Boating in Canada Archive

Rideau Canal Diary 1997

Kingston to Smith Falls

The Sislers (of Grimsby, Ontario) spent two weeks cruising the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Smiths Falls. They have agreed to let me post their cruising diary beginning at the western end of Lake Ontario and a summary of cruising costs.

My husband and I (Silver Fox) and 2 other boats, BlueThunder and Irish Knights, just returned from 2 weeks boating on the Rideau. Silver Fox and Blue Thunder started at Fifty Point, Grimsby, Ont. (Irish Knights, Rochester, trailered to Alex Bay) to Kingston. We got as far as Smith Falls on the Rideau.

We followed your cruising notes all the way. Wish we were still there. The first night on the Rideau we stayed at Shangra-La and liked it so much we stayed a second night. I had to write to let you know that the new owners are a young couple (with 3 small children) trying very hard to get their new business established. Very accommodating. Great food. Breakfast $2.95 - the Best! We stayed again on our return trip. We anchored and swam at Morton Bay. It was a beautiful day. There were many boats doing the same. Colonel By Island was another favourite. We regret having to head home at Smith Falls, not seeing Ottawa.

Next year we would like to do the triangle (Rideau, Ottawa, Montreal) -or the Trent... I have a detailed trip log on the computer of our 2-week adventure. If you are interested, I'll send it separately.

With your notes we saw so much more. We all thank you for that.

Blue Thunder - 28 ft. Thundercraft
Silver Fox - Doral Citation
Irish Knights - 23 ft. SeaRay

Ontario is so beautiful!

Lonnie Sisler <>

Fifty Point, Lake Ontario to Kingston

WED. June 25 HOT WINDY 90 F
Fuel at Fifty Point
1200 Depart Fifty Point for Toronto C 090
Weather Report - threat of storm late afternoon
Lake Ont. - too wavy
Change course - follow shoreline (less wavy)
1400 arrive Western Gap Toronto
Dock for night at National Yacht Club (reciprocal club)
Dinner at Joe Badali's $20 (coupon)
Watched Benson & Hedges fireworks SPAIN from 200 Dock

Blue Thunder phoned at 0900 - leaving Fifty Pt. at 0915
0930 Depart National YC
Fuel at Outer Harbour $65
1130 met Blue Thunder at Sly Fox
1330 arrive Cobourg Fuel $53
Purchase towels at Biway
1420 Depart Cobourg (Murray Canal closes at 1600)
1645 arrive Baker Island, Trenton
Dock at CFB Trenton Yacht Club (reciprocal club)
Made spaghetti in Yacht Club's kitchen and we dined
on their outdoor patio deck overlooking Bay of Quinte

FRI. June 27 HOT SUNNY 90
1000 Depart Trenton for Kingston
1215 Arrive Kingston
Dock at Confederation Basin $28/nt.
1315 call Irish Knights at parents
1600 Irish Knights arrive Kingston
Dinner at South Vietnam Restaurant

Kingston - Rideau Canal - Smith Falls

SAT. June 28 HOT SUNNY 90
Breakfast at Archie's Place
Shopped for supplies at Kingston market
Purchased steaks from Crock & Block
1000 Captain/1st Officers meeting on Blue Thunder
Miss Rochester ready for Rideau in locking attire

1100 Depart Kingston for Rideau Canal
Rideau Marina Fuel $107
2-hour wait at Kingston Mills Locks 49-46
Lock 45 Washburn (Lower Brewers)
Locks 44, 43 Upper Brewers
Locked in front of and rafted with OPP Officers all day
Gave me OPP hat
1930 Arrive bottom of Jones Falls
Dock at Shangra-La (Very Weedy) $18.75/nt.
BBQ steaks (the BEST!) we just bought in Kingston
Met Jones Falls Lockmaster (Lock 39) - Raymond (Ed's friend).
He played several accordian tunes

