May 11th, 2004 “Preparations”
After our winter in Port Credit, it was time to go. We pulled
around to the Gas Dock, fuelled up and got a pumpout. After that
we tied at one of the end docks in preparation for our early morning
Colin and Shelly dropped the car off in Milton, while I stayed behind
and finished up some last minute clean-up.
Cort and Sherri-Lyn came home from their trip to Cuba and picked up
Phin. They stayed for a short visit and then headed to Barrie.
Shelly stayed for dinner after she and Colin returned from Milton.
We cleaned up after dinner and then turned in early.
SUNRISE OVER TORONTO
LEAVING PORT CREDIT MARINA
May 12th, 2004 “Leaving Port Credit”
6:30 AM saw the departure of “Maid of Steel” from the Port Credit
Harbour Marina. The lake was unbelievably flat....not even a
ripple. It remained that way all the way to Cobourg where we
pulled in for the night.
OUR LITTLE LAKE ONTARIO HITCH-HIKER
May 13th, 2004 “Cobourg to Trenton”
The second day of the trip was just a smooth as the first. We
made the Murray Canal, just outside of Trenton by noon. We knew
the Bridge would not be open until May 21st, and were prepared to wait,
tied to the wall below the bridge.
May 14th-20th 2004 “The Murray Canal”
We contacted my cousin Jim and his wife Arlene. It was their son
Dan’s birthday, so on Saturday afternoon they picked us up. We
had a nice visit and went out for dinner. They all came back to
the boat for drinks. Splash of course entertained everyone with
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we worked on the boat, doing mostly trim
work. We also had a constant battle keeping the barn swallows
from building nests on top of the navigation lights. We took some long
walks along the area roads.
On Tuesday evening Arlene picked us up and took us to the Walmart so I
could return a pair of sandals. She also took us to Liquidation
world and Canadian Tire.
For the rest of the week we did more trimming and some wallpapering and
cleaned the rug out of the pilot house. Colin installed new
shifters in the pilot house and was very pleased with how much better
they were over the old ones. He ordered 2 more and had them
delivered to Jims.
On Friday Jim brought them to the boat, then took us into Brighton for
a quick shopping trip. We were totally out of vegetable so this gave us
a chance to restock.
MY SPRING HAIRCUT
FIELD OF TRILLIUMS
BOAT LAUNCH OFF THE SIDE OF THE MURRAY CANAL
INFORMATION: Passage through the two
Murray Canal bridges is $4.00. Passage of these bridges are
included in an annual lock pass which can be obtained from Parks
Canada. There is an excellent tie up with picnic tables and
garbage, located just before the first bridge when entering from
Presquille Bay. There is also a small variety store within walking
BYGOTTS BAY ANCHORAGE
May 22nd 2004 “Bound for Picton”
We were through the bridge by 9:30AM and on our way. It was a
rather dull looking day but there was virtually no wind. We
decided to by-pass Picton for a more favourable anchorage in Bygotts
Bay. It worked out better for the wind direction that
night. First time anchoring this season....Hey I still remember
how to do it! It’s just a whole different feeling, swinging on
the hook as opposed to being tied to a concrete wall. Now I feel
like I am boating again.
DRIP DRY KEYBOARD
May 23rd, 2004 “Deadman’s Bay-Kingston”
It’s a dismal looking day outside but at least it has stopped
raining. We hauled the anchor, along with an assortment of weeds,
fishing line and a sizable length of yellow rope as well as a giant
glob of mud to finish off the collection. While I was dealing
with that, Colin decided to wash his keyboard with a cup of
coffee. He said he needed something to do while I dealt with the
CEDAR ISLAND PARK DOCKS
GUNT TOWER ON CEDAR ISLAND (ACROSS THE BAY FROM FORT HENRY)
CEDAR ISLAND WALKING TRAIL
We had a good run without rain and even a little sun. We anchored
for the night just below Fort Henry, in Deadman’s Bay. Not the most
comforting of names, but so far everything seems fine.
We took a short dinghy ride to Cedar Island , checked out the dock and
walked the trail the goes all the way around the island. Just as we got
back to the dinghy it started to rain. Time to go back, make
supper and plan tomorrows run.
