THE CREEK DWELLER

Tales from a small creek on the Eastern Shore

Chaffey to Upper Brewers Lock – July 25

Really packed us in this morning much too-ing and fro-ing before we were rightly wedged.

1This is in the lock and due to the fall we lose about 2 feet in width at the bottom, I did wonder if we would be able to get ourselves out.

But we all did and were off across some pretty decent water

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The water is remarkably clear, I was washing the dinghy with a bucket and the water was a clear as tap water, fish can be seen swimming about in the shade of the boat, and large rocks that look a lot closer than they are (physics innit).

Then the route takes the appearance of a dead end

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Just a hidden cut, I hope……

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Yup, there’s the next red marker.

Then a family on paddle about, some discipline required here, five kids!  In one canoe.

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Around the next bend and

Jones Falls Locks a flight of three followed by a turning basin and two more high locks.

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Almost done

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Then out onto some more nice country, but always watchful of the route, yes that’s a red channel marker hanging from that tree on the left.

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It usually means a sharp turn into a wicked cut, this time just a jog between two islands and across a bay to a Slooooow swing bridge.

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Opens slowly and out rushes a barge pulled by a jet ski

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Shock causes us to give way and we slip through after he clears.

In for the night at Upper Brewers Lock (yes he was a brewer)  a tad crowded but pleasant enough for the night.

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Kingston tomorrow, then Lake Ontario.

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July 31, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Narrows Lock to Chaffey’s Lock – July 24

Left our wall after the crowd departed, a little rain yesterday but a good sunset.

Our fourth of fifth day without cellphone or internet access, blissfully quiet.

Our last up lock we are now at the high point of the Rideau, next lock all the navigation marks reverse  Green marks now are to be left to ones right (OK?)

Here’s one that some wag has helpfully augmented,  “The channel goes down there?”

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Alternating lakes and cuts, lots of Loons hereabouts, this one a “Loon with a list” busy on daily ablutions.

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Past a desirable property, a bit small, but two nice trees.

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Into Chaffey’s Lock, hidden away in a long narrow cut, a delightful spot.

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A bit busy at mid-day with people going down  and coming up

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We always seem to attract the ardent sports types, the little girl was convinced that casting and calling out “Here fishy” would work (she was catching fish too)

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smiths Falls to Narrows Lock

As promised we were first lock this morning at 9:00 am

A half  mile later we had to wait for a swing bridge and lock (Smiths Falls detached) the hold up was a northbound cruise ship (if it could be so called)  a barge with a fold up bow (blue part) in order to fit the locks – the tour is Kingston –Ottawa in three days.

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As she clears the lock  the crew are already assembling the bow and setting out chairs

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Two older ladies (on left ) have already bagged their prime spots for the morning.

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before the crew have finished bolting it all together, – holidays from hell again.

Then out into the lakes we thought……

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not yet around the bend and down a really narrow cut into

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Poonamalie Lock

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and just to prove it

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Why Poonamalie I hear you cry, well I am told by the locals that the British sappers building the canal thought the area reminded them of some place in Hindustan, so they called it “Bird Mountain” in that language (even in 1836 the average squaddie had both a sense of geography and a sense of humour it seems).

Finally out onto the lakes, this is more like it 180 feet of water and no markers for ten miles

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in fact nothing much to see except for the course

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and the occasional bijou island residence.

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some for sale

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Wind piping up so we ducked into a dock on the North side of the Narrows Lock, a wide expanse of lake on the far side.

This is our last ‘up’ lock on the Rideau a 3 feet lift, from here we will be locking down to Kingston and lake Ontario.

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July 27, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Merrickville to Smiths Falls July 22, 2013

Left our spot at 8:30, others needed the space for locking down.

Out past some pleasant countryside, a few miles later, past a property I owned when in Canada, a piece of waterfront on the Rideau, now someone is building a sizable house by the look of the basement stucture.

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Then about 8 miles to Kilmarnock Lock –  in a narrow cut off to the left of the river

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Has it’s own hand cranked swing bridge which opens only when the lock gates open.

Five miles later Edmonds, very remote.

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and two miles later Old Slys – a high railway bridge, two locks and another swing bridge, hidden down a long narrow cut from the river in a shady rural spot, but no mooring facilites

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Half a mile round the next bend, Smiths Falls a tidy sized town with good facilities for the boater.

The three old locks have been replaced but are still used as kind of window box for flowing plants in barrels

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The new lock combines a new road and footpath with a single thirty foot lift lock (not Carrilon, but as big as one would like to see wooden gates)

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We are on the wall below the lock, it’s quiet down here all the noisy action is upstairs.

We will lock up first thing 9:00 am tomorrow.  But first beer buying, lunch and laundry (priorities, priorities).

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Burritt’s Rapids to Merrickville – July 21, 2013

Off our wall at 10:30 am, allowed time for the lock to clear.  Spotted this unusual sight yesterday, couple of folk practicing their polo shots in rural Ontario,

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Moved a big 6 miles today but had to run 7 locks and 3 bridges.

Lock 18 at Burritt’s, plus the swing bridge,

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 then 3 miles later Lower Nicholson’s closely followed by (you guessed it) Upper Nicholson’s with it’s own swing bridge,

The bridge is hand operated by the operator walking crank around a central gear, in this case a female.

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half a mile later Clowes lock

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then two miles of narrow canal and into the flight of three locks and a bridge at Merrickville,

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The canal side is a picture of tranquility…..

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The river side is something else.

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All together a days work.

Did a deal with the lockmaster to stay on his upper blue line (reserved for locking boats) but must be off by 9 am

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Next stop Smith’s Falls.

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Long Island to Burrit’s Rapids – July 20, 2013

Made first lock through the three lock lift at Long Island at 9:00 am, no pics. Too busy.

Then through rural Ontario, mostly conventional

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But it’s not hard to find a rebel, even in Canada

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or the odd collection of big boy’s toys

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and always a story to be told or invented

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Into Burrit’s Rapids  (I’ll give him an apostrophe)

A single lock lift, we are on the lower wall with a nice breeze and an electrical hookup.

People still locking through at 5:00 pm

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probably the last for today.

Noticed this in passing, on watch?

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We will go up first thing in the am, probably about 8:30.

Merrickville tomorrow.

July 25, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ottawa to Long Island Locks – July 18, 2013

Off our mooring wall at 9 am (the first bridge does not open until after rush hour)

Out through Ottawa South past Rideau Gardens, I used to live about one block over from this point in the ‘70’s

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On down the canal,  the towpath now a level bike trail following the water

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First or second lock at Hog’s Back  lovely name….

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Then on to Long Island Locks , a flight of three (#14 through #16 counting from the Ottawa River) only about thirty more to go on the Rideau system before Kingston.

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Moored for the night beneath the flight on a country wall , not a soul about.  Ready for first lock through at 9 in the morning.

Planned to run to Merrickville next but weather intervened, hanging here for the day (19th).

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At Ottawa July 17, 2013

Found a good spot on the mooring wall as people moved on this morning, plan to stay one or more days here and touch base with old friends, also need a run ashore for provisions.  We have electrical supplied here but no water.

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Saw the beginning of the changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill, the troop marches past the canal on their way to the hill so we got a preview.

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Have made our provisioning run and are now good to go for another two weeks, should be in Kingston by then.  Dinner ashore with old friends tonight, of in the morning after rush hour (bridges don’t open for us when road traffic is heavy).

Off down that way.

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July 19, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gatineau Marina to the Laurier Avenue Bridge, Ottawa July 16, 2013

Crossed the Ottawa River and rounded Rockcliffe Park  (Embassy Row for Ottawa)

I think this is the US Embassy, actually it’s the US Ambassadors residence a local tells me)

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then past the Rockcliffe Yacht Club

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A skyline comes into view, it is Hull across the river from Ottawa, Ottawa is around the corner

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First we pass the outfall of the Rideau River at Rideau Falls, the locks were built to bypass this hazard.

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Finally under two bridges and around the bend, the Ottawa flight

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Chateau Laurier Hotel on the left

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Parliament buildings on the right, the hexagon/decagon? is the parliamentary Library.

Eight locks and no stopping once you are in, we had timed it to be right after the last opening, but the attentive lock staff chose to do one more, so in the blazing heat we locked up eight times in two hours and found no room at the top wall.

No pictures in the locks?  Way too busy.

We are tied to a fence on the bike path just South of the Laurier Avenue Bridge, cooling off – generator and three air conditioners running  95 outside 82 inside.  The lock guy said it was OK.

Grocery, wine and beer run tomorrow.

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Nation River to Gatineau Marina (Ottawa) July 15

We had one of those sunsets last night that was worth recording.  The water was mirror smooth and the sun went down in line with our little creek.

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We were up and about early and set off about 8 aiming for Ottawa or thereabouts. We had a recommendation for Hull Marina but they were full when we called so we settled for Gatineau.

Out along the Ottawa river, wide, deep and mostly not a challenge to navigate.

“Boat behind”  is the cry, not so this time just a seaplane taking off.

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Up,up and away

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Then closing in on Ottawa a ferry.

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Not much one might say but this guy is a real operator, round about December the river freezes over ending ferry operations, so he beaches the ferries and around January first when the ice is thick enough to drive on he plows the snow off a crossing and sets up lane markers and lights and for five dollars will allow you to cross the river here (fifty miles from the nearest bridge) he will take anything from cars to trailer trucks, just sign the waiver and pay the five bucks.  Love it.

Not sure of the story here but I am sure there is one.

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Approaching the capital there is serious money about.

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and a major penile extender on a boat lift.

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Then a public space, something Canada does really well, clean, and as it is Monday empty except for the lifeguards.

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Finally into Gatineau Marina and a chance to clean the boat and get a dinner ashore.

Tomorrow the Ottawa steps (eight locks up to the parliament buildings)

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Journeys, Uncategorized | Leave a comment