Monthly Archives: August 2022

Taking our time in friendly waters

We left Campbellford Old Mill park before 9:00 and were through lock 13 by 9:25 through Crowe Bay by 10:00 and Healey falls by 10:45, and the Healey flight lock by 11:15.  We then followed the Trent river to Hastings and tied up on the bottom, as there was no room on the top.  They have lovely flowers growing in several canoes here.

 We had gone about 20 miles and 6 locks.  It was Hasting’s waterfront festival, and there were lots of people in town, many having come by pontoon or bowriders.  A lot of the activities including axe throwing and musical performers was taking place across the canal at Hastings Village Marina. 

  We walked around town a little and went for Ice cream.  Around 4:00, some room opened up on the top of the lock, so we locked through and tied up.  We were in front of Grace too, which we had last seen on the rideau.    We walked to LCBO, which is very close to the canal, and purchased more wine and cider.  We then spent some time reading on the back deck.  I saw a guy with a snake around his neck- he said it was a boa constrictor and I saw him drape it around a little girl’s neck—not something I would do!

In the morning, we were up early as our plan was to leave around 6:00 for the trek to Peterborough.  Andy was up and made coffee before 6:00, however he checked the weather and saw that a thunderstorm cell was predicted for 7:30, so we stayed put.   The storm and rain hit about 7:30 and was over by about 9:00, so we ended up leaving around 9:30, it was 40 miles across Rice Lake and down the Otonabee river, it did rain a couple of times, but not for long. 

We reached Scott’s mills Lock 19 by 2:05, we got to Ashburnham by 2:15, but had to tie up and wait, as the Lift lock tour boat was on its way.  We were through Ashburnham at 3:00, and the Peterborough Lift lock by 3:20.  We decided to keep going and were through Nassau Mills Lock 22 by 4:15.

  We decided to tie up here, as there were some dark clouds around us, and we had gone 45 miles.  The lockmaster here, was Kirk, who had been at Buckhorn for a number of years so we had a visit with him once we were tied up.

  Around 5:30 we met Korban, Kirk’s son, and took him for a tour of our boat, Andy even showed him the engine room, and how he checks the oil.   We gave him a few candies from our Campbellford chocolate stash.

  At the end of the day Korban, donned a life jacket, and closed the lock gate- wonder if he want’s to be a lockmaster like Dad.  

 The rain held off until about 11:00 and we had a big downpour that woke us both up.

In the morning, it was just starting to drizzle when we left Nassau Mills at 9:10 and were through Otonabee at 9:35, Douro at 10:05, Sawer Creek at 10:30 and Lakefield at 11:00.  We were tied up under a tree by 11:10 and plugged into power, as the solar panels would be almost useless in the rain. 

I finished reading my book, and did a little cleaning on the outside decks.  Here’s some of the vegetables and flowers growing in the planter boxes.

On Tuesday morning we walked to town and went to Foodland and the hardware store.  We stopped for coffee and a muffin at the ice cream shop.  Didn’t have ice cream as it was Central Smith and not Kawartha.  We came back to the boat, and decided to stay another day, as it looked like it may rain again.  Shortly after lunch we were joined by three boats, which we had previously met a couple of years ago in Rosedale.  One of the boats, Plan Sea, we had recently saw when we were on the Rideau.  We spent the afternoon visiting with them at the picnic table under the shade of the trees- as the forecast was wrong again, and there was no rain in sight.

On Wednesday morning we left at 8:30 and travelled to the Young’s Point lock and were through by 9:30, we then moved on to Burleigh Falls, and were through it by 10:00.  We were in this lock with 2 house boats, that were part of a 7-boat family reunion- we stayed far away from them, entering the lock once they were tied up to their cables.  We then moved on to Lovesick lock and were through it by 11:30. Our last lock for the day was Buckhorn and we were through it by 12:25.  We called Buckhorn Yacht Harbour and tied up by the launch ramp by 12:50.  In the afternoon we asked Pat in the marina office, to print off some papers that we required signed and sent in, so that we could retrieve our medical records, from our doctor’s office.   Andy talked to the service department, and a couple items from our list will be worked on in the morning. I saw this person removing weeds from the marina basin.

