|Date:||Sunday, June 24, 2007|
|Weather:||Starts cool and cloudy; ends very hot and sunny.|
|Distance:||520 miles by car|
I am awake early this morning, my thoughts on hauling the boat and the long trip home. At 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning things are very quiet at Dows Lake Pavilion. Adjacent to the marina dock there is a Canadian Forces Base, shared among several services, and at 7 a.m. an older fellow, a Commissionaire, appears to raise the Canadian flag on the large naval style flag mast, as well as hoist several smaller pennants on the cross arm halyards. The marina office is not scheduled to open until 8 a.m., and we need them to unlock the gate to the boat launch ramp. I do notice that across the street there is no parking lot attendant, and thus no one to charge me for parking, so about 7:30 a.m. I get the truck and trailer out of the paid parking lot at no cost. I drive them over as close to the ramp as I can get, leaving the rig in the circular drive which approaches the marina. On a Sunday morning I don't think anyone is going to complain. I have breakfast while keeping an eye on the truck, just in case.
Promptly at eight o'clock the marina staff comes in to work, and I get Eric to open the gate at the ramp. I back the trailer down into a ready position. The ramp here is an excellent all-concrete corrugated surface and wide enough to load two or three boats at once. Next we move the boat over from the slip, only 100 feet away. As usual the boat loads easily on the trailer, and I winch the bow home into the V-rest. The rig comes out of the water nicely centered, and that part is done. Now comes the real work--cleaning up the boat and getting ready for the highway. Fortunately there is no demand for the launch ramp, so we just leave the truck and trailer parked at the top of the ramp for our clean up and tie down.
The marina has a 50-foot long hose with a nozzle and good water pressure, which makes washing down the hull easier. However a week in this warm and still water has put a strong stains on the waterline. I try to scrub it off as much as possible, but parts of the scum line are too tough and I don't have the right sort of cleaners. I give up on them and leave them for another day.
The next step is to roll up and stow all of the canvas, and to tilt down the flying top frame to rest on the aft seat of the cockpit. This gets it out of the air stream and avoids having a million bugs splattered on it, not to mention a reduction in drag. After a busy hour of work--Chris handles the cabin and makes it ready--the boat is reasonably clean and all is secure for high speed travel on the highway. The restaurants have finally opened, so we make a final pit stop in their bathrooms--those marina porta-potti's are a disaster after Saturday night.
About 9:00 a.m. we say goodbye to Eric and crew at Dows Lake, and head west for the freeway. It is a mile or two of city streets before we get to the entrance ramp, and we run into more road construction. Ottawa must be like Michigan, the roads under repair all summer from the damage done each winter.
The trip home is uneventful. We get only slightly delayed in a big traffic tie up in Toronto. The border crossing is much smoother than last time, with only about 30-minutes of delay. And our gas planning is quite good. We only buy just enough expensive Canadian fuel to just get us across the border and back to Michigan.
It has been a very satisfying trip. All went well: the weather, the truck, the trailer, the boat, the motor, the trip, the scenery, the restaurants--just about perfect on all counts. We rate it as one of our most successful boating adventures ever.
This concludes the nine-day narrative.
Water levels are given in feet above Great Lakes Datum. Distances are in statute miles to the Ottawa end of the canal.
KINGSTON: 125 miles Lake Ontario and Cataraqui River = 243.3 feet KINGSTON MILLS LOCKS 46-49: 121.3 miles Cataraqui River = 290.6 feet UPPER AND LOWER BREWERS LOCKS 43-45: 111.4 miles Cranberry Lake, Whitefish Lake = 320.7 feet JONES FALLS LOCKS 39-43: 98.9 miles Sand Lake = 380.6 feet DAVIS LOCK 38: 94.5 miles Opicon Lake = 389.3 feet CHAFFEYS LOCK 37: 92.4 miles Indian Lake, Clear Lake, Newboro Lake = 400.2 feet NEWBORO LOCK 36: 87.1 miles Upper Rideau Lake = 407.0 feet (Summit) NARROWS LOCK 35: 82.3 miles Big Rideau Lake = 403.9 feet POONAMALIE LOCK 32: 62.8 miles Rideau River = 399.4 feet SMITH FALLS LOCK 31, 28A: 60.5 miles Rideau River = 365.2 feet OLD SLYS 26-27: 59.3 miles Rideau River = 348.9 feet EDMUNDS LOCK 25: 57.6 miles Rideau River = 339.7 feet KILMARNOCK LOCK 24: 53.9 miles Rideau River = 337.5 feet MERRICKVILLE LOCK 21-23: 46.1 miles Rideau River = 312.5 feet CLOWES, NICHOLSON LOCK 18-20: 43.8 miles Rideau River = 290.9 feet BURRITS RAPIDS LOCK 17: 39.8 miles Rideau River = 280.5 Rideau River = 280.4 LONG ISLAND LOCK 14-16: 14.5 miles Rideau River = 255.2 feet BLACK RAPIDS LOCK 13: 9.3 miles Rideau River = 245.8 feet HOGS BACK LOCK 11, 12: 5.2 miles Rideau River = 231.9 feet HARTWELL LOCK 9, 10: 5.2 miles Rideau River = 210.1 feet OTTAWA LOCK 1-8: 0.2 mile Ottawa River = 134.0
Copyright © 2007 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!
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Author: James W. Hebert
This article first appeared July, 2007.