Monthly Archives: July 2022

Ottawa- at the end of the Rideau, turning back

We left Westport at 8:00 and travelled across Upper Rideau Lake to Lock 35- the narrows.  We arrived there by 8:40 and tied up on the blue line,

we were joined by Tuscarora, and locked through at 9:40, as there was a work boat and another pleasure craft locking up. We then crossed Big Rideau lake, in places it was 250 feet deep.  We went under the bridge at Rideau Ferry

and moved into Lower Rideau Lake where the water was much shallower.  We proceeded into some marshland and went through Poonamalie lock at noon. We continued on to the top of Lock 31 the detached lock at the edge of Smith Falls, where we saw Just Wright.  We had gone 26 miles, which was more than we had done the previous week.  We did some grocery shopping at a nearby store. Later in the afternoon Dalaina and I walked into Smith Falls to check out the next lock, and see where the Le Boat rentals were stored.  We also went to the Giant Tiger store, as Dalaina had never been in on, and wasn’t sure if they had them in British Columbia.  On our return we had drinks on our back deck, but moved up to the flybridge when the rain started.  For dinner we had chicken from KFC as it was located nearby. 

In the morning we were ready to go by 9:00 and locked through with a pontoon boat at 9:30, then on to Smith Falls combined, where another boat was added.  We then went through the flight lock at Old Slys and then we were on to Edmonds.  We waited here for 45 minutes on the blue line as they were waiting for 4 boats locking up.  We then waited another 15 minutes for a fourth boat to join us.  We led the 4 boats through a well marked channel through some marshland and arrived at Kilmarnock around noon.  Our plan was to let the other boats pass us after locking through, so we moved over to the blue line.  Andy tried to call Merrickville to see if they had mooring space, the Kilmarnock lockmaster thought that they were full.  We decided to stay put in Kilmarnock, and the lockmaster allowed us to stay on the blue line and plug into power, this usually isn’t allowed until the lock is closed.

 We had gone 6.3 miles.  We had a couple of brief rain showers during the afternoon.  At about 5:30 we were joined by a large Le Boat rental.  On the boat were three couples, one from Germany, one from England and one from Wisconsin USA.  These couples along with another couple from Texas typically get together every 3 years for a joint vacation. The couples were all dressed up on their flybridge and were celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee.

  Later there was guitar playing and singing- lots of folk songs and John Denver tunes.  Very nice people and a pleasant evening in Kilmarnock.

We left at 8:05 and proceeded to Merrickville, where we went trough 3 locks and were out by 10:35, we then had 3 locks fairly close together and were through Clowes at 11:05, Upper Nicholson at 11:15 and Lower Nicholson at 11:30, then the Burritt’s swing bridge.

  We arrived at Burritt’s Rapids at noon, and tied up on top with power.  Today’s travels were 14 miles. In the afternoon, I did some weeding in one of their lovely flower beds. 

This lock has power below the lock, and it is quieter there, I believe we stayed there on our Rideau adventure of 2016. We had a quiet night and talked to a couple of looper boats.  On Saturday we locked through and left by 9:30, we continued down the canal at 10 Km/hour.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic, but it increased the further we went. Just before Manotick, we stopped at Randy McKendry’s dock.

  Andy had made contact with him earlier in the week.  He owns several antique boats, and was featured in a Canadian yachting article a couple of years ago, as well as a TV Ontario show- tripping the Rideau.  We visited with him for over 2 ½ hours exchanging information about the McKendry family. 

Randy’s family had settled around Kingston, and owned farmland, with dairy cows, as well as sand and road building equipment.

  There is a McKendry Road, north of Kingston, where much of the family lived.

  Randy showed us some pictures of the family, as well as many of his toys, these included a Lotus, as well as several other cars, boats, motors and a 1946 motorcycle. Randy’s father was also into boats, and had made these wooden models.

  Randy’s grandfather and his brother’s were hockey player in Glenburnie in the early 1900’s. We plan to get together again on our return trip on the Rideau.  We also met Randy’s youngest daughter Emma, and puppy- Dakota. We left around 3:00, and proceeded to the Long Island lock and tied up at the finger docks by 3:45. 