INFORMATION: 3 hour free tie up is
available at the PUC dock on the right as you enter the Gananoque
Marina. The Marina also gave us permission to come in and fill
our water tanks even though we were not staying there. Gananoque
offers 2 grocery stores, post office , banks, Laundromat, liquor and
beer stores and numerous restaurants. Propane is also available from 2
different gas stations on the main street and Canadian Tire at the far
end of town All these services are available within a 2 KM walk from
the Town dock.
May 24th, 2004 “Gananoque”
We got a slow start this morning, but did not have far to go. It
was a rainy and miserable day. We pulled into the public dock at
3:20 and walked downtown and then on to Canadian Tire at the far end of
town. We bought a new coffee maker and a new hose for the propane
tank to replace the leaking one. On our way back we went into the
Gananoque Inn and had wings. We got back to the boat, untied and
headed for the park docks at MacDonald Island. It was a bit
shallow going in but we had 2' to spare once we were at the dock.
A nice quiet place for the next few days. Only a short dinghy
ride to get back in to Gananoque. Unfortunately at this spot we
have poor at best, phone service. We do however have excellent
INFORMATION: MacDonald Island has one
area of docks with about 5 different docks available. Plenty of room
for 50+’ boats with draft up to 4 ½ feet. Day use with overnight
at any of the Parks docks is $100 per foot. Day use only is
.50¢ a foot. Fire wood is $6.00 a bag. If you are
rafting off you must still pay the applicable fees. Flyers are
available at any of the park docks showing the location and amenities
provided at all of the islands.
OUR LITTLE NEST BUILDER
May 25th, 2004 “Barn Swallow Wars”
After breakfast we took a short walk on the trails on the island, when
we came back we discovered that Mr. & Mrs. Barn swallow had started
no less than 3 nests. We had to stuff newspaper into all the
spots. Boy did they get snarky at me.
Colin did some repairs to the aft bilge pump and fixed some wiring on
the inverter. At 6:00 we took the dinghy into Gan for pickerel dinner
at the Inn. Very good! On the way back we checked out a
partially sunk boat, then continued on back to the boat, watched some
TV and hit the sack.
May 26th, 2004 “More Bird Fights”
Those crazy little birds won’t give up. They have now started
construction on the other side of the boat. More newspaper stuffing, I
started prepping the other side of the V-Berth, filling the cracks and
holes then sanding and finally painting. Colin did some more work
in the engine compartment.
We cooked steak out on the park B-B-Q and it started to rain just as we
were finishing. It was really good.
May 27th, 2004 “Exploring”
After breakfast we loaded up the dinghy to go check out a new dock for
the next 3 days. We got about 15' from the boat and the motor
quit. Could not get it going again! Thanks to the wind we
had to row quite a way back to the boat. After some serious
fiddling with the spark plug and gas we got it going again. We
found two good spots on Beau Rivage the next island over. With
that out of the way we headed for town.
As we left the Marina we walked past a bed and breakfast with a man
working outside on his porch. He said hi as we walked by....he
sounded really familiar to me. Then we saw a name sign in the
garden with the name “Swarbrick” on it. I told Colin I had a
teacher in high school, who looked sounded and had the same last name
We carried on to the post office and Canadian Tire. On the way
back there was a lady outside on the porch of this Bed and Breakfast so
I asked her if her husband ever taught in Milton Highschool. It
was the teacher I remembered. We stopped and talked for a bit and
made plans to stop by again. How cool is that!
When we got back, we moved the boat to the new dock on Beau Rivage.
INFORMATION: Beau Rivage has 4 park
docks, the one on the east end is quite protected in a small cove,
however the one on the West end is very open and can get some nasty
winds coming in.
May 28th, 2004 “A Quiet Day”
Today was a lazy day. We did go into town for a while so Colin
could send some faxes and mail some letters.
When we got back Colin caught a bunch of perch, but unfortunately we
had to through them all back as they were very wormy....yuk!
May 29th, 2004 “New Friends”
Early on in the day another boat arrived. A nice couple with a
dog named Duke. Shortly after two more boats showed up, just 2
guys, one on each boat. After dinner Ray and Vivien from “Tuareg” came
over and they taught us a dice game called skids. We were up till
2:00 AM playing....lots of fun!
