Jul 242012

We were up and out by 8:15 today and made our way to a lovely spot in Smith’s  Falls.  The travel down was windy with 30 km winds.  Not much fun in locks with 5 – 6 boats in them, tight squeeze and no room for error or circumstance.  One lock has this tiny channel that leads up to the lock and there were already 5 boats waiting.  In the lock was a ferry that took up the entire lock and left no room for us to tie up to in the channel.  We were told to turn around.  Easy for them to say when they are not driving and the waterway is smaller than what we need to turnaround.  Backing out was not an option due to the wind and the way the bow handles in high winds.  After some boating negotiation we managed to squeeze into a spot with the help of about 8 fellas.  Scott is amazing at driving this thing.

For those that plan to do the Rideau it would be an asset to contact the Sly’s locks to be sure that tiny channel is clear before you get there. Otherwise it may be a not so pleasant experience.

So now I sit happily on the wall in a small harbour town, Aiden is catching every sunfish imaginable and Scott has gone to the grocery store on our bike.  The sun is setting and leaving today behind with a glowing show of colours.

 Posted by at 2:34 AM
Jul 232012

Today we followed the Rideau Canal with not much to really talk about except for the pending storm.  We decided that only after 4 hours of travel that we would stay at Lock which is Burritt’s Rapids.  It was darn hot at over 90 degrees so the first thing on our minds  was a swim in the river.  Funny, cause it was just us and a couple kids that went in when there must have been 8 boats waiting out the storm.

T showers, clouds, heavy rains didn’t damper our day.  The boys went for a hike to see the dam while I started on a glass of wine and watched the storm changing into a major event. Lightning was everywhere.  The thunder in the distance became very close in a short time.  The boys wandered  in soaking wet and that’s when the rain really came down.  Heavy droplets that sounded like hail, clouds that were as black as ever with lightning every second or so.  Actually  it was quite refreshing to see rain after this much drought. The only major disadvantage was that Internet was not available.

 Posted by at 2:33 AM
Jul 222012

Robin, Tom and family joined us for a trip down the Rideau Canal in Ottawa to Dow’s Lake for diesel, water and pump out.  After saying our so longs it was back to the matter at hand and on to the next set of locks here in the canal.

We now rest on a cute little area here in Long Island,  ON  along the Rideau.  We have managed to time our trip with a huge Quebec holiday, the construction holiday.  A lot of people get in their boats and travel the exact same route we are doing for the next week.  These  locks are going to be busy .  Presently we are the only English speaking boat in this spot.  Us and  7 French speaking boats.    We are hoping to be one of the first boats through the locks in the morning.  There are 3 here.

 Posted by at 1:51 AM
Jul 212012

We visited the Parliament Buildings today.  We went into The House of Commons and The Senate chambers, the Tower and through the Centre Building.  Spectacular  architecture was everywhere you looked .  I highly recommend a visit to our nation’s capital.

Then it was off to Robin, Tom and Family for a much overdue visit where we spent the afternoon reminising of the old days.   Scott and Tom have been friends since grade school and Robin and I went to grade school together as well.  Small world.  It was so much appreciated for your hospitality, utilizing your washer and dryer and shower.  Aiden had so much fun playing monopoly with Matt.  It was really nice to meet your kids.  They will be going places for sure.

We arrived back at the boat around 11:00 and were awakened sometime in the night by the security on the waterfront.  Apparently someone boarded our boat and they chased them down the waterfront but lost them.  I got up to check what all the commotion was about only to find that the boat behind us had its bow line unhooked and it was floating sideways.        So three nights out of 10 there has been an issue.  That is a sad statistic.



 Posted by at 1:49 AM
Jul 202012

Plans today were to head to Ottawa.  We went through the lock yesterday in order to get on our way early this morning.  On the northern route through some of the most picturesque  areas of Ontario we passed lakes, rivers and wildlife areas with ease and contentment.  We were able to do  almost 100 miles in just over  3 1/2 hours.  Weather was perfect. Winds were perfect.

