Ess-Kay Yards, Brewerton, NY to Lauraville Landing Park, Clyde, NY — July 17, 2014

01-3-Rivers-Meet-With-Steelers-Stadium-Beyond

01-3-Rivers-Meet-With-Steelers-Stadium-Beyond

02-Interested-Tourists-Looking-At-View

02-Interested-Tourists-Looking-At-View

03-Downtown-Pittsburg

03-Downtown-Pittsburg

04-Looking-Up-The-Allegheny-River

04-Looking-Up-The-Allegheny-River

05-Chantiicleer-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yards

05-Chantiicleer-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yards

06-Chanticleer-Heading-West-On-The-Erie-Canal

06-Chanticleer-Heading-West-On-The-Erie-Canal

07-Chanticleer-Frances-Langford-At-The-Pool-In-Baie-Finn

07-Chanticleer-Frances-Langford-At-The-Pool-In-Baie-Finn

08-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yard

08-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yard

09-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yard-And-Brewerton

09-Leaving-Ess-Kay-Yard-And-Brewerton

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10-Erie-Canal-Residents

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11-Lauraville-Landing-Park-At-Clyde-NY

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12-Lauraville-Landing-Park-At-Clyde-NY

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13-Lauraville-Landing-Park-At-Clyde-NY

We went and visited Donna & Jon in Pittsburg and had a great time.  It is easy to get lost in Pittsburg given the fact that the City is laid out based on the mountains and valleys and not a grid.  We took some great pictures from an overlook that shows the 3 rivers, Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio.

When we arrived back at the boat the large yacht Chanticleer (108′ Burger) was tied up.  We saw Chanticleer in the North Channel some years ago.  It had belonged to Francis Langford/Evinrude who had owned the island at the entrance to the Pool at the eastern end of Baie Finn.  They would bring the boat in and power the island from the boat.  The current owner bought the boat in 2006 a year after Francis Langford died.

We were delayed in getting back on the water by the refrigerator.  The fan motor went out and we were able to get it repaired but in the last 5 months we had the fan motor go out on both the freezer and the refrigerator.  The U-Line products are not built with the best of parts.

The delay did, supposedly, get us into some better weather window.  The chance of rain yesterday was about 20% and we ran thru 4 different showers.  None lasted long.

The western part of the Erie Canal has a lot of towns with free dockage and they have water and power at their docks. We were going to stop at Baldwinsville after 2 locks.  Well the wall at Baldwinsville was full and there was no place for us.  We went on and did two more locks with the next town being Clyde. There is quite a distance between Baldwinsville and Clyde because we passed thru the Montezuma Wildlife preserve which is very large.  Lenore did get to see a lot of heron during the trip and at one time there were 3 in the air flying near the boat.  We were disturbing their fishing as we went by.

No boats were at the Clyde docks so we pulled in and tied up. The docks are not large but they are part of a park with a boat launch, pavilion, restrooms and lots of grass for Candy.  The only downer with Clyde is that the town is on the opposite side of the canal and you need to cross on the highway bridge to get there. Nice residential setting just across the street from the park. There is also a steady stream of trains going by but there are no crossings so there are no whistles.

We are going to move on tomorrow to either Lyons, Newark or Fairport.  All the docks are free or maybe $10 for us.

Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY to Ess-Kay Yards, Brewerton, NY — July 4, 2014

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01-Canal-Bank-In-Oswego

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02-Canal-Bank-In-Oswego

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03-Canal-Bank-In-Oswego

04-Canal-Bank-North-Of-Oswego

04-Canal-Bank-North-Of-Oswego

05-Erie-Canal-Looking-East-In-Brewerton

05-Erie-Canal-Looking-East-In-Brewerton

07-Ess-Kay-Yards-Office-And-Front-Yard

07-Ess-Kay-Yards-Office-And-Front-Yard

08-Ess-Kay-Yard-West-Basin

08-Ess-Kay-Yard-West-Basin

09-Ess-Kay-Yards-Slips-On-Erie-Canal

09-Ess-Kay-Yards-Slips-On-Erie-Canal

We had a little more rain over night in Oswego and the sky was overcast when we were ready to leave Oswego this morning. The wind was pretty strong out of the Northwest, but that was OK because we are on the rivers/canals today.