May 30th, 2004 “Lazy Day”
We didn’t really do too much except sit around outside on the
dock. After dinner we had a few more games of Skids.
May 31st, 2004 “Moving Day”
After Ray and Vivien left to go home we took the big boat into Gan to
fill up with water. We did do a little shopping and then took the
boat around the other side of Beau Rivage to another dock.
We spent a very bumpy, windy night. We had no choice but to stay
as it was too windy to move.
INFORMATION: Aubrey has 3 locations
of park docks. The one on the east end is protected from just
about all directions although you do get the wake from the tour boats
going by. Depth across the front of the dock is 15'. We
found that the docks in the cove were too shallow for our boat.
SUNSET FROM BEAU RIVAGE
GAURDIAN ON BEAU RIVAGE
FIRST SWIM OF THE SEASON
PADDLE WHEEL TOUR BOAT IN GANANOQUE
SUNSET FROM AUBREY
ANOTHER SMALL CABLE FERRY
June 1st to 9th, 2004
The weather has finally started to warm up and we are seeing a lot more
boats out. We have moved around from island to island ending up
on Aubrey for the last 3 days. While there we managed to paint
the window wells on one side of the boat and also empty out clean and
paint the storage are under the lower station. What an
improvement. Colin has also managed to install the shifters on
the flybridge and has them working. He still needs to put some
instruments and switches up there, but it is coming along.
The last day at the island we went into Gan barely out running a huge
thunderstorm. We were in desperate need of groceries. We
stocked up for our trip starting up the Rideau.
INFORMATION: If you require any more
draft that 4' the lock master on the Rideau will request notification
of your arrival and ask you to sign a waiver for passage.
LIFT BRIDGE IN KINGSTON
ENTRANCE TO KINGSTON MILLS LOCK
WE ARE HAVING SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
KINGSTON MILLS FROM THE TOP
June 10th, 2004 “Rideau Canal Bound”
We have sunny weather to start the next leg of our trip. Smooth
running to the bridge in Kingston where we had to wait for 15 minutes
for the bridge to lift. On from there to the tight channel
heading up to the Canal. We pulled onto the Blue Line for the
first set of 4 locks, 3 step locks then another 100 feet or so to a
fourth. Talk about getting right into it. Unfortunately
they were working on the middle lock. The door was not working
properly. What we were told would be 15 minutes turned out to be
more like an hour. By this time there was another boat waiting to
go through too. We got talking to them and found out that they
lived a few lines over from where Colin did when he lived in
Hornby. Such a small world.
Going from the first to the second step, they couldn’t get the one door
open, so we had to squeeze in past the ½ open door. It
wasn’t a problem just a little unnerving. We made it to the bottom of
the fifth lock known as “Washburn.” Very pretty and a nice quiet
place for the night. The other people stayed there too as they
had some friends coming to meet them there. Turns out the
mother-in-law of the lady who came to visit was the secretary at Milton
High School when I was there. One of this women’s kids also w ent
to school with my nephew Ron. I think we should just call this
the reunion tour.
INFORMATION: Brewer’s Mill has a long
peer with 8 hydro outlets at the cost of $7.00 per day. There is
a beautiful park area with picnic tables and B-B-Q’s as well as
June 11th, 2004 “Brewer’s Mills”
We were up early and headed for the next set of 2 step locks known as
There is hydro at this lock at the top so we will be spending a few
days here. I spent most of today entering in this stuff so we
could get our web page going again.
There are two other boats here, a very old wooden one which I am sure
we have seen in our travels so far and a house boat. We have met both
couples on board and they are quite friendly.
OLD TOUR BOAT - NOW A COTTAGE
June 12th, 2004 “Brewers Mills”
Saturday was not that busy so we went for a dinghy ride a little ways
up the river to Cranberry Lake. Very pretty! When we got
back we walked down to the lock to watch some boats going
through. One of the girls operating the crank did something wrong
and the handle ripped out of her hand and smacked her in the
mouth.....OUCH! They ended up taking her to the hospital to get
stitches in her lip. I bet she won’t make that mistake
again. After dinner we had a good dump of rain.