So here we are in Ottawa sitting on a terminal wall dreaming of a day off from driving and dream of having a hot shower and clean laundry.  That  is tomorrow’s task.

We have a BBQ planned with old friends who live here.  Thanks Robin and Tom for your hospitality.

A display of the pics for today just don’t do the sky line justice!!!!

 Posted by at 12:18 PM
Jul 192012

Starting the day out this morning we find out that Guy La Fleur has his boat just down the slips in the marina.  So we took some pics of his 65 ft’er.  Conner, we took a picture just for you!   A lot of French Canadians are here too.  We just can’t understand them.

Since we got our diesel last evening we didn’t have to worry about that today.  Good thing cause we slept in till almost 8:00.  Finally we were underway around 10:00  on a great weather day.  It was in the low ’70’s when we started out and no humidity was a blessing.

Our last day on the St. Lawrence River and it was a great one.  We passed through two more Seaway locks and with no wind it was amazingly simple.   Both are in Beauharnois Canal located just west of Montreal.  As we saw Montreal in the distance we started on a northern route toward the Ottawa River.  it was literally a zigzag across a large lake with so many varying depths ranging from shoals to 35 ft deep.  The channel was well marked however there were some passages that a couple boats passing one another just made it through.  Finally we settle in at Ste Anne de Bellevue and pass through the first of two locks on the  Ottawa River.  We are now settled in on the north side of the lock here in Ste Anne de Bellevue for tonight.

Heading for a long day to Ottawa tomorrow.

 Posted by at 1:57 AM
Jul 182012

After having endless summer days of 90+ degrees we woke up to a cool morning in the mid 70’s.  It was a nice reprieve from the heat.  Not that we are complaining.  We love this weather. 

We decided to head off to Cornwall today and going through 3 large commercial locks of the Seaway.  The  first lock, which is Canadian, was only a 4 inch drop and named Iroquois lock.  The next lock, the Eisenhower and the 3rd, Snell lock, was over 40 ft down.  They have these floating metal bollards along the walls in a crevass that you put your lines around and the bollard goes down with you.  Makes it easy to navigate the locking procedure.  Brian and Joe will be jealous! 

It is so beautiful in this part of Ontario and being near water makes this part so nice to visit.  We made it to Cornwall around 2:00 today and made time to visit the city centre, get charts ready for tomorrow’s journey, went swimming in the St. Lawrence River (skipping stones for an hour as well) and make more plans for the upcoming days.  Tomorrow we plan to stay around the Ste. Anne de Bellevue lock on the Ottawa River.  This is located just south of Montreal and where we start a NW heading toward Ottawa. 

The other mariners here in this marina are saying that the Rideau Canal may be closed due to low water levels.  Apparently someone they know made the decision to return back after hearing that the Rideau may be closed.  We have checked websites but haven’t found closures yet.  We will be calling authorities tomorrow to determine if we indeed can continue on this eastern journey.  Apparently the authorities may be closing it and therefore no postings  online as yet.

 Posted by at 1:58 AM
Jul 172012

What a day!  At least what a day I had.  Up early to get ready to cross Lake Ontario.  We listen to the forecast and they call for extreme T storms and rain.  Wave heights low but with a westerly wind.  Being at the most eastern part of the lake westerly’s do not sound like a fun ride over.  Boy was I right.  After packing up and getting out at 8:30 we stop for gas.  At 9:00 we are heading out the mouth of the Oswego Canal into Lake Ontario and smack right in the face with huge swells.  2 1/2 hours later I so am ready to get off the ride that has now made both Aiden and I queasy.  This was the first time I was ready to say I’m done with this boat for awhile.  I missed the beginning of the 1000 Islands area because those westerly’s came up the St. Lawrence River.  It started to settle a bit and we both felt better.

We stopped at Boldt Castle along the way.  Nestled on an island it is where the original owner of the Waldorf Astoria decided to create his forever home and not finish it due to his wife dying unexpectedly.  He never returned to the castle and work stopped on it for over 70 years.  Then in ’77 it was bought by the 1000 Islands Bridge Commission and they are now both restoring the work that had been done as well as getting it completed the way it was supposed to be done originally.  Quite a beautiful building.

