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Author Topic:   July 2006 Ottawa River Cruise
jimh posted 10-14-2006 09:00 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Use this thread for comments or questions related to my narrative on the July 2006 Ottawa River cruise. See:

[Some earlier discussions on this topic have been moved to this thread.]

Chuck Tribolet posted 10-12-2006 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Sounds like fun in spite of the wet weather.

Have you thought about wiring in a small inverter for charging
cell phones and such? The modified sine wave units are
pretty cheap, and even the true sine wave boxes are no
longer astronomical.


andygere posted 10-12-2006 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Even easier, I made a simple pig tail that converts the OEM Whaler 2 prong power outlet to the standard cigar lighter outlet. I used it all weekend to keep my phone and iPod charged.

The cruise did sound like a lot of fun. I like the idea of boating in places where there are not a lot of other boats. I also like the idea of getting portaged around the dams by the dam owners. It is a nice way to solve the problem of navigation on large reservoirs.

Sal A posted 10-13-2006 05:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Thanks for the pictures and narrative, Jim. Your first picture on page four of your narrative still has me humming Gordon Lightfoot! And to think I am still working up the nerve to go from the central Jersey Shore to New York City and back.

I am sending you an email wih a camera question, if you don't mind.

jimh posted 10-13-2006 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An iPod and cellular telephones are direct current devices. What I ought to do is install an automobile cigarette lighter plug, and then I could use my car charger accessories to charge them.
Plotman posted 10-13-2006 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
This is turning into an electrical discussion, but a 22 foot boat is not to small to find a small inverter quite useful. I have one mounted inside my console. In addition to charging my computer, cell-phone, etc, I have also sued it to run a dremel and a polisher while anchored. They are under $50.
JMARTIN posted 10-13-2006 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
My Revenge came with a cigeratte lighter and chart light combination unit. I think it was OEM. It still works, but I do not use it. It is stowed somewhere and I will plug the cell phone into the power. John
an86carrera posted 10-13-2006 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
I just read your narrative. It sounds like a nice trip. But that mountain lake gave me the shivers, what was the water temps on that trip?

Ther is nothing like an extended boat trip for relaxing.


Buckda posted 09-21-2006 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Hi Jim -

The following link does not work.

I was really enjoying your new narrative about your trip this past summer, and hit this dead end. Thought you should know.

For those of you reading this who are NOT Jim, go here to begin reading this fine sail log:

It is a wonderful read with great photos.


jim40 posted 09-22-2006 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jim40  Send Email to jim40     
Great reading and pics! Years ago I spent some time on Ahmic (sp) lake in Magnetawan. Whe I looked at the author's map, and saw that this was the same area, I had to read the article. Looks like a great journey! Like the previous post said, pages 8 & 9 did not work. Looking foward to the rest of the narrative. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us....Jim40
prj posted 09-22-2006 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Indeed, and thanks for the writing, jimh, and the pointer to it, Dave.
Page 8 wouldn't come up for me and I didn't attempt 9.

Which client will I bill that morning hour to?

cdnwhaler posted 09-22-2006 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for cdnwhaler  Send Email to cdnwhaler     
I think the lack of page 8 & 9 may mean the entire Sail Log is not yet completed.
jimh posted 09-22-2006 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To be continued...

Actually, I have been too busy the past couple of weeks to finish. More coming soon.

andygere posted 09-27-2006 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
As usual, a great read that is once again wetting my appetite to take Namequoit on a little cruise. Fortunately, Nancy and I have one planned next month on San Francisco Bay, but until then, I'll have to wait for installments 8 and 9 to see what happens next aboard Continuouswave. I must say, I'm quite jealous at the idea of having 9 days to cruise a nice Boston Whaler, no matter the weather.

jimh, your narrative did raise two questions about some of the particulars of your cruising gear.

First, what's your coffee system? I've been considering my small white gas backpacking stove, but wonder if the marina owners will frown on open flames on their docks. Perhaps a simple hot pot and french press? Good coffee is a must for mornings aboard the boat, and being self-sufficient is the only way to be sure you'll have it.