We were on our way to Ess-Kay Yards in Brewerton, NY, to get some work done on the boat and while the work is being done were are going to visit Donna & Jon in Pittsburg.

We had a total of 8 locks today, 7 on the Oswego River and 1 on the Erie Canal.  The first lock was less than 1 mile from the Oswego Marina so I called the lock while we were still tied up. He said he would have the lock ready in about 10 minutes and I told him it would take us that long to get there.  As we approached the lock the doors opened and the green light came on.

It was really good today in that we were the only boat headed south and on the Oswego the doors opened as we approached every lock.  This made things a lot easier and quicker.  No waits for hours like the Canadian Locks near Montreal.

The river has some homes/cottages along the banks but for the most part there is a lot of undeveloped low lands for shoreline. There are little towns and villages near or at most of the locks and people watching the boats lock thru.

We had quite a few fishermen out on the water and the pleasure boaters came out later in morning.  I guess they enjoyed sleeping in for the 4th of July.  The Erie Canal from where it joins the Oswego to Brewerton has many homes/cottages on it and a couple of marinas. The speeds were slower because the last mile or 2 into Brewerton was a no wake zone so we slowed it down.

We did see a DeFever Trawler leaving Brewerton that its Port of Call was New Zealand.  It turns out they had just left Ess-Kay Yards and they are heading thru the Erie Canal to Lake Erie, then Lake Huron, the Georgian Bay, down the Trent-Severn Down the St Lawrence to the Richelieu, Lake Champlain and eventually to the Chesapeake to leave the boat until next year as they fly home.

The skies cleared as we got further South and by the time we got to the Erie Canal the sun was out but the winds were still pretty strong.  It was not much of a problem in docking as we had help and the wind was pushing us onto the dock.

Ess-Kay Yard is where we stayed last year and had some work done on the boat.  It is a family run marina that has been around for a long time.  They don’t do the work if it is not necessary.  This is the reason we are back this year because I trust them.  They have a nice lawn area for Candy and we are in a slip right on the Erie Canal.  Even though it is a no wake zone the smaller boats think plowing thru the water doesn’t produce wake, so we rock some during the day.

This will be the last post for about 10 days until we are back from Pittsburg and start to head home.

French Bay Marina, Clayton, NY to Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY — July 3, 2014

01-Chris-Craft-Area-With-Elco-In-Background

01-Chris-Craft-Area-With-Elco-In-Background

02-Gar-Wood-Area

02-Gar-Wood-Area

03-Lower-Floor-Area-Overall

03-Lower-Floor-Area-Overall

04-Outboards-And-Runabouts

04-Outboards-And-Runabouts

05-Outboards-And-Runabouts

05-Outboards-And-Runabouts

06-Looks-A-Lot-Like-Dads-Old-Cruisers-Inc

06-Looks-A-Lot-Like-Dads-Old-Cruisers-Inc

07-Picnic-Type-Boats

07-Picnic-Type-Boats

08-Horace-Dodge-Runabout

08-Horace-Dodge-Runabout

09-Would You Believe 12192-Miles-In-A-Canoe

09-Would You Believe 12192-Miles-In-A-Canoe

10-Antique-Boat-Museum-In-Clayton-NY

10-Antique-Boat-Museum-In-Clayton-NY

We sat in Clayton for a couple of days because the winds were a little strong and out of the Southwest, the direction we needed to go in to get to Oswego.  Today the winds were predicted to be 5 to 10 mph out of the Northwest backing to west.  I checked the radar and there were a few scattered showers around but we decided to go.  If we did not move today the next opportunity would be Sunday.