SUN. June 29 SUNNY HOT 90
0530 laundry - towels
Planned 0800 - outdoor breakfast - Bacon/Eggs/Pancakes
0800 Breakfast - Bacon/Pancakes (Eggs - next time)
Decided to stay another night at Shangra-La $18.75/nt.
Swim parade at Morton Bay all afternoon (the BEST!)
We all anchored separately
OPP Officers anchored in Bay as well
Swam over to their boat (Beatnik) and gave Joel a Tim Hortons hat
Docked at front of Shangra-La
Irish Knights hosted a FROG FESTIVA with hats and gifts
We had a wonderful dinner - Crab Bisque and Pasta with Chicken
Thanks Karen and Jim - Must get Pasta recipe
Played cards in Shangra-La bar

MON. June 30 HOT SUNNY 90
0700 Breakfast with Squadron at Shangra-La (Great! - only $2.95)
0900 Depart bottom of Jones Falls Locks 42-39 for top of Jones Falls
1015 Arrive top of Jones Falls - Lock 39 (Raymond's)
Waited on Blue Line to cross over to dock for day/overnight $11.25/nt.
Toured museum (lst Lockmaster's house)
Swam in canal
Blue Thunder hosted RC Festival (steak, potatoe,corn)
We walked to bottom of Jones Fall and showered at Shangra-La

0700 Breakfast with Irish Knights at Shangra-La
Toured Blacksmith's Shop
Toured Jones Falls area and noted Dock just beyond lockstation -
(East) - next time let's dock there
1030 Depart Lock 39 top of Jones Falls
1100 Jim stops at marina (Eel Bay) W of Sand Lake to check friend's boat
1140-1240 Swim Parade Sand Lake off Fahey Is. - nice sheltered spot
BlueThunder went ahead to Lock 38 Davis Lock and waited
for us, radioed for SilverFox and Irish Knights several times
Met Blue Thunder at Lock 38 Davis, cont. to Lock37 Chaffeys Lock
Blue Thunder stopped for fuel, we and Irish Knights went ahead
Karen gave us a Canada Day salute at Indian Lake
BlueThunder caught up with us at Newboro Lake
Lock 36 Newboro Lock - channel markers change direction
After leaving this lock saw 1st topless (and bottomless)
in channelleading to McNallys Bay (and into Upper Rideau Lake)
1600 Arrive Westport and dock for night - $12/nt.
Nice little town - lots of shops
Washrooms and Showers at Chamber of Commerce
Long walk up hill and across street
Shower $0.25 /2 min.
Beers at Cove - BlueThunder's treat
Dinner on Patio at Cove
Rained during night

0600 3 loads of laundry, started at mini next to marina
then found large laundromat in town
Coffee and Bagel in quant tea room while waiting for laundry
Bought T-shirt and groceries
1330 scheduled departure time for Colonel By Island
1410 Depart (BlueThunder pumpout delay)
Lock35 Narrows Lock
1530 Arrive Col By Island and dock for night $12/nt
Explored Island and swam Nice Breeze - cooler
Our turn to cook dinner for Squadron - Fox Fest
Chicken/Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce
Chipmunk cleaned up Alfredo Sauce
2130 called home and went to bed
Thunderstorm during night - closed hatches. Heavy rain.

THURS. July 3 SUN & CLOUD 75
0930 Depart Col By Island for Smith Falls
Lock 32 Poonamalie Lock - did not check pass
Lock 31 Smith Falls - same
1200 Arrive Smith Falls
Dock for 2 nights$13/nt. $10 key deposit
Mini tour bus - Hershey Chocolate Factory
Toured and returned, then short nap
Wow! Jim saw French neighbour sunning nude
BBQ'd Irish Knights white hot dogs
Dessert and coffee at BlueThunder
Rained on/off all night

FRI. July 4 4TH OF JULY WINDY OVERCAST about 60/65
0800 Squadron Outdoor Breakfast
Pancakes/ Bacon/ Eggs /Homefries
Laundry - sheets (back of washroom facilities)
Walked downtown - afternoon - cloudy/ light rain/ COLD
Ken fixing waterpump
1515 Eddy Jr. arrives
Purchased groceries at Independent Grocers (large modern store)
BBQ'd for us and Irish Knights
Hamburgs and Caesar Salad on our boat
Walked back for more groceries
Teens diving off our dock at 0300 during night

