St Anne De Bellevue Lock, St Anne De Bellevue, Quebec to Valleyfield Marina, Valley Field, Quebec — June 26, 2014

01-Leaving-St-Annes-De-Belevue-Conc-Dock-On-Left-Is-Where-We-Spent-The-Night

01-Leaving-St-Annes-De-Belevue-Conc-Dock-On-Left-Is-Where-We-Spent-The-Night

02-More-Of-St-Anne-De-Belevue-Shoreline

02-More-Of-St-Anne-De-Belevue-Shoreline

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03-Looking-Back-At-St-Anne-Dam-And-Lock-and-Restaurants

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04-Good-Look-At-St-Annes-Dam-Lock

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05-Some-of-The-Islands-As-We-Leave-St-Annes

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06-Windmill-On-Island-Point-Where-St-Anne-Channel-Connects-To-Seaway

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07-Canadian-Hydrofoil-In-Staging-Area-At-Beauharnois-Lock

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08-1st-freighter-Leaving-Lock-For-Lac-Ste-Louis

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09-First-Freighter-coming-thru-Lock-at-Beauharnois-Lock

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10-Sailboat-Cap-Ocean-Tied-To-Dock-Waiting-For-Lockage

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11-Canadian-Coast-Guard-Hydrofoil-Leaving-Lock-Area

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12-PrepareTo-Get-Wet-If-You-Are-Down-WInd

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13-2nd-Freighter-leaving-Beauharnois-Lock-For-Lac-Ste-Louis

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15-Container-Ship-Along-Lock-Canal-With-Some-Of-The-Cargo-Not-In-Containers

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16-Hydroplane-On-Lock-Canal-Practicing

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19-Looking-North-From-Our-Dock-At-Valleyfield-Marina

We started the day a little later because the Beauharnois Lock typically did not have its first pleasure boat locking till 11:00.  We took a different channel back to the main St Lawrence Seaway Channel today to save a little time.  All the channels are marked well and deep water so no problems.

Just as we arrived at the main channel we saw a sailboat, Gap Ocean, that was about 1 mile in front of us and they had been in the locks with us yesterday.  We passed them and went on to lock and tied up.

On the way into the lock we saw a Canadian Coast Guard hydrofoil pull into the lock area.  They set up quite a spray and they were using the lock area land for staging.  They pulled onto shore, loaded the boat with more buoys and weights, had lunch and then set out for the afternoons work.  It was quite a site to see.  With the cushion of air under the boat they can get into pretty shallow areas.

After we were tied up, 10:50, I called in on the phone to let them know we were here.  The electronic message sign said that the next pleasure boat lockage was about 19:00 hours (not good). The gentleman on the phone said it would be about 2 hours and I told him what the electronic sign said and he said he believed the sign to be wrong.

The sailboat arrived and we talked about the lockage and he finally called in and they told him they had 2 ships coming down the locks.  The Beauharnois Lock is actually 2 chambers about 1 mile apart.  We sat there thru the 2 ship lockages and it was about 1:30 that we got into the lock.

The people on the sailboat said the Canadian Government has cut the lock staff by 25%.  The union has decided to really make the pleasure boaters take second seat and they do whatever they can to delay the lockages.  They want the people to complain to the Government and have them hire more people for the locks. I guess I do not understand the concept of making the customers angry when you have a problem with management.

As the hydrofoil was leaving another pleasure craft came in for lockage, a 52’ SeaRay Sundancer.  When all 3 boats went into the lock, they told Champ III to raft off the other SeaRay.  This made it easier for us but seemed a little dumb for the 3 boats to be configured with the 2 largest rafted to each other in a lock that is 730’ long by 80’ wide. It did mean that the lock personnel had 2 les lines to drop down and retrieve later.

After we left the first chamber we could see a freighter entering the upper chamber and we all sat and waited between the 2 chambers for the freighter to be brought down and then exit the chamber before we could enter. This whole procedure took probably 45 minutes. I had earlier called Cornwall Ontario and made reservations for the night but I ended up calling them back and delaying that for 1 day and called Valleyfield Quebec and made reservations for tonight.

By the time we were out of the locks it was about 3:30 and we still had 2 lift bridges.  The bridge tender knows how many boats are in the locks and he waits for all the boats to get to the bridge before he opens it.  The time is dictated by the slowest boat and in this case it was the sailboat doing about 7.3 mph against the current.

It was another long day after we got tied up at the Valleyfield Marina it was after 6:00.  The crew is starting to get a little weary of the locks.  The people on the sailboat said that the American Locks are much faster and the workers don’t try and slow things down like the Canadians.  We are finished with the 3 Canadian Locks and have 3 American ones to do.

