"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 12, 2012

Aug. 11 - St. Jean, QC

Marathon Lock Day
Chambly Lock 9 Wall

Our plan today was to stop at the top of lock 3 on the Chambly Canal in the cute village of Chambly. We got an early start so we'd have all afternoon to explore the town and near by fort. When we arrived at the first lock, we were told we were too large to fit with the group of boats going up, so we'd have to wait till the next lock up. These lock are much smaller than the ones on the Rideau Canal, they are 21'x110’. We thought it would be no big deal and tied up on the blue line to wait. While we waited we walked up to the locks to look around and ask how long the process took. We were told about 30 minutes...no big deal, until we told them we wanted to moor in the basin between lock 3 and 4. Since we weren't moving on they wanted us to wait until more boats came or someone else locked down...that was crazy. After waiting over an hour I walked back to the first lock and told them we wanted to move on. Hearing that they jumped right up and opened the gate! I guess we could have still docked where we had planned, but we were to frustrated by then. Why spend money in a town that doesn't want you? Once you go through lock 4 on this canal, you have to go straight through to Lock 9 in St. Jean. 

The Chambly Canal was built in 1843 to go around the rapids on the Richelieu River and it is very narrow, most places two large boats would not be able to pass. The canal is ten miles long with nine locks and the top speed is 10 km (6.2 MPH), so it takes a long time to get through. The locks can be filled quickly and don't take that long, but twice they made us wait for another boat locking up, so by the time we were in lock 6 there were three boats. Then we had to wait for other boats locking down. When we finally reached lock 9 in St. Jean it was 5:30 and raining...definitely not the day we had planned.

We are so glad we decided to do the Rideau Canal, it was very pretty and the locking staff was so out going, it was a wonderful experience. I feel we would have missed the best part of this trip if we had just done the St. Lawrence and Richelieu. Those waterways are just that…a way to get where you need to go. The Rideau Canal is a destination, an adventure, a vacation worth taking.

St. Antoine, QC
 Every town or small village has a wonderful Catholic Church
 St. Charles, QC
 Point Beloeil
 The Chambly Canal

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