Rideau Canal & Trent-Severn waterway - June 13 to 24, 2014
*** To see the photos click here ***
June 13, 2014
Third day of rain. So we stayed at Poonamalie Lock. It was a quiet and relaxing day.
Did you know that malaria was the leading cause of death during the construction of the canal? Amazing isn’t it?!
June 14, 2014
Finally, we were able to resume our voyage. We were happy to return to the water after three full days off. The weather was somber and it blew strong at times. We also had a headwind all day. Along the way, Denis and Danielle joined us. They came with a nice surprise: muffins from Mr. Don Morrow (the lock master at Poonamalie Lock) he had sent them for us all. It was a very nice gesture and completely unexpected. Danielle and Denis arrived just in time for our snack. The muffins were excellent. We ended our day at the Narrows Lock. The lake just south of the lock (Upper Rideau Lake) marks the highest place in the system and is the point where the water begins to flow in the opposite direction, or towards Kingston.
June 15, 2014
Beautiful day of paddling. Lakes we passed through were all beautiful. There were houses and cottages on the shore, perched in the notches of the cliffs and on small islands. The region enjoys mature trees such as pine, oak and ash. The water purity and clarity was an invitation to swim. We made a quick stop at Chaffeys Lock for dinner. The village is very pretty.
In the afternoon, we stopped at Jones Falls Lock station. The site is particularly interesting and larger than all the others encountered so far. It includes 4 locks and a pond. We had to wait close to 1:45 to begin our descent. Fun fact for this site: there is an arch dam that was built during same period as the lock construction. It is virtually untouched since then. It was considered the seventh wonder of the world at the time of its construction.
The day ended in a cabin of the Hotel Kennedy opposite the exit locks at Jones Falls. This allowed us to do laundry, have internet access and a good shower.
June 16, 2014
Beautiful day of encounters and good paddling, despite the rain we had on the way. We first met Mr. Dave Jackson who accompanied us for a while in the morning. He was kayaking. During our discussions, Pierre and Mr. Jackson realized they had someone in common. The theory of "six degrees of separation" was confirmed again with this example (theory that we are all connected to each other by a maximum of 6 intermediate/people).
In the afternoon, we were caught between two storms. We had to quickly land on a private dock. The owner, Brian Andrews, and his dog Buddy greeted us warmly. He also promised us a BBQ if one day we were back in the region.
We ended the day at Kingston Mills, the last locks of the Rideau Canal system. We met Richard St-Onge with whom we had a coffee. He is former military and he is super friendly. We first met him at Poonamalie lock. It was a very pleasant evening.
June 17, 2014
We left the Rideau Canal in the morning by car with Denis and Danielle. They only have two more weeks of vacation and they would love to get to Orillia in the Trent-Severn waterway. So we decided to skip the leg of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.
We found a place to rig our canoe and Denis’ boat at the mouth of the river and junction of Bay of Quinte. Once our canoe was ready, we start paddling on the Trent-Severn for new discoveries. There was a lot of wind and current on the river. Despite that, we managed to pass 5 locks. So far, the system is not as charming as the Rideau Canal. We set up our camp at Lock # 5 for the night. Denis and Danielle joined us just at the bottom of the lock.
June 18, 2014
We started paddling at 9:20 am this morning to be ready to pass lock # 6, located less than 2km from where we slept last night. The day went well despite the wind. Quite frankly, I (Jennifer) was whacked at the end of the day.
It takes time to get through the locks. It is not as fast as on the Rideau Canal. And the service is not the same. We arrived at Lock # 8 at 3:40 p.m. Although the lock is supposed to be open until 16:00, the lockmaster had left when we arrived. There was no way to pass through the lock before the end of the day. So we had to portage our gear to the top. There was no drinking water and no dripping taps on site. Luckily, we met the wife of a lockmaster (Sandra). She informed her husband (Doug) of the situation. He came to make the water system function again.
June 19, 2014
We went through a lot of locks today. Most of them were not far away. We have gained elevation today … some of the locks were impressive by their height. The locks most impressive were 11-12 and 16-17. These are the highest we have seen. We worked hard today even though we paddled only a short distance. The current was strong due to the altitude we gained and the headwind blew fiercely. We all stopped for the night at Healey Falls (Lock 17). It was not as charming as the Rideau Canal. Denis and Danielle have also informed us that tonight will be our last supper together. They will go home tomorrow. This will be a void in our days.
June 20, 2014
Denis and Danielle left us this morning. They will navigate toward Trenton to get their car. Jasmine found the departure hard. She knew she would not see her friends again in the evening.
We left Healey Falls around 10:30 with the objective in mind to get to Hasting lock. We paddled easily all day. Landscapes have started to change and we find the region a little more charming. We stopped a little further than Hasting lock (which is located in downtown Hasting). We selected a home for the night in a campground named Dreamland. The place is very clean and the prices are reasonable.
June 21, 2014 There were already many fisherman on the river when we left this morning. We learned last evening that bass fishing had just opened. The day was more difficult, especially on Rice Lake. There was wind, and waves from all directions because of the boats. We paddled more kilometres than the limit we had set for ourselves because we struggled to find a place to sleep. We first stopped at a campground which was proudly flying the "Redneck" flag. The lady at reception openly inflated prices and found many ways to add up costs. We declined the offer and went back to paddling. We had seen on the map that there was another campsite 6km away. When we arrived at our new destination, we learned that the campground no longer existed and we could not camp there. On the other side of the river and further south there was a public park where we had stopped before. The security guard informed us that we couldn't camp there either and if we were found there we would be forced to leave. We had few options left. We could either continue paddling to Peterborough or find a Good Samaritan. On the opposite side of the river we spotted a man whom we had seen earlier that afternoon. We paddled across to talk with him and he invited us to sleep on his land. The man's name is Howie and his friend is called Swamp. The two were really friendly and welcoming. Jasmine quickly made Swamp her new friend. Howie and Swamp stayed with us until later in the evening, when they left to celebrate in town. We went to bed after a frustrating day.
June 22, 2014
The scenery was serene this morning. There was little wind, lots of sun and birds everywhere. There were still boats out fishing but many less than the previous day. We arrived at Lock #19 around 10:30. Shortly after emerging from the lock we found a campground on the right hand side (Beavermead campground). It was well located and within walking distance from everything. It is on Little Lake in Peterborough. We did errands in town in the afternoon and took a warm shower. We decided tomorrow would be a day off. We will continue on Tuesday if the weather permits.
June 23, 2014
A day of rest and a chance to update; on the internet, our blog, washing,...
June 24, 2014
Second day of rest (rain). We will be on the water tomorrow.