Valleyfield is a really large marina that has 450 slips and it looks like in the bay outside the marina they hold power boat races.  There were grandstands on each side of the bay and what looked like a control tower.  When we were still in the Lock Canal, just before the last lift bridge, there was a hydroplane that was practicing and it must have been a big class boat because he was doing some serious speed in the straightaways.

Tomorrow on to Cornwall and no locks to pass thru so the crew should be happy for the day.

Yacht Club De Montreal, Montreal, Quebec to St Anne De Bellevue Lock, St Anne De Bellevue, Quebec — June 25, 2014

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05-Seaway-Condos-In-Montreal

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06-Port-Of-Montreal

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07-Canadian-Coast-Guard-Boat-In-Port-Of-Montreal

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08-Theme-Park-From-Olympics

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09-Bridge-At-The-Entrance-To-The-First-Seaway-Locks

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10-Montreal-Skyline-From-The-1st-Seaway-Lock

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11-Ship-Leaving-The-2nd-Seaway-Lock-St-Catherines

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12-Waiting-Area-At-St-Catherines-Lock

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17-St-Annes-Lock-Wall-Where-We-Spent-The-Night

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18-Looking-North-From-St-Annes-Towrd-Ottowa

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19-St-Annes-High-Water-At-Dock-Wall

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20-St-Annes-Looking-SOuth-TOward-Lac-St-Louis

We had lots of rain yesterday and into the night.  We still had a little misting this morning but they said it would clear.  We left the Yacht Club De Montreal and headed for the first Seaway Lock, Lambert.

On the St Lawrence the pleasure craft are definitely 2nd citizens with the freighters taking first position all the time.  They have floating docks off to one side of the lock entrance and you need to tie up and wait until they are ready for you.  There is a phone but only the 1st boat needs to call in.  We were at the 1st lock with 4 other Canadian boats, 2 sail and 1 trawler. They mostly spoke French but they also knew English so we were able to talk to them and communicate.  They were all veterans of the Seaway Locks so that helped us. We ended up waiting about 1 ½ hours before they gave us the green light.  They said they were doing maintenance to the bridge over the lock.  As we were getting tied up a large catamaran sailboat came down the canal and we waited for him to enter and get tied up.

After the Lambert Lock (1st Lock) it was about 10 miles on the canal to the St. Catherine Lock.  We were the first to tie up and I went to the phone and they said about 2 hours.  When everyone else was tied up we found out that the big catamaran had AIS on their boat and they could see 2 freighters on the up side of the lock headed downriver and that is what we were waiting for.  When they brought the first freighter down, they shut the doors and went right back up for the 2nd one.  No chance for the pleasure craft to take the ride up. They were right in their estimate of time and after the lock we had another 8 miles or so in the canal before we were out in Lake St Louis.

Our original plan was to go thru all three Canadian locks and stay at a marina in Valleyfield Quebec.  We did not know the wait at the Beauharnois Lock and then we had another 1 ½ hours to Valleyfield after that.  I talked to the catamaran Captain and he mentioned the canal lock wall in St Anne De Bellevue.  It was about 7 miles out of the way but we were able to go right there. We were tied up on the wall by about 6:00, what a long day of “hurry up and wait”.

St Anne De Bellevue Canal is pretty nice in that one side is a park setting island that separates the canal from the rapids and the other side is lined with restaurants.  This little community must have 20 small restaurants along the waterfront/main street. They were fairly busy for a Wednesday night.  There was even a musical group on the canal walk when Candy and I were out for the last walk of the day.

There were quite a few people watching/listening to them. Around the lock another quite park setting but it was not hard to notice the water was high at the lock.  On the upside of the lock the docks to tieup and wait were under about 6” of water.  Some of the docks on the lower side of the dock had about 1” before they would be topped by the water. We were tied up a little further out and had the dock about 15” above the water.

All in all, for an unscheduled stop, this was a pretty nice community and a great place to stop.  We briefly contemplated staying a 2nd night but there are no services here (water/electrical) so we decide to move on to Cornwall, Ontario tomorrow.