Clayton is a pretty nice town and we went to the Wood Boat Brewery Restaurant for dinner last night.  This place is really a pizzeria with a lot of specialty draft beers.  They have only been open about 2 weeks or so but the pizzas were good.  They are specialty pizzas and Lenore was able to get one customized to her taste.

The sky this morning was really gray and we had a couple of showers while we were getting ready to cast off.  Once underway the showers were pretty light and intermittent and after about 10:30 the rain was gone.  The wind was about 5 to 10 mph but out of the Northeast which was great.

It was a pretty good ride and when we were about 1/2 way I checked the radar and there was a pretty good rain pattern around Rochester and it was heading Northeast.  We picked up the speed to try and get to Oswego before the rain.  Well the front was moving fast and we were about 3 miles out of Oswego when the rain started and I called the marina for a slip assignment.  When we arrived inside the main harbor and they met us at the slip to help tie-up. The rain lasted about another 1 1/2 hours and it was heavy at times.

We are staying at the Oswego Marina which is where we stayed last year.  Last year we stayed one night and then crossed Ontario to the Trent-Severn Canal.  This year we are going South taking the Oswego Canal to the Erie Canal tomorrow.

This marina is basically a place for fishermen.  About half of the boats are charter boat ready to take you out on the lake.  They must do pretty well for all these boats to be around here.

Because it was raining when we left Clayton and raining when we got to Oswego the pictures with this post are from my visit to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.

 

 

Brockville Municipal Marina, Brockville, Ontario to French Bay Marina, Clayton, NY — June 30, 2014

01-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

01-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

02-Leaving-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

02-Leaving-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

03-Home-Being-Restored-Along-the-Seaway-Shore

03-Home-Being-Restored-Along-the-Seaway-Shore

04-Shoreline-similar-to-Fish-Camp-On-Lake-Wah-Wah-Kesh

04-Shoreline-similar-to-Fish-Camp-On-Lake-Wah-Wah-Kesh

05-Homes-and-Cottages-Along-the-Seaway-Shore

05-Homes-and-Cottages-Along-the-Seaway-Shore

06-Homes-and-Cottages-Along-The-Seaway-Shore

06-Homes-and-Cottages-Along-The-Seaway-Shore

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07-Homes-and-Cottages-Along-The-Seaway-Shore

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08-Channel-Marker-Among-Some-Of-The-1000-Islands

09-Singer-Castle-On-A Seaway-Island

09-Singer-Castle-On-A Seaway-Island

10-Singer-Castle-On-A Seaway-Island

10-Singer-Castle-On-A Seaway-Island

11-Laker-Headed-Down-River

11-Laker-Headed-Down-River

12-An-Island-Cottage

12-An-Island-Cottage

13-Along-The-Shore-Near-Alexandria-Bay

13-Along-The-Shore-Near-Alexandria-Bay

14-I-Think-This-Is-A-Lighthouse

14-I-Think-This-Is-A-Lighthouse

15-Along-The-Shore-At-Alexandria-Bay

15-Along-The-Shore-At-Alexandria-Bay

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17-Along-The-Shore-at-Alexandria-Bay

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18-Another-Shoreline-Structure

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19-I-do-Not-Think-It-Is-Floating-But-Interesting

20-Nice-Home-Just-West-Of-Alexandria-Bay

20-Nice-Home-Just-West-Of-Alexandria-Bay

21-Little-Coattage-On-An-Island

21-Little-Coattage-On-An-Island

22-Another-Little-Coattage-On-An-Island-With-A-Basic-Boat-Out-Front

22-Another-Little-Coattage-On-An-Island-With-A-Basic-Boat-Out-Front

23-More-Waterfront-Property-In-The-1000-Islands

23-More-Waterfront-Property-In-The-1000-Islands

24-Another-Island-Home

24-Another-Island-Home

25-Pretty-Rugged-Shoreline

25-Pretty-Rugged-Shoreline

26-Nice-Boathouse-On-The-Water

26-Nice-Boathouse-On-The-Water

27-Another-Cottage-with-Boathouse

27-Another-Cottage-with-Boathouse

28-Small-Boathouse-Along-The-Seaway

28-Small-Boathouse-Along-The-Seaway

29-The-Seaway-Looking-East-Towrd-Alexandria-Bay

29-The-Seaway-Looking-East-Towrd-Alexandria-Bay

Well the weather did not look good this morning.  Candy and I went for our first walk and the sun was coming up in the east and the dark clouds were rolling in from the west.  I checked the radar and although there were several little showers around there were no large or threatening weather within a couple of hundred miles.