We ordered pizza for supper, and went to pick it up in our car. Once again, we caught up on missed Coronation episodes. I picked a dozen ripe tomatoes off one of my Prairie Pride plant, not sure if I will grow cucumbers again next year, as I had dozens of blossoms, but only one cucumber matured.

On Thursday morning, Ralph checked our strainers for weeds, and also found the diesel leak, which was a fine spray coming from a pump fitting.  He was able to tighten the bolt and applied some sealant to stop the leak.  Todd re-arranged some of the cables on our VHF and AIS, so that the VHF radio now appears to be working correctly.  We also spoke to Cindy in the canvas shop, and asked to have 6 missing or broken twist lock fasteners on our flybridge replaced.  We drove to Foodland and picked up a few items.

In the afternoon we drove to Bancroft to visit with Muriel and Brian, as Muriel had just come home from the hospital last weekend, after having surgery.  We had stopped at the Kawartha dairy store in Bancroft, and picked up ice cream, so we all had a bowl.  Before leaving town, we stopped at Brian and Helen’s for a short visit as well.  Upon leaving we decided to go back to the boat, and then drive to Peterborough to look for a car radio, to replace the non-functioning one on the boat.  As well, we wanted to look for a new computer for Andy’s as his has a lot of issues, and is being held together by duct tape.  We were successful buying a computer at Walmart and the radio at Canadian Tire. 

We stopped for supper at Wendy’s, and then rushed back to the boat.  The rain was really coming down, at times it was hard to see out the windows.  We got home at 7:45, which was good, as my book club Zoom meeting was at 8:00 with Helen, Sheila and Jess.

It continued to rain until 9:30 and then seemed to stop, although more rain is in the forecast Friday. We plan to leave this morning, and spend a day or two at the Buckhorn lock, and possibly go back to both of Lovesick and Burleigh Falls for a night ( two of the locks on my list- where we haven’t stayed). We have been on the boat for three months now, I’m ready to go home, however the captain would like to spend another month on the water, and is talking about coming back in November, provided winter hasn’t settled in, to assemble what will become our sundeck cover and solar panel frame. He has asked BYH for a quote on the materials required.

Back in Friendly waters!

We left Crates at 10:25. There was a pancake breakfast happening, so we stayed for breakfast before leaving. As we passed Trenton there was a plane that kept flying the same pattern multiple times, but didn’t land– must have been practicing!

  We arrived at Lock 1 Trenton around noon and Locked through by 12:40. We moved a couple miles and locked through Sydney at 1:00.  Then it was on to Glen Miller and we were through it at 1:45. We had contemplated staying at lock 3, but were told that Lock 4 was better as it was quieter.  We locked through at Batawa at 2:20 and were tied up by 2:30.

Pulling into the lock we saw a boat and a bunch of people having lunch.  It turned out that it was Rick and Linda from Compromise with their family. We tried to have a short visit with only one “long story short” but it didn’t happen.  Andy gave the Compromised family a tour of our boat.   We had a peaceful afternoon, and were joined by one other boat on the wall.  The lock station was a lockmaster’s house and is more than a hundred years old.

On Saturday morning, we stayed tied up and helped a number of boats tie up on the blue line.  One boat had an issue with one of its engines, but was able to restart it.  As they rushed to the next lock, two of their fenders fell off.  They didn’t seem to notice.  The one fender was fairly close to our locations- so Andy became the fender fetcher.  He got into our dinghy and rowed to where the fender was and retrieved it.  The second fender was close to a mile away, so we waited until it was closer, and on our side of the canal, before he launched the dinghy a second time and retrieved that fender.   The lock staff at Batawa had been in contact with lock staff farther up the canal, to say the fenders had been retrieved.  One of the lock staff from Lock 5, came and picked them up and delivered them to Lock 6, where the boat was waiting.  Good job Captain- you’ll get a gold star someday!  At 1:15, we moved on a mile to Lock 5- Trent and were through the lock by 1:50 and tied up.    The lock station at this lock is a twin to the last lock station.  Here’s pictures of it, it had a lot of flowers, and tomatoes growing, and I spent some time pulling weeds- Do you think I’m missing my weedy garden?

