Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Lock On!

Quick links:
Check Facebook for a photo album showing our transit of Carillon Lock!
And another FB album for the St. Anne de Bellevue Lock. (Both are on the Ottawa River)

On Beyond the Rideau

Rideau Canal locktenders don't need to hit the gym to lift weights after work!
We loved the Rideau Canal and its charming limestone locks, their doors operated by locktenders using antique machinery.  We were sad to say goodbye.

Happily, we still have many more historic Canadian canals to transit!

On Saturday July 7 we left our peaceful anchorage on the Ottawa River, headed east toward the Carillon and St. Anne-de-Bellevue locks, and ultimately, Montreal.

Before the Locks, a Log Castle!

We stopped at the town of Montebello to view its most famous attraction, The World's Largest Log Castle. (For real! The world's largest structure built entirely of logs. Red cedar, specifically.) This picture doesn't do it justice; you're seeing one tiny corner of the whole.

Chateau Montebello was built in 1930, using 3,500 workers who finished the job in four months. For its first 40 years, it operated as a private club. (Jews were not allowed, among others).  Today it's a luxury resort with stables,  mini-golf, and off-road SUVing.

He's Still a Handy Man to Have Around

We stopped for the night in the town of Hawkebury.  Our dorm-sized boat fridge took this opportunity to die, leaking loads of water from the frosted freezer compartment across the kitchen floor.

Cap got 'er fixed up just about as fast as he got that new water pump installed. Ice cubes didn't even thaw.

Going Under the Guillotine

Check out the counterweight that raises and lowers the gate!
To make the trip through the lock with us, see the album on Facebook.
On Sunday, July 8, we set a course down the Ottawa River for the Carillon Lock. Like the Rideau, this brief canal and its single lock were constructed after the War of 1812 as part of a proactive military effort to make sure they had transportation channels that would be safe from American attack.

Where the Rideau is almost unchanged since it was built nearly 200 years ago, the Carillon was majorly reconstructed when a hydro dam was completed in 1964.  So this lock is modern as modern can be, lifting (or lowering) boats about 64 feet.

The striking 200-ton"Guillotine Gate" at the downstream end of the lock goes up and down like, well, the blade of a guillotine--a contrast to traditional lock gates that swing like doors.

When Locking Through, Bring Cookies

On the Rideau, a locktender had told us that he and his colleagues looked favorably on boats that bestowed pastries. So Cap was ready with a platter of freshly baked peanut butter cookies for the two young ladies who handled our lines.

From Carillon we had a windy and bouncy ride up the river. Finally we reached the safe harbor of St. Anne-de Bellevue, where the lock, in great contrast to Carillon, lifts just a few feet.

The St. Anne locktenders were just as charming as the Carillon locktenders, and just as pleasingly surprised by their cookies.

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