We had a late supper, and Andy looked outside just before 8:00, and saw Miss Geneva—Randy’s antique Shepard boat go by. 

Andy called him on his cell phone, Randy and Emma came back and we had them raft to our boat.    We had some wine and snacks on the sun deck and visited some more, once it started to get dark, they decided that they had better head home.  We had a quiet night, but it was a little hot in the boat. We are now only 15 miles from Ottawa.

On Sunday morning at 8:00, we moved our boat to the blue line, as there was already a boat there waiting for the lock to open.  Unfortunately, they decided to lock up first so we had to wait until after 10:00 before we got to go into the first of 3 Long Island locks.   We travelled with the same 4 boats from Long Island all the way to Ottawa.  There was also a young man on a Sea doo who had never locked before who asked Andy some questions about what he had to do.  Andy gave him a piece of rope so that he had something to put around the cable. The Sea doo was with us for several locks.  We travelled through the 3 locks at Long Island, under the Vimy Memorial bridge

followed by Black Rapids.  We had to wait on the blue line before the Hogs back swing bridge, as they were locking boats up.  This location was very near to the Rideau canoe club so we needed to reduce our wakes as we were in the middle of some kayak races.  After the Hogs Back locks, we still had the two Hartwell locks to go through. I saw this weed harvester parked along the canal, it may get rid of some weeds, but there are still a lot in the the canal. 

We then needed to call the Pretoria lift bridge, so that we could get through it and enter into downtown Ottawa.

  We arrived at the docks on the Rideau and found a spot with power near Shaw Centre and the McKenzie bridge, so we tied up and plugged in. 

We were both very tired, a long day 15 miles, 7 locks and more than 5 hours in 30+ degree sun.  We put on the AC to cool down the boat.  I walked up along the canal to see if we knew any of the boats that were tied up- over 95% of the boats were from Montreal.  I thought that the construction holiday didn’t start for another week—guess some people started vacation earlier.

Monday morning, it was overcast, and the rain started just before 10:00.  I walked over to the Rideau centre to check out the shopping around 11:00.  I bought a couple shirts, one for myself and one for Andy. We are in the nation’s capital.

I came back to the boat, around noon, and shortly thereafter Karl, the electronics specialist who lives in Kanata arrived at the boat.  We wanted him to review our electrical system and check to see that our new solar panels and charger had been wired in correctly.  Karl actually did some rewiring, so that our generator battery is charged by the house battery system.  We had learned earlier in the summer, that when the generator was running, that it didn’t recharge the generator starting battery, so this issue had been solved.  Karl is going to do a little more rewiring, and we plan to go to the Thousand Islands and Ivy Lea later in the summer so he can complete this.

Once Karl left, Andy and I walked back to Rideau Centre to reprovision at the LCBO and some fruit from Farm Boys.  We also had dinner in the food court.  We didn’t get to sightsee too much as the it continued to rain most of the evening.

The predicted weather for Tuesday was 31 with a humidex of 37, and evening thunderstorms accompanied by gusting winds.  We had planned to do the staircase of 8 locks and go down to the Ottawa river on Tuesday afternoon and spend the night on the blue line.  However, with this forecast, we were not too thrilled about locking for 2 to 3 hours in the heat, and then being blown around on the docks, so we made the decision late Monday night to turn around and slowly head back towards Kingston.  We are only allowed to stay on the wall in Ottawa for a maximum of two days so our time would be up on Tuesday. If we do the down-east loop in a few years, we will be coming up the Ottawa river, so will do the staircase of 8 locks then.

Being tied up to the wall along the Rideau Canal isn’t that great, it is very noisy, with car traffic, bicycles and people.  It also isn’t that safe.  Around 1:00 a.m. we were awoken by a thud.  I looked out the bedroom window and saw people by the boat, and yelled at them.  Andy ran out to the starboard door, and saw a young woman on the boat, and a male nearby on the dock.  The woman jumped off and ran, Andy got to try his protective Wasp spray and the male left as well.  Once they were gone, we did a survey of the back of the boat, thinking that maybe they were trying to untie us.  Andy found an Apple I-phone, so he called the Ottawa police and reported the incident.  At 1:30 we were visited by a member of the police, who asked the details and took the phone. His car remained nearby for over an hour, as we thought the people would come back looking for the phone.  Andy stayed in the salon, watching until after 3:00, then came to bed.  While he was watching he saw a raccoon near the boat, also just before 3:00, several large pleasure craft drove by- they were headed to the blue line, so that they would be in line for the first lockdown.  We were woken around 6:15 by a young man yelling from the bridge above us.  Not a good night! Even though we hadn’t been anywhere but the Rideau Centre, our plan to leave Ottawa in the morning was the right decision.