On Sunday we decided to stay at Trent.  We did some window cleaning

and waxing on the outside of the boat, as well Andy gave some of the teak railing another coat of Cetol.  We relaxed outside under the cedar tree reading in the afternoon.

  Later, Cat’s Pause with Phil and Caroll joined us on the lock wall.  We had previously seen them in Westport. They have a cover over their front hatch which I find interesting– it maybe a winter project to duplicate something like it for our boat.

In the morning we left Trent lock and moved on to Frankford lock at 10:15, and moved to our favorite spot under the shade of the big willow tree.

We were joined by Springbok and Nauti Jenny in the early afternoon.  Around 1:00, we talked to Lakewood Medical and got an appointment to meet a new doctor when we return in October. Around 2:00 we walked by the park canteen and had some Kawartha ice cream we then went into town to the grocery store, pharmacy and LCBO.  On our return we joined Rick and Jenny and Steve and Sandra under the willow tree for drinks and a visit. 

Rick and Jenny have completed the loop but are now doing the Canada piece.  Steve, Sandra and Oakley are from Reach harbour near Buckhorn, they have two boats, one for travelling around and another one that they live on full time.

In the morning, boats going south left, however those going on to Lock 7 Glen Ross stayed tied up, this was because two boats had become trapped in the lock when the water could not be released.  There was a hydraulic issue.  Before noon, the two boats came through to Lock 6, however there was still an issue at Lock 7, as the lock could not be filled. By 1:00 there were already 7 boats at Frankford, including Rick and Linda on Compromise.  We spent the afternoon at the picnic table visiting and drinking.

We have been friends with Rick and Linda for almost a year having met them in Frankford a couple of times in September of 2021.  Andy and Rick get along like brothers, and are always joking back and forth.  Prior to their arrival at Frankford, Andy had sent Rick a picture of the table under the coveted willow tree, this is what Rick changed the signage to after we left on Wednesday.

 For supper the four of us walked into Frankford to the new 3 Jacks steak restaurant.  Once we returned from town, we visited on our boat with the AC running as it was quite muggy outside.  In the morning a couple boats left in both directions.  Around 10:30 we decided to fire up and move on a couple of locks.  After we were through Glen Ross we tied up and went to the store for ice cream as well as Andy got some worms for fishing. Our friends Dave and Claudia from Still Waters II don’t think we’ve been eating enough Kawartha- so we are going to have to sacrifice our waistlines and eat more.   We then went about 12 miles to Percy Reach; we were joined in this lock by a bowrider with people from Calgary.  We continued on to Lock 9 Meyers and tied up. 

It was around 2:00, and a rain shower was imminent.  After the first shower, I went for a short walk to check out the Oasis cabins- which actually look like pods up in the trees. 

  There were two at this location.  I talked to a woman on Thursday morning who had stayed in one, and said that they creak and move a little when you are walking in them.  She also said that they cost $140/night.  For a washroom and shower they have to walk up to the lock house.  They now have Oasis cabins at locks 8, 9 and 10. The modular showers are also available for use by boaters- so I tried one out in the morning. 

The lock house at this location is the same design as the ones in Batawa and Trent- so now we seen three of them.  Not quite as many flowers at this one as at Trent, but still very well maintained for being over a hundred years old.  There has not been much rain and the grass at most locks along the TSW is dry and brown.

We had several more rain showers in the afternoon and evening, accompanied by thunder and lightning. 

In the morning we left Meyers and travelled to Hague’s reach and were thru by 9:45. We then moved on to the double lock at Ranney falls and were through by 10:30.  We were tied up in Old Mill Park at 10:50.  We had gone a total of 4.6 miles.  Our friends from Compromise arrived around 1:15, as they were coming all the way from Frankford. Shortly after 2:00 our friends Brian and Helen arrived.  With a car they took us to World’s Finest Chocolate ( where we bought this stash of chocolate treats),

the Beer store, V&S and Sharpe’s grocery store. Saved us having to lug bags around town.  We went for an early supper to 52 North pub and grill.  Helen and Brian left shortly after for the drive home to Bancroft.  We sat at the picnic table until dark visiting with Rick and Linda. We saw several first responders at the dock across the canal around 9:00- not sure what was going on.

