Monday, July 21, 2014

Ottawa and the Rideau Canal Locks

We left the marina across from Ottawa on the 8th of July and arrived at the bottom of the first of eight step locks of the Rideau that take you up some 85 feet to the city of Ottawa.  The locks go right through the middle of the city and lots of tourists come over to watch as you go from one lock to the other.  It takes a total of about two hours to complete.  Once we got to the top we tied up to the wall for a couple of days to tour the town.  We also are now in Ontario where the language goes back to English.  If you read our past blogs you'll remember we have a couple banged up props.  I called a boat repair facility in Manotick a week earlier and had them order the props I need replaced so when we get there we wouldn't have to wait.  We left Ottawa on the 10th and headed to Hurst Marina for our new props.  On the way I noticed the upper helm steering was not working.  The good news was the steering in the pilothouse was working.  We arrived at Hurst and checked in to find that the props had not arrived but would be there that day.  Next day I went up to the office and there they were still in the box.  They opened the box and of coarse they sent the wrong size.  Murphy's Law!  After they were on the phone trying to find the correct size it turns out no one in Canada has our size.  They did send over a person on Saturday who found the hydraulic system had no pressure so they added air and also pointed out that the upper helm had a small leak, but the steering was restored.  We left Sunday morning for Merrickville and planned to stay on the lock wall for the night.  When we reached the first lock of the day I went up to the upper helm and hydraulic fluid was everywhere.  The seals on the steering shaft had flailed.  So instead of the wall at Merrickville we went to Alings Marina and boat yard for repairs.  I also ordered a new prop from Virginia where we had our last props fixed and will have it sent to Trent after we visit Kingston.  The seal kit came in to Aling's U.S. mailing address and they loaned us their truck for Jan and I to go on a little road trip across the border to pick it up.  It was good for us to get off the boat and return to the U.S. even if it was for a short time.  They got our pump repaired and we were off on Friday to get as far as possible each day.  The goal was to get to Kingston on Saturday.  Friday night we spent at the lower lock in Newboro that had no power, but we didn't care because we have a generator, an inverter, and batteries.  Murphy's Law took over and the generator belt on the water pump failed and now we can't use the generator.  We made it through the night and left in the morning and pulled into the Confederate Basin Marina at 6:30pm.  I wish we could have spent more time in the Rideau because it was absolutely beautiful.  We ended up staying in two marinas for ten days waiting for repairs when we could of been at any of the several lock walls that all have park like settings.  It's nice here in Kingston which was once the capital of Canada.  The marina is located directly downtown.  I did get a belt ordered for the generator and hopefully it will be in Trent when we get there.  We are leaving tomorrow the 22nd and will be at the Fraser Park Marina until everything is fixed.

Here we go on the Rideau

Waiting to go thru lock one to eight
Eight step locks through Ottawa

Check this off the bucket list

East Parliament Building

The Parliament Building
Changing of the guard

I mean this is the changing of the guard

They do this every day at 10:00am

You got the old guard and the new guard

You would think you're in England
Just after exiting the last dock

Spent the next two nights at the Ottawa wall
Leaving Ottawa on the Rideau Canal

Beginning of the canal

Had to wait for this bridge to open

More things we saw on the way 
Here they open the lock gate manually

The Merrickville lock wall

Merrickville lock was a four step lock

The bridge also opens manually with the lock

Simply beautiful

Here's the guy opening the bridge with a turn wheel 


Here is the green marker with an arrow on the rock for direction

Thought we were on a jungle cruise at Disneyland

What can I say?

Cheap real estate

Here we are waiting for the lock to open

This is what we waited for, a mini cruise boat from Peterbough to Ottawa

Anyone who does the Loop, go to the Rideau
The old capital building of Canada in Kingston before they moved to Ottawa


  1. Opening some locks by hand, amazing! Thanks for the update! Love, Lu

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