St. Ours Lock, St. Ours, Quebec to Yacht Club De Montreal, Montreal, Canada — June 21, 2014

01-Leaving-St-Ours Lock-With-Lock-On-Left-And-Dam-On-Right

01-Leaving-St-Ours Lock-With-Lock-On-Left-And-Dam-On-Right

02-Church-On-West-Shore-Of-Richilieu-River-South-Of-Sorel

02-Church-On-West-Shore-Of-Richelieu-River-South-Of-Sorel

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04-Salties-In-Sorel Quebec

04-Salties-In-Sorel Quebec

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08-Approaching-Montreal-From-The-East-On-The-St-Lawrence-Seaway

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09-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal-Looking-Southwest

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10-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal-Looking-Northeast

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11-Looking-Toward-Southwest-End-Of-marina

12-Some-Of-The-Cars-In-The-Marina-Lot -- 2014 Corvette and Circa 1970 Ford GT

12-Some-Of-The-Cars-In-The-Marina-Lot — 2014 Corvette and Circa 1970 Ford GT

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13-Building-In-Old-Montreal

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14-Building-In-Old-Montreal

We got our normal start today, around 8:00.  The Richelieu River is emptying into the St Lawrence so we are getting a push from the current.  When we get to the St Lawrence we will be fighting the current to Montreal.

The weather was initially clear when Candy went for her 1st walk but the clouds rolled in.  You could see that it was clear some distance south of us but we were headed north. The Richelieu River in this section has many homes and cottages along the way.  We stayed at the Lock in St Ours but that is only 12 miles to Sorel on the St. Lawrence.  The wind was still out of the north but not too much of a factor. There were some fisherman on the river but it was an early Saturday morning for most folks and the sky was gray.

When we passed thru Sorel there were two Salties (ocean going ships) that were parked on the river.  Although there was plenty of room to pass between them it looked a little intimidating with these huge ships on either side. When we turned left into the St Lawrence, there were 5 Salties anchored in the river.  This part of the St. Lawrence that we traveled today was about 3 miles wide with lots of islands and several secondary channels besides the main shipping channel.  For the most part we followed the shipping channel to Montreal. I stayed to the edge of the channel to try and minimize the impact of the current as much as possible.  In the center portion of the channel the current was between 4 and 5 mph.  The current was about 1.5 mph less at the edge of the channel.

There was a fair amount of traffic on the St Lawrence and it kept getting heavier as we got closer to Montreal.  After about an hour and a half on the St Lawrence I looked at the charts and realized that we were only 4.5 miles from where we started the day even though we had traveled about 25 miles.

The boaters around the Montreal area are really crazy.  I am not sure if they have a law here that says that while you are underway you cannot have people on the front deck.  There were whole families on the front deck of 30’ cruisers and the waves were about 2’ and coming in a lot of different directions from the various boat wakes.

As we approached the marina we passed the cutoff for the locks that we will take in a few days.  The current increased as we proceeded and at it maximum I showed our speed thru the water about 9 mph more that our ground speed.  It was a challenge to control the boat and keep moving in a straight line.

The marina is pretty interesting because it is in the Port of Old Montreal. It is in an old Freighter Bay along the river bank.  It is right next to the “Old Montreal section of the City.  The old stone buildings are really something.  Some of the old streets are still cobble stone and very uneven.  We watched the cars on the streets and they do not need speed control on the old cobblestone, it is built in.

Lots of people and tour groups in Old Montreal.  All of them are armed with cameras and all seem to be taking the same pictures. Lenore and I had dinner at a restaurant in Old Montreal and we were able to watch the people on the street.

Marina De Chambly, Chambly, Quebec to St. Ours Lock, St. Ours, Quebec– June 20, 2014

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01-Marina-De-Chambly-On-Left-And-Locks-1-2-3-On-RIght

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02-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

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04-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

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05-Church-Along-The-Richilieu-River-West-Shore

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06-Another-Church-Along-The-Richilieu-River-West-Shore

07 Houses along the West Bank Of The Richilieu River

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08-House-Along-The-Richilieu-River

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09-Cable-Ferry-On-Richilieu-River

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10-St-Ours-Lock Sign

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11-Champ-III-At-St-Ours-Lock Dock

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12-Shoreline-Near-St-Ours-Dam

It was pretty windy this morning.  The sun was out and the sky was clear but the wind was blowin.  The boat behind us had already moved to the lock wall for the Chambly Lock to head South.  They had stopped by last night to chat after they saw we were from St. Clair. They had a SeaRay (40’ +/-) Sport Fisherman that had MC numbers covered mostly with tape and fresh Vermont numbers hanging from the bow rail. They had purchased the boat somewhere in the St Clair Flats and were bringing it back home to Lake Champlain.  They took this route to avoid the bridges in the Erie Canal and he said the mileage was about the same.  It was also interesting to note there was another SeaRay in the marina that was from St Clair Shores.  What are the chances of 3 boats from Michigan in an out of the way Quebec marina on the same day.

We started up the Richelieu River and it is a pretty nice river with lots of homes along the way and some of them are really nice custom homes. There are many undeveloped areas but a lot of boats along the shore and we passed 2 cable ferries on the river.  The car ferry uses the cable to pull itself across the river.  I guess they do not need a real skilled captain for that service.