SAT. July 5 COOL SUNNY 72 few clouds
0800 Depart Smith Falls for Lock 31 opening 0830
Lock 3l Smith Falls - diesel fumes
Lock 32 Poonamalie
Fuel at Rideau Ferry $135
Lock 35 Narrows Lock
Lock 36 Newboro - stopped for lunch at bottom (very pretty spot)
Swim Parade - NW Clear Lake - another popular spot
Lock 37 Chaffeys - wanted to stay the night here - no room
1645 Arrive top of Lock 38 Davis Lock, dock for night (Mooring Coupon)
BBQ'd steak and salad for dinner
1930 Sharp - Awards Night - South Side of Lock
Irish Knights had gifts for everyone
Drinks at Blue Thunder
Karen not feeling well (from diesel fumes)
I had a severe headache that night (same)

SUN. July 6 SUNNY 75/80 Beautiful
0930 Depart Lock 38 Davis for Shangra-La
Locks 39-42 Jones Falls - rafted with Irish Knights
1330 Arrive Shangra-La and Dock
Say Good-By to Eddy Jr. and Morrisa
Head to Morton Bay for Swim Parade
Anchor - Irish Knights rafted
Head back to Shangra-La and dock for night $18.75
Supper at Shangra-La - Clubhouse with salad (great!)
Cards at Blue Thunder

0700 Breakfast with Squadron at Shangra-La
0840 Depart Shangra-La for Brewers Locks 43, 44
0930 Arrive Brewers Locks
1030 hit mud at top of Washburn Lock 45 -
S193 Port Hand Buoy - chart read 6-metre depth
1100 change prop at bottom of Washburn
1120 Depart bottom of Washburn for Kingston Mills
122T 46 2-hour wait
1420 Enter Lock 46-49
1520 finish locking, continued past Kingston
1600 Arrive Cedar Island (Thousand Islands National
Park) and dock for night $14/nt
Dinner BBQ'd hamburgs and salad - east side of island
Coffee at Irish Knight and plan next day to see either Milton Island,
Gananoque and Mermaid Island or Collins Bay

Thousand Islands to Fifty Point

0730 Irish Knights says good-byes Forecast - chance of rain late afternoon
0800 BlueThunder heads for Rideau Marina to fuel
0900 Head to Rideau Marina, Kingstonto fuel
0930 leave gas dock Fuel $117
Blue Thunder waiting Dupont (East of Collins Bay) - S 6 kn.
St. Lawrence River very calm - nice cruising
1230 Arrive Murray Canal
1330 Arrive Presqu'ile Bay
1340 Arrive Lake Ontario - water calm
1500 Arrive Cobourg Fuel $70
Lake Ont. looks calm and we decide to head for home
1530 Depart Cobourg for Fifty Pt. - ETA 1900
Lake Ont. gets choppy - then rougher as we continue
1615 Phone Fifty Pt. to confirm arrival approx. 1930
Fifty Pt. advise severe weather forecast for W. Lake Ont.
48 M to Fifty Pt.
18 M to Eastern Gap, Toronto
Plot Eastern Gap co-ordinates on G.P.S.
1630 Head for Eastern Gap
Very rough - 10 Ft. waves - Life Jackets on
1800 Arrive Toronto Eastern Gap
Let's buy a trailer -- a house trailer!
Dock at National Yacht Club for night (reciprocal club)
1930 ate at National YC
Raining all night

Walked with BlueThunder to Marine Store and Surplus Store
Sky cleared & became sunny
Winds changed from NE early morning to SW late morning
1245 Depart National for Fifty Pt.- Light rollers - compass heading 210
Blue Thunder departing shortly after but following shoreline
Light rollers on Lake Ontario
1400 Arrive Fifty Pt.
1515 BlueThunder arrives Fifty Pt.

SAT. July 12
Fuel $113


Locking Pass 100
Fuel         660
Dockage      160
Supplies     340
Startup      100
          $1,360 (approx $980 U.S.)

14 Days - 45 hours AVERAGE EXPENSES $97 per day

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