Sunday, September 11, 2011

Locks, Bridges and Night Passages

Friday we motored through the night to get through as many locks a possible. Our first was in the afternoon at Iroquois. We had some customs confusion at this point but luckily the lady at the marina in Iroquois was super friendly and helpful. During the night passage we passed through four more locks, including Eisenhower and Snell on the US side and two at Beauharnois. The moon was kind enough to provide us with a well-lit night as we passed under several lift bridges into Quebec and encountered our first ship, which came upon us pretty quickly. At 5:30 am we dropped anchor just off the channel beyond the Beauharnois locks for a few hours of recuperative sleep as the sun began to rise.

During the day on Saturday we approached Montreal and completed the last two locks on the St. Lawrence. It is nice to have them over with! Luckily we never had to wait very long before passing through, but it always involved tying up at a dock to pay and call the lockmaster, and once in the locks we had to either hold on to ropes or loop rope around these moving “bollards" (which we nicknamed “wailing bollards” because of the sounds they made as we went down) and keep the boat off the wall with extendable handles we have for mops. The walls were pretty slimy and during the night it made for an eerie effect. 

Last night we left the main channel to anchor outside the home of friends of s/v Raftan and enjoy a restful night. The current is quite strong here so swimming wasn’t really an option. Today we are heading for Trois Rivieres and the marina there to spend the night and get some fuel. At this point in the journey we need to begin planning ahead a lot (something which hasn’t been done much as of yet because of the early changes in our route) due to the emerging impact of tides. According to our cruising guides they start to become significant after Trois Rivieres. Also the water turns “brackish,” a sign that we are approaching the ocean soon! We should reach Quebec City the following night. 

This was a quick entry as we are about to leave so I will update you all at the next internet point!


  1. Hey Niche, Dweb, Uncle John and Aunt Terri! I have been following your blog religiously, so keep it comin'. Missing you guys already! Love you all, safe journey!

    Katiebearths xo

  2. Hi Katie, Glad you are enjoying it so far. Miss you and the snoopy too! xo.