Sunday, 8 July 2012

Up the Welland Canal

From the Royal Hamilton, we sailed most of the way to Port Dalhousie where we stayed at the yacht club and took advantage of the chance to gas up for the canal. We made an early night of it so that we could get going first thing. It is less than an hour on the lake from Port Dalhousie over to Port Weller and into the check in dock.
At the dock we met the crew from Nuala, who encouraged us to check in quickly because they were just about to start up the canal and had been waiting quite a while. Here they are a little later on.
When we checked in we heard that we would also be sharing the lock with Griffon, a Coast Guard ship. We saw a lot of her bow that day, often much closer to us than this.
We shared the front of the locks with Nuala throughout the day as we made our way up the escarpment. The first 7 locks come in quick succession and each rise about 50 feet, so the top of the mast is below the edge of the lock wall when you drive in. Going up is a real workout, control the lines and fending off the wall since the water rushing into the lock really pushes the boat around. We were exhausted by the time we reached the top.

The middle gates in the flight locks (4,5,6) are extra tall to span the height of both locks. Lock 7 is the worst for the turbulence and the last one you get to before a long motor through the canal to Port Cobourne, passing traffic like this along the way.

At the end of the day we tied up at the Port Colbourne municipal marina and found the bus stop for Graham to catch a ride into Toronto. Laura and I spent a lazy next day hanging around Port Colbourne watching the kids jumping into the old locks to cool off.

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