There were probably more clouds than sun as the morning went on.  We called the marina in Sorel that we wanted to stay at to make a reservation.  They said they did not have room for us.  I looked over the chart book and we called another marina about 8 miles south of Sorel on the Richelieu River.  I had to leave a message and we were never called back. We decided to stay on the lock wall at the Saint Ours Lock and go to Montreal tomorrow.  Montreal is going to be a fairly long day because there is a strong current in the St. Lawrence River and we have about 42 miles against the current.

The Lock where we are staying has very nice grounds.  They have put information kiosks all over the place to explain the history behind the lock.  This lock was opened in the early 1800’s to connect the St Lawrence with the Hudson River and eventually New York.  They had built a house for the Superintendent to stay in and quarters for the support crew.  There were maintenance buildings and a horse barn for the horses that originally pulled the barges thru the canal.  Many of the buildings did not survive until today but the history is pretty interesting.

Gaines Marina, Rouses Point, NY to Marina De Chambly, Chambly, Quebec — June 19, 2014

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04-Fort-Montgomery-At-Rouses-Point-New-York

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05-Chambly-Canal-Welcoming-Sign

06 Chambly Canal On Richilieu River

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10-Marina-De-Chambly-In-Foreground-And-Chambly-Lake-Behind-Looking-Northeast

Nice sunny morning today.  The wind was not quite as strong but still out of the northwest.  It was OK because were off Lake Champlain and on the Richelieu River. We left a little after 8:00 and headed north.  I knew once we got into the Chambly Canal it would be calm.  The river winds north and is fairly wide along the way maybe ½ mile, or a little more, across.  The channel is marked well but it is a little hard to get used to the Canadian channel markers.  They are about 6” in diameter and maybe 5’ tall.  They have a wide base at the water but the thin top makes it hard to pick them up at any distance over ½ mile, even with the binoculars.

We stopped at the Canadian Customs Station and that was a breeze.  We had all our papers together and they never even looked at Candy’s vaccination papers.  After about 5 minutes they said we could go and there was not even a report number which I thought was strange.  They made sure they had my boat number written down.

We had quite a few fishermen on the water and a couple of power boats headed south that were on plane.  We saw a Canadian Coast Guard boat.  It had a small crane on the front and I think it might have been a buoy tender.

All the chatter on the VHF radio was in French so we were at a disadvantage because we did not know what they were saying.

We arrived at the entrance to the Chambly Canal about 11:15 and found out that the next start of the lockage would be at 12:30.  This is a closed system. once you start to transit the canal you need to finish because there are no marinas or places to really tie up for the night along the way.

The Chambly Canal is about 18 miles long with 9 locks and probably 8 swing bridges. The first 2 locks take you up and the last 7 bring you down.  The locks are all the same size and it was a tight fit for our group. Most of the locks are at the north end.  About 2 miles from the outlet there are 3 locks that are close together, maybe 300’ apart. The last 3 locks are all together with one lock exiting into the next lock. The Chambly Canal runs right next to the Richelieu River.  In some places there is only a hundred feet of separation or so.  Many places are like running thru a subdivision with lots of homes.

The Chambly Canal is entertainment for the local residents.  There is a bike/walking path for its entire length at each of the locks the spectators can come up next to the lock and talk to the boaters. Separation is maybe 5’. Lots of people and they are pretty interested in what is going on and ask questions about where you are going and where you have come from. We were at a disadvantage in that we did not speak French

We were with two other boats for our trip thru the canal. One boat was a 36’ sailboat and a 26’ powerboat.  The sailboat was carrying his mast on deck so it hung over both front and back and we had our dingy hanging off the back.  The powerboat had a dingy strapped to the swim platform so we were all longer than out normal length would indicate.  The locks are not very wide, maybe about 30’.  They had us behind the sailboat in the first lock and told us that for the remaining locks we would be placed behind the powerboat and that sis work much better.

It was a long day and we were fortunate that right next to the last lock is Marina De Chambly.  My phone had no service during the whole time we were in Canada so I hailed them on the VHF when we were getting ready to exit the last lock.  Nice little marina on a large basin of water probably 2 miles in diameter.  People were very nice and they had a menu for a local restaurant that delivers and the menu was all in French.  It is a good thing they had pictures and that it was a chicken shack type place.  The women who answered the phone was able to speak some English and they delivered about 20 minutes after the call, great service.

