July 6, 2012

July 4, 2012  Day 54                                    Total miles to date  1071.3

Coming through the eight
flight of locks at Ottawa
Parliament overlooks our arrival
at the Ottawa Locks
The ride to Ottawa was a short 30 minutes and there we were at the Ottawa locks. These are a set of eight continuous flight of locks that raised us a total of 78 feet.   We were in the locks with three other boats, including Our Time.  Tom and Linda from Raydiance were waiting for us since they had arrived two days before us. Tom got on our boat to help us with the lines and Linda took wonderful photos of our boats to document the occasion!  We are so grateful to them! We appreciated the extra hands. Normally we use one line to secure to the lock wall but with these we used three!  It took two hours to lock through the eight locks, but we were rewarded with a fantastic view of the Parliament building at the top. It is just a couple of blocks from here! Another “small world” note – while we were in the locks a man riding by on his bike noticed we are from Williamsburg – he is from Yorktown, which of course is nearby and where we started the Loop!

We tied up on the lock wall with Raydiance and Our Time and several other boats already here. We are now in the Rideau Canal. Ottawa is the beautiful capital of Canada and we are just a short walk from Parliament Hill, museums, memorials, hotels, restaurants and shopping. The ByWard Market (Marche’) is very close to us and was established by Colonel By (builder of the Rideau Canal) in 1826. It is one of the oldest and largest public market areas in Canada and is still managed by the city. We found open market food stands, restaurants, shops of all kinds, and people everywhere. This was a popular place to be – day or night and we managed to go there twice the first day!
Two of us are smiling!
Shortly after we were tied up at the dock wall, we heard someone knocking on our boat and were surprised and delighted to see Belinda and Jim (Rickshaw)! We had not seen them since we left Waterford four weeks ago when they took the Erie Canal west and we took the Champlain Canal north. They had continued on to Smith Falls and took a 30 minute train ride to Ottawa.  We had a great visit catching up with each other! They will take the train back to Smith Falls tonight and then return to Ottawa tomorrow for more sightseeing, so we hope to see them again.

After we got settled we walked a few blocks to pick up brochures so we could plan our sightseeing for the next two days. We also stopped at the National War Memorial and then headed to the ByWard Market.  On the way back we noticed another boat had arrived with an American flag do we walked down to see them and were happy to see the AGLCA Looper flag! In fact they are Gold Loopers, having done the Loop in 2006-07. We had a very nice visit with Sally & Greg on Odyssey.  
Courtyard seating for dinner
in the ByWard Market
We bought Beavertails!
Greg & Sally, Odyssey
Tom & Linda, Raydiance
Brooks & Sarah, Our Time
Bill, Carried Away
Raydiance, Our Time, and Odyssey joined us for a walk down to the ByWard Market area to search for a restaurant for dinner. Linda had seen an outdoor courtyard earlier that linked to several restaurants, so she led the way. We were soon seated at an Italian restaurant in the courtyard and had a relaxing meal. After dinner, we walked to a little stand known in Ottawa for its Beavertails. They make pastries shaped like beavertails with many choices for toppings. The line was rather long but Linda and I had to have one because it is such a local treat! We stopped in a large bookstore, then headed back to our boats. It was a good first day in Ottawa and the full moon just topped it off!
We were sorry we could not celebrate our nation’s Fourth of July. Many Canadians wished us a Happy Independence Day when they walked past our boats. We proudly fly our flag!