Saturday, June 16, 2018

Riding the Rideau

Wednesday June 13 - Friday June 15

As we left Ottawa and continued up the Rideau Canal system, glorious sunshine was replaced by drizzle, thunderstorms and plummeting temps- a good two days to travel in our snug little tug. We spent Thursday night at Hurst Marina in Manotick, Ontario, in a rain storm. We had hoped to do our laundry, but their only washing machine was out of order. Another Ranger Tug pulled in next to us, but we weren't able to visit much with Dennis and Peggy on "3 Cheers," as we left very early the next morning.

The Rideau is made navigable by locks- many, many locks. Lots of locks. On Thursday we traveled all of 16 miles and went through 8 of the historic hand-cranked locks. As I've said, the lock workers are all very friendly and helpful. They always ask where we are headed and then call ahead to let the next lock operators know we're on the way so the lock can be ready for us. Sometimes a bridge must be opened for us as well- a common occurrence. But we were not quite prepared for this "bridge"!


This did not look passable, but yet it had to be.....

Soon two men showed up and- unbelievably - attached two trolling motors to the bridge. As the small motors worked, one man pulled on a rope to swing the bridge open. Crazy!

Attaching 2 trolling motors to the "bridge"

The novelty of the picturesque locks has worn off now, and we have many, many more ahead.

Thursday night we tied to the wall on Merrickville Pond, just above the Merrickville set of locks. I took off on a walk and found a nail salon and decided to have a spur of the moment pedicure- a great decision! We met two other local boats here and traveled part of the way with them on Friday. More locks- a total of eight for us.

The sunshine returned on Friday, perfect weather. We stopped in Rideau Ferry Harbor for a pumpout and fuel. I am puzzled by the Canadian insistence on keeping their waterways clean (understandable) but yet pumpout facilities are few and far between. Many marinas do not offer fuel, especially diesel, or pumpout service. We have a small boat with small tanks- 100 gallons of diesel (held 600 on our former boat) and 40 gallons in our holding tank- so we have to be intentional about where and when we stop for these things. To add insult to injury, the charge for our pumpout yesterday was $25.

We are currently in Westport, another cute little village. Eight "le boats" are also here. Le boat is  a European company that rents boats to people who want to cruise the Rideau. The people are given basic instructions, but may or may not have any boating experience. They pay $5000 a week to do this! The boats here are carrying foreign journalists who are experiencing the Rideau on le boats and will write about their experiences. The 44 foot model has 4 cabins and is designed for 4 couples without much privacy. The boats hold 400 gallons of water, and the current occupants use it all it a few hours- they don't realize that water usage on a boat is different than at home. In comparison, we hold 40 gallons, which can last us 4-7 days depending on how we use it. Theses boats are new, but have no chart plotter, radio, depth finder, etc. We have no idea how the renters navigate! Le boats are equipped with a governor limiting their speed to 6 mph, and have built in fenders all around the hull. Our policy is to stay away from these boats, much like rental houseboats on the Mississippi.

Today, June 16, is chore day. Laundry, groceries, refilling our propane tank, cleaning an engine filter, baking a batch of breakfast muffins, etc. Laundry is a .4 mile walk each way, as is the grocery store. We did go out for lunch. Fun times!

Part of the le boat fleet
Showers are in the Visitor Center a few blocks away- $1 for 2 minutes, $2 for minutes- and no way to regulate the temperature. Give me a break! We both opted for showers on the boat!

A Loonie is a $1 coin (has a loon on it) A townie is a $2 coin.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you could shower on the boat!
    Roger and I were very impressed by the pump outs all over the states. Thanks for using one of the Canadian ones, even though it was so expensive. I hope Georgian Bay and the North Channel make up for some of these challenges.