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28-May-2006


It has rained and rained and rained constantly, or at
least every weekend ever since I set up the Little Squirt Too to go out
on the water. Well it finally turned out to be a nice weekend and today I am going out.
I was working on my mast in the back yard when Fred who lives a few doors down wandered over.
He had his little girl Emily with him who my little one Jeanette just adores. The two of
them were playing away together when I asked Fred if he and Emily would like to join me and
Jeanette out on the Rideau River that afternoon. We decided on 2 PM and I started to get
ready. I needed snacks and water for the afternoon, and I had to go get gas for the gas
engine which Jeanette was still afraid of. I still had to bring gas in case something went
wrong with the electric motor. At 2PM we went over to Fred's house, got him and Emily.
Loaded up the booster seats and went to get the boat.


Once at the compound we removed the tarps, and hooked up the boat. We then drove down to the
launch at Eccoland Park. Once there we set up the motors and loaded up. Jeanette and Emily
had a ball playing together and running around while the adults set up. Once everything was
set up and the boat was in the water Jeanette suddenly decided she did not want to go. I
informed her that once the boat was in the water it was too late to change her mind. She was
going. End of discussion. With a bit of yelling and arguing she finally got into the boat.


We fired up the electric engine and started off to the north towards the nearer of the two
locks. I was going to go for the southern locks which are farther away, but Fred said that
Emily had never seen the locks before so we went that way. Once Emily had seen her locks
we started south. I steered some of the way, and Fred steered some of the way. Fred did a
pretty good job of steering my boat. My Pocket Cruiser has very sensitive steering, and Fred
was not used to it so he had a tendency to overcorrect so we often weaved from side to side,
but he did better then anyone else who has ever steered my boat. We motored on the electric
for awhile and the girls had a ball playing with each other, eating snacks and occasionally
trying to steer the boat. Jeanette kept trying to give Emily who was 3 years old some jellied
candy strings that Jeanette had bought as a snack. Emily did not want any so Jeanette kept
telling her that she promised Emily would like it. No go.






After about 45 minutes I checked the battery and found the voltage was down to about 50%.  
We had a problem.  The batteries should have lasted longer, but I did not want to do repairs 
on the water with two children   aboard.  We had to either go home or use the gas engine.  
Since Jeanette was the one who hated the gas engine so much we decided to leave it up to her. 
That could be considered a bad move on my part.  Asking a   four year old to make a decision 
like that did not go well.  She did not want to go home and she did not want to run the gas 
motor.  The more we   told her that she had to decide the more she cried.  I finally decided
 that she was going to have to get used to the gas engine and started it.  Jeanette decided 
that she would except the gas motor if she and Emily were put in the cabin with all the doors 
shut.  The two girls sat in   the cabin with their hands over their ears while we continued 
down the river. After a while I looked in through the slot between the top sliding door and 
the main cabin doors to check on the girls.  Jeanette had been crying, her eyes were red, and 
their were tears on her face.  That was more then I could take.  I turned off the gas engine 
and went back on electric.  Once the girls were out of the cabin they informed myself and Fred 
that they both had to go.  My lovely wife was planning on getting me a toilet for the boat for 
father's day.  However since father's day had   not yet arrived it was sitting in the basement 
at home.  We needed a place to got ashore.  Not as easy as you might think.  The banks of the 
rideau river are mainly lined with private properties.  However Fred noticed a outhouse behind 
a dock, and realized it must be a public park that I had never noticed before.  We went ashore, 
and everybody looked after what had to be looked after.  We then started to head back. After a 
while I look at my watch and it was after 5PM.  We were very late getting back.  The girls had 
to be fed, and Jeanette needed to get a bath for school in the morning.  Also it seemed that 
the electric engine was going slower.  We were nowhere near being back to the docks.  The 
girls went back into the cabin and the gas engine was started again. After a while Emily came 
out of the cockpit and then a few minutes later so did Jeanette.  She actually seemed to have 
fun watching the foam at the sides of the boat going by.  After we got back my wife told me 
that Jeanette told her she loved the gas mower.. We went back to the dock loaded the boat up 
and went home.

Unpacked the boat.  Plugged it in to recharge the batteries, and went into the back yard to 
have a couple of beers. Charlotte had cooked a roast but decided to serve it tomorrow.  I 
invited Fred and Emily over for supper and we had hamburgers and fries that Charlotte was 
kind enough to cook at short notice.  

PS.  When we started the trip Jeanette noticed water in the cabin.  While the trip was going 
on I thought the leak I had fought all last summer was back.  I realized that evening that I 
did not clear the rain water out of the storage compartments when I did the cockpit a couple 
of days earlier.  That is probably where the water in the cabin came from.  At least that is 
what I hope.







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