Rideau, Leg 5

I think this is Saturday, but its hard to remember the days out here. We heard loons calling all night long. Awake to another beautiful day- the forecast has been for lousy weather all week, but it has been almost perfect weather.

We were up again about 6:30, but not underway until nearly 8:00. We arrived at our first lock to find 2 other, bigger boats waiting. This was our first lock with other boats, but it turned out uneventful.

The fellow ahead of us suggested we look at Westport, which was a mile or two off the track but it sounded good so we headed there.
Here are a couple loons that we passed on Big Rideau Lake.
We tied up at the town dock in Westport. They had a very nice dock, with a full time attendant. We flushed and re-filled our water tank with very nice tasting water, then went into the town for a walk.
I always find it hard to pass a Bakery, and this one was excellent. We also found the town library and uploaded the latest batch of photos. This was a very pleasant town, lots of tourist shops, and what was known as the Hundred Dollar Bridge- because apparently everyone spends that much in town before they get back to the boat.
Out of Westport we entered Newboro Lock. This was our first downstream lock, and now all the nav aids switch sides- we now are Red on the left, as we are heading out.

The area here is many interconnected lakes, many through very small, narrow passages. At one we passed this tiny cable ferry connecting an island to the mainland.

We stopped after passing through Chaffeys lock and had lunch and walked a while. This is the lift than raises the logs used to control the dams beside the lock. The damn is constructed of concrete, with a slot built in for a 12" wide timber. These logs are lowered into the slot using the two geared winches. The lock keepers can control the total flow by adding or removing a log as needed.
We arrived at Jones Falls about 3:00, and decided to stay for the night. First we went down this flight of 3 locks, about 45 feet. This is the second longest drop, after Ottawa.

We were again with 2 other boats, so we happened to be right at the front of the lock for this view.

Here is the view looking back at the 15 foot drop we just made.

They drop locks much faster than raising, since there is little turbulance to distrub the boats going down. You can feel the downward movement, almost like riding an elevator.

Jones Falls required this large stone arch dam, the largest one built in its time. It amazes me to think of building locks and dams this big, in 1826-32, with simple manpower.

Many of the locks are built in 'flights' of 2 or 3 together. I assumed this was done just to manage the total lift, but in fact, it was to allow parallel production- three crews could be at work at once. This entire 125 miles of waterway was completed in 5 years. We couldn't complete the environmental study in 5 years today, and I doubt it could be built in 5 years even with a fleet of bulldozers.

However, the chief engineer, Colonel John By, was called back to England after the completion to be investigated for cost overruns. He was exhonerated.