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Tag Archives: St. Lawrence Seaway

August 9 – Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

So, we had a tiny little bit of excitement this morning after our perfect anchoring situation last night. The anchor actually held and we had an excellent sleep! No having to move in the middle of the night or sudden problems! Dennis mentioned this morning that a transformer on a hydro pole was arcing (shorting electricity and making a racket with some smoke). We had a good laugh because we wondered if that were us. Maybe we hooked the power cable with the anchor and this has caused the lock to break down.
Well, it turns out that the lock has broken down and we are stuck! Not so funny after all…

We arrived in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (our first Quebec port) and luckily had an easy time docking. The two teenage dock handlers were busy kissing and didn’t seem to notice us (does this happen because we are in Quebec?). We went in the office to register and spoke with a very nice young lady who wanted to practice her English and I wanted to practice my French so we had a good time trying to communicate. Dennis understood about as much as I did!

After we finished registering, we wandered downtown. The guidebook said that the town is filled with boutiques. Well, we obviously made a wrong turn because the town looked like the bad side of Sudbury – rundown and derelict. We found the grocery store (Le Metro) and bought a few things. We were hoping for something new but they had the same groceries as we do in Ontario with the exception of beer. We then wandered around some more and did find all the boutiques. The main street is very pretty, especially being so close to the canal. (The town has incorporated the old locks into their plan it is looks great). We also saw the beautiful church that the town is famous for.

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We went back to the boat and I decided to go jogging. I didn’t get more than 20 feet and I saw the boater that we had been rafted to in yesterday’s locks. I asked him what he was doing here. He was supposed to be in Montreal already and he told me that the lock was broken and that all the traffic was backed up. Sure enough, when we checked online, we saw that this was true. If you want to see the ships in real time, go to these two websites:
Seaway Map
AIS – LIve Marine Traffic

So, now we are kind of stuck here. Supposedly, the lock was to be fixed by 4:00 pm and that the commercial traffic would be let through. We will have to wait. We aren’t in any hurry anyway and don’t want to leave until tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully the lock will be fixed by then and the traffic will have slowed down to normal.
In the meantime, the town has great bike trails – over 70 km of paved trails as well as good shopping and a huge public pool, so even if we have to wait for a couple of days, we will be fine. Plus, there is a rodeo in town! That might be kind of fun. 🙂

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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 7 – Upper Canada Village

We decided to take a rest from boating down the St. Lawrence today as it is a very important day – our 26th anniversary! We haven’t even had a major catastrophe or any harsh words on this trip, so we consider ourselves lucky!

Since we took the day off, we went sightseeing. The first stop was the memorial at Crysler Farm. This was the site of an important War of 1812 battle and we fended off the American invaders even though we were outnumbered drastically! We just missed the re-enactment of the battle (thank goodness – it was on Saturday, one of the hottest days of the summer – yuck!). Anyway, here is a picture of the memorial.

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After the memorial, we went to Upper Canada Village and because we had already been at Fort Henry in Kingston, we got in for free, so if you decide to tour the region, keep your ticket stubs.

Upper Canada Village was definitely worthwhile as it had many authentic working businesses such as the cheese maker, shoemaker, blacksmith, flour mill, woolen factory and a variety of farms as well as a school, physician’s home, tavern, tinsmith and bakery.

We took the tow scow from the beginning of the village down the canal to the top. Our day would not be complete unless we had a boat ride!

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If you look closely on the left side of the above picture, you should see the horse pulling the scow.

The most interesting part for me was talking to the schoolteacher. She told me that instruction was totally individualized for each child because you never knew who would show up each day. Sometimes a child would miss six months of school because he or she would be expected to work at home on the farm. I thought that we have gone completely full circle since we individualize instruction for each child too and quite often their attendance is very poor (I doubt that they work on the farm).

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The flour mill was also very interesting and the building was amazing.

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After the tour of Upper Canada Village, Dennis worked on the boat while I biked into Morrisburg (on the paved shoulder – very nice!) to get a few groceries. We will head out tomorrow but I am not sure where we are stopping or if we have any locks to get through. I guess we had better figure that out before we set off!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 6 – Crysler Park Marina

We left Alex Bay at around 7:30 – the winds had died down so it was easy to get off the dock. It was an uneventful trip down the river but we did get to see a few interesting things.
The first photo is of a ship – according to the “captain”, it is built this way because it can unload its own materials. I am not sure, so you’ll have to take the captain’s word. (Ha!)

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The second picture is of the Singer Castle – it is not as large as the Boldt Castle but very impressive and it is completely finished. We went by too early to tour it and were in a hurry to get to the first lock.

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We got to the Iroquois Lock just after lunch and noticed that the doors were just opening, so we quickly docked the boat and Dennis hurried up to the ticket booth and paid the $25 fee. We got the green light and moved into the lock. It was so uneventful that might I actually say it was kind of boring? No towing boats or engine fires? AND, we only went down 19 cm. I didn’t even realize we had finished when the lock master asked for his line back – we were still at the same height!
Oh well, sometimes boring is a good thing!

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The picture above is of the water control area – the lock is in place to help control the current which did pick up considerably once we were clear. It only took an hour and a half to go the last 12 miles.

We are going to stay here tomorrow and visit the Upper Canada Village as well as go bike riding. There is a trail that goes all the way to Cornwall. I have been very impressed with the National Parks system here – it has been top notch. (Our tax dollars at work :))

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 4 – Grenadier Island

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Looks like we made a wrong turn and somehow ended up in Georgian Bay! Very pretty here at the 1000 Islands. Lots of places to anchor and swim. Thank goodness we can swim because it has been so warm – 35 degrees and not much of a breeze!
Along the way, we saw all sorts of interesting things such as several osprey nests.

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We also saw some really spectacular homes and cottages – makes Muskoka look shabby! Here is a shot of a home on an island – kind of odd as it was right on the main channel and if you were looking to get away from it all, this would not be the place!

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We also spotted the statue of St. Lawrence along the river and if you’re interested in the history behind the statue, click this link.

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Of course at 2:00 this morning, the wind came up and by 4:00, we realized that we were dragging into the shoreline, so we had to pull the anchor (which was covered in weeds – again) and motor around for a while until we could figure out what to do. We eventually went back to the same place only to have the anchor drag again, so we moved over to the other side of the river and now are sitting here watching the sun come up.
The temperature should be a bit better today. We are going to Alexandria Bay and will be touring the Boldt Castle. Should be fun!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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