June 13th, 2004 “Brewers Mills”
Today is our last day here, but it has been a rotten day. Colin went to
flush the toilet this morning and it blew the fuse......well to
make a very messy long story short, the impeller went and was in about
6 pieces, not good. Thank goodness we ordered a new repair kit
before we left so we had all the parts we needed. NOTE TO SELF...
Always have spare toilet parts.
TINY SWING BRIDGE
ONE CAR FERRY
June 14th, 2004 “Portland”
Well Colin broke his tooth last night on an olive pit so we are in
search of a dentist, We left the dock at upper Brewers at about 11:30
and had a wonderful trip through Cranberry Lake and Dog Lake and then
on to Jones Falls, a set of 3 step locks and then one separate.
There is a black smith shop and restored Lock Masters house.
Unfortunately we have to do the dentist thing so we don’t have time to
stop. We will have to make a point to stop there on our route
back. Next came “The Quarters” a small channel 80' wide and
definitely a place you don’t want to meet another boat. “Davis
Lock” was next, a nice quiet place to stop, but again we must keep
going. Lock # 37 is “Chaffeys Lock” very picturesque, with a
museum in the Lock Masters house. Between Indian and Clear Lake
there is a tiny little ferry in the small channel joining the
two. It looked to me like a do it yourself type deal. Next was
Newboro Lake and then Newboro Lock, the highest point on the
system. From here you start to go down again. This lock has
just been renovated and is the first lock we have encountered so far
that has hydraulics. Upper Rideau Lake is beautiful with some
very impressive looking cottages.
Westport was suggested by one of the Lock Masters as a place that we
could find a dentist but unfortunately the water depth at the
town dock is questionable for us to get in. The Narrows Lock
takes you into Big Rideau Lake, again very scenic. From here we
diverted east about 5 miles to the village of Portland. We pulled
into the town dock, went and had supper in the Galley Restaurant and
then pulled out into the bay and anchored for the night.
June 15th, 2004 “Smiths Falls”
Rideau Ferry is a little village with a Restaurant right on the
water with docking available while you eat. Poonamalie Lock is
the last lock before you come into Smiths Falls and the two locks there.
We pulled into Victoria Park, run by the Chamber of Commerce but is
covered by our mooring
INFORMATION: For $5.00 a day you can
get 15 amp. Power and if you want to hook up to water full time there
is an extra charge. There is room for about 50 boats here with some
docks and a large expanse of wall where water and power are
available. About 15 minutes in either direction takes you one way
to the downtown or the other way a Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and a large
Independent grocery store. The park along the river offers, kids wading
pool, playground equipment and plenty of paved walkways as well as
laundry facilities in the Chamber building. NOTE: currents and wind can
make for some interesting attempts at docking.
PARK AT SMITHS FALLS
SPLASHES WADING POOL
June 16th, 2004 “Checking out the Downtown”
It was time to do a thorough cleaning of the boat so that was the first
thing to get out of the way. Hang the laundry out, change the
bed, vacuum and clean up the kitchen and bathroom. Done! We
met the people 2 boats over from us. They invited us in and we
checked out their house boat, nice and roomy. They have two
little dogs, Angel and Heidi. Heidi likes Splash but Angel hasn’t
really decide yet if she is okay. They invited us to go to Ottawa
for dinner with them on Saturday night. Sounds like fun. (They
have their car here)
Later on in the day Splash had a swim in the Wading pool and thought
that was just great fun.
OLD LOCKS IN SMITHS FALLS NO LONGER IN USE
June 16th, 2004 “Getting Some Work Done”
Colin spent most of the day finishing with the installation of the
instruments on the flybridge. He ran the last of the wires from
the pilot house which enabled me to paint around the windows. As
soon as it dries he can put the wood trim pieces back up. I also
managed to get the last of the wall paper up in the Master
Stateroom. Looks great. It has been very hot outside and
Splash needs another swim in the wading pool.
June 17th, 2004 “Another Hot day!”
Another boat has moved in beside us and unfortunately the way the
electrical plugs are laid out we can’t run our air conditioner without
blowing the breaker. He is only staying for one day so we should
be fine again tomorrow.
