Sunday, July 15, 2012

Smith's Falls, Canada

A cloudy, muggy day and the threat of thunderstorms kept today's travel short.  We are again going down the locks, always the preferred direction.  We entered the narrow Poonamalie Cut, passed through Poonamalie Lock,  and were again struck by the pride the Park Service and Lockmasters take in their little pieces of the world.  Clean, painted, and landscaped, with friendly, helpful staff.

We tied up in Victoria Park in Smith's Falls and toured the Rideau Museum this afternoon. 

The canal has been designed a UNESCO world heritage site, much to the pride of the Canadians.  This is truly a special place, worth the effort to get here.  There is live rhythm and blues music in the park across the way and a festive feeling.

The original three locks here have been replaced with a single combined lock but they smartly preserved the originals and incorporated them into Victoria Park.

Among my roles on the boat are Admiral, chief cook & bottle washer, and Insect Control Officer.  During the day, it's the deerflies, both in and out of the boat.  Come dusk, which is around 9:30 or so, the mosquitoes wake up.  The first night we left the doors open, and must have killed 20 of them in the berth area.  Most had already dined somewhere else, so swatting them left bloody spots on the walls, which then had to be cleaned.  We now put up the screens at 9:00 or so, but still get a few mosquitos when we open the door to take the dogs out for their final potty break of the day.

And these dogs attract children!  Everywhere we go, there are toddlers pointing "doggy, doggy".  There are lots of others dogs around, smaller nervous ones mostly.  Ours just stare lovingly out at the kids, who ask "can we pet the dog?"  And, of course we can't say no. Besides, it sure tires out the pups.

What the locals call the Quebec Rush is on.  This is the time when businesses in Quebec close down, and the French speakers come down to the canal in their cruisers.  Canada is a bilingual country, and the relationship between the two cultures is obviously uneasy.  On Saturday, the fellow travelers were English speakers, today they are all French.

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