Sunday, July 8, 2018

Casino Night

Ottawa tourist highlight: This grouping is called "Women Are Persons too."
Commemorates the 5 women who in 1927, fought to have women legally
declared "persons," making them eligible to be appointed to the Senate.

We spent July 4 playing tourist in Ottawa. 

On July 5, in searing heat, we pressed our way through the gauntlet of gongoozlers to descend the flight of eight locks  to the Ottawa River.  

We'd completed our traverse of the Rideau Canal. Phase one of our trip: Done! What next? What any sensible boater would do, of course . . .

Laundry Stop!

Baggy shorts, sweat-soaked t-shirt, oil-stained ball cap . . .
yup, this person is dressed in the height of boater fashion.

Boaters are known for their limited and grungy wardrobes (space is at a premium on a boat, and you’re going to trash your shirt anyway doing engine repairs).

But eventually it's time to refresh. We cut directly across the river to the Hull Marina, which offers day dockage, pump-out service, and laundry facilities just steps from the dock. 

Clean Clothes AND Cultchah!

Providentially, the marina was a  short walk from the Canadian History Museum, a monumental  building housing an awesome totem pole collection and a creatively curated exhibit on the doomed Franklin expedition to find a Northwest Passage. Bonus item:  Immediately next to the marina, in Jacques Cartier park was a captivating display of living sculptures.
Pirate ships, ho! This exhibit, called Mosaicultures, features gigantic topiaries with a Canadian theme.

Next Stop: Casino

Check out that bridge. Good thing we're
a lowboat.
All cleaned up, we headed for Lac Leamy Casino, just a few miles downstream. (We'd heard it was friendly to boaters.)  Getting there was exciting. Under high winds, we traversed a narrow passage into a small lake clogged with canoeists blissfully ignoring the marked navigation channel.

We squeezed through an even narrower passage, under an arched bridge where bikini-clad teens stood on the wrong side of the railing, ready to plunge. We came out in a former quarry with steep rocky shores and a fountain in the middle, jetting a hundred feet high and dousing us with spray. We tied up gratefully at the dock.

High Rollin’

The casino asks $50 to dock, and then promptly hands back a $50 voucher you can use to gamble or for dinner at a casino restaurant.

As James Bond fans we have a certain mental image of casinos, and this one had some of the elements. At the nightclub, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike in a gold lamé minidress was belting out rock hits. We did see one glamorous stiletto’d blonde woman on the arm of a tuxedo’d handsome man. But the rest of the clientele roaming amid the rows of neon slot machines was, um, mostly leisure-clad and well-fed.

Your Tolerance for Risk?

As we entered we were drawn to an exhibit with the word “HAZARD” in prominent letters. A motherly woman with a charming French accent explained, in simple terms, about probability and risk. Stroking or kissing the machines does not increase your likelihood of winning.  A long loosing streak does not mean you are getting closer to winning.

We watched as a table of roulette players lost tens of thousands in about three minutes. Then we risked it all on dinner and beers.

Random bonus picture. Boston has its "Ducks" . . . well, Gatineau has the Amphibus!

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