continuousWave--> Sail-Logs --> Rideau Canal 2007 --> Day Nine

Going home.


Date:Sunday, June 24, 2007
Weather:Starts cool and cloudy; ends very hot and sunny.
Winds:Fresh breeze
Destination:Beverly Hills
Distance:520 miles by car

Another Morning at Dows Lake

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 For Rideau Canal

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
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.