We have locked through 37 conventional locks, meaning they have watertight gates made of timber or steel at both ends, and they are filled and emptied through sluices in the gates, walls or floor of the lock chamber. Some of the sluices are still operated manually while others are now operated by electrically controlled hydraulic systems.
There were two flight locks, which are two locks joined together to handle large changes in water levels. We went up up 48 feet in one and 54 in another.
The third type of lock is the Hydraulic Lift Lock. Canada's hydraulic lift locks are 2 of only 9 in the world and the only 2 in North America. Lift locks are made up of 2 water filled chambers counterbalanced on huge hydraulic pistons. As one descends, the other is forced upwards. Our depth sounder read about 6 1/2 feet deep in the chamber. It was a very quick ride, like being on an elevator.
View from the top Kirkfield Lift Lock where we went down 49 feet.
From here on we went down.
Then there was the coolest part (although it was also the quickest) "Big Chute"...the marine railway which takes you 600 feet over land. It was built in 1977 for $2.9 million. It's like being on a terribly slow roller coaster. You go slightly up then a few hundred yards down. Quite a marvel of engineering. We got lucky, or not, we were the only two boats there so it was over before we could even take it all in!
You've heard me mention My Therapy...well we ended up locking through together again yesterday so the two of us got to do the Chute together. We are now both in Starport Landing in Port Severn. It's windy to go into Georgian Bay and no place to anchor. This is the nicest small marina we've been in EVER.....they will deliver breakfast to your boat (not free of course) pick up your garbage (free) deliver a paper in the morning (free) and the biggie FREE LAUNDRY... although we both balked at the $2. a foot price you get what you pay for. We even comped a free pumpout which they charge $30 for. OUTRAGEOUS in the states the MOST you'll pay is $10.
We went to the small General Store near here to get supplies but it was so pricey all we got is milk for $6.00 for a 5 quart bag, a loaf of bread and some Pemeal Bacon, which I haven't had in YIKES 50 years.....my Dad used to bring it home from Canada when I was a kid. Gary bought a 15 pack of beer for $21.00 double YIKES although they assured him the cans were larger than the case of bottles for $30.00 and he wasn't paying that much more. Yeah, right. Then the kicker calculations were made that we had enough fuel to get us back to the states, but conditions have altered those calculations and we may have to buy fuel here!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well, as I say, "when in Rome" (get out as quick as you can)!!!!
BUT, the scenery is to die for, and the Canadian people have been nothing but welcoming, I don't know how they can afford to live, but I'm also glad I don't have to find out!
My 3 F's Farms, flowers and flags....the flowers are beautiful and flags line the waterways....
Another favorite pastime ICE CREAM....I kid you not they have ice cream everywhere!! You never have to look far...my kind of place.
This entire waterway is Canada's "Cottage Country".... from tiny little things to glass fish bowls. Some on the shore and many built on stone islands in the middle of the water accessible only by boat. An idyllic summer lifestyle.
Stony Lake was a gorgeous area....with tiny cottages on the small rock islands...
......... even and 'Island' church
Also a huge area for rented houseboats which is always interesting.
Most have no clue about which end is up! They were quite a challenge on the weekend.
So that's it for now....time to move to the lock for the "cheap" dockage for the night and tomorrow into Georgian Bay. It may take another 6 days or so depending on weather to make Drummond Island. Whatever happened to flat water and blue skies....mother natures nasty sister "Windy" is on a roll this year.
Tie a Knot ....Out