We departed just before 9:00 and went thru on the first opening of the Pretoria bridge,

then it was on to Hartwell and the Hogs Back locks.  We passed by Carleton University campus.

We had hoped to stay at Black Rapids but there was no room, they had limited space because the storm in late May had damaged one of their docks.  We saw Just Wright exit the lock headed for Ottawa. 

We passed by many large houses along the Rideau, here’s a few of them packed together, very little shade in any of these yards- just grass to mow.

We went on to the Long Island flight lock and tied up below at 12:30. We travelled all day with TNT Kiss and Zebuloni, we had to tie up on the port side through the locks as TNT Kiss was a 53-foot Bayliner and we couldn’t fit behind him on starboard.   It was a hot day 30+, we took our chairs and spent the afternoon under a tree in the shade, 4 other couples joined us there.

 After dinner we sat out on the deck and read our books until dark, as it was cooler outside than in our boat. It was hard to sleep because of the heat.  In the morning we were in the second lock up, and were able to lock up on the starboard side with two other boats.  Once through the locks we proceeded the 8.5 miles to Hurst Marina.  On arrival we took on fuel, and had a pump out.  In the afternoon I did a load of laundry, and spent almost an hour in the pool, while I waited for it.  Andy joined me for a swim as well.  The pool was quite busy, mainly people from Quebec. 

For supper we went to the Swan on the Rideau restaurant which is very close to the marina.  We had arranged to meet Randy and Emma McKendry there, and over drinks, and dinner we visited for another 3 hours. There were a lot of similarities in some of the stories told by both branches of the McKendry family! Randy is taking his antique boat down to Clayton NY in early August and we may try to connect again when we go to the Thousand Islands. We had a quiet night and watched a couple episodes of Coronation Street. In the morning when I got up, I did one more load of laundry, and had it dried and folded by 7:30.   We watched a couple more coronation street so we are up to date again.  Around 10:30, we borrowed the courtesy car and drove to Manotick to pick up some perishables.  We also bought a couple larger pots and soil for my tomatoes and cucumbers, as the ones I have them in are very shallow, and the plants wilt multiple times a day, even with watering.  I did pick the first two red tomatoes today. My plan is to repot the plants once it cools down a bit.  Here’s the garden

and again after splitting and repotting.

I went for a short swim in the pool, was only able to do a couple of laps before it started to rain, so I had a shower and went back to the boat.  It was very hot and windy today with a couple of rain showers.  A large boat tried to get into the slip next to us, but was unsuccessful, so he stayed at the gas dock.  Later in the afternoon, a Le Boat rental tried backing into the same spot, several people were on the dock pulling him in and Andy and one of the dock hands were on our boat to ensure he didn’t hit us.

We plan to leave in the morning, headed for Burritt’s rapids, as that lock has power. We will continue down the canal, taking our time. My great niece, Crystal, will be golfing in the Canadian Junior’s Girls Golf Championship July 26-29 at the Marshes in Ottawa, but we will be too far away to visit with them.

End of the Trent, start of the Rideau, with an island in between.

We left Campbellford town dock at 8:45 and proceeded to the flight lock at Ranney Falls.  We were through this pair and 4 others arriving in Frankford Lock 6 at 1:30. We met several loopers headed up the TSW, the first group would have been the people that stayed at Frankford during the lock closure.

