July 16, 2012

July 13, 2012  Day 63                                  Total miles to date  1189

Brooks (Our Time) had time to catch this guy
while we waited on the Jones Falls Lock
We completed the 126 mile Rideau Canal system today at Kingston which we entered on July 4 in Ottawa. It was an interesting trip that twisted and turned through many small towns proud of their heritage, and many rural settings. It was often very narrow and very shallow - the perfect place to find loons, gulls, and the occasional heron. At times the canal turned into rivers and lakes and we enjoyed the depth of the water and the view with homes, large and small claiming their place on the waterside. We also went through 49 locks on the Rideau, and we found the lockmasters and attendants very helpful and friendly.  Many of the lock sites have converted their old lockmaster’s house into a museum and all of the locks have a park like setting around them with many trees and picnic tables. Each of the locks has room on their walls before and after the locks for a few boats to dock overnight. Most have 30 amp power connections but none have water hook-ups. Local residents often come just to watch the boats go through the locks! Colonel John By designed this canal system in 1826 and it was completed in 1832. 
We arrived at the small Rideau Marina on the north side of Kingston around 1:00.  Joyce went into downtown Kingston by dinghy with Sarah and Brooks on Our Time.  The tourist centre, city hall, lovely Confederation Park, hotels, shops, restaurants, and street entertainers are on the waterfront.  The city provides free wifi in the park, so while Sarah and Brooks walked around, Joyce was able to update the blog, etc.  Bill stayed on the boat to do some small repairs.  After returning to the boat, we walked to the grocery store and found a small place for a quick dinner.  The grocery store was much farther than expected so we did not buy anything that needed refrigerating.

Kingston enjoys its position on Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the Cataraqui River (Kingston’s end of the Rideau Canal), and it is the birthplace of commercial navigation on the Great Lakes. Kingston is also a “central” point for anyone doing the Loop. We arrived by taking Lake Champlain north from New York.  Other Loopers followed the Erie Canal to Oswego and arrived here at Kingston as well. Our route is a longer one, but we were happy not to have missed that part of Canada.
Tomorrow (Saturday), we will take our dinghy into the day dock and explore the city.