Kemptville

I’m anchored here in Kemptville creek.  Quiet spot away from homes and cottages. No lights in sight.

I took these pictures as I was returning from a burrito run earlier.  There are lots of good takeout choices not far away by dinghy.

Today was nice, very relaxed and fine weather.  I left Merrickville mid day, driven mostly by an empty water tank.  Filled up at Pirate’s Cove marine just north of here.

It’s very weedy and dead feeling around here.  This area is in a drought, and although water levels seem normal there may be less flow than usual.  I dunno.  I thought the same thing last year, but it seems worse this year.

I’m now in a long pool that goes basically to the outskirts of Ottawa. Weather looks perfect for the next few days.

I’m not taking many pictures as I’ve done this trip before. But I grabbed my phone when I saw the seaplanes. It’s mostly narrow canals coming down from Lower Rideau Lake until the Rideau River broadens here.

Fuel Economy

After more than 2,000 km traveled in Escapade I’ve tallied fuel consumption. I’m happy with the results. Regular readers will recognize that this is important to me. Not just for cost reasons, but also to try to do more with less fossil fuel.

For reference, I tracked fuel consumption carefully on Mazurka, and for my loop trip my overall economy was 4.4 USMPG. Backing out generator use takes it to about 4.7 mpg.

I could easily have burned twice as much fuel or more. At a fast cruise in Mazurka mpg was 2 mpg or less. But I was committed to economy, and had a boat that performed pretty well across a range of speeds. Mostly I went slow, with an average speed of about 6.5 knots.

Escapade is a much larger boat than Muzurka. It’s twice the weight. But it has a smaller more modern motor than Mazurka, and more importantly has a longer waterline. It’s all about hull speed.

Here are some gatherings:

USMPG: 4.9

Average speed: 7.0 knots

That’s great. I fully expect to get 5+ mpg in my extended travels. Better than my last boat.

I won’t boast about how much fuel I burned heating the boat last winter. But I kind of wanted to try the brute force approach. If I do a repeat I’ll do more winterizing and insulating…

Merrickville

I like this stop. There is a nice old Downtown district at the lock.

We’ve just gone through a few days of heat warnings, with temps around 32/20C. I was hanging out at anchor for those days. Boat is great, cool and airy. I suspect the bright white paint and tinted windows help. I also turned off the boiler, and turn it on only when I want hot water.

I had no trouble with cooking under battery power using small appliances, and am less convinced of the need for A/C. Still haven’t hooked up the generator and not missing it.

I’ve given more thought to heading west instead of east, and am going to stick with my original plan. Basically I’m now holding on the Rideau for a few weeks until I can get my second vaccine dose, and assuming that the provincial travel restrictions will be lowered as the summer progresses.

Will be heading down towards Ottawa in the next few days, but not in a rush

In the Marsh

Sunset in the marsh

Regular readers will know I like these settings. I’m anchored here just upstream from Smiths Falls. Nice spot with marsh on all sides. The frog calls are loud enough to hear over Saturday Night Blues.

I’ve been noodling along. Not much fine dining – I had my hopes up when a fellow traveler assured me that the Opinicon was doing takeout, but on arrival we found they require 24 hour advance booking. Check first!

On that note, I’m seriously considering abandoning my trip east. It’s quite clear that current COVID restrictions in Quebec, NB and NS do not allow me to travel there. I had imagined a quick summer opening, but I’m not getting the sense that’s going to happen. I’ll get to Ottawa and make a final decision. So I may get a meal on the return trip.

The alternative is not all bad – head up the Trent Severn, and then to the North Channel. When the US opens head south from Chicago. Join the Loopers.

It feels a lot like 2020, except for the hope that travel restrictions will get lighter in the foreseeable future.

Things have been very quiet on the waterway. Very little local or through traffic.

Not many pics as this is my third return trip. See last year’s blog entries for the same trip.

Boat is great, very easy to maneuver in locks. I had some issues with fuses and breaker going in my thruster battery system when I first got going this year, but have that sorted and now use bow and stern thruster without hesitation.

Thousand Islands

Samantha, Sarah and later Mallory joined me for a few days of noodling around the area. We visited a few islands, spent a few nights at anchor, ate takeout a couple of times. The usual. Nice weather, cool but sunny. Samantha and Sarah did some point to point biking and I picked them up. Fun.

They left early this morning from Gananoque, and I cruised up to Kingston and into the Rideau Canal. I’m now stopped for the day at the top of Upper Brewers.

I’m in no rush. Got lots of food and fuel. I like Beveridge and the Tay Canal. Will stop there for a bit and do some cleaning. They have water. There is a paste of bugs on most exterior surfaces.

Weather looks great, getting warmer. Windy today, but the wind didn’t bother me. Easier going up than down in a breeze, but also I’m getting increasingly comfortable with handling the boat. The thrusters make it easy, and I step straight out to the deck from the wheel.

These pics were taken between Gananoque and Brockville.

Today’s trip from Gananoque to Upper Brewers. This section of the Rideau is not particularly great. Shallow, muddy and weedy.