Just Relax travel blog

8 Loks to Ottawa

6/24/06 Carillon Lock, QUE

Left early a.m. for anchor on the lower part of the river about 30 miles. Went thru St. Anne lock then beautiful river run to Carillon Lock, which is an amazing lock for pleasure boaters mostly. You tie up to a dock, lockmaster arranges all the boats, rafts you up 4 wide, & in the lock you go as a group, 4 deep & 4 wide. Up 60’ you go as a group. You feel like a sardine. Total time for everything takes us nearly 3 hrs as you have to then wait for the downstream boats. As we left the lock, we noticed a wall to tie to that was secluded, so we did that instead of anchoring. & we sure are glad we did as the sunset we watched over the Lake rivals Key West. We reminisced was we watched the sunset. We get closer to each other & God everyday. Sue noticed a pontoon boat in trouble out in the lake, so we put the dinghy in & John drove over to help them. They were with the current, so were able to easily make shore. The Japanese motor (John loves to make fun of Japanese equipment) konked out. Everyone was fine & back to cocktails we went. The folks here know how to get most out of their summer boating by rigging their boats with canvas covers so they can stay warm & out of winds – something that would be perfect for our pontoon/deck boat friends on Lake Norman (got pictures if you are interested). Grilled & watched a movie. Check out this Google satellite picture: N45.34.26 W74.22.93 of the dam that forms the lake. If this lake were in NC, folks would go ape with the size, beauty & easy navigating. It is about 3 times bigger & deep with many great anchorages.

6/25 Montebello, QUE

Arrived here around noon after a near perfect run. Montebello marina is great place. Most boaters stay at the Chateau marina @ $112/nite vs. $50 here, about a 10 minute walk away. The manager of this place was really nice & helped us tremendously. He told us he has the same water & electricity that the Chateau uses. His place also is a campground & motel. Really quaint. After much needed showers, we toured the manor of Papineau, former speaker of house of QUE in early 1800’s. We must admit our ignorance of Canadian history, but as we learn more, they fought for their rights/freedoms just as hard as we did. The Chateau is the largest log building in the world. We liked seeing it – this is the tourist stop that is mentioned mostly in guides, etc, but seeing the manor was more impressive. Lo & behold, here comes Otherwise at supper time, so we hook up for cocktails & grill together. It is neat making good friends like this, & especially “repeat friends”.

6/26-29 Ottawa, ONT

Nice run up the large lake & river past the Rideau falls. Many sea planes here. We tied up to the world famous “step of eight” locks that are 8 locks in a row -takes 2 hrs total. We rise way above the Ottawa river & the view is amazing. Each lock holds only 2 Miss L’s. Since this is downtown Ottawa (capital of Canada), we have many sightseers, & they come right up to the boat as you lock thru & talk. While it is neat, we must also pay close attention as we motor thru each lock. John almost hit one wall due to a wind gust, but someone helped fend us off. Miss L continues to get more patina as John calls it, but nothing that we can not fix at the end of the trip. We get someone to take our picture here. We’d guess that more pictures are taken here than just about anywhere else in Canada. We go under a couple of bridges & tie off at another wall right in downtown. 5 minute walk to everything. We walk about, & lo & behold, Otherwise makes the last lockage of the day arriving almost too late. We eat at a local Irish restaurant, Sue calls home to check in & to bed we go after John woops Sue 2-0 in Sudoku (Sue is now ahead only by 1 total to date, so the competition is getting stiff. Yesterday she beat John by less than a second – of course John protested, so we will hold this one for Chuck the umpire to make a ruling. Raining hard today, so we are chilling out & will sightsee all day, & piddle with boat. Have to re-install the sewage hose that we were required to remove on Lake Champlain for environmental reasons. Also, some house cleaning as we park here on the famous Rideau River. This lock/canal system was built in the arly 1800’s with over 1,000 losing their lives building it. The locks are still operated by hand as they were 200 yrs ago. An amazing thing to see. N45.25.442, W75.41.559. Google this one. The next day, toured the mint, changing of guard, fresh market, mall... John got boat ready for run down Rideau. We will be at over 425' above sea level in 2 days. We will be able to make Lk Ontario by Monday.

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