The winds had picked up by now and docking at the castle was not fun.  We had to call them for assistance in getting her lines in.  The winds were expected to be 60 mph and up.  We decided to wait it out for a bit till the storm passed and the marine extreme weather was lifted.  Then I was stung by a bee.  I put my hand right on top of it. 

Still a bit queasy we begin in rough winds down the St. Lawrence River to Brockville an hour away.  We can see behind us that the clouds are darkening and rain is falling.  Up go the tarps and all of a sudden the temperature drops like 15 degrees.  The cold front has arrived.  It starts to rain but luckily the winds die off.  We make it to Brockville unscathed and tie up easily in the harbour.  I start dinner only to burn myself on the BBQ.  On the same hand as the bee sting!!!

Tomorrow will be better but we have heard that Cornwall had a tornado go through today.  

We also have 3 Seaway locks to go through.  The Iroquois, the Eisenhower and the Snell locks.  Then on to Cornwall.

 Posted by at 1:56 AM
Jul 162012

Heading up the locks on the Oswego Canal today.  Eight locks in total.  All was good until we hit lock 6.  It is a taller lock and the wind was intense. 

We caught up on more time and did it in under 4 hours.  The lake looks good today and considered heading over but we ordered that radio speaker to come into the marina tomorrow.

We have to stay the night.  Too bad because it would have put us ahead at least 3 hours.  We stayed here last year on the way back from Boston, same slip even.  It is supposed to be around 100 degrees tomorrow.  I hope the weather cooperates and is stable for the crossing of Lake Ontario. 

We are here so early that we don’t know what to do with ourselves.  We will be putting up the radar, getting rid of the fender boards for sure but spare time to do whatever is unusual.  Hmmmmm…..what to do now? 

…….It is just before 11:00 pm now and we have cleaned the scum off the boat from the locks, put those fender boards on the back, cycled to get groceries, updated charts, plotted tomorrow’s route across Lake Ontario ( 3 ft waves with a SE wind), had dinner, and the madatory shower.  Time for bed folks. 

See you back in Canada tomorrow!!!!  Oh and that radio we were waiting on,,,,the order has been cancelled.  They didn’t like the Canadian credit card.  Met a couple with a 63′ who lent us a portable radio with the idea that we will forward it back to them in Santa Barbara.  I was thinking we could hand deliver it!!!

 Posted by at 11:40 AM
Jul 152012

The last night in Newark we met a couple in a 21′ cuddy cabin that dropped their boat in New York harbour with expectations of making it to Fort Erie.  We exchanged some information on the Greater Niagara
Boat Club and they will be making their way to Chippawa instead.  In exchange we received a new, or new to us, Canadian flag to replace to stolen one.  We are all dressed again for the journey today.

We had a beautiful cruise along tributaries of the Finger Lakes and saw some beautiful homes and cottages along the way.  Speed was good and we were able to catch up some time.  This portion of the trip makes you feel like you are away instead
of the idea of being in a dredged canal that has become the norm until this point.

We expected to make it to Baldwinsville today and instead made a run for it to Phoenix, NY.  The first lock on the Oswego is here.
Cute little place with kids of all ages called The Brats.  They serve coffee and lemonade all day long and also offer a breakfast and lunch menu from the local restaurant on the canal.
One boy, Zach, played washer toss with Aiden for over an hour while Scott ordered parts for the marine radio that happened to stop working.  Radio is acting up too.  Should be great when going through the commercial locks
where the operators are used to deaing with functioning equipment. 

Aiden fed ducks and geese by the numbers in the evening.  Stale bread is such a treat when you are saving up for those feasting times.
One Canadian goose is more like a duck than a goose.  He stays with the ducks only and when geese come around he leaves.  He is extremely gentle
as geese go that is.  He leaves food for the ducks and goes without.

 Posted by at 1:51 AM