|Night sky in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. QC
We arrived in Saint Jean sur Richelieu, la marina le Nautique, back in June. It was the perfect spot to leave the boat for three weeks while we traveled back to NB and spent some time with our kids and family (both in NB and QC). The marina staff there was outstanding. We would recommend a stop here to everyone. The restaurant on site is also top notch. On the evening we arrived, after a crazy day crossing Lake Champlain, Papi was able to get his long awaited "poutine" (an upscale seafood version of a poutine, but still, a poutine).
We needed a bit of a break from the boat after five straight months on it, but we are again on the move and we're so excited to be nearing familiar waters!
|Maintenance day, it's always chaotic!
|Our son works at this restaurant, "La Cochonne Rit", excellent place!!!!
The Saint-Ours Canal, another great stop by Park Canada, has oTENTik camping at the lock, and because of that - they have showers (and a small store that has ice cream!)
We decided to stay in Longueuil QC, at the Port de Plaisance Réal Bouvier (marina). It was the best place to stage our departure to transit the commercial locks on the Saint Laurence Seaway the next morning. Most go to Montreal, but we've been there by car many times - so we didn't feel like we would be missing too much by staying on the other side of the St-Laurence River.
Transiting the St Lambert and Ste Catherine locks were not as bad as we had feared. We were able to tie up at the pleasure craft dock and go pay the $30 fee and call/talk to the lock master at each lock. They were very courteous and professional. We waited (maybe) a half hour for the first, and we waited about an hour and a half at the second lock (perfect opportunity to make and have lunch) because there was already container ship approaching the lock from the opposite direction.
|Seeing "La Ronde" from the water
|Old and New Champlain Bridges
|Watching a "BIG" boat go by - he's the one we waited on...
The spring floods are still (or were) affecting the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal, one side of the cement lock docks (including the "blue" line) was under water. We tied up on the port side wall for the evening - a wall that is normally too high for most boats - but not this year! This lock is a very popular destination every day of the week, there are shops and restaurants along the canal, some with live entertainment! It made for very interesting people (and boat) watching :) Saturday mornings, they have a small farmers market near the locks!
Approaching the Carillon Canal is always impressive. According to Park Canada's staff, it's the tallest lock in North America. It was funny when the lock staff saw our AGLCA Looper flag, and realized we were francophones... They made a big deal out of us being "Canadian" AND "french" AND being almost done... (Mind you, they were also francophone young adults, but I think it made doing the loop more "do-able" in their eyes. They had a lot of questions for us 😊
We spent a couple days at the free dock in the Town of Hawkesbury, ON, a short pause as we slowly make our way to Gatineau, where we'll be leaving the boat for another week as we go home to NB again for a medical appointment. (Should be the last trip home until after we cross our wake).
We anchored out near Upper Duck Island, after we left Hawkesbury. During a weekday, this is a really nice and quiet spot. On weekends, it can get a bit busy (I mean, really busy!). We were spoiled with a great sunset in the evening and deer sightings in the morning (you can't see them on the photo).
We are finally in familiar waters again - the Ottawa River is where we started boating back in 2003. Back then, we had a bowrider which we only kept a couple years before we changed it for our cuddy cruiser (which we kept until we bought this boat in Sept 2017).
Marina Leblanc, is the first marina we kept our boats at. It felt like coming home, except that all our old neighbors have moved on. Regardless, we are happy we could leave our boat there - and the welcome from the staff there was great (they remembered us and our last boat, PACO2).
We've been reminiscing so many memories as we are heading upriver, all of them good or great! It's pretty awesome that we're still creating more! When we get back to the boat, we'll really be on the last stretch! (It's really hard to believe we are so close to accomplishing something we've been talking about, dreaming about and planning for years. But we are!!!!)
Tina & Papi
Tina & Papi
"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with"