We departed Brockville and headed West on the Seaway.  Brockville had several 1000 Island Ferries and we could see immediately that we were in the 1000 Island area.  Lots of parks, cottages, boat docks, etc.  A lot of the shore reminded me of the rocky shore up at Fish Camp.

After we were thru the Brockville Narrows the Seaway really opens up and actually splits with a separate Canadian Channel and the Main Seaway Channel on the American side.  The current is down significantly because the overall St Lawrence is a lot wider.

We passed and island with a restored castle, Singer Castle, on it and updated docks for boats to moor to.  I am sure there is a lot of ferry traffic to this site. Further up the Seaway we passed Alexandria Bay and that could be the center of the 1000 islands.  Lots and lots of cottages along with several castles and everything is in pretty good shape or being restored.  Lots of boat traffic and in Alexandria Bay we passed 4 ferries that were starting their trips/tours around the area.

About 5 miles further down the Seaway we came to Clayton, NY.  We couldn’t reach the office but we started to dock in an empty space on the wall but the wind was against us.  Thankfully a couple of locals came over and gave us a hand to get in.

After getting power and water hooked up I went with Candy for a walk to the US Customs video phone in downtown Clayton, only way to check in with Customs.  I had all our paperwork but because of the distance Lenore did not go.  Well the custom’s agent on the other end of the phone said she needed to be there and wouldn’t relent.  I went back to the marina and the marina manager had one of the workers give both of us a ride back to the phone.  I had a different agent on the phone this time.  I asked if the US Custom’s made any provisions to deal with the handicapped because one video phone in Clayton did not seem to fill the bill.  Once she realized that I had called in earlier and what had gone on, she apologized, our report was taken and we were checked in.  I do not think the video phones are that good. I put the passports where I was told so they could be seen over the phone but I needed to read the passport number to her from each passport.

We did get  good tour of Clayton from our marina driver and it is a very nice town that the people take a lot of pride in their homes and maintain them. The business district is all related to the tourist industry.  There is a nice Antique Boat Museum here.  They even have rides on the river in old Chris Craft and Hacker Craft Boats. I need to take some pictures and send them to Keith.

We are about 10 miles from being out into Lake Ontario.  There is supposed to be some thunderstorms for the next couple of days and the winds are up a little from the Southwest so we may be here until the weather settles down.  We plan on travelling to Oswego but that is almost due South of here and I do not want to buck the waves for 40 miles of open water.

Marina 200, Cornwall, Ontario to Brockville Municipal Marina, Brockville, Ontario — June 29, 2014

01-Marina-200-In-Cornwall

01-Marina-200-In-Cornwall

02-Leaving-marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

02-Leaving-marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

03-Saltie-Headed-Toward-The-Atlantic-On-Seaway

03-Saltie-Headed-Toward-The-Atlantic-On-Seaway

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04-Saltie-Headed-Toward-The-Atlantic-On-Seaway

05-Canadian-Coast-Guard-Station-Along-Seaway

05-Canadian-Coast-Guard-Station-Along-Seaway

06-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

06-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

07-RAF-Display-At-Brockville-municipal-Marina

07-RAF-Display-At-Brockville-municipal-Marina

08-Park-Setting-At-Brockville-Municipal-Marina-Looking-Out-At-Seaway

08-Park-Setting-At-Brockville-Municipal-Marina-Looking-Out-At-Seaway

09-Looking-West-Along-Dock-At-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

09-Looking-West-Along-Dock-At-Brockville-Municipal-Marina

We tried calling the Locks from the Cornwall Marina but the number I had was to an automated line so we left to take our chances at the locks.  The ride to the locks was pretty interesting as we were going against the current and we were between the mainland and Cornwall Island. The current was about 2 knots when we pulled out of the marina and the lockmaster told me we would see 9 knots but all I saw was 7 knots but what a wild ride.  We were on plane to make it easier to maintain direction and forward movement.

