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.

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