May 20, 2015 – Champlain Canal – 39.3 nautical miles

Today was a day of transiting most of the Champlain Waterway. We cleared nine locks altogether and then moored on the dock north of lock 9. Foreign guy came up behind us at a fast pace on a big plastic boat as we were waiting for lock 2.   He was in such a hurry he passed us before we even got out of the lock walls as we were exiting. He disappeared around the bends ahead of us but when we got to lock 3 it was in the process of turning around so he had to wait and we shared the lock with him again.

In this lock we caught the rope at the bow but the stern came off the wall and the wind was blowing such that it was evident we were not going to retrieve the position. We released the east wall and quickly set up fenders on the port side of the boat so we could catch the west wall. It all worked our fine but there was a little anxiety during the rapid switch.

The distance to the next lock 4 was not too great and once again we shared the lock with foreign guy. I call him foreign guy as when he was on vhf radio talking to the lock masters I could barely understand him due to the heavy accent. This time, as we were descending (about 19’) foreign guys boat gunwale got stuck in a groove in the lock wall and the boat hung up till the water dropped about a foot. The boat was tipping, there was much yelling and then the boat popped our of the groove. I felt bad as I am sure there was significant damage to the fiberglass.   That was the last we saw of foreign guy.

We caught up to a sailboat when we got to lock 5 and locked through with him. We were traveling about the same speed so arrived at lock 6 together as well. Between 6 and 7 a barge and tug pulled out into the canal just after the sailboat passed. We had to pull in behind it as there was no way to pass so had to go 2 knots for about a mile until the canal opened into a river where it was wide enough to pass. By the time we got to lock 7 he had already locked through so from then on we were alone in the locks.

Vicki is by now a master locker!!!

Vicki is by now a master locker!!!

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Locking on the Champain Waterway

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Talk about a peaceful day.

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We found all of the lock tenders to be most friendly and accommodating. This whole locking experience was positive. We cleared through lock 9 fifteen minutes before it was closed, moored the boat and had a glass of wine at a picnic table on the lawn overlooking the canal. All in all a very nice day.

On the Lock 9 wall of the Champlain Waterway with picnic table in view

On the Lock 9 wall of the Champlain Waterway with picnic table in view

The evening was a little disconcerting however as there was a continuous noise on the boat that