FOUNTIANS IN VICTORIA PARK SMITHS FALLS
SWIMMING TIME FOR THE PUPPIES
June 18th, 2004 “Fried Fridge”
Colin appears to have wired something wrong and we accidentally put 220
volts across our fridge. We opened the door and it wasn’t
running.......but the light was really bright.....really bad! It
seems that the actual workings of the fridge are okay, we did however
fry the circuit board. After much fiddling around we have all
sorts of things jumpered out on the fridge, it’s hooked up to a timer
to turn it on for an hour and then off for an hour......and hey, it’s
keeping things cold. It’s so good being married to McGyver.
Colin got on the internet and found out where he could order a new
circuit board from, guess where.......Ottawa, in about a week and a
half, exactly when we will be there. As long as we can keep it
going like that, till then we will be fine.
UH-OH, BROKEN DOCK!
ARMIN HIEDI AND ANGEL
THE FIRST STRAWBERRY FROM OUR PLANT ON BOARD
June 19th, 2004 “Run-a-way Docks!”
It got extremely windy today. It’s unfortunate as the town of
Smiths Falls is having a “Welcome Americans” celebration in the park
right in front of us. They are having a hard time keeping
everything from blowing away. So just as the Legion members are
being piped in by a recorded pipe band played over van loud speakers I
hear this huge snap....Colin just said he was worried about our dock
because of the weight of our boat........I look out and the dock our
friends in the houseboat are tied to is heading off! It broke off
of it’s ramp. The rest of the dock was anchored with huge
concrete anchors but still not a comfortable feeling when your tied to
something that appears to be leaving. After a lot of
yelling and running and people getting ropes to tie things off, the
police and fire department have “DO NOT CROSS POLICE LINE AND FIRE
LINES” in front of the dock, you would at least think that someone had
been murdered there. The people from the other boat that was tied
to that dock were gone for the week-end so their boat had to stay
put. Just to be safe we tied extra ropes on our dock to prevent
the same thing from happening. We decided to put dinner off till
tomorrow as no one really feels like leaving their boats in this wind.
June 20th, 2004 “Father’s Day”
We started off the day with Brunch at the Lockmaster’s House, a
restaurant just across the road from the lock. We got together
with Suzanne and Armin around 4:30 and headed into Ottawa for dinner at
a Chinese Buffet. We were able to order a lobster with dinner for
$5.99 so we did. They had frogs legs too, they were good but
Colin couldn’t face them as he decided that they looked like ballerina
legs minus the Tu Tu. When we got back they came over to our boat
with the dogs and had a couple of drinks. All in all a very nice
ALL DECKED OUT FOR CANADA DAY
June 21st, 2004 “Dentist”
Colin was up early this morning to head out to the dentist to get his
tooth fixed. It hasn’t been giving him any trouble but we are
here now and he has an appointment so best get it fixed. After he
got back we had some lunch and he put the wood back up at the front of
the boat and I took a big bag of clothes that are too big for me up to
the Salvation Army Store. Glad to get those out of here.
At the end of the day we ended up having drinks on Suzanne and Armin’s
boat and then had a late dinner.
INFORMATION: Neither Old Slys or
Edmonds locks have any facilities to
tie up overnight.
THE DEPOT GIFT SHOP AND ELECTRIC TOUR BOAT IN MERRICKVILLE
THE SQUIRRELS IN MERRICKVILLE POSE FOR YOU.......REALLY!
RUINS OF THE OLD POWER STATION IN MERRICKVILLE
MORE RUINS OF THE GENRATING STATION
June 22nd, 2004 “Heading For Merrickville”
When we got up it was pouring rain. I had ordered a sunny day,
but that didn’t happen! We untied and left, heading for the Lock
right in Smiths Falls, a 26' drop. Next came “Old Slys Lock and
then Edmonds Lock. The terrain has changed quite a
bit, the water is very shallow, lots of weeds on either side of the
marked route and farm land on both sides. Kilmarnick Lock was the
last lock to go through before Merrickville. The Lock Master here
told us that they were pulling the docks out in Merrickville today and
we wouldn’t be able to stay there......oh great! When we got
there the dock was still there and there was no problem tying up today,
tomorrow they are going to do some repairs so we decided we will stay
here for tonight and then move on tomorrow.