We are on tomorrow to Sorel.  It is located on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Ferry Dock Marina, Burlington, VT to Gaines Marina, Rouses Point, NY– June 18, 2014

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03-Restaurant-and-Marina-In-Burlington-Vermont

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06-Burlington-Breakwall-Looking-West-Toward-New-York

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10-Shoreline-North-Of-Burlington

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11-The-Crew-Catching-A-Quick-Nap

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12-Looking-Southeast-Over-North-End-Of-Lake-Champlain-At-Rouses-Point-New-York

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13-Interesting-Sunrise-At-Gaines-Marina-In-Roses-Point-New-York

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We spent a very uncomfortable night.  Winds shifted to Southwest and increased to probably 15 to 20 mph.  The waves were moving the boat noticeably and it was hard to sleep.  After a couple hours the winds then shifted to the Northwest and it quieted down somewhat.  The land configuration of the Burlington bay helped with the Northwest winds. We had a lot of rain overnight also and the sky was pretty gray in the morning.

We got underway pretty early because we wanted to make Rouses Point at the top of the Lake Champlain and I was afraid that with the wind the water would not be kind to us.  I was wrong.  Lake Champlain, for whatever reason, does not appear to kick up big waves.  The wind was out of the Northwest for the most part and the lake is oriented north to south. But the worst the waves were was maybe 2’ in some places.  Not that we were disappointed.

It was pretty quiet on the lake.  We left Burlington just after a car ferry did and we were with him for about 5 or 6 miles on the lake before he put in on the west shore. This part of Lake Champlain is fairly wide and has some islands in the center that almost break it into 2 pieces, an east half and a west half. We stayed on the western portion. Not many buoys on the lake but then when the water is anywhere from 200’ to 350’ deep you can go anywhere you want.

As we got further north we started to see a little thinning in the clouds and actually by the end of the day we had just a peek at the sun.  The wind pretty much stayed for the day.

We stayed at Gaines Marina in Rouses Point.  It is a fairly large marina that is located about 1 mile from the border with Quebec.  There is a US Customs Station just a little north and about 1 ½ miles over the border is a Canadian Customs Station.

Gaines Marina appears to be a very popular spot for Montreal Boaters.  While we are about 100 miles by water from Montreal, it is a 45 minute car ride.  This makes it a great place for the city folk to enjoy Lake Champlain.  About half of the boats in the marina are sailboats and while we were there they probably stepped 6 masts on the sailboats and they started about 6:30 in the morning.

It was a real nice quite night.  Our slip was in the center of the marina and although the wind was still quite strong we did not feel it at all.

Point Bay Marina, Charlotte, VT to Ferry Dock Marina, Burlington, VT — June 17, 2014

01-Pointe-Bay-Marina

01-Pointe-Bay-Marina

02-Pointe-Bay-Marina

02-Pointe-Bay-Marina

03-Pointe-Bay-Marina-Fuel-Pump-Out-Dock

03-Pointe-Bay-Marina-Fuel-Pump-Out-Dock

04-Leaving-Pointe-Bay-Marina

04-Leaving-Pointe-Bay-Marina

05-Looking-At-The-Vermont-Background-Look-At-The-Flat-Water

05-Looking-At-The-Vermont-Background-Look-At-The-Flat-Water

06-Looking-West-As-We-Leave-Pointe-Blank-Marina

06-Looking-West-As-We-Leave-Pointe-Blank-Marina

07-Looking-South-On-Lake-Champlain

07-Looking-South-On-Lake-Champlain

08-Lighthouse-On-East-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain

08-Lighthouse-On-East-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain

09-Looking-Northwest-On-Lake-Champlain

09-Looking-Northwest-On-Lake-Champlain

10-East-Shore-of-Lake-Champlain-Flatest-Water-We-Have-Had-On-The-2-Loops

10-East-Shore-of-Lake-Champlain-Flatest-Water-We-Have-Had-On-The-2-Loops

Not quite as cool this morning and there was no wind when we left.  We had a short run today to get to Burlington, VT.

The marina seemed to be asleep when we left with not a lot of activity going on.  A couple of runabouts were active but that was it.

The water was flat as you can see in the photos.  Early this morning there was some fog and most of it had burned off.  You can see the humidity in the air in several of the photos.  They are not forecasting any rain until possibly tomorrow.

There were some fishermen out this morning and they were trolling in the deep water off the east shore.  We did need to dodge a few of the trolling boats, but not many.

We arrived at the Ferry Dock Marina in Burlington before noon.  We topped off the fuel tanks to try and avoid having to buy fuel in Canada when we travel from the Chambly Canal to the 1000 Islands in New York. One of the report put a liter of Canadian diesel at about $1.60 which is around $6.00 per gallon in US equivalent.

