To Part Two
To Part Three
To Part Four
To Part Five
To Part Six
Stage 1: I relaunched April 29, in Tarrytown
on the Hudson, where I pulled her for a refit last August. Had
a lovely run up the Hudson, the Champlain Canal, and Lake Champlain
to Burlington VT. No problems, and no other boats either. I had
the nine 18 foot locks all to myself. I'm not sure opening and
closing massive steel gates, letting in hundreds of thousands
of gallons of water in order to raise one fifteen foot skiff eighteen
feet is a wise expenditure of the taxpayers money, but what the
hell. Have laid the boat up in Burlington, a marvelous little
city, because of the sudden onslaught of rain, snow and cold temps.
Will continue North when things warm up a bit.
Breve . The refit. After 3500 miles, good as
||The route so far.
||I put a bid in on this, but it was rejected.
||Not having a mast can be a definite advantage
Stage 2: Had spectacularly good weather on this
leg. Almost every day was comparable to my best day on the Southbound
legs last year. With the exception of one day on Lake Champlain
where it blew 30k and had me really having to concentrate to maintain
control of the boat while surfing quartering seas, the many and
various waters gave me a smooth ride. I crossed into Canada at
the top of Lake Champlain and was astonished to find myself so
immediately back in France. Quebec is a culture rooted in the
European tradition: European architecture, European shops, European
signage (not a Wallmart, Burger King, Gap, or Dunkin Donuts in
sight). No billboards, Malls, or Big Box stores anywhere. It is
like all of Quebec is one gigantic National Park, and a good deal
of it actually is.
No English. I don't mean they prefer French; most people speak
little or no English in Quebec. Once you leave Montreal and Quebec
for Ottawa and Ontario, you experience a rather sudden shift into
English, with French coming in a poor second.
I stopped for gas at a little rickety dock a few miles North
of the US/Canada border and noticed a small sign: "déjeuner",
on a small shack at the end of the dock. Inside the shack was
a light, airy, and spotless room, with a small kitchen at one
end and a few aluminum and plastic tables neatly arranged at the
other. There were fresh flowers on each table. The cook-hostess-waitress
was the dock owners' wife. She spoke no English, but managed to
order a breakfast of scrambled eggs, and bacon and freshly made
bread. It arrived with diced and sautéed potatoes, and
a slice of home grown tomato on a bed of lettuce. The silver was
silver, the china-china. A simple meal, but elegant. French Canada,
I was discovering, embodied not just the look of France, but its'
sense of style.
In the photos below you will see no other boats, because there
weren't any; I had the rivers, lakes, locks, and canals pretty
much to myself.
For the record, I ran Lake Champlain North to the Chambly Canal
and Richelieu River to the St Lawrence River at Sorel.
Thence, Southwest to Montreal and NorthWest via the Ottawa River
to Ottawa, and South via the Rideau Lakes and channels to Kingston,
Ontario, and a bit further South to North Pond in NY State.
||Preferred mode of transportation in the North
||A lock on the Rideau. 100 foot drop. One of
the worlds largest about to open just for me.
||Hand operated lock just beyond Ottawa City.
||Right in the heart of the city, this is the
Ottawa Canal. Like the Seine running through the center of
||Dawn on the Rideau.
To Be Continued...