Second, do you have a photo or sketch of your cuddy filler panel? Does it combine with the OEM table/filler/potty cover, or is it a stand alone unit? How is it supported in the cabin? I am using a crude plywood panel that sits on top of the lockers in the cuddy, which prevents easy access to the stuff inside them. In addition, it's unwieldy, and in the way when not sleeping. I've been brainstorming on building a better solution, but have yet to settle on a design. Any info you might be able to provide would be appreciated.

kingfish posted 09-27-2006 04:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

My $0.02 on one of the questions you asked JimH-

There are 12V coffee makers out there, although I've never tried one. What I *have* done is brought a 4-cup 120V coffee maker and an inverter that I wired up to my batteries.

Just another thought...


sportroyalwulf posted 09-27-2006 04:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
The best source for 12v travel appliances is a truck stop, particularly the larger ones. They have anything from drip coffee makers to roasters and crock pots.
jeffs22outrage posted 09-27-2006 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jeffs22outrage  Send Email to jeffs22outrage     

If you go white gas you should check out Cicada's (Paul) system. It is a very small but effective system that does coffee and soups. Very nice. I wish I knew more and had pictures. Buckda might have some images.

jimh posted 10-01-2006 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The coffee maker on CONTINUOUSWAVE is a drip coffee maker by MELITTA. We boil water in a little 120-volt electric hot-pot. We make the coffee two-cups at a time using the Melitta filter and drip cone.

The coffee maker:

We have been using this device for 20 years. It has never failed to make a great cup of coffee.

We use the Melitta filters:

The water heating device is a no-brand hardware store or discount store hot pot. The electrical system on CONTINUOUSWAVE consists of a 25-foot 14-AWG extension cord ($12 at Home Depot). The standard thee-prong male plug was cut off and a 30-Amp twist-lock plug installed ($9). This is the most common marina outlet configuration: 120V/30A. A second 25-foot regular extension cord serves as a back up in case the outlet is too far away or in case the marina is wired with odd outlets. Then we find a normal outlet (at the base of a light stanchion or a utility outlet) to plug into and use the normal extension cord. Also, the receptacle on the power cord has a built-in neon lamp which indicates if voltage is present. This is very handy for diagnosing power on/off situations on a marina dock. Often there are outlets whose circuit breaker is switched off; the indicator light on the cord makes is easy to see when you have found the circuit breaker and turned it on.

If the marina outlet is too far away, we just move the hot-pot closer to the outlet. In some cases we make the coffee on the dock, it the deck height is convenient. Otherwise we make the coffee on the port side of bridge deck.

The entire galley of CONTINUOUSWAVE is carried in a small soft-sided cooler. Each morning we break out the galley: coffee, coffee cone, hot-pot, filters, a couple of stainless steel thermos cups, cereal, bowls, spoons, oatmeal. Everything that can spill or spoil if wet is in Zip-Lok bags. Once breakfast is done, everything goes back into the soft-sided cooler and is stowed away.

You could expand the galley to include a griddle for making pancakes, but we generally do not eat a large breakfast--just coffee and cereal.

Also, we have changed over to using soy milk instead of cow milk for the cereal. The advantage of soy milk is that it travels in a boat. It does not need refrigeration until it is unsealed, and after opening it stays fresh for a long time in a cooler. Chris and I have been drinking soy milk for over ten years now, and regular cow milk tastes odd to us now.

andygere posted 10-02-2006 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
jimh, thanks for the clarification on the coffee system. We have a pair of individual mug Melitta-sytle drip baskets that we've used camping for many years, and plan to take on our upcoming cruise. I'm in hot pursuit of a hot pot as we speak. What I really appreciate is the tip on the twist-lock adapter. At my slip in Santa Cruz, we have the usual 110V household-style outlets, and I'd comepletely forgotten about the twist locks that we are likely to find at guest docks.

Can you provide any details on your cuddy filler?

jimh posted 10-04-2006 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have the dimensions and a sketch of the cuddy filler panel in a notebook--I just have to find the notebook. I will be taking the panel out of the boat for the winter and I'll snap a few pictures of it. It has been a great addition.

