Here we go! It the « D » Day. After months of preparation and a final rushed week, we are ready to start our big adventure. We left from Gatineau surrounded by friends and family. We crossed the Ottawa River before attempting the ascent of the Rideau Canal locks. It was a beautiful day, cloudy in the morning, but under a marvelous sun in the afternoon. We arrived at Black Rapids locks at the end of the afternoon and decided to camp there for the night. The ice is broken; there is only 999 days to go! We are happy and we have just started to get used to our new way of living.
June 7th, 2014
Superb day under the sun. We left Blacks Rapids locks around 9am to continue our journey on the Rideau Canal. There were not too many boats on the water, even though it was Saturday. We stopped in the afternoon at Long Island Marine (marina). From the docks, it was difficult to tell if the place was fine. After we passed the docks and put foot on the ground, Wow! The place was fantastic! We were greeted like old friends. Mr. Pieter D. Brown maked us feel at home. He took time to share a little bit of his life and experiences with us. He was from Nova-Scotia and moved here only 4 years ago. He worked for many years on the Bluenose in Lunenberg.
June 8th, 2014
Today, we paddled the Rideau Canal up to Burritts Rapids Locks. We decided to pitch our tent there for the night. All Park Canada employees are very nice. Jasmine even made a new friend today. The day was beautiful, sunny and hot. After supper, we crossed the street to meet with our friends Denis and Danielle (who are travelling with us for the first weeks). We had dessert with them at the local restaurant.
June 9th, 2014
Windy and sunny day. We paddled a few more kilometers today than the days before. We wanted to get closer to Smith Falls. We went through many locks and every single one of them was as pretty as the previous one. We often did not follow the buoys but went closer to the shore. That gave us the chance to see a lots of turtles, fish and birds. If we can judge the water quality by the number of fish there are in the canal, well, the Rideau Canal is quite healthy.
At the end of the day, we met with Christina and Tom (the Folks) from Harvest Foodworks. They are proud partners in our expedition. They delivered us food for the first portion of our trip. Theirs meals are just good, delicious, and healthy. They wanted to come in person to deliver a box full of dehydrated food. We met at the Edmonds locks.
June 10th, 2014
We stopped at Smith Falls today for a few hours. We had some shopping to do. The lock master there was really nice. He invited us to use a wooden dock close to the park where Pierre and Jasmine found some shade. I went to do errands, then upon my return, we had lunch. An hour later, we left Smith Falls to get to Poonamalie Lock. That was the place we stopped for the night.
June 11th, 2014
During the night and early morning, we woke up to listen to the weather radio. The forecast has not changed; there will be 70mm of rain over the next two days. Around 10:30 am, the rain started, first softly, then it was pouring. We spent most of the day in our Hilleberg Tent, which we love.
June 12th, 2014
Today, it was much the same as yesterday. It rained almost all day. We went for a small walk in the afternoon to see the dam. We saw two different kinds of turtles. One of them was a snapping turtle, who was looking for a place to lay her eggs close to our tent.
Pierre took time to talk with the lock master. It happens that he is very knowledgeable about the history of this region and the construction of the locks. He shared information with us and talked about Colonel By (the engineer responsible for the fantastic Rideau Canal.). It was nice to learn more from this passionate gentlemen.