Where we at

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Boucherville to St. Anne, wall

The next 2 locks were industrial sized. They lock freighters and container ships along the St. Lawrence River. That is their "real" job. We meager personal crafts (PCs) are a bother. We had to pay to go through these locks but we'd been told not to hail them. We were assigned a day and time to be there, sit on the floating dock provided, and wait for the green light.

We picked the Boucherville anchorage for it's location to the first of these, St. Lambert, which was about an hour's trip away. Of course, when we got there the convenient floating dock was filled.

Blazing right on through Montreal, since
they have not space for us.
NOTE TO SELF: Next time, skip the anchorage and go right to the lock wall for the night. 

Highwind and we stood station, waiting for our scheduled "go" time, which was about 45 minutes. The doors were open but the light was red, which means do not enter. Meanwhile, we watched our AIS maps. If any real ships need to use the lock we get screwed. Above us we noticed a vessel in the second lock. By 9:10 the door began to close, without us inside the chamber. We all texted each other, lamenting the 2 hour wait that was ahead of us...

We rafted to Highwind in the locks.
Mostly at the request of the lock master.
...when the doors opened again and we got the green light. Apparently, they do things differently in Canada.

About 10 PCs got into the chamber and we locked up without issues. Although, procedure in these locks were different than others. You get next to the chamber wall, then someone high above you tosses you the line you'll use. Big ships, on the other hand, get to use the handy, massive suction cups (which we've never seen before). Once a ship is in, huge suction cups adhere to their sides and move them up or down with the lock water line. They definitely do things differently in Canada.

Once done we all snaked along the canal to the next lock, dodging a couple of down-bound ships. At the second lock, St. Catherine. As we arrived a ship was locking up. We tied up and hung out for the hour or so. We let a looper, DayDreaming, raft to us since space was limited. Some folks had to stand station.

With these big locks behind us the goal for the day was get to our destination, about 2 hours away. Back on the St. Lawrence we expected a lazy ride as we zigged and zagged our way to St. Anne. 

Did I mention the weather? Or the 6 or 7 weather alerts we received about squalls/thunderstorms/tornados in the area? Needless to say, once we made the turn westward to cross a very open section of the St. Lawrence, we got bombarded by 20 knot winds sending water on our beam. We didn't have a lot of room to tack to keep it off us, so we just took it. Not the worst we've experienced, but definitely spicy.

This data shows the boat's roll (side to side) during the small crossing.
The worst was about 15 degrees on either side.

Angry skies at St. Anne. The vessel on the wall
opposite was DayDreaming.
Luckily, once we got onto the wall at St. Anne the storm in all it's glory broke on us. So the timing, all in all, was perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment