From Montreal to Ottawa we stopped at two places, St. Anne de Bellevue and the Carillon Locks. At St. Anne we tied to the town wall all along which there are about a dozen restaurants alongside the canal before the lock. The canal side waterfront was alive. St. Anne is a nice small town. We had a nice dinner at an Irish Pub with soft serve ice cream on the way back. At St. Anne we ran into fellow loopers on board Stout whom we met earlier in our travels.
The Carillon Lock was the next day after transiting of which we stayed on the wall below the lock. Now the Carillon Lock has the highest rise of any lock in Canada. It was quite exciting but fairly easy to negotiate as boats tie to a floating dock which rises within the lock. We locked through with Stout and one other boat.
The next day (June 28th) we travelled to Ottawa. We had to wait about an hour to begin the transit up the eight locks that sit astride the Canadian Parliament Building. As is usual, there were hundreds of people about watching boats lock up and down. In the fifth lock we suffered our first bump in the road. We lost propulsion from the port engine. Heard was a “wump, wump, wump” and then no juice. We feared that we had hit something solid in the lock such as a log but it turned out to be something not nearly as bad. After negotiating the remaining three locks with only one engine we tied up to the wall above the lock. The lockmaster emptied two lock chambers to check for debris. There was nothing. There were no scrape marks on the bottom. An inspection of the engine room revealed that the rubber coupling between the propeller shaft and the transmission had fractured. I found two of the four flange bolts in the bilge and the other two were only finger tight. Vibration had weakened the rubber until thrust broke it completely. Unfortunate as it is, at least there is likely no damage to the shaft or the propeller. We will get it repaired at a marina not far (18 miles) away but we will have to limp in slowly on one engine.
In the evening of the 30th, six looping couples got together for docktails. Now a
party ordinarily takes place on a dock in a marina but, in this case, since we were all tied up to a wall on the canal, we gathered on the sidewalk/bike path next to the canal. Care needed to be taken to watch for bicyclists speeding by, some of whom were annoyed that we had taken up some of their space even though walkers do the same. We are likely to meet all of these folks (see the picture) somewhere along the way later.
July 1st is Canada Day, Canada’s Fourth of July. We enjoyed a nice fireworks display from the bridge at the head of the locks. The picture of the four young girls is typical of what we saw all day. The crowd was quite diverse. We even saw a Hindi family of about twelve decked out in native garb and Canadian maple leaf flags. The atmosphere was festive. We have never felt so comfortable and safe on the streets as we did here and everywhere in Canada. Earlier in the day we attended a jazz festival in a nearby park. Next week is the blues festival. After our repairs we are thinking about motoring back to Ottawa to attend. We’ll see.