My favourite spot at Frankford, under the big tree was occupied by a boat that had broken down, so we parked in front of it, and moved a picnic table under the tree, and stayed in the shade as it was a hot day. The weather on Saturday was hot as well so we walked over to the camp ground for some Kawartha ice Cream to cool down.  On Sunday we locked down at 9:00 and continued our descent to Lake Ontario.  We had 6 locks to go and everything went fairly smoothly until we hit Lock 2, we waited for more than an hour before the lock was ready for us as boats were coming up from Trenton.  We were though Lock 1 at 12:40 and went out into the Bay of Quinte headed for Crates marina in Belleville. We arrived there at 2:00, pumped out and added 200L of fuel.  We were just tying up in our assigned slip when the rain started. 

I did some laundry and Andy had a visit with his friend Enno, who had moved to Belleville from Winnipeg about 10 years ago.

On Monday, we planned to leave however the winds were gusting to 50 Km /hr, so we paid for another day.  Around 10:00 we decided to walk to the closest grocery store to reprovision. So, we set off with our knapsack and bags, and walked to the rear of Crate’s building and looked over and saw a familiar boat-    S. Dan blocked up.

  This boat belongs to Sylvain and Celine Brasseur from Montreal, who we had met several times in 2021.  Andy asked one of the workmen if Sylvan was around and were told that he was in his vehicle behind the boat.  We waved at him through his window and he came out to greet us.  He offered us the use of this SUV to get our groceries, which we gratefully accepted.  This was the first time I was every in a vehicle where all the instructions and navigational system were in French.  I guess it never occurred to me that this would be an option.  Around noon, Sylvan, Andy and I went to the Boathouse seafood restaurant which was on the other side of the Moira River.  The guys had fish and chips and I had the shrimp trio.  In the afternoon, Andy went over some charts with Sylvan, as they will be starting the loop within the next month.  As we were talking, we learned that Gene from Orillia had done some work for Sylvan in Belleville.  Andy relayed the story of our interactions with Gene in 2019. 

On Tuesday we left Belleville at 8:30 and followed the Northern route towards Kingston, passing by Picton and the car ferry at Glenora.  We went a total of 47 miles and anchored in Kerr Bay at 1:30, off of Amherst Island. 

   The wind picked up throughout the afternoon.  By 7:00 it had calmed down a lot and we were joined by 5 other sailboats in the bay.  We weighed anchor the next morning at 8:00, lots of weeds were cleaned off the chain and anchor.  We headed towards Kingston; it was a little choppy once we were by Amherst Island.  We arrived at Cedar Island, the first island of the thousand islands at 10:00, both docks were completely empty, we choose the dock near Whiskey Island and tied up on the outside.  

Being near Fort Henry, we heard the cannon ball blast every hour until 5:00.  We had a quiet night as we were the only boat on the dock. 

Thursday morning was busier at the dock, Andy caught a bass,

and we had a deer swim to the island from Cartwright point. 

We also saw some muskrats,

another deer and ducks and geese.

  We pulled out all of our anchor chain and spread it over the dock, we wanted to mark it off in 10-foot intervals, after the initial 45 feet was marked. 

By late afternoon all the docks had filled up except for one.  For dinner we enjoyed the fresh bass- yummy!

On Friday, Canada Day- our 155th birthday, we just lazed around. It was hot so I went into the water off the back of the boat, a couple of times to cool off.  Andy only chilled his toes.

Being a holiday, with lots of boats on the water, we saw both the Park warden and the Canadian coast guard boats.

 Andy refilled some of our small green propane tanks from the 20-lb tank.  Andy showed some other boater the adapter that he uses.  That evening the Kingston fireworks display occurred at 10:00, because we were on the side of the island, some of the view was obstructed but we could see the very high ones.

On Saturday morning Andy filled the remaining two propane bottles, that had spent the night in the freezer.  He also replaced a clip on one of the solar panels that had broken off, likely during the storm at Healy falls earlier in June. We left at 9:30 so that we would make the 10:00 opening of the Bascule bridge.

We arrived at Kingston mills by 11:00 and locked up   through the four locks (#49-46) by 11:50.    We crossed Colonel by Lake and River Styx and arrived at Lock #45 Lower Brewers at 1:15, and tied up on the lower side, where we plugged into power.

  It became quite windy, so we were happy to be at a lock station.  We disposed of our garbage and recycling, and then just relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon.  We visited with Pete and Laurie, who were on the boat parked behind us.