After we were tied up Errante came into the marina for a couple of hours. We traveled with them yesterday from Whitehall to just short of Pointe Bay Marina. They are from Connecticut and are on the Loop. They asked us a few questions and we gave them our opinions. They are headed to another marina on the west shore to leave the boat for 9 days while they go home for birthdays and graduations. We probably will not see them again on their Loop. They are going to Ottawa and up the Trent-Severn to the Georgian Bay.  Our plans for the final leg home are still in the air on whether we go Lake Erie or the Trent-Severn.

Burlington is a very busy port with car ferries and passenger ferries.  The marina we stayed at does not have finger docks and use a modified Med Style tie-off. They put us out on a dock in front of their restaurant, Breakwaters, where they do have finger docks for the customers coming in for dinner. It is more of a bar food and sandwiches type restaurant and they had an awful lot of people for a Tuesday night.

On to Rouse Pointe tomorrow, at the top of Lake Champlain.

Whitehall Municipal Docks, Whitehall, NY to Point Bay Marina, Charlotte, VT — June 16, 2014

01-Whitehall-Municipal-Dock-We-Were-Between-The-2-Boats

01-Whitehall-Municipal-Dock-We-Were-Between-The-2-Boats

02-Auxiliary-Docks-At-The-Whitehall-Municipal-Docks - no power

02-Auxiliary-Docks-At-The-Whitehall-Municipal-Docks – no power

03-Business-District-In-Whitehall-On-Left-As-We-Wait-For-Lock-12

03-Business-District-In-Whitehall-On-Left-As-We-Wait-For-Lock-12

04-Whitehall-Business-District

04-Whitehall-Business-District

05-Lock-12-Looking-South

05-Lock-12-Looking-South

06-Lock-12-Looking-North-With-Lenore-Working-The-Tie-up-Line-Waiting-To-Be-Lowered

06-Lock-12-Looking-North-With-Lenore-Working-The-Tie-up-Line-Waiting-To-Be-Lowered

07-Leaving-Lock-12-in-Whitehall

07-Leaving-Lock-12-in-Whitehall

08-Marina-That-Now-Belongs-To-The-Bank

08-Marina-That-Now-Belongs-To-The-Bank

09-Lake-Champlain-River

09-Lake-Champlain-River

10-Lake-Champlain-River

10-Lake-Champlain-River

11-Lake-Champlain-River

11-Lake-Champlain-River

12-Fort-Ticonderoga-On-Right-Side

12-Fort-Ticonderoga-On-Right-Side

13-Adorondack-Mountains-On-West-Shore

13-Adorondack-Mountains-On-West-Shore

14-Adirondack-Mountains-On-West-Shore

14-Adirondack-Mountains-On-West-Shore

15-Crowne-Pointe-Bridge-Where-Lake-Champlain-River-Enters-Lake-Champlain

15-Crowne-Pointe-Bridge-Where-Lake-Champlain-River-Enters-Lake-Champlain

16-Staue-Monument-At-Crowne-Pointe-State-Park

16-Staue-Monument-At-Crowne-Pointe-State-Park

17-Shore-Along-Lake-Champlain

17-Shore-Along-Lake-Champlain

18-Shore-Along-Lake-Champlain

18-Shore-Along-Lake-Champlain

19-Green-Mountains-On-Eastern-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain-In-Vermont

19-Green-Mountains-On-Eastern-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain-In-Vermont

20-Green-Mountains-On-Eastern-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain-In-Vermont

20-Green-Mountains-On-Eastern-Shore-Of-Lake-Champlain-In-Vermont

21-Lake-Champlain-Shoreline

21-Lake-Champlain-Shoreline

Lock 12 opened at 8:00 this morning and I called the lock at 7:50.  They said they would be ready in about 15 minutes. One of the other boats at the Whitehall Municipal Dock left just before us.  We followed them into the lock.

The lock was a little slow and the woman operating the lock mentioned that they were hit by lightning about 2 weeks ago and the motherboard of the controls was fried.  She was doing everything manually and that explained why she wanted us to enter the lock with only one door open.  There was no wind so it was no big deal to put a 14′ wide boat thru a 23′ opening.

That was the last lock until we get to the Chambly Canal in Canada, North of Lake Champlain.  Once we were out of the lock the charts were labeling the waterway Lake Champlain even though it was still a narrow river.  The water was really high.  The trees next to the normal shore were in the water and on some of the property you could see the low break walls were under water.

Lot of fishing boats out today, a lot more than we saw yesterday.  Where the river was narrow we slowed for the boats, but as it started to widen out we were able to just keep on moving.  After the Lock I asked the other boat, Errante, what speed they traveled at and he said 8 to 9 so I took the lead as I though 9 to 9.5 is where we would be without any current.  He ended up staying with us for pretty close to our whole trip.  He turned off about 5 miles short of our destination.

