June 28-July 2, 2012
We arrived in the small town of Westport and got a spot at the town marina on a little island across a footbridge from the town. We were pleased to see Joe and Edie from Seaquel already there. John, Kathy and Lily on Serenity arrived soon after. We had been told by several people that Westport was their favorite stop on the Rideau, so we were very happy that it worked out that this is where we would meet Karen and spend a few days over the Canada Day weekend.
The marina is a delightful location, with a park-like setting and enough picnic tables for everyone to have their own spot. Joey and Bailey were very happy to spend many hours over the next few days sleeping under a tree and getting attention from everyone who came by.
Here I am trying to convince Bailey it’s time to leave her spot under the tree go back to the boat.You can tell she wasn’t happy about it!
Our first afternoon, we did some much-needed boat chores before heading into town to investigate the amazing array of interesting shops and ice cream parlors. For such a small town, there is a lot to do here, and I knew Karen would enjoy it.
That evening, we had wine time around a picnic table, and then went to The Cove hotel and restaurant with Joe and Edie and Paul and Janet (from Colonel By Island) for a good dinner and a lively evening of music. Also that evening, Doug came by with our two new starter batteries, and he and Craig got those installed.
The next day we mostly relaxed around the boat and marina while we waited for Karen to arrive with Doug and his daughter Emily. It was so good to see Karen walk across the bridge!
We had learned that the only real restaurant in town is The Cove, so we arranged to have dinner there again with Doug and Emily. It is in such a pretty spot overlooking the water. Great meal, too!
The next day, Karen helped us further explore the shops in town.
It was in Westport that we first learned that the Canadians call their one dollar coin (they have no one dollar paper money) a Loonie, because it has a picture of a loon on it. So of course the $2 coin is called a Toonie!
Later, Craig and Karen went for a dinghy ride and persuaded Joey to go along – his first ride in the dinghy! He seemed to enjoy it.
Bailey and I watched them from the shore. That will be our next challenge, convincing her to jump on board!
This guy spent the weekend floating around the harbor in his inner tube with beer in hand. He looked comfortable!
That night we grilled steaks and ate in our little park on the lake.
We decided to stay another day in Westport to enjoy the Canada Day activities there. Canada Day is July 1, their Independence Day, and it is celebrated with parades, picnics and fireworks, much like we celebrate the Fourth of July. In early afternoon, we walked to the Rideau District Museum in town, where they held the flag raising ceremony, followed by a parade of children on decorated bicycles. Afterwards, we were invited to join in for lemonade and Queen Elizabeth cake behind the museum. Queen Elizabeth cake seems to be a sort of spice cake with a very sweet maple frosting. It was all classic small town fun. We were decked out in our best Canada Day gear, too.
In the afternoon, the fire department came to the marina to give boaters lessons in fighting fires. We all got to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher, a good experience.
In the evening, Doug, Tina and Emily picked us up in their truck and we all went a couple of miles up the road to Sand Lake, where there was an impressive fireworks display.
The next morning, we got an early start down the next leg of the Rideau Canal, and Karen’s first taste of locks. It was hard to leave. We loved our stay in Westport, but we knew there were beautiful places ahead.
Next, Karen locks us through to Kingston.