The Snell Lock and the Eisenhower Locks are about 1 mile apart and once you are in one you go thru both. We were given the green light to enter about 20 minutes after we arrived at the lock.  We were feeling pretty good about it and everything went smooth in both locks.  The lock attendant mention a couple that came thru yesterday that had parked at the dock wall (against stated rules) and asked if they could go ahead of the freighter coming in because their dog had to go to the bathroom.  They were told to get leave the wall for their safety and they would be locked thru when the freighter was done. They did put their dinghy in the water and took their dog to shore before the lock. This was the boat that came into Marina 200 last night from Boyne City.

The day was real busy on the St Lawrence.  We saw a couple of freighters but the pleasure craft were all over the place because it was a nice sunny Sunday afternoon with hot temps.  Even though the river in places was about 1 ½ miles wide it reminded me of the St Clair River on a sunny Sunday.

As we approached Brockville Ontario we could hear and see boat races going on.  We had earlier called the municipal marina and they had room for us for the one night. There was a race heat going on for the small hydroplanes.  These boats were maybe 8’ to 9’ Wide and about 14’ long.  They made a lot of noise and there was a lot of water in the air.

As we arrived at the race area all the boats went in.  It probably had to do with the freighter coming up from behind us.  It also allowed us to move around and enter the marina.  They did have a space for us on the wall right at the entrance to the marina.  They were busy and most of the wall space was taken up by cruisers in the 30’ to 50’ range.  They are also gearing up for Canada Day on July 1st.

Candy liked the park setting and met a few other dogs during her walks.  There were a lot of people around but after the last race at about 6:00, everybody appeared to pack up and go home from the race people to the vendors.  It was reasonably quite after the races were over.

They are predicting a chance for thunderstorms tomorrow and our plan is to move to Clayton NY.  I will check the weather in the morning, including the radar, and then we will make our decision when to go.

Valleyfield Marina, Valley Field, Quebec to Marina 200, Cornwall, Ontario — June 27, 2014

01 Valleyfield Marina

01 Valleyfield Marina

02-Leaving-Valleyfield-Marina

02-Leaving-Valleyfield-Marina

03-Channel-Marker-That-Is-Easy-To-See

03-Channel-Marker-That-Is-Easy-To-See

04-St-Lawrence-Seaway-Shoreline

04-St-Lawrence-Seaway-Shoreline

05-Wind-Turbine-That-Was-Not-Spinning

05-Wind-Turbine-That-Was-Not-Spinning

06-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

06-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

07-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

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08-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

08-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

We decided that today would be an easy day and we would only go as far as Cornwall Ontario. It is on the Seaway just before the American Locks.  The distance was about 35 miles.  Sky was pretty clear and the temps warmed considerably after the sun got up in the sky.  There was no real wind and the water was flat.  This was a lot like that windless day on Lake Champlain.

There was a lot of floating weed and assorted debris.  It was easy to pick this up with the water so flat.  The weed & debris was not a problem. This part of the Seaway is known as Lac François and is about 3 miles wide with pretty good depth on either side of the channel.

Current here was running about 1.5 to 2 mph going against us.  When we came out of Valleyfield the current was with us for the first 4 miles until we got to the Seaway Channel and then it was against us the rest of the way.

There are lots of cottages and homes on this part of the Seaway and many, many fishermen.  We passed on group of boats that must have been a tournament or some kind of organized event because there was 2 dozen boats in the middle of the river. We did see one boat land a fish while we cruised by but I could not see what type.

