Where we at

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Governors Bay -> Blue line -> downtown, wall (w/ power)

Part One: Getting to the blue line

After a phone call with the lockmasters in downtown's lock (called "the steps") we were told no one was currently on the blue line. (For non-boaters, "the blue line" is a section of wall painted blue that boats tie to, indicating they want to lock through). Rather that wait, as soon as Hannah and David were done for the day we hoisted the anchor and made for downtown.

Once tied off we hiked up the hill, examining the locks to come as we seeked out some dinner. We had sushi! It was awesome.

Looking down on the steps the night before.

We're totally blown away by how cool Ottawa is!

The official sign

Part Two: Climbing the steps

All the boats wanting to lock up.
Just off the the Ottawa River was the turn to get onto the Rideau. But to do that you must climb the steps: there are 8 locks, right in a row. Get into one, up, out and into the next, repeat. 8 times.

When we went to bed there were 3 boats on the line, Highwind, a SeaRay, and us. By the time the lock was ready to go, 11 of us were waiting.

Each morning the lockmasters pick a direction of flow depending on the number of boats waiting. Clearly, more boats wanted to lock up today than down, so we got to go first. And since Highwind and inQuest were on the line first, we literally were the first in the locks. The lockmasters also want to get as many boats as they can through, so we locked with 2 other boats, packing us in like sardines.

Stuffed with little room to spare
The first lock took a while, just to get everyone organized and in. After that we all knew where we needed to be and how much space we needed between each other, so they went faster.


Our starboard engine died.

As a rule, catamarans are very easy to handle. Unless they only have 1 engine.

This happened just after the 2nd lock. So we had to do the remaining ones with the port engine only. The lockmasters helped out, taking lines to help us get into place and set up for each lock. But it slowed everything down quite a bit. Lock after lock we managed to squeeze out of the lock and into the next one, and get packed again. It was a bit of a trick.

The last lock, however, we were on our own. As we passed by the last gate, a number of boats wanting to lock down lined the starboard wall. Russ called out "we only have one engine!" and all the boaters jumped into action, fending us off. We didn't get too close, but it was a comfort to know they were all alert and ready. One of the reason I like boating; boaters pay it forward.

Quick shot of the steps behind us.

Highwind left the last lock quickly and got docked, then Hannah and David ran up and down the canal looking for a place for us, knowing our situation. They caught our lines and helped us get in, all with little issue.

The problem? We think the starter for the engine died. We typically turn the engines on and off every time we're in a lock, and the starboard one just didn't start. So stay tuned... we may be in Ottawa for a while.

Starting off memorable... lots yet to do!

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