DA and were granted passage with Washago Cruise Lines as an engagement gift from my small group.  I made arrangements for the voyage for Friday afternoon.  The weather was a little iffy.  It was overcast and rain was in the forecast but none came down while we were out cruising.  Our guide, Captain Albert, a  jolly Dutch chap, commented that I must know someone “up there” to be so lucky.

We started our adventure with a tour of Captain Albert’s home.  He lives in what used to house the workers who built the now non-operational dam nearby.

He has added on to the home over the years and was very clever to make the addition look like the original construction.  Upon close inspection, we saw that the latter part of the house was covered in sheets of white metal with slats of painted pine stuck to it.  It totally matched the old part of the house made of logs and chinked with cement.  Captain Albert picked up the pine slats from a farmer friend as they were the reject parts of fence posts.  Leave it to a Dutchie to be so resourceful and unwasteful.

Finding out that I was from Dutch descent, the good Captain had to take me out back to his garden and show me his kale.  We laughed and talked about Bodekole (forgive the spelling of that Mom!), a potato-kale dish that every Dutch person I know eats.  I grew up on the stuff.  I also spied his green beans, another staple for Dutch people.  Just the fact that he grew his own vegetables made this fella so typically Dutch that I had to laugh.

Here’s DA picking his way down to the vintage boat for the start of the cruise.  We were offered a glass of wine as part of the deal so DA is carrying both his and mine.  The path down was steep and I didn’t have the best climbing shoes on.

Here’s the best shot I got of that vintage boat.  The Captain gave us lots of information on it, but that sort of data goes in one ear and out the other in my smaller than average head, I’m afraid.

We cruised the Green, Black and Severn Rivers.  I have to love the people of Washago.  The Green River was so named because the water in it looks green.  Guess what colour the water looks in the Black River?  Yup.  It’s black.  These people just call ’em as they see ’em.  Captain Albert gave us the reasons why the two rivers are the colours that they are but I’m afraid that info has flown the coop too.  I wasn’t the greatest student that day.

We saw lots of interesting things while putting through Washago.  There were interesting homes.  Some were a bit ram-shackled,

a couple were new and pretty impressive,

and one was Bavarian style and named Eidelweiss.

There was lots of pretty scenery to be admired

some interesting places to sit and see the view

some other Washagoites enjoying the waterways

and some wildlife.

It’s really hard to see the loons in this photo but we did see them.  The mama loon gave us a nice show of catching a fish for her baby, breaking it into pieces and dropping the pieces in the baby’s beak.  We also saw a mink with a fish in its mouth and a great blue heron.  My camera was way too slow to catch those guys.  Sometimes moose are spotted but they were all starting their weekend early the day we went out so we just had to believe the tales Captain Albert told us about them.  Thankfully we didn’t see any unwanted flesh from the wild lady who enjoys flashing the cruise.  Captain Albert visited her the night before and kindly asked her to refrain from giving the “nice honeymoon couple” a show.

Further into the cruise, we saw the buildings that got Washago started – a grist mill and a woolen mill.

The grist mill is abandoned and slowly falling into disrepair.  The woolen mill has been transformed into a home complete with a glass floor in the living room to see the river flowing underneath.  That was Captain Albert’s suggestion apparently based on similar floors he had seen during his travels.

The tour ended back where it started with a lot of thank-you’s on our part and a free cucumber out of the Captain’s garden and a bunch of pamphlets for our friends on his part.  Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, DA and I just might take you out one of these days to meet the Captain and see a bit of my neck of the woods.

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