Chris had a filler cushion made up to fit the space between the bunks created by the panel. Then she had the cushion upholstered. She could not find the exact fabric. Our 1990 boat does not have the timeless brown plaid fabric that was typical of the earlier boats. It has a brown and blue stripe pattern. She did find some fabric that was in harmony with the other cushions, albeit not an exact match.

jimh posted 10-04-2006 11:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The panel was designed and constructed without rigorous structural analysis. The process went like this:

I wander into the scenic carpentry shop at work one night when things are slow. The scenic carpenter is also an avid boater and friend. I produce my sketch. We look at what pieces of scrap plywood are sitting around.

We find a nice piece (of scrap) plywood for the main section of the filler. We cut this to shape on a table saw. The piece is then set up on some milk cartons to simulate how it will sit in the v-berth. We test the strength and bend of the plywood.

We cut three additional pieces to reinforce the first in critical areas, doubling the thickness along the outside edges for about six inches in width.

Another close inspection of the scrap bin finds a perfect piece of red oak. This becomes a beam mounted on the rearmost and widest edge of the panel. This will also serve as a retainer for the cushion.

With the wood all cut, I take everything home--hey it was from the scrap bin--and laminate it together with WEST System Epoxy and a few brass screws. A coat of stain and some varnish finish the job.

jimh posted 10-10-2006 07:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Readers of my narrative please note that I have finished it. Days eight and nine are now available. I hope you enjoy it.
Marlin posted 10-10-2006 07:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Thanks Jim, another great writeup!
poker13 posted 10-10-2006 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
The Melitta drip system is excellent, but you don't have to limit yourself to a cup or two. Just load a lot more cofee into the cone filter and place the thing over the mouth of a thermos jar and pour enough boiling water to fill the thermos. Voila, you have coffee to last you a good while.
jimh posted 10-14-2006 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A note about some of the photographs:

I used a lot of compression on some of the early photographs, and I have discovered that when these images are viewed in certain browsers the quality is very poor. Apparently some browser software tries to impress its users with how fast it can render a JPEG image instead of how well it can render it, and as a result of this, many of the pictures in the early section of the narrative look quite bad when viewed with a rather popular browser/operating system combination. I'll be re-doing those to a less-compressed version to improve the quality.

jimh posted 10-14-2006 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If I were planning this trip anew, I would begin at Mattawa. From there you can explore downstream for 60 miles to the Rapides des Joachim ("Da Swisha") dam. At that point you could decide if you wanted to portage around the dam and explore farther south using the portage facilities available. At some point you would return to Mattawa, haul yourself around Lake La Cav on the highway, and launch into Lake Temiskaming. This would give you another long reach of the river to explore, up to New Liskeard.

For anyone interesting in learning about the construction process of the huge hydro-electric dam at Rapides Des Joachim, I recommend the beautifully presented "The SWISHA Project", a multi-media on-line historical collection: English/index.html

There are audio recordings of interviews with several of the workers who build the dam back in the 1940's.

where2 posted 10-14-2006 05:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Yet another beautiful voyage explained in incredible detail with spectacular photos and breath taking scenery. Thanks Jim!

I'm still in awe of the fact that you can drive onto a foreign military base with your boat in tow without so much as a front gate and guard. In South Florida, the average residential community has a front gate with a guard. To make matters worse, the guard at a residential community here probably wouldn't let you in with a boat in tow!

HuronBob posted 10-14-2006 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    

Thanks for taking the time to create this post. I spent an hour or so living that trip vicariously. Very nicely done, as usual.


jimh posted 10-15-2006 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Re the mountain lake swim: we were so hot from the climb it was very refreshing. I think the temperature of the water was probably in the 70-degree range. Some report the lake is spring fed. That is a heck of a spring to lift the water 450-feet above the river!

For more information about Oiseau Rock, see:

gvisko posted 10-15-2006 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
Great story I enjoyed reading it.

