"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 29, 2012

July 27 - Rideau Canal

Just Beautiful
Morton Bay - Anchorage

Today we did the first seven locks of the Rideau Canal, we locked up 79.5’.  The Rideau Canal was completed in 1832 and was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. It was built as an alternate military route between Lake Ontario and Montreal in case Canada’s enemy to the south (America) ever captured the St. Lawrence River. It consists of a system of beautiful rivers and lakes connected by 45 locks. Today, the Rideau Canal is primarily used by pleasure boaters. All of the locks on the canal are operated by hand using various systems of gears and pulleys. Everyone working at the locks was very friendly and helpful. The lock stations are like small parks with nice grassy areas, flowers, picnic tables and bathrooms. Boaters are permitted to dock over night at most of the locks. At many of the locks, there were crowds of people watching the boats lock through. Everyone seemed very interested that we had brought the boat all the way from Texas…some didn’t seem to understand how that was possible!

We left Kingston in time to make the LaSalle Bridge opening at 9:00. The first four locks were about five miles away. We docked on the lower wall and walked up to the lockmaster’s office to purchase our seasonal locking and mooring passes. The first three locks are a flight, meaning you enter one lock, lock up or down and immediately enter the next lock. To enter the fourth lock we had to move forward about 100 yards and have a small bridge raised. The whole process took about 1 ½ hours to compete. The lock at Lower Brewers has a swing bridge that they open with a hand crank just like they open the lock doors; the lock tenders get a real work out each day.

Some areas of the river today were only 100' wide…I've never been on such a small river in such a big boat. The scenery was breath taking. We are anchored in a beautiful bay with granite cliffs on one side, one of the prettiest anchorages we have ever stayed in. We spent the afternoon enjoying a swim and relaxing on the boat.

Leaving Kingston - Kingston City Hall
Outside of the Kingston Mills Locks
Looking back at The Pearl waiting to lock up
Kingston Mills Lock - at the bottom of lock 49
Kingston Mills Locks - top of lock 47
Brass Point Swing Bridge
Some of the canal get very narrow
Entrance to Morton Bay
Our wonderful anchorage in Morton Bay

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