In the morning after several of the boats, including Compromise left before 9:00 to make the first lock.  We moved our boat on the wall so it would be closer to fill up our water tank. 

We learned that there was an issue in one of the locks and Compromise’s trip to Frankford had been delayed because of weeds at Percy’s Reach, but they were able to reach Frankford and claim the willow tree again.

We did some more shopping, going to Dooher’s Bakery, Dollarama and No Frills.  I walked over to the laundry mat and washed a couple loads of clothes.  Once the clothes were drying, I went to D’s island shack for an extra spicy chicken roti. On my return to the boat, we caught up on a few episodes of Coronation street. Starting around 4:00 the wind started to pick up and then we had a rain shower.

So far we have stayed at 3 locks on the TSW that we had never stayed at before, and I was able to remove them from my list.

Back at home, we got an update on the progress of our new apartment building, the builders are now starting on the third floor where are apartment is to be.

We will be leaving Campbellford in the morning, likely going as far as Hastings. We hope to be back in Buckhorn by the middle of next week, as we are having a few minor fixes done to the boat before moving farther northwest on the TSW.

Short visit to the Thousand Islands

We fired up the engines at 6:30 and pulled out of the marina, so that we were in line for the 7 am opening.   We proceeded past Cedar island and down the Bateau channel towards Ivy Lea.  We arrived at the restaurant dock and gave Karl a call.  He arrived on the boat around 11:00.  He rechecked the generator connection that he had done in Ottawa, he also reviewed the electrical diagram that Andy had sketched out for the boat.  We wanted Karl to disconnect the water heater, battery charger and refrigerator from the inverter loop.  Karl also gave us some advice on Andy’s plan for additional solar and the possibility of changing from lead acid batteries to lithium ion.   He also looked at our VHF radio, as Andy has been having issues with it recently. We ordered Pizza from the restaurant for lunch, we looked around for our Wayne and Roxanne’s boat- but didn’t see it in any of the slips.  Karl was finished by 3:00 and then we were off to look for a parks dock to tie up at.  We lucked out and found a spot at 3:40 on Georgina island with a couple other boats- Alabar and Betty on the main dock.

  We soon found out that Alan and Barbara knew several other boaters that we had met over the past few years- small world!  The L- dock on Georgina and the back dock was full, mainly Quebecers.   There were 5 or 6 boats anchored and rafting behind the island as well.

On Saturday morning, Andy made scones, cooking them on the BBQ.  Later in the morning we had front row seating for the Poker derby race by the noisy high-performance boats.  With the great view we also were the recipients of the wakes from these boats, and all other boats passing in front of Georgina. 

The poker run ran from Kingston to Prescott and back, so we had high traffic again around 2:30.  In the evening the boat traffic diminished.  On Sunday morning, we moved to Hill Island and found a spot at the end of the dock.  This island dock was also full of Quebec boats.  We turned on our generator to re-charge our batteries for about 45 minutes, and I got rid of garbage and re-cycling.  In the thousand islands there are only 4 designated islands that allow generators and have other amenities.

We were in contact with Scott and Megan from the sailboat Betty.  They had wanted to come to Hill, we had arranged that once they got near, we would vacate our spot, so they could have it, as they had an 18-month-old son that needed to be off the boat in order to stay occupied.  When they were within 10 minutes of the dock, we pulled out.   There was another cruiser that raced them to the spot but Betty prevailed and was able to tie up.  We proceeded westward.  We cruised by Mulcaster island and there were no spots.  We continued on to Gordon island, and tied up on the outside dock at 1:30, as there were a couple run-about type boats on the inside. The wind was starting to blow, and rain was predicted for Monday.  When the second run-about was ready to leave, they assisted in moving to the inside.  Andy let out the anchor, and we attached it to the inside dock cleat.  Andy had also rigged up a rope from our port stern line so that as he backed up and let out more chain that ran along the dock, I could tie the port side line and pull it in as he moved forward.  This intricate maneuver worked and we were soon tied up on the inside of the dock.   We were joined on the dock by a houseboat rental a little later.    It was a hot day; I went into the water multiple times to cool down. The winds had died down a little in the morning, and the rain had not begun, so we decided to move a little more east.  We left Gordon and proceeded towards the group of Admiralty islands near Gananoque.  We lucked out when we were near McDonald island, a boat was just leaving one of the slips, so we pulled in at 9:15 and tied up. 