George Viskovich

chrisvs posted 10-17-2006 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for chrisvs  Send Email to chrisvs     
Well Jim you made it awfully close to my neck of the woods. We do most of our boating on Trout Lake, which feeds down to the Mattawa river via Turtle lake and Lake Talon then onto Mattawa. This route still makes a fantastic canoe trip on the very route that Samuel de Champlain traveled. Trout Lake is on the east side of the city of North Bay, about a 45 minute drive from Mattawa.

I really enjoy your trip narratives, especially the ones in which you have explored our province. We really are lucky to have some beautiful boating destinations in this area.

The storm you mentioned really marked the turning point for good weather in this area. Before that storm we enjoyed excellent weather much the same as when you started your trip (before forgetting your swim ladder!).

Thanks for the continued great reading, and exploring our playground!


jimp posted 10-17-2006 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
JimH -

Excellent story and presentation. What an adventure.

Glad you got your spark problem solved. Pretty much the same thing happened to my 1989 225 Johnson in 2002, when running her to "heal" herself, she self destructed, thus the new 2003 225 Merc Optimax that gets 50-60% better fuel economy & range.


erik selis posted 10-20-2006 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Jim, I enjoyed the narrative very much indeed. Very well done! Great pictures and an exciting read. The red sky picture is absolutely beautiful.
As you know I lived in Canada (Newcastle and Bowmanville Ontario) for several years and reading this made me feel a bit homesick. I loved the country and it's very nice people. I had the opportunity to travel along the Trent Canal System a couple of times by boat (at least part of it) but never had the chance to boat on the Ottawa river. Something I regret.
I had a little chuckle when you mentioned that some people referred to electricity as "hydro". When I was working at the Darlington NPP I often heard people talk about "hydro" when they were talking about electricity.
I think I'll call my Aunt Denise now. She lives in Orono Ontario...see how she's doing.


jmorgan40 posted 10-23-2006 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40     
This was a great account of your trip and I really enjoyed it. I continue to be amazed that you find the time to document your journies in such detail. Good work! In addition, after seeing your Navman 3100 setup and reading your end of season post in the General Area... You have sold me on getting a Navman 3100 Fuel setup for my 20 OR. I may be reaching out to you on some tips on how to tweak the transducer after I get it. Thanks Again for everything.
Take Care
jimh posted 10-28-2006 02:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In my narrative I mention the date of 1610. Etiene Brulé, the first European to explore the upper Ottawa river, arrived at Mattawa that year. Five years later Champlain followed, eventually exploring more of the upper Great Lakes, reaching as far as Green Bay.

To put this into historical context, I have to note that my own father was born in 1910, which is just 300 years after the arrival of Brulé! The development of all the modern cities of the Great Lakes, Detroit, Chicago, Sault Ste. Marie, Duluth, Green Bay, and so on, all occurred in this relatively short time span. From 1610 to the present is but 396 years.

To underscore the brevity of our inhabitation, I have to observe that my mother lived to the age of 90. She thus managed to be alive for nearly one-quarter of the time that European man has lived in the upper Great Lakes! Amazing.

Further of note, the waters of the Ottawa River have been flowing for about 10,000 years. It has only been in the last 50 years, or so, that man has intervened to change the river's elevation with dams. Below the quiet and now deep water of the Ottawa River, the artifacts of earlier mariners who travelled the river in its natural state for many millennia lie out of sight and out of reach.

GAwhale posted 10-28-2006 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     

Very enjoyable reading. What an adventure.

For some reason I thought all your boats had Mercury outboards. How many whalers do you own?

Now the really loaded question: When it comes time to repower continuousWave, what brand of outboard will you go with?

jimh posted 11-12-2006 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have owned three different Boston Whalers, and they have been powered by Mercury, Yamaha, and Evinrude engines.

To follow up on the engine, since returning from the Ottawa River trip I replaced the engine's ignition controller (called a power pack). In late September and early October we went on another week-long river cruise, this time to Tennessee and Watts Bar Lake. The engine ran perfectly for us, without a hint of trouble.

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