You can see from the pictures that we had little wind today and it is supposed to be light and variable for the next couple of days.  that will be nice because Lake Champlain is a large body of water.

You can see the mountains in the pictures.  The Adirondack Mountains are in New York and they are on the west side of Lake Champlain.  The Green Mountains are in Vermont on the East side of the Lake.  While the scenery is spectacular, I can see why the movement to make this the 6th Great Lake fell flat.  It does not have the size of a Lake Michigan or Lake Huron. It does have some depths in the 200’s but for the most part it maybe 50′ to 100′ deep if that. The size is about 120 miles long, North-South and the width ranges form 1 to maybe 10 miles. You know I did not see an ocean going freighter all day.

Well we made it to Vermont in the boat.  We are in Vermont tonight and probably tomorrow night.  We can add one more State to our list.

 

Schuyler Yacht Basin, Schuylerville, NY to Whitehall Municipal Docks, Whitehall, NY — June 15, 2014

01-Shoreline-of-the-Champlain-Canal/Hudson River

01-Shoreline-of-the-Champlain-Canal/Hudson River

02-Shoreline-Of-Champlain-Canal/Hudson River-North-Of-Lock-6

02-Shoreline-Of-Champlain-Canal/Hudson River-North-Of-Lock-6

04-The-Approach-to-Lock-11-on-the-Champlain-Canal

04-The-Approach-to-Lock-11-on-the-Champlain-Canal

05-The-Narrow-Champlain-Canal

05-The-Narrow-Champlain-Canal

06-The-Narrow-Champlain-Canal

06-The-Narrow-Champlain-Canal

07-The-Champlain-Canal-In-Whitehall-Note-Lock-12-Under-the-Bridge-on-The-Left

07-The-Champlain-Canal-In-Whitehall-Note-Lock-12-Under-the-Bridge-on-The-Left

08-USS-Ticonderoga-Exhibit

08-USS-Ticonderoga-Exhibit

09-Carving-of-Sasquatch

09-Carving-of-Sasquatch

10-Home-On-The-Side-Of-The-Mountain-Over-Whitehall-NY

10-Home-On-The-Side-Of-The-Mountain-Over-Whitehall-NY

We ended up staying at Schuyler’s Yacht Basin an extra day because Lenore was not feeling well and it was a nice place.  Lenore felt better later in the day and we went out to dinner last night. Judy (one of the owners) loaned us her car to use.

We had a lot of rain and they had all kinds of flash flood warnings out when we arrived.  The river level was down about 2′ from normal and once the rain stopped the river started to rise and it came up about 3′.  It is a good thing they had floating docks. The extra water did put some current in the river for our cruise today as all the extra water was going downstream and over the dams at each of the locks.

We left a little before 8:00 this morning as Lock 5, a little over 1 mile away, opened at 8:00.  We had to wait about 10 minutes for the lockmaster to drop the lock to take us up.  Lock 5 was the only lock we had to wait for today and we went thru 6 locks.  All of them had the doors open and were ready for us. Locks 5, 6, 7 and 8 all raised us higher while Locks 9 and 11 lowered us. There is no Lock 10.

The day started gray and the sun finally started to show a little by late morning and we had partly cloudy for most of the afternoon.  The temp only came up to the low 70’s after the sun came out.

It was kind of strange on the water because there were not very many boats.  We passed 1 fishing boat, 1 dredge work boat, 1 pontoon boat and 1 canoe with 2 guys in it.  For a summer weekend the waterway was strangely empty.

As we moved further north the Hudson River started to narrow down.  At Lock 9 we actually left the Hudson River and entered the Champlain Canal.  This was originally started in the early 1800’s and although it is essentially a large ditch that they dug, there are many mature trees along the sides and a good number of them are large pine trees.  The water was a milk chocolate brown from all the rain runoff over the last week.  The Champlain Canal got real narrow in a couple of places and I am not sure that 2 large boats could pass each other in those narrow places.  The depths were never a problem with about 9′ being the least water depth I saw under the boat.

We arrived in Whitehall with hopes of staying at their Municipal Docks because they provide water and power and there is no cost.  There is room for probably 8 to 10 boats but there are only 3 power pedestals and we were the second boat to arrive. We are right behind the Fire Station and the Police Department is right across the street.

There is a nice park on the north side of the Fire Station and when we walked south there was a museum and then a much larger park that had a boat launch at the south end.  I took a picture of the salvaged hull of the USS Ticonderoga that was a wooden schooner in the US Navy in 1814. The hull was raised and salvage back in 1958 and is displayed in the park.  The basic shape od the schooner is there but not a lot else. In the park they also had a wood carving, life size, of Sasquatch, or at least someone’s impression of what he looks like. I took pictures of both of these displays.

