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Tom, Carol and Tilly's Blog

June 30, 2017 to July 27th
By Tom Haak
Posted on 8/10/2017 1:20 PM
Hello everyone.  Because I am behind on our blog, and I want to catch up, I will give an abbreviated version of our time in Canada from June 30th to the completion of the last lock on or around July 28th.

So far we have traveled through 117 locks.  (if I never see another lock, it would be OK with me).  However, there are more to come in this journey.  

If your destined either for the Erie Canal system or the Champlain Canals (which is the route we took) the first lock encountered is the Toy Federal Lock and Dam.  If memory serves me right, that lock was pretty uneventful.  (Wish I could say the same for all 117.)

The next set of locks was the Champlain Canal route that connects the Hudson River to Lake Champlain and eventually the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  

We arrived in Canada on June 30th.  Our first marina stay was at that was a mouth sounds really nice when a French speaking person says it.  We stayed there for two nights.  July 1st was Canada day.  Lots of celebration going on around us.  Very similar to our independence day celebrations.  We even had fireworks that we could see from the back of the boat.  That was great considering there would be no fireworks for us on the 4th of July.  

When we left the marina, we started the Richelieu/Chambly route that runs north and south between the northern end of Lake "Champlain at Rouses Point, NY and the St. Lawrence River st Sorel, Canada.  

The locks on the Chambly Canal and Rideau are manually operated. The lock tenders turn cranks to open and close the locks.  Very interesting.  Hey, that would be a good job for me to exercise my arms and get rid of my bat wings.

The picture to the right is us heading into the lock and the picture to the left is when we were situated in the lock.  I'm glad we were the only boat travelling because these locks are somewhat small and I wouldn't want to be in there with another boat. 

These locks are quite the tourist attraction.  At times, I felt on display hoping I wouldn't do anything stupid with all these people watching.  Yikes.  The picture on the right is the last set of locks on the Champly.  We headed for a marina after this.  Locks can be an all day affair and very draining.

Now we're off to start the Rideau Canal (pronounced redoe.)  The locks are operated by Parks Canada. Because Canada is celebrating their 150th year, all the locks are free in 2017.  This canal system starts at the Ottawa river and totals 49 locks. The first locks consist of a flight of 8 locks.  One right after the other with many tourists staring at you and taking pictures.  I wonder how many facebooks sites we're on?

  In all honesty.....I kinda had a melt down in these locks.  There should be a class....locking 101.
We made it through with Ottawa on the other side.  We tied up at a wall for two days.  Ottawa is a very pretty city.  We took a tour of parliment, saw the changing of the guard and changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  Both very moving. 

We toured the city and checked out some of the local watering holes.  We were in an Irish pub and decided to order an appetizer.  We settled on Poutine. What's Poutine you ask?  The three main ingredients of Poutine are: french fries and cheese curds smothered in brown gravy...OMG so delicious.  We could feel our arteries clogging.

After our stay in Ottawa we press on through the rest of the locks.  The scenery surrounding the locks is all very lovely.  There are walking and biking paths and quaint towns along the way filled with rich history. 
We finished the Rideau on July 14th and headed for the Trent Severn Canal system.  Prior to starting the Trent, we stayed at the Trenton Port Marina.  By far this was the best marina.  it was only 2.5 years old and had free laundry.  What's not to like......

We started the Trent July 18th and finished July 27th. We were so glad that we were done with locks for awhile.  Tom and I both agreed that the Trent was less desireable than the Rideau.  The dams were much closer to the locks making the currents into the locks difficult to manage.  Just like the Rideau, there were towns along the way.  We stopped at the recommended places.  There were two lift locks along the way.  Those were interesting. 

boats milling around waiting to get into the lift lock. Another lock that was interesting is called the Big Chute.
It was amazing.  We entered with another boat that we've been traveling with.  Ele and Jim.  We met up with them in Peterbourough and have become cruising buddies.
As you can see, we're lifted out of the water and transported to the other side.  The reason for this type of lock is to keep invasive species out of the river.
We had one more lock to go through and then we were done with both locking systems.  Doing the Rideau Canal would have been enough for me.  Doing both sets of locks was way too much.  I do believe Tom had the same feeling.  

BTW I'm updating ths blog using a library computer.  I'll explain in the next post.

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