We had gone about 6 miles. 

 The boat next to us was Elysium, who hail from Crates in Belleville.  We had seen their Bay liner there on our last visit.  We also met up with Splash landing which we had seen several times on the Rideau. Andy contacted Just Wright and told them that there was space at McDonald, they arrived in the early afternoon.

 We had drinks with them, and caught up on where they had been and what Perth was like.  The wind increased as the day progressed, we were glad to be tied up. 

On Tuesday morning, we went over to say our goodbyes to Just Wright and learned that they had a visitor during the night- a raccoon.  It had dug up one of their plants. 

We decided to leave around 9:15 headed for Cedar island.  When we were about an hour into our trip, we heard back from Prinyer’s cove, and they had a spot for the night so we continued on.  We arrived at Prinyer’s at about 1:30, having gone almost 40 miles from McDonald.  

  I did a couple of loads of laundry. In the evening we were included in the burger night that is held every Tuesday during the summer.  We met a lot of the neighbors from around the marina as well as other boaters.

On Wednesday morning, Andy learned that our doctor had passed away about 6 weeks ago.  Andy had been trying to call his office for the past few weeks trying to make an appt for October.  We called our neighbor from Winnipeg, to find out where his doctor was.  We called Lakewood medical centre and filled in new patient registration forms.   Just before 11:00 we left the marina and proceeded westward 18 miles to Hay bay.  We anchored behind Ram Island in 15 feet of water around 1:00. 

Andy tried some fishing, and I relaxed and read a book.  None of the fish were interested in what the old guy was offering, so we settled on BBQ steak for supper.  We were joined by two other boats at the anchorage before nightfall.

On Thursday morning, we weighed anchor at 8:35 and proceeded out of Hay Bay and entered the main channel headed for Deseronto.  Our depth instrument was acting erratic showing negative depths when we were in 30 feet of water, this problem continued for more than an hour.  We arrived at Crates Marina in Belleville at 11:45 and went directly to the gas dock for a pump out, fuel and our slip assignment.  We were tied up by 12:15.    We had lunch, and then Andy called his friend Enno to see if he could take us for some groceries and to refill one of our propane tanks.   Enno came around 2:00 and took us around Belleville to complete our tasks.  We stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee as well.  We were back on the boat by 4:00.  I went and put in a load of laundry, and Andy looked at some of our Garmin components.  It seems like our VHF radio only transmits on channel 16 and 68. We also have a fuel leak on the starboard engine, and the people at Crates were too busy to look at it. Will have to try somewhere else on the TSW for this issue.   We caught up on some missed episodes of Coronation Street and then Andy watched the highlights of the Blue bomber game against Montreal. This morning we will be heading back towards the TSW.

End of the Rideau and hopefully the Quebec Navy!

On Friday July 22nd we left Hurst Marina at 8:25 and travelled 17 miles to Lock 17, Burritt’s Rapids.  We arrived at 10:25 and tied up below the lock, as it had more shade.  A boat, Believe which was tied up near us the previous time we were at Burritt’s was also below the lock. Above the lock was Water lily with Tom and Peggy and Nailla from Hamilton.  We invited them down to share our shade and for drinks and snacks later in the afternoon, and so Nailla could do for a swim and cool off.

  I spoke with the lockmaster and asked if they had a hoe or rake, so that I could help them out with some weeding in the flower beds.

