Sunday, July 9, 2017
MONTREAL to SMITH FALLS
We stayed 12 days at St Lambert but only were charged for 10 total cost $440.00. We had a nice long rest here particularly trying to rest my left knee and it got better. Paul took us on a day trip around Montreal in his car and he also joined us for a bus tour of the city. He also took us shopping to stock the boat. Paul insisted that we try the Montreal specialties Smoked Meat Sandwich which is similar to Pastrami and Poutine which is French fries with Gravy and Cheese Curd all delicious. We also spent some great time with John’s Canadian/Dutch cousin, Gerry Doche. We went out to dinner twice and she had us over for a delectable dinner at her house. One of the dinners was for Juli’s birthday, she had Filet Mignon, and Gerry and John had Rack of Lamb and we all enjoyed Profiteroles for dessert. Gerry also took Juli for a pedicure and grocery shopping when we first got to St Lambert.
We left St Lambert on the 6/17/17 and headed for Lachine Marina which is Paul’s home base. It cost us $273.24ca for three nights. We enjoyed a long walk with the dogs and John had his first bike ride of the trip. Paul took us for a beautiful ride along Lac St Louis to St Anne De Bellevue where we each had a huge portion of Fish and Chips in one of the many waterfront restaurants.
On 6/20/17 we sailed Lac St Louis (a wide section of the St Lawrence) to St Anne De Bellevue on the Ottawa River and tied to the wall before the lock. John paid for a season mooring pass for all Canadian park facilities at the cost of $391.60 ca--we hope to make good use of the pass.
On 6/22/17 we sailed up the river to Carillon, a very deep lock that lifts boats over 40’. We stayed the night at the lock wall in front of the big lock door and adjacent to a huge Hydroelectric Plant. Incidentally, Canadians call electric power “Hydro” because it all comes from waterpower. The next morning, we entered the lock with a number of other boats. We were rafted to a large power cruiser and they had to handle the lock ropes for both boats. Dutchess had to leave first because we were in the middle, then all the power boats had to pass us once outside the lock with large wakes rocking us each time. Later we passed the big cruiser which appeared to be dead in the water???
On 6/23/17 sailed to Marina Kitchissippi. Unfortunately, the marina was undergoing major repairs following recent flooding. The lower floor was completely gutted which resulted in a lack of laundry facilities and only old showers with exposed wooden walls, standing water and little privacy – YUCK! No discounts despite the decrepit facilities. Thankfully other boaters were friendly and one even took John into Ottawa to do some much-needed grocery shopping. Because of St John de Baptiste holiday all Quebec stores were closed, therefore we went to Ontario for groceries.
On 6/25/17 we proceeded up the Ottawa River to the city of Ottawa, Ontario – the capital of Canada. Along the way we were afforded beautiful views of the city including Rideau Falls and the Parliament Buildings and Peace Tower. We turned towards the Rideau Canal and up the Flight of Eight – eight locks in a row in the city center. Navigating the Flight of Eight takes about 2 hours and we were exhausted when finished. There were dark skies and thunder when we began, then the skies cleared and we were greeted by sunshine and high temperatures, then another change to thunder, lightning, and heavy rain when we finished!
On 6/28/17 we motored up the Rideau Canal to Hurst Marina in Kars, ON. On the way, I made an error in navigation and went under a bridge that only had 10’ clearance on the chart and must be raised to clear boats. I had read about a bridge to be raised but this bridge did not look like a movable bridge. It is a stone arch that looks solid but is actually on a steel frame, so I assumed that it must be at the 22’ that is normal on the Rideau, NOT! I aimed for the center of the arch and scraped my Radar off, broke a flag pole and busted the welds on the Solar Stick that holds some of my solar panels. Only $3000 worth of damage if I fix it myself. Hurst Marina is one of the largest on the Rideau Canal with sales and service. The cost was $198.88ca for dockage, $81.82ca for 80.2 liters diesel and $20.00ca for pump out. There are also laundry facilities, showers and a pool. The rain was almost continuous while we were there, but we walked to a nearby restaurant, The Swan, that has a warm, English Pub-like atmosphere.
On 6/30/17 we proceeded up the Rideau Canal to Merrickville, Lock 21 and stopped on the lock wall. The small town is well-known for its many small and unusual shops and restaurants. The weather cleared in the afternoon and we walked the dogs in town. We stopped for home-made ice cream and Juli found a wonderful souvenir – a glass bowl formed to a piece of driftwood that was crafted in Bali. Let’s hope it makes it to New Bern intact!
On 7/1/17 went up the canal to Smiths Falls and took a slip at Victoria Park Marina. Cost $1.46 per foot plus $8.84 for hydro total $82.60ca. per day and we stayed 3 days. It is a very nice park with a concession stand, swim dock, laundry, and shower facilities. We were invited to “docktails” one evening with a couple we had met in Ottawa – fellow Loopers. The weather finally cleared and we enjoyed plenty of warmth and sunshine! Several stores are located about ½ mi. away and we were able to do some shopping at WalMart.