Friday, June 6, 2014

RIDEAU CANAL CRUISE – DAY THREE

During breakfast, we slipped from Smith Falls and headed through two locks into the Lower Rideau Lake. This was a marshy area until the canal's construction flooded it into a large lake. The original river channel is marked by buoys and the reed beds are encroaching on it. These are home to many waterfowl and birds. I saw sandhill cranes (left) and loons. Along the banks of the lake are lovely vacation homes with boathouses and docks.

The Kawartha Voyageur continued south down a stretch called Rideau Ferry that opens out into Big Rideau Lake, which is huge and is the height of land at an elevation of 408 feet above sea level. After this the stream flows south to the St. Lawrence. This is the deepest section of the canal at 300 feet and is 20 miles long with 300 islands dotted all over the place. Here the wind broke up the clouds and the sun shone. It air temp quickly warmed up.


In the middle a road crosses the lake at The Narrows and we pass through a lock and the swing bridge moves away to allow us passage into the rest of the lake. The captain brought the boat alongside a short dock here to examine the port screw. It was fouled with burlap and he donned a dry suit and goggles. Within half an hour the debris was cleared and he warmed up with fresh-baked cookies— the water temp in early June is very cold.

             

At the far end of the lake we came alongside at Westport for the night. This small town grew out of the commerce of the late 1800s and early 1900s, but now is caters to tourists from boats and cars. It's most attractive, with some good stores, a museum, and a nice inn on the water. But it's best feature is a lovely waterfront.

After dinner the winner of the ETA contest was announced and it was the closest guess to the captain's estimate. I was thirty minutes over!! Never win anything! After dinner Ontario Waterway Cruises brought in a naturalist to talk about the wildlife we have seen and are likely to see. Bond Strand was graphic!!
















IMAGES: © Photos by Pharos 2014. All rights reserved.