We watched many boats arrive as the construction holiday in Quebec officially starts at the end of shift Friday. However, it appears that some have left early as we’ve been surrounded by PQ boats all week.  It was a hot day; the air conditioning ran non-stop to cool down the boat.  Early Saturday, morning I spent about an hour weeding the flower beds around the lock house.  Later in the morning, we watched some spots on the docks be vacated, only to fill up again.   A couple boats docking were complaining about the wind- we were happy in the shade tied to a dock. Across from the boat there was a farm with several horses, for several hours in the afternoon, I watched someone cut the grass with a riding lawnmower.  What I didn’t know until later was that they were preparing the field for Polo.

  I later saw several riders with sticks and a ball. 

Other sighting on Saturday afternoon was this boat/car which went past,

as well as this floating pad that drifted by with several people and drinks. 

It was another hot day, there was a staffing shortage, so no fees for power were collected on Saturday.  On Sunday morning Andy talked to the lockmaster and paid the money owing as well as for an additional day.  Typically, you are only allowed to stay two nights, but we had heard that some stormy weather was predicted for later in the day, so we wanted to stay tied up.  As the day progressed the wind picked up and the sky darkened.  In the evening at 9:30 and 10:30 we got two alerts on our phones saying the strong thunderstorms were imminent.  Didn’t make for a good sleep.

On Monday we left at 9:40, on the 3rd lock up by ourselves and were thru Burritt’s lock by 10:10. We went through the swing bridge and on to Lower Nicholson, they were just loading the lock with 4 boats, and we tied up on the blue line.  It seemed like a very nice lock, and had recently renovated washrooms.  Andy asked the lock master if we could tie up for the night, but were told that locking was only available on the blue line below the lock but it was too early in the day.  Above the lock is a basin, used for boats meeting from Upper and Lower Nicholson, so no mooring is allowed there.   We went through Lower Nicholson and on to Upper Nicholson, we were through and tied up on the blue line by noon.  Once again, we were happy to be tied up as the wind was starting to gust.  After lunch we did a little cleaning on the teak railing, Andy sanded off the stain in a couple of places and touched it up with Cetol. Around 2:30, I went for a walk into the town of Andrewsville.  I saw this sign to save this bridge,

I also walked down Andrewsville main street, and counted 4 houses.  Saw this sign about country living- only 4 neighbors would be great!

On the way back to the boat saw these people tubing in the creek. 

We had a cool quiet night.

On July 26th we left upper Nicholson at 8:50 and proceeded to Clowes lock #20, we waited for a couple of upbound boats, and were through the lock by 9:35.  We met the Kawartha Voyager just before reaching Merrickville, we have seen it multiple times this summer.

We were through the Merrickville flight locks of 21-23 by 11:00 We met upbound boats in the basin between locks 22 and 23.    We were in luck, we tied up at a dock in the Merrickville pond at 11:20 with power.  The previous three times that we went through Merrickville, the pond was always full.    We walked into town and checked out some of the stores.  We had lunch and bought some locally made fudge and caramels as the Ice cream store was closed.

On Wednesday morning we were up early and saw three boats pull out at 6:30 headed for Kilmarnock, the next lock, 8 miles away.  We decided to fire up at 7:30 and head that way as well.  A couple French people from one of the small cruisers helped us shove off.  Within a few minutes, I saw them leaving the dock as well. About 10 minutes later the two cruisers waved as they passed us in succession going full speed.  We were not able to recover from the first wake before the second hit, lots of things went flying within the cabin.  In the 8 mile stretch to Kilmarnock we were passed in a similar fashion by another 5 boats, all from Quebec.  We slowed down our pace as there were now 8 boats ahead of us and it wasn’t yet 9:00 when the first lock up was scheduled.  Four boats went through at 9:00, another boat came up behind us and we said that they could go ahead of us with the remaining 4 boats that were waiting- this would allow us to lock up alone.  However, the plan changed- one of the boats decided to stay at Kilmarnock, so we had to lock through with this group- and on the Port side which we detest.   Another thing, once the lock door closed, one of the boats cranked up their music so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself think, nor could I hear Andy giving me directions through the headset.  We were the last to leave the lock and chugged along to the next lock- Edmonds, where the first lock up was just finishing, and three boats were tied to the blue line.  The lockmaster there, told the other boats that the big boat—us, would go in first.  So, we went to the front on the starboard side.  Typically, if you are first in- you are also first out- but maybe that doesn’t compute in Quebec brains, as the boat on the port side drove out as soon as the doors opened.  We went second.  After the lock, we were again passed by the two boats that had been at the rear of the lock.  People from Quebec also don’t know what a slow pass is.  We arrived at Old Slys, we had decided to hold back on the blue line, so that we didn’t have to lock trough with these 3 ignorant boaters, however the lockmaster wanted us to go through and stop on the other side of the flight lock, as two 60-foot boats would be arriving shortly.  We did a crossover in this lock as another boat was in the upper chamber and locking down.  This would be our second crossover in 2022, as we had one in the Healy locks in June.  The lockmaster said that there was room in Smith Falls so we decided to continue on with this group. When we got to the top of Smith Falls lock 29A, there was a mad dash by these boats to get to the power pedestals in the park.  We had no desire to be anywhere near these people so tie up on the grey line by the dam,

