07-08-09 Hastings, ON Lock #18

Here we are, all rigged for locking. We leave the fenders out and run to the next lock. Today, we completed 5 locks in 4.43 miles ane even with the lake, we only got in 32 miles, after going 28 miles yesterday. This 10km (6 mph)stuff is getting old....

We are still in the Trent Severn Waterway. Here is a bit of history regarding the TS. Canadians, from the early 1800s had wished for a way to travel from the great lakes to the Atlantic Ocean without going through the United States. Placing a canal or waterway from Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario would do the trick. There were several starts and stops, some locks built and abandoned. Then in the mid 1800s, someone figured out that you could convert the water falling over a dam into electricity (hydroelectric power). The rest is history for the TS. Dams were built to harness the power and locks were built to bypass the dams, and Canada had a way to go from the Great lakes to the Atlantic, without going through the United States. Parks Canada took over the locks, made them all parks, for recreation and business. It is not unusual to see a dozen people fishing at the lock site. There are no “No Fishing” signs as we would have in the US. The lock sites are clean, well landscaped with lawns and beautiful flowers, have restroom facilities, trash pickup and generally are well run parks. The lockmasters have been very helpful and friendly.

Now for today. We traveled over 7 hours to traverse 8 locks and managed to cover 32 miles. The scenery was very pretty, looking more like Alaska on the sides of the Trent River. We even saw a seaplane parked in someone’s back yard. We caught up with Maurice in his 21 ft Ranger tug, and he is just across the river from us tonight. We got some good pictures of his small boat entering the double lock. He looks so tiny. We are on lock 18 wall in the town of Hastings. The lock is in the center of town. You can walk to everything. This is the second night in a row we’ve stayed at a lock wall with no showers or power. The little portable generator does fine for power, but we will have to stay at a marina tomorrow to take a shower. Betsy says two days is long enough. We can sponge bathe on our boat or in the bathrooms at the locks, but a shower will feel good!

We encountered both of the two step locks on the system. These locks are used to raise you up a large distance quickly. Actually, it is two locks, back to back. The door that opens to let you out of lock 1 is the door into lock 2. The locks raise you up 48 feet in one set of locks. If you go to Ottawa, there is a set of 8 step locks that take you over 2 hours to complete (we will not be going that far). The rest of the locks today were the regular ones.

One of the Step Locks.....2 Locks in one...

(Betsy speaks) Like yesterday, the sky was foreboding all day. For two days in a row we’ve seen very black skies, then a little rain, then bright blue. One time yesterday the sky to the right was as black and stormy looking as any I’ve ever seen, and to the left it was bright blue with white fluffy clouds. Somehow, we never saw rain from that. Today we were not so lucky. Just as we were preparing to enter lock 15 the sky let loose and Rick, riding on the bow to handle the lines as we entered the lock, got drenched. I handed him the poncho as soon as I could get away from the wheel. Now you understand why I like to do the driving! Several of the lockmasters have commented that it is usually the woman getting wet while the man is dry, inside at the wheel. We sort of laugh and say I got wet one time doing the lines, then decided to learn to drive the boat! All the lock masters along this waterway are super friendly and very helpful.

We pulled over to the wall at the top of one lock and had a delightful lunch at a picnic table. This is so peaceful. The water as we crossed a larger lake today was glassy smooth. Speed limit is generally 6 MPH except when you are crossing a lake or in a wide area, at which time we may jack it up to 9 or 10 MPH.

Tomorrow, we will get to the famous Peterborough Lock. You will need to come back for that discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Betsy - always wondered why you were so gung-ho to drive that boat - know I now....
    Doesn't Rick get a "pass" on the shower - sounds like he already had one, but without soap!
    Have a great day - hopeyou get back up to zooming around soon - all sounds so interesting!
    Margaret & Tim