07-07-09 Trent Severn Waterway Lock #10

We left Trenton this morning and entered the Trent Severn Waterway. The TS is a connection of rivers, lakes, canals that run for 240 miles though Canada connecting Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay. Along the way are 45 locks that can be traversed for a fee. Most of the locks are the standard type, except that they are manually opened and closed. The lock personnel turn a turnscrew to open and close the lock. I have a picture of Rick opening Lock #10 (pretending). The locks are really parks in the Parks Canada system, and as such provide recreation activities to the communities. People fish, walk, and picnic as each lock has picnic tables, trash pickup, and restrooms. For boaters, there is a wall that they can tie and get off and stretch their legs. If one wishes, you can spend the night on the wall, as we are doing tonight, for a fee. Remember, there is no electricity (Hydro in Canada), and no showers. The restrooms are locked at 1830, and the lockmaster will give a boater a key to use the facilities at night, if they have paid the fee.

Since you can tie up to the locks, above and below the chamber, the lockmaster needs a way to know if you are going through or not. They do not respond to VHF radio. Each lock has a blue line, approximately 150 feet in length, painted on the lock wall. If you want to go through the lock, and it is closed, you tie to the blue line. The lockmaster will see you and open the lock. If you do not want to go through the lock, DO NOT tie to the blue line. Luckily, at this time in the year, most people are locking from East to West, and the lockmaster calls ahead to the next lock to tell him to expect you. They’ve asked us at each lock if we intend to go through the next lock, and as the day got later, they asked us how many more we intended to go through today. The locks, the 10 we did today, are open for the most part and ready to go. We have not yet tied to the blue line.

The scenery is beautiful and the locks are well maintained. Many have flower gardens, and very informative signage. The lock personnel are professional and very helpful. The locks are easier to navigate than the Erie, as the chambers are smaller and the method of stabilizing your boat in the lock is a plastic covered cable, attached at the top and bottom of the lock. You just pull up, pass a line around the cable (do not cleat), front and back, and hold on for the ride up or down. In the Erie, there were several methods of holding on, and you never knew until you entered the lock which one to expect. Also, in the Trent Severn locks the cables are much closer together, making it easy for each one of us to secure to a cable, whereas in the Erie the cables in most cases were so far apart that it was very difficult for each of us, in our relatively short boat, to hold a line.

Here are some pictures from the first day on the Trent Severn that may interest you. Remember, you can click on any picture and enlarge it.

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