Thursday, June 5, 2014


Today was a moody, misty day with constant drizzle until about 4pm. I enjoyed seeing the waterway in a different dress. Because the Kawartha Voyageur has huge windows on the middle deck, the weather did not matter. The changing landscapes were monochrome until the clouds began to lift.

We locked through nine locks from Burritt Rapids to Smith Falls. There was an hour's shore excursion in Merrickville for some fun shopping — my husband and I opted instead to try out the local craft beer at Oliver Twist, an authentic British pub.

We sailed on glassy waters along wide reaches with huge reed beds and narrow, tree-lined cuts while we ate breakfast and lunch.

The last lock is modern, Smith Falls Combined built in the 60s. It is the biggest single lock I've ever seen and raises vessels 26 feet in about ten minutes. The photo at left shows how it looms above the top deck of our ship.

We moored alongside in the basin downstream of the lock and spent an hour on a private tour of the Rideau Canal Museum at Smith Falls. Here I met the person who organized this cruise for me — this was quite unexpected. The museum will inform those who have an interest in how the canal was built and its human cost in 1830. Most of the dam and lock engineering is still in its original form and that shows how well it was done. At the very top of the museum is a lookout over the town on Smith Falls and the weir, spillway, and dam. And there was our lovely ship awaiting us above the weir.

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

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