July 3-8, 20019
July 3 – Montreal to St. Anne de Bellevue (34 miles & 2 locks)
July 4 – St. Anne de Bellvue to Hawksbury, Ontario (36 miles and 2 locks)
July 6 – Hawksbury to Montebello QE (18 miles)
July 8 – Montebello to Ottawa, Rockcliffe Boathouse Marina (42 miles)
Miles traveled this blog: 130
Total miles traveled: 6179
Add Ontario as second Provence
We left Montreal on a beautiful morning but with some trepidation about getting through a few more miles of quick current and two commercial locks, the first ones for which we had to pay a $30 fee each because they weren’t included in our Parks Canada Pass. As we pulled up to the Lambert lock it was clear that a large freighter was coming through toward us and we would have to wait for him to pass. We tied up to a lock-side dock, Jim climbed the flight of stairs to inform the lockmaster that there were 5 boats ready to lock through and give our credit card #. Apparently, you can now pay online but we hadn’t gotten the memo. Ultimately all five boats were tied up or rafted and it was an uneventful lift.
Departure view of Montreal.
Approaching the Lambert Lock. See the massive freighter, the white square pilothouse in the middle of the lift, and the rest of us milling around/standing off.
Breakaway rafting to Melody in a lock. Our AGLCA flag in the foreground.
The next lock about a mile and a half upstream, St. Catherine’s, was expecting us so all five boats lined up and entered in order. We were rafted onto Break Away, a nice Looping couple from Tampa who plan to complete in 8 months compared to our 4+ years! Suffice it to say that this was perhaps our most exciting lock so far but thanks to Jim’s athleticism, we were none the worse for wear. A story to share over dinner sometime. Don’t even have a picture, wish I had a video!
The rest of that day we crossed Lac St. Louis which is a large, shallow lake and reminded us of Lake Okeechobee (I can still spell it) in FL. There was barely a ripple the entire day, truly Vicki water. We arrived at the St. Anne de Bellevue lock and city wall in time for both Melody and Namaste to get the last 2 available spots. We dinghied across what is now the end of the St. Lawrence and beginning of the Ottawa River to a restaurant for some refreshment on a blistering hot afternoon and also so that we could tie up the dinghy while we provisioned. The town is quaint with restaurants and shops as well as a small but high-end grocery. Most delightfully, as we were standing in line to pay, an employee suggested that they deliver the bags to our boats. I commenced running around adding as much to the cart as time would allow – mostly drinks for these hot days.
The quaint town of St. Anne de Bellevue. Restaurants and shops across the river.
At precisely 9 am the next morning the doors opened and we left the dock to enter the St. Ann de Bellevue Lock (the busiest in Canada) and further on the Carillon Lock (a guillotine style and the highest lift in Canada of 65 feet). The pictures tell her story!
Waiting in line for the Carillon Lock – biggest drop/lift in Canada.
From the bottom of the Carillon Lock. The brown dock on the right lifts with us and is the best/safest/easiest securing system of any lock we have seen.
We arrived at the Hawksbury city wall in some surprise current and were disappointed to see it was basically located along a dusty parking lot. However, first impressions are often misleading and this turned out to be the case as it was a quiet and lovely spot complete with a stone house accommodating a museum, tourist center, café, and lovely restrooms and with an interesting art-laden park next door. We stayed an extra day because the local people were so nice, Jenny Lynn liked their mocha latte’s but mostly because of stormy weather that really never materialized. The rain created mud and two dirty dogs but still very worth the stop!
Coffee shop and barista Trevor at Hawksbury. He couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful – the promise of youth!
Museum in the Hawksbury. Also tourist center/cafe and music studio. We were treated to a piano concert on the grand piano in residence. Really a music lesson in progress.
Next up was Chateau Montebello and perhaps one of the most anticipated stops of the trip! A Fairmont Resort in Quebec (north side of the river) and one of the 19 Canadian Pacific Railroad Hotels of the 1920’s and 30’s which are as lovely today as they were almost 100 years ago. This one is reported to be the largest log building in the world. Everything on the property is log including the small, quaint marina with showers and laundry less than 100 paces from the Namaste. We stayed an extra day instead of moving along to anchor as planned. It was simply two wonderful to leave. Hours in the pool, dinner with Jenny Lynn and Dan at the Steakhouse, and long walks in the woods were highlights.
A main entrance to Montebello. The place is massive but couldn’t get far enough away to get a picture to do it justice. The landscaping and trees were beautiful and the building goes on forever. Highly recommended as a summer get-away!
Lobby and restaurant of Montebello. All set up for Sunday brunch.
Love a nice pool every now and then.
But on Monday morning it was time to move on to get to Ottawa and meet Lee. We cast off by 7 am since we wanted to arrive in time to clean the boat and get ready for our favorite oldest grandson’s visit. It was a perfect day on the most beautiful Ottawa River. We are approaching the Boathouse Marina now with perhaps not my favorite dockmaster but we shall see.
Namaste from the Embassy Hill neighborhood where Jim and I walked 4.3 miles this morning.
USA Embassy – picture taken from the deck of the Namaste.
Lovely dinner at the Rockcliffe Boat House. Another great memory!
Sunset over the beautiful Ottawa River! Sometimes busy with recreational boat traffic but now quiet and serene. Bedtime!
Good Boat Name: UGOGAL on a classic 50’ Hatteras in the Montebello Marina
Quote of the Day: A French speaking Canadian man on our dock as we were all swatting mosquitos at dusk last night, “I call them little Trumps!” Sadly, we all laughed heartily!
Thinking about you: Alan and Lila onboard Blue Haven who are doing a 33 hour crossing from Maine to Nova Scotia today! They made it!!
Sammy Sayz: Hi you guys! All is good here onboard the Namaste. I love the life, having smelled smells and met dogs beyond my wildest imagination. I do hate being leashed on the flying bridge during locking and docking procedures as that wastes precious time for meeting people and perhaps getting an occasional treat. They do not respond to my whimpering turned screaming and in fact seem rather annoyed with me. Can you imagine? Anyway I miss you all and look forward to returning home but life is good for now.