across from the Le Boat rentals without power around noon. 

  I gathered up our dirty clothes and headed to the laundromat.  While I was gone the two 60 footers tied up behind us- great surrounded by the French Navy again! Around 3:00 we walked over to Giant Tiger to pick up a few groceries.  We relaxed on the back and read our book, as there was a nice breeze.  Andy bbq’d veggies and salmon for supper, we played some cards and went to bed when it was dark.  The rain woke me up around 3:30, but it didn’t seem to rain for very long, next a train woke me.  Not a good night for sleeping for either of us.

On Thursday there was some bad weather predicted, so we decided to stay put where we were.  We watched boats come and go.  We decided to walk up past lock 31 to Walmart and the beer store.  After lunch, Just Wright locked up and we moved our boat a little so they could fit in between us and Child of the sun, loopers from Spokane Washington.  Late afternoon they stopped by for a beer and a catchup.  They told us about their experience of doing the step locks, and where they had anchored on the Ottawa River.  We waited all day for the predicted rain and thunderstorms but they didn’t materialize.  On Friday morning we waited for all the boat shuffling around us for power and moving to the blue lines.  Andy started up our engines at 10:50 and we went to the blue line which was finally clear.  Boats had begun to move there at 6:30 to ensure they were the first ones through. We locked through with Just Wright, child of the Sun and one other boat.  Child of the Sun and us moved on the two miles to lock 32 Poonamalie. 

After locking through we tied up in the shade and plugged in, a very quiet place.  We did some more cleaning of the teak and Andy applied a coating of cetol to parts of the railing.  Andy talked with Daniel from the boat tied up behind us and learned about some good anchorages in Big Rideau Lake.

On Saturday morning we decided to stay one more night before moving on.  We saw Just Wright on the first lock up, they were planning to take the Tay canal and go to Perth.  We were unable to go there as the canal is only 4 feet, which is too shallow for us.  We did some more cleaning and relaxing and stayed out of the sun.

On Sunday morning we left around 8 and headed for the Lower Rideau followed by Big Rideau.  We checked out several of the suggested anchorages in Nobles Bay.  We continued on to Lock 35 the narrow, which divides Big Rideau Lake from Upper Rideau Lake.  This lock is only a 3-foot lift/fall, but by adding it in the original rideau canal plan, it allowed for less rock excavation at the Newboro lock.

We were almost in the lock to go through when we spotted a spot on the dock, so we moved to it at 10:50 tied up and plugged in.  It was supposed to be hot with a humidex of over 35 so we wanted power.

It was too hot to do any work outside.  We met some people we had first met in Upper Brewers several weeks before, Andy and Renee sat down and reviewed our charts for Lake Superior, as Splash Landing- Renee’s boat plans to go there next summer. Later in the afternoon we learned that there is a racoon issue at the Narrows, and several boats have been damaged by it.  In order to obstruct his entry to our boat, Andy opened the propane locker and put a 20 lb tank on our swim platform, we also made sure that all our windows were tightly closed for the night.  We had no issues.

