CHAPTER 3 JUNE 28, 2007
As we leave ST ANNEíS, weíre still in QUEBEC, but now we leave the ST LAWRENCE RIVER and start the OTTAWA RIVER. The riverbanks are still lined with lovely homes, many with bright red, orange, green or blue roofs, and the towns continue to be marked by tall elegant single or twin church steeples. There are also many parks and campgrounds along the river. See our chapter 3 pictures for a stunning Ottawa River sunset. Darkness comes at about 10pm now, and the first light is about 4 or 4:30 am. Iím really liking this! We arenít having any problem finding TV or radio stations in English. Only problem is trying to figure out celsius Ė thatís the only way temperature is stated. The weather has been just exactly like New England. One day itís in the upper 60ís, and the next day itís 90 degrees. One night we even had the heat on in the boat because it was only 9 outside (about 47 degrees).
Cars and bicycles have equal status in Canada. Bicyclists must use hand signals and obey all the traffic rules. On the radio, you will hear reminders to people in cars to look behind them before opening the car door. All around, people are involved in all kinds of outdoor activities. Iím convinced itís because the summer is so short here, they do their best to make every minute count!
We have purchased a seasons pass for the CANADIAN CANALS AND LOCKS, so most evenings we stay at the locks. They call it "tying up to the lock wall". What it means is that you secure your vessel to the dock, either the dock before or the dock after the lock, in lovely parks complete with gardens, picnic tables, etc. Not bad!
We passed the town of OKA in QUEBEC on the Ottawa River, (see picture) where car ferries are pulled by small inboard skiffs, which turn around at the last minute and back into the dock Ė scary!
Today, at the CARILLON LOCK (see picture), we met John who is traveling 100 to 150 miles a day attempting to break the world record by doing 10,000 miles on a Seadoo! See picture of him on his Seadoo in the 65 foot Carillon Lock. We spent about an hour touring and speaking to the lockmasters of this major lock that was built in 1959 Ė 1963. The following day we had an extremely interesting tour of the major dam and hydro-electric generating station that is part of the lock. You cannot take the tour if you wear a pacemaker or hearing aid, and must wear a hard hat. A guard accompanies you with the tour guide, and no purses or cameras are allowed. The Ottawa River divides QUEBEC and ONTARIO. The lock and power station are on Quebec territory, and the dam spillway with 12 gates is in Ontario.
On 6/30/07, we visited CHATEAU MONTEBELLO in MONTEBELLO, QUEBEC. This hotel and resort is reported to be the largest log cabin structure in the world. There is also an attached marina (see picture).
On 7/1/07 (CANADA DAY) we visited the PAPINEAU MANOR (also in Montebello), with many outbuildings and family funeral chapel. This was the country home of Papineau, an important figure both politically and as a collector of books during the late 1800ís and early 1900ís.
On 7/2/07 we entered OTTAWA, the capital of ONTARIO. The following day, 7/3/07, we passed through the "flight of 8 locks" (see picture) in OTTAWA that mark the beginning of the RIDEAU CANAL. The majestic staircase of 8 locks all in a row, pass through the heart of Ottawa at the foot of Parliament Hill. It took 3 hours to pass through, all the while talking to the people jogging, biking, walking, and just passing the time. Watching boats locking through is major entertainment for the people here, same as everywhere there are locks! We tied up after the locks at the public dock and spent the afternoon in the city, but did not stay the night. For the past couple of weeks weíve been hearing horror stories about safety issues at the public docks in Ottawa, including boats being sprayed, vandalized, untied and set adrift, and boarded at night to steal whatever isnít chained down. Then, over the weekend there were 3 murders in a highly secure, gated building. Needless to say, we passed on staying overnight here!
Weíre enjoying the RIDEAU CANAL. Weíll no longer be in Quebec, just Ontario for the remainder of our time in Canada. We spent a very enjoyable evening 7/3/07 in LONG ISLAND, LOCKS 14-16 on the Rideau Canal. The following day 7/4/07, we traveled with the same 4 boats to BURRITTíS RAPIDS, LOCK 17, and we all went out for pizza for dinner. It was a wonderful day, but we missed spending 4th of July at Block Island with our wonderful friends from Connecticut. Next year for sure!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY BACK IN THE STATES!