Sunday was our 12th Wedding anniversary.  Around 10:30 we went through the lock at 45, and moved the 1.8 miles to Upper Brewers flight locks 44 and 43.  We tied up on the dock with 3 other boats where power was available.  We did not plug in as it was a sunny day and we wanted to use only our solar. For dinner we had BBQed steak and veggies, wine and dark chocolate.  On Monday, it was still quite sunny so we continued to stay off the grid.  We watched some kayak campers pack up and then paddle away with their border collie in his own spot in the kayak called- menagerie.

We went for a short walk to the dam, relaxed, read and cleaned. Andy put up some fish net, so that my cucumbers have something to climb up. As the day progressed, we were joined by 6 other boats, some came from Ottawa and others were like us headed to Ottawa.

Several couples came for a tour of our boat, and they were amazed by the room and woodwork.

On Tuesday, the rain started around 6 am, so we plugged in as very little power would be generated without sun.  I made a batch of pasta sauce, enough for supper and to freeze a container for another rainy day.  In the afternoon, some boaters came over to ask us questions about our great loop trip. It continued to rain off and on most of the day and night.

On Wednesday, we left just before 9 and went 10.4 miles to Whitefish Lake where we had planned to anchor in Morton Bay. There was a parks dock at the end of the bay and we decided to tie up there at 10:30.

About an hour later we were joined by a run-about with a family who had come to the dock so that they could swim.  They left around 3:00, and we were later joined by Just Wright, Roy and Dalaina from B.C, who we had first met at Hastings lock on the TSW.   Andy spent some time rowing around in the dinghy searching for a fish or two that could be enticed by his hook selection.  He went out several times but besides a small perch, that he threw back, he was unsuccessful.

   On Thursday we left the dock around 10:00 and went the 3.5 miles to the Jones Fall flight locks.  We had to wait about 45 minutes until we were able to enter the first lock with two other boats. We were through the last lock by 12:40. The lock was very busy we met several boats in the turning basin between 40 and 39.  Both the blue and grey line above lock 39 were full, so we went on to the finger docks by the falls and power plant and tied up.

  Not a lot of water was flowing over the rocks. 

  We walked back about a mile to Jones falls, and went to the ice cream store for a cone (Nestle’s is NOT as good as Kawartha). Later in the afternoon Dalaina and Roy stopped by for a beverage and visit.  They had tied up on the grey line at lock 39 as there was room when they came through.

  On Friday morning we left at 10:00 and moved 4 miles to the Davis lock.  We met several boats as we were crossing Sandy Lake, so we assumed that there would plenty of room, and there was.  We tied up at one of the finger locks at 11:00, and plugged into power.

At the locks we visited with two boats, which we had met in the past, Richard and Jill from Jill Kristy, that we me in Brewerton NY when we were doing our first loop.   We also met Glen and Lorraine from Plan Sea, who we had met at Rosedale back in 2020.  Around 5:00 we met up with most of the boaters at Davis lock for drinks, many of them were loopers.

On Saturday morning several of the boats left down- bound to Jones Falls.  I walked around and took a few pictures, here’s Everette, the boat cat from Plan Sea.

  Here’s a picture of the Lockmaster’s house which is rented out by Parks Canada. 

The dam at Davis, has quite a bit more water than what I had seen at Jones Falls.

 We started up our engines around 10:15 and left at 10:25. We travelled the 2 miles to Chaffey’s lock and were through it and tied up by 11:00.

We did some exploring at the lock and walked by the Opinicon Resort, lovely landscaping, flower beds

as well as an ice cream store. 

The ice cream here is made on the premises, and could compete with Kawartha. I had the coconut bounty- coconut ice cream with chunks of bounty bar in it—very good.  Andy had the rum & raisin, and he was impressed as well.   We then walked down to Brown’s marina general store for essentials- more red wine and a couple of pear ciders.  It was very busy at the locks with lots of boats going through in both directions.  There were a lot of runabouts and pontoon boats tied up on the blue line, who were stopping for lunch or ice cream.  They were not following park’s Canada rules, so at times the were impeding the movement of boats through the lock.

