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.