INFORMATION: Merrickville has a bank,
numerous restaurants and accommodations, more than it’s share of gift
and specialty shops and a shop run by the “Friends of the Canal”.
There is also a reasonable grocery store for restocking and a post
office. Propane is a available just a short walk up St. Lawrence
RIDEAU CANAL WORK BARGE REMOVING A SECTION OF THE DOCK
23rd, 2004 “Part of Dock Removed”
Shortly after we got up, workmen appeared and started work on the
dock. They removed the two end sections which left us with plenty
of room to still stay tied. They reset the anchors at the end of the
dock so we were secure. We will stay two more nights now if the
Colin worked on the trim in the V-berth and I just seemed to be in the
way, so I walked over to the museum and checked it out....very
neat. The only thing that freaked me out was a floral picture
made completely with human hair. I also walked over to the
“Depot” run by the friends of the canal and purchased a neat little
wooden box with a rope knot on top, a humming bird feeder and a
small twine fishing net. By the time I got back I was able to do
some cleaning up.
June 24th, 2004 “Last day in Merrickville”
The lock master allowed us to stay another day, so that was good.
I had a migraine and was really not in the mood to move the boat.
We would have to do 5 locks to get to our next stop.
INFORMATION: Peter Ayling Marina has
pumpout and diesel fuel available. We were not sure on the depth
there, but everyone said it was good for 4' draught.
PETER ALING MARINA JUST BELOW MERRICKVILLE LOCKS.....PRETTY MUCH
ALL WOOD BOATS
COLIN PHOTOGRAPHING THE FLORA........
AND SOME MORE FLORA
June 25th, 2004 “On to Burritts Rapids”
We moved from our dock, around the point, and up to the Lock wall
blue line. It worked out perfectly as there was another boat just
coming up. Going down the 3 locks in Merrickville went
smoothly. At the bottom of the third lock there is a small marina
with almost all wood boats in it. Lock 20, Clowes Lock was the next on
our travels. This is a very remote lock and there is only room
for one boat to moor. Nicholson Swing bridge operates in
conjunction with Upper and Lower Nicholson Locks which came next.
There was mooring only at the bottom of Upper Nicholson. Burritts
Rapids swing bridge was a little unnerving as it was so narrow....we
did however make it through. It is located in a very narrow channel
around a corner. We arrived at the Burritts Rapids mooring wall,
with hydro available. There were no other boats there so we had
our choice of spots.
INFORMATION: Michael’s Restaurant at
the Burritts Rapids Lock has laundry facilities around the side of the
building. Food is quite good in the Restaurant.
BURRITTS RAPIDS.......CHOPPING DOWN A SICK TREE......NOW YOU SEE
NOW YOU DON'T
June 26th, 2004 “Dead Tree Coming Down!”
Shortly after I got up I looked out the window and notice a fellow with
a truck and various chainsaws, ropes, rakes, wood chipper and splitter
right beside a big tree that was partially dead. I thought maybe
he was going to trim the dead wood out, but oh no.....he cut the whole
thing down! Rather quickly too! It took him the whole day,
between cloud bursts to clean up all the limbs and logs that remained.
Colin worked on trimming the other side of the V-Berth and I varnished
the first side. Looks great!
He also put plugs in and sanded around the top of the staircase. Messy,
but it had to be done.
EMMY LOU AND MR. MAGOO CHECKING THINGS OUT AT BURRITTS RAPIDS
June 27th, 2004 “More Finishing”
Today we worked on the boat again and I put a coat of varnish on the
walls and trim around the staircase. Near the end of the day a
boat pulled in with two Himalayan Persians on board. They were
strutting around like they owned the boat. Later they were
sitting at the edge of the Lock looking around and being
I THINK THEY CALL THIS HALF MAST
HOMES ALONG THE RIVER COMING INTO OTTAWA
CUTE LITTLE TUG
MORE NICE HOMES
June 28th, 2004 “Long Island Locks”
We were through on the first lockage this morning and travelled the
longest stretch on the Rideau without locks. Late afternoon we
arrived at the Long Island lift bridge and then into the 3 step
locks. We tied up at the bottom of the Long Island Lock for the
JUST COMING INTO OTTAWA