Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week 2 - So Far

Sun:  Eisenhauer & Snell locks (42ft drop each).  We feared a long delay here as a small cruise ship had damaged itself colliding with the lock gate.  But after evacuating the passengers by crane, the ship was towed away.
simple tie-up: 1 line, 1 floating bollard

Big locks, down 40ft +

The St Lawrence River widens again to big shallow Lac Francois with many small low islands.  A well marked ships' channel winds through the shoals, but you have to pay careful attention to stay in it.

One freighter, the Tundra, was hard aground.   They had missed one small turn and got off course and really stuck in the mud.

At the end of a long day, we anchored in 15ft of water at Saliberry of Valleyfield, (what a great name!) near waterski stadium.  However, was late Sunday night, so after a big cigarette boat roared out, all was quiet and calm.   44 mi  = 247mi

Mon: Upper & Lower Beauharmois locks (40ft+ drop each!). We started the day with a long wait (1 hour!) for the Valleyfield bridge to let us through, then another long wait (2 hours) for Beauharnois locks. 

Lac St Louis is yet another big shallow lake.  We had planned to stay at the Royal St Lawrence YC in Dorval, but Jarana needs just a 6 inches more depth than they had. There are many marinas around the lake but none could take a 6ft 6inch draft!

Thunderstorms and high winds were predicted, so, we anchored off Point Bell at the east end of Canal de Rive Sud , on Lac St Louis, near Montreal.  Near the city, yet pretty and quiet
28 mi  = 275 mi

Tuesday:  more locks, the St Catherine and St Laurent, more car bridges and railroad bridges, sometimes all in the same place and more waiting. 

Ship loaded with giant wind generator blades.  Destination unknown

Finally, we got through all of them then had to turn back upstream against a strong current to get to the Yacht Club of Montreal.  Oh, toss in a violent thunderstorm, pounding rain and raging wind for a short time.
the only sailboat in the marina

We contacted the marina and tried to speak French in the midst of all that.  Speaking french is OK, but it's much harder to understand what the other party is saying.  Fortunately, they speak perfect English too.  Tied up in Montreal at last.

Bill started his usual landfall scavenger hunt:  the connections on our HF radio to modem cable finally corroded beyond use from all the salt water we dumped on it over time.

Try finding an RS232 cable anywhere, but an old-technology shop...  Also, the engine starter is starting to not start reliably.  That's OK, tomorrow's Quebec Day and most businesses are closed.  Of course, mais oui!  Bon.   20 mi => 295 miles so far.

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