – while Chris continued to fight to gain control. Somehow he still managed to snap a photo of Julie in the Coronado making a 180 degree turn as “Amelia” sped away towards home.

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“Amelia” the drone heads for home with the Century Coronado and wooden Resorter giving chase. It was wild ride!

We quickly caught up to “Amelia” in the speeding Coronado and – at speed – as Chris managed to get the wobbling drone within reach, hovering erratically over the Coronado, then plucking it out of the sky as we cheered Chris on… “Amelia” was just doing the right thing, which was to return to home base before her batteries were depleted, she just didn’t know that she was above a lake.

We decided that was enough excitement for one day and all returned safely to the cabin.

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“Amelia” is currently re-charging her batteries and will be ready for service on Thursday (today).

We have a full schedule of boating and shooting today (Thursday) and then the big Woody Boater Poker Run on Friday morning, ending with an afternoon lunch at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre. The Poker run is sold out – there is actually two individual Poker Runs, one for the classic powered boats and a shorter one for the Dippy’s (Dispro or Disappearing Propeller boats). A record number of boats and over 86 people are registered for the lunch in conjunction with the Woody Boater Poker Runs.

Then on Saturday is the 35th Annual Summer Vintage Boat Show presented by the Toronto Chapter ACBS. You can click on the website link for more information on the boat show and related activities. This year they are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Dispro Device. Stay tuned for daily updates on Woody Boater and the Woody Boater Facebook page – this is going to be a fun four days in historic Muskoka. – Texx

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13 replies
  1. Sean
    Sean says:

    There should be plenty to see on the lake away from the show on both Friday and Sunday. As the “official” events are sold out; I know of groups of woodyboaters that have come to the lake and will not be denied! Muskoka is a prime woody boatin’ lake and naturally, boaters gunna boat.

    The lake is perfect and the weather is too. We’ll see you on the dock Friday Morning for the poker run. This is going to be a GREAT weekend!

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    We had a wonderful lunch stop at the Bullen boathouses for the WoodyBoater poker run two years ago. Chris also did a tremendous job of leading our run all day. Here is a shot of the poker run boats at the lunch. I wish I was there again today!

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Looks like Texx is having way too much fun! Great collection of boats, cameras and a drone. But where is the Woodyboater wear? It looks like everyone is wearing “normal” clothing. I was looking forward to gintage baby poop yellow, or a rare SoV hoodie.

    Also, can we petition Ottawa to ditch the Union Jack and put a Mapple Leaf on the Canadian yacht ensign?

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Seven of us in two boats are making a one hour trip from Lake Muskoka to Lake Joseph. Five of the seven are sporting Woody Boater swag! More later.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        Ecellent! Wish I could join you, but if I skipped my wife’s birthday for a boat show, it wouldn’t end well.

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    If I’ve got to miss this year’s events at least WB has got it covered. But the pics are going to make it that much more difficult to endure. I can’t watch–well maybe with one eye. Its like seeing a long lost love driving off with another guy.

    Although I won’t miss tearing off 3 layers of shingles on an island boat house that I was supposed to do after the show.

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