Boating, Nature

Discover a nautical story with motivational overtones

A humorous look at one woman's experiences cruising the Canadian waterways.

Overview of the book

Prep For Boating

Lessons on Living

Your Challenge

Helpful Links

Ordering your copy


Discover a nautical story with motivational overtones

While countless boaters have visited the Thousand Islands and toured both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway, few have written about their experiences. Catch the Spirit gives first-time and seasoned boaters a different perspective on houseboat touring. It also provides non- boaters with several reasons why fresh-water cruising in eastern and central Ontario has such an appeal.

Catch the Spirit is considered an achievement for Parks Canada. The Rideau Canal, the Trent-Severn Waterway, and St. Lawrence Islands National Park have been known to boaters in eastern and central Ontario for generations. It is only in the past 20 years, however, that we have emphasized that the three sites are part of an integrated federal system of heritage areas across Canada. Known then as the Interpretation Program, it pointed out the significant cultural and natural features in each area.

In case the reader is not familiar with these waters, consider the geographical statistics covered by this new, non-fiction story. St. Lawrence Islands National Park has twenty-one properties accessible to boaters between Brockville and Kingston in the Canadian Thousand Islands. This is an area some fifty miles in length, but the challenge comes in navigating through various channels, around submerged shoals, and, in places, coping with Great Lakes freighters and strong currents.

The Rideau Canal connects Lake Ontario at Kingston with the nation's Capital, Ottawa. This heritage canal was completed in 1832 as a defence against a possible American invasion. With 45 locks, the Rideau Canal is a test of the boater's skill in operating in close quarters. The Trent-Severn Waterway is one of the longest canal systems in North America. The southern terminus is at Trenton, near Lake Ontario. It winds from there to Georgian Bay, a distance of 240 miles. Boaters pass through 45 locks, including hydraulic lifts and the Big Chute, a marine railway! Built primarily for commercial purposes, the Trent-Severn Waterway is now the busiest recreational waterway in the region.

Parks Canada's educational programs reflect its joint role with the visitor in heritage protection. Catch the Spirit suggests that living on a boat and enjoying this environment days on end is mesmerizing, adventurous and challenging.