On Monday morning, August 1st, when we first got up it was fairly foggy.  Around 8:30 we got ready to switched places with Splash pad who was on the blue line, so that we would be in the first lock up. We locked through with two other boats and were through by 9:15. Then it was a 5-mile crossing of Upper Rideau Lake before reaching the Newboro lock.  We were through this one by 10:15. We locked through with Tom and Peggy from water lily, who had spent the weekend in Westport.  Our next lock was Chaffey’s which was again 5 miles away across Newboro Lake.  We arrived before 11:00, however were delayed waiting for another boat.  We got through this one at 11:35. We are now locking down until we reach Lake Ontario, as Newboro Lake is the summit of the Rideau canal.  We then had two miles to Davis Lock #38, where we tied up on the top and plugged into power by noon.  French still appears to be the language of choice for many of the boaters at this lock.

We left the next morning on the first lock down with another boat and were through by 9:15. We moved on to Jones Falls, and there was no wait there we were through the 4 locks by 10:40. There were some dark clouds and we did have a rain shower when we were near Seely Bay.  We were tied up at Upper Brewers by noon, and had another shower after 1:00, but the showers didn’t last long and it was soon hot and sunny. We met Martin on the dock we had previously met in 2020 and recognized our boat and said he follows my blog.  Martin and Kim live in Bobcaygeon, and their boat is called Grace too.   He has just switched over to Lithium batteries, so that got Andy thinking that we might need to upgrade, after we add more solar.   Andy called Confederation Basin marina in Kingston to try and book a slip for the next night, but they told him that they need 48 hours in order to book, but we could call them on VHF 68 when we were near the marina to find out it, they have a last-minute spot.  Doesn’t make any sense to us.  After supper, Andy did a little more touching up of the railing with cetol, he also gave the dining table a thin coat as well.  We played cards and went to bed early.

On Wednesday we locked down with Grace too at 9:35 and proceeded to Lower Brewers.  I walked up to the lock, and there was no one around, we later found out that they were working at the dam, so we had about a 40-minute wait before locking through.  We then had the 10 mile stretch through River Styx and Colonel By Lake, I saw these Swans, not sure if they were attacking each other or doing a Swan dance.

We arrived Kingston Mills locks by 11:45.  We had missed a lockdown, and they had many boats at the bottom, so they were doing a double lock up, we were told that we would have a 2 hour plus wait.  We finally got into the first lock at 2:30 and were through by 3:30. We decided to tie up on the grey line at the bottom, as the bascule bridge does not open at 4 or 5, so we would have had to wait for the 6 pm opening. 

We had also called confederation basin to see about dockage and they were full.  We tried calling Gananoque for Thursday night but they were full as well. Here’s a picture of these really old locks.

 We left Kingston Mills around 8:30 following a boat called Hard at Play, this boat had hit something in the channel on the River Styx yesterday so was running on one engine.  We followed him to the gas dock at Kingston Marina.  He was able to get a slip, and we got one along the wall without power.    We filled up with water and then moved to the wall once the space was vacated. Here’s one of the types of boats that they manufacture at Kingston Marine.

Once we were settled, we walked to Food Basics and the LCBO for supplies.  On our return Andy went in and paid for our slip.

Our goal on the Rideau was to try and stop at every lock that we could.  There were 24 lock stations that we travelled through and we stayed at 17 of them in 2022 and one additional one, Hartwell, back in 2016.  So, a total of 18, which would be 75% of them.   We had asked the lockmasters at two stations- Old slys and Lower Nicholson if we could stay but they only allow it at end of the day.  Black Rapids had limited space due to fallen trees earlier in the year.  We chose not to stay at Hog’s Back as it wasn’t desirable- a wooden dock inhabited by Canada Geese. The other two locks we missed were Clowes and Edmonds, but they were in a grouping of locks and it didn’t make sense to stop.  Many of the lock stations we stopped at both going up and again on our return trip.  We were on the Rideau a total of 34 days, almost double what we spent on it in 2016.  We took our time going to Ottawa, in hindsight we should have planned better so that we didn’t overlap with the Quebec construction holiday. 

We will go through the Bascule bridge tomorrow at the 7 am opening as we have an appointment with Karl at Ivy Lea on Friday morning.   We hope to spend a few days in the Thousand Islands before heading back towards Trenton and the TSW.