We did catch up with Cap Ocean today and passed them along the way. Not sure where they stayed last night. This is the 3rd day in a row that we have seen them on the waterway or been at a dock with them.  Nice people. They did arrive in the marina about 1 ½ hours after we did.

We arrived at Marina 200 in Cornwall about 1:00.  It was nice to get in early. After docking and getting the lay of the land, I walked in to the grocery store, ½ mile. The store is called No Frills and is a budget type store chain in Canada.  On the way back to the boat I talked with some of the local boaters in the marina and one, Capt’n Mike, said I could have used his car.  Well I asked to use it for dinner and that worked out fine.  Lenore and I went to a nice Italian Restaurant about 5 miles from the marina.

Nice marina with lots of nice people.  Some folks from Montreal dock their boat here because they do not need to deal with the Canadian Locks. It is not large, maybe 100 slips but the floating docks are relatively new and it is in a park setting. Candy had a chance to meet the 2 Marina dogs Ruedy and Tracy, both Golden Retrievers.  Ruedy was shaved for the summer because he spends so much time in the water and they just do not want to deal with his wet fur.

Next to the park is the City Aquatic Center and a large auditorium that had a Jehovah Witness meeting going on for Friday and Saturday.  The place was full.  Next to the auditorium was another park area where they had a Chrysler car show on Saturday.  Lots of vintage 60’s and 70’s Chryslers, Dodges and Plymouths all models.  It was a nice show and no cost to the public to just walk around and look. Most of the cars were in restored condition but there were a few beaters.  The oldest was a 1938 Plymouth 5 window coupe.
A boat came in late Saturday, about a 62′ Tiara, that was from Boyne City.  I mentioned Boyne City to the Captain and he seemed surprised that I knew where it was.  They had a large 3 year old Yellow Lab on the boat.
We decided to stay a 2nd night before moving on to Brockville Ontario.
01 Valleyfield Marina

01 Valleyfield Marina

02-Leaving-Valleyfield-Marina

02-Leaving-Valleyfield-Marina

03-Channel-Marker-That-Is-Easy-To-See

03-Channel-Marker-That-Is-Easy-To-See

04-St-Lawrence-Seaway-Shoreline

04-St-Lawrence-Seaway-Shoreline

05-Wind-Turbine-That-Was-Not-Spinning

05-Wind-Turbine-That-Was-Not-Spinning

06-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

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08-Marina-200-In-Cornwall-Ontario

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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17-Valleyfield-Marina-Looking-Toward-Grandstands-On-Bay

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

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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01-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal

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02-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal

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03-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal

04-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal

04-Yacht-Club-De-Montreal

05-Seaway-Condos-In-Montreal

05-Seaway-Condos-In-Montreal

06-Port-Of-Montreal

06-Port-Of-Montreal

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

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

08-Theme-Park-From-Olympics

08-Theme-Park-From-Olympics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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13-2nd-Ship-Leaving-The-St-Catherine-Lock1

14-Still-Waiting-At-The-St-Catherine-Lock

14-Still-Waiting-At-The-St-Catherine-Lock

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15-St-Anne-De-Bellevue-Main-Street1

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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

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

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

03-West-Shore-Of-Richilieu-River-South-of-Sorel

03-West-Shore-Of-Richelieu-River-South-of-Sorel

04-Salties-In-Sorel Quebec

04-Salties-In-Sorel Quebec

05-Salties-On-The-St-Lawrence

05-Salties-On-The-St-Lawrence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13-Building-In-Old-Montreal

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

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

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

02-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

02-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

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03-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

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04-Chambly-Quebec-Shoreline

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

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

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

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

09-Cable-Ferry-On-Richilieu-River

09-Cable-Ferry-On-Richilieu-River

10-St-Ours-Lock Sign

10-St-Ours-Lock Sign

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

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

12-Shoreline-Near-St-Ours-Dam

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.