Whitehall is also claimed as the birth place of the US Navy. During the American Revolution, the village, Skenesborough (Whitehall’s original name), was captured by American forces in 1774. Benedict Arnold under Philip Schuyler built a fleet of vessels to confront British forces at Valcour Island (thus the claim that this is the birthplace of the US Navy).

Interesting and there were some really nice homes overlooking the river in Whitehall.  We took a picture of the most impressive one.

Tomorrow we have one lock and then probably 20 miles and we will be in Lake Champlain.

Albany Yacht Club, Albany, NY to Schuyler Yacht Basin, Schuylerville, NY – June 12, 2014

01-Albany-Yacht-Club-Looking-South-On-Hudson-River

01-Albany-Yacht-Club-Looking-South-On-Hudson-River

02-Albany-Yacht-Club-Looking-North-On-Hudson-River

02-Albany-Yacht-Club-Looking-North-On-Hudson-River

03-Albany-Yacht-Club-Harbor-Master-Office-Club-House

03-Albany-Yacht-Club-Harbor-Master-Office-Club-House

04-Leaving-Albany-Yacht-Club

04-Leaving-Albany-Yacht-Club

05-Looking-South-On-The-Hudson-River-In-Albany-NY

05-Looking-South-On-The-Hudson-River-In-Albany-NY

06-Tug-Along-West-Shore-In-Albany-NY

06-Tug-Along-West-Shore-In-Albany-NY

07-Buildings-Of-Albany-NY

07-Buildings-Of-Albany-NY

08-Albany-NY-Skyline

08-Albany-NY-Skyline

09-Albany-NY-Skyline

09-Albany-NY-Skyline

10-Champlain-Canal-Lock-2

10-Champlain-Canal-Lock-2

11-Lenore-Waiting-Out-The-Rain-In-The-Champlain-Canal-Lock

11-Lenore-Waiting-Out-The-Rain-In-The-Champlain-Canal-Lock

12-Schuyler-Yacht-Basin-West-Shore-Hudson-River-Champlain-Canal-On-Right-Looking-South

12-Schuyler-Yacht-Basin-West-Shore-Hudson-River-Champlain-Canal-On-Right-Looking-South

13-Schuyler-Yacht-Basin-West-Shore

13-Schuyler-Yacht-Basin-West-Shore

Well another gray day but it was not raining when we left Albany.  For the 6  hours we were on the water, we had rain probably for 5 hours.  At least it was a light rain and not a  steady, soaking, rain.

We had 5 locks today starting with the Troy NY Lock that is also known as the Federal Lock (Army Corp of Engineers).  All the other locks are run by the NY Thruways Corporation. The locks were very good today in that there was minimal turbulence as we were going up in all the locks and they need to fill them with millions of gallons of water. We had the doors open on 3 of the 5 and the other 2 were opened while we approached the lock so our lock waiting was minimal.  Probably a lot to be said for the rain.

We had 2 large cruisers with us in the Federal Lock but both of them turned West into the Erie Canal.  The Erie Canal bridges allow a 21′ high boat while the Champlain Canal restriction is 17′ and these 2 looked more than 17′. That made it nice because we were the only boat headed north in the next 4 locks.

There is a lot of dredging going on in this section of the Champlain Canal (as it is called).  It is really the natural section of the Hudson River and the dredging is to remove PCB contaminated soil for the river bottom.  We saw at least 4 dredges on the river besides all the support boats and even a dormitory boat for the crews to sleep. We also saw several southbound barges filled with dredged material.

The river has some development but it might be a stretch to say that 10% of the shore is developed.  They have some crazy speed limits in that they show it as 30 mph but also call for no wake when you are near canal facilities, docks and other boats.  It would be interesting to see how it is enforced on the weekends. These speed limit signs are at each of the locks for boats going in both directions.

The river banks are heavily wooded in the non-developed areas. Everything is very green and growing around here.  They had a bad winter like most other northern states and they are just now getting everything going, about a month behind. I saw on the internet today that Lake Superior is now clear of ice per a statement from the Coast Guard.  I do not think there will be a lot of swimmers this year.

It did stop raining long enough for us to dock at the Schuyler (the Y is silent) Yacht Basin. It is a combination of a marina and an RV park for summer residents.  It is run by Judy and Phil Dean and they have run the operation for 29 years.  Judy admitted that they do not even own a boat but the marina is not that large and the facilities are evenly split between docks and camp sites for the RV’s. The Schuylerville Downtown is 2 blocks from the marina so I will probably visit it tomorrow if the rain lets up.