The Ottawa River

Locks, Locks and more Locks, each one different and yet the same, some fit huge tankers and some smaller vessels, some fit both, some with fixed docks, some with floating docks, but all formidable.

We waited at the St Lambert dock for three hours before entering and tying up to the wall and to the other eighteen boats for the trip through.  Four in the afternoon, can we make it to St Anne’s? There is a lock wall to tie up to, restaurants and music.

Big mistake!  Forgot the looper code, stop early for the night. Everything was as we thought but “there was no room at the inn”.  Boats were everywhere even rafted together. Many of the docks were underwater.  OK, let’s try to anchor it is eight-thirty!

We know the bottom is rocky, no sand, nothing to hold the anchor. “Denny, it is getting dark! “, was my helpful comment. Nine-thirty, after many tries in many places and with lots of prayers, we anchored safely. Another long and exhausting day!

The next morning we entered the Carillon, an impressive lock, unique in north America, it has a nearly two ton guillotine gate that enables passage up or down a 62 foot drop in one operation. I had been told that, red and green lights and a lockmaster yelling in French, control the entrance to the dock, but our experience was fortunately different.

Cute bilingual university students ushered us into the locks. The only unfortunate occurrence was when Denny forgot to press on the brake pedal and we hit the steps on the locks front wall, shearing off only a small portion of dream Seekers front railing. “Don’t worry epoxy will fix that!”

On exit from these canals, the smaller but faster boats rocket past us leaving huge wakes and bouncy seas. The Canadians enjoy their short but beautiful summer season to the fullest.

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2 thoughts on “The Ottawa River

  1. Your scaring me. Hit those locks earlier. Telling Denny it’s getting dark was very helpful….I’m sure he thought so too. Be careful out there.


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