On Sunday morning, I saw this turtle hanging out around our boat.

  In the morning Andy and I went to the Lockmaster’s Museum for a tour and watched a short video of early life in Chaffey’s.  One scene showed the men cutting blocks of ice from the lake, to be used throughout the year to keep foodstuff cool.  Andy said he had experience doing this out at their camp many years ago.  We left Chaffey’s at 9:55, and went 4.8 miles crossing Indian, Clear and Newboro Lakes.  There were a couple of very sharp and narrow turns that had to be followed to move from lake to lake.  We tied up at the Newboro Lock around 11:00, but moved the boat once a boat that was in the shade under a tree left.  To get there we spun the boat around using ropes and the wash from the lock. We were under the tree before noon. Newboro is the summit of the Rideau canal, so we will now be locking down until we reach the Ottawa river.

  We then walked into Newborn to Kilborn’s general store.   They have an amazing assortment of clothes, kitchen items, furniture, as well as this horse. 

I bought an aluminum straw for my wine glass, as well as a pair of earrings.  We stopped at the Stagecoach inn for a sandwich and beverage. They also have a store attached with food items, and I noticed Smak Dab mustard as well as Bothwell cheese—two items that are made in Manitoba.  When we got back to the boat, I saw my second turtle of the day, this one walking across the grass. 

A little later there was a third- a huge snapping turtle in the water near the lock door.    There were only three boats on the top of the lock-Minnow Paws, Just Wright and us.  We got together for some snacks and a beverage around 5.  Sue from Minnow paws gave us some local advice about the area. 

On Monday morning, I did some cleaning, and got together any clothes that need to be washed as we were headed to Westport, where there is a laundry and shopping.  We left Newboro at 10:35 and arrived  at the Village of Westport at 11:15 and tied up. 

I then went in search of the laundry, which was about a 20-minute walk at the edge of the village.

In the afternoon we went looking for Ice cream, because it was so hot, and we were delighted that the Vanilla bean cafe and creamery served Kawaratha. 

We then went and made a reservation at the Cove Inn for dinner, as the brew pub closes at 6:00 on Mondays, and several other stores in town closed at 5:00 or were not open at all. We had docktails with Mark from the Tuscarora, a gold looper, and discussed the Rideau.  We went to the Cove Inn for dinner and  it was great on the patio.

I had a reuben and onion rings Andy had chicken wings. There was a country singer entertaining. The forecast for Tuesday was suppose to be rain showers for most of the day, so we decided to spent a second day in Westport.

Tuesday morning we were awoken by a thunderstorm with rain and wind at 5:30. I couldn’t see anything on the lake. Around 8:00 it had started to clear, and I went for a walk around town to see what time everything opened, as I wanted to check out the stores. It seemed there was no consistency, some opened at 9:30, others at 11:00 and others at noon. Here’s a view of the harbour from the bridge that connects the island to land.

We did a little bit of maintenance and cleaning on the boat, around noon I did another walk about town and checked out a store or two. Andy met me about 30 minutes later and we stopped at the LCBO for more wine. Maybe I should change the title for this post to the wine and ice cream tour. Andy returned to the boat, and I went to a couple more stores, around 1:30 the skies opened and we had our second huge rain for the day. Luckily Andy got back to the boat in time to close all the windows. Once I returned we caught up on a few episodes of Coronation street. For dinner we plan to try out the brew pub or another restaurant.

The plan for tomorrow is to leave early and be at Lock 35, the Narrows at 9:00, we want to go as far as Smith Falls Lock 31 That would be a 20 plus mile day crossing the Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes and 3 locks- long day for us. Smith Falls is about halfway up the Rideau- we would still have another 60 miles before reaching Ottawa. It has taken us 11 days to do the first 40 miles, we plan to go a little faster on our approach to Ottawa, and hope to be there next Monday- July 18th. The Quebec construction holiday starts on July 25th, and we would like to be out of the national capital before that, and working on our return trip to Kingston. We hope to stop at every lock for a night, and revisit the locks we enjoyed on our way to Ottawa. I should be able to blog update my blog more often as we head toward the big city, in some of the places we’ve been over the last couple of weeks, cell phone coverage was very weak.