It’s been 8 days since my last entry. Wow. I’ll try to catch up. I’m now in Smith’s Falls for the second time, and am heading home for a week or so to see my family, welcome Mallory back, and reconnect with my work in preparation for a mid-September return. Then it’s back to the boat for the final segment of my 2017 travels, back down to Kingston and east into the Bay of Quinte. Tentative plan is to hail and store the boat somewhere around Belleville.
On Friday evening I met Samantha and Sarah at Westport. We spent the night there at the municipal docks after a nice meal out, and on Saturday traveled through Upper Rideau then Big Rideau lakes. Had a fun trip up the old Tay canal to Perth and had lunch there. Then back to a lovely anchorage south on Rideau Ferry. I dropped them off Sunday morning at Rideau Ferry and they tode their bikes back to Westport. See her blog with some great pictures here https://fitisafeministissue.com/2017/08/16/bikes-and-boats/
Monday I went through to Smith’s Falls. Spent Monday night in the basin at Victoria Park. Had my first ever lock issue in the downbound lock approaching Smith’s Falls. Not sure what happened – it was a really weird eddy in the lock – but when I went to exit the lock I ended up sideways with my anchor wedged against one wall the the dinghy the other. Lock is about 35 feet wide and I’m about 40 feet long with the dinghy on davits. More embarrassing than anything else. The lock staff threw me a line and pulled my bow back over. No damage done, though I’m sure my bow roller left a scar on the lock wall.
Tuesday morning I finally got rid of my waste oil and containers. Walked to a nearby Canadian Tire and borrowed a shopping cart. Fixed the stuck thermostat and did a few other housekeeping chores and got underway after lunch.
Tuesday night was spent at the Kilmarnock lock. Lovely isolated spot, hung out with the cadets I’d met earlier who were on an old Navy gig.
Wednesday I arrived in Ottawa. Got as far as the lock right next to Carleton University. I had planned to go through to downtown just above the flight locks, but the smoke trail I’ve been leaving was attracting some unwanted attention… The multiuse path along the canal has a lot of traffic, and I really felt bad about the smoke. And I was thinking of my plans to leave the boat for a week on Saturday. So I turned around Wednesday evening and headed back down the canal.
The trip back to Smith’s Falls on Thursday and Friday was relaxed and pleasant. Not much boat traffic, spent Thursday night at the bottom of the Merrickville locks. Nice little town.
The lock keeper at Smith’s Falls was very accommodating, as he had been on my earlier visit. No problems leaving the boat there, no charge, and they ran a long hose across the lock to fill my water tanks. The lock staff through the entire system have been helpful and friendly. Generally they aren’t that busy, and are happy to chat and help in any way they can.
As I write this I am on the train, heading back to London tonight with a stop at Sarah’s farm in Prince Edward County. Not sure when I’ll be back to the boat – most likely in eight days but maybe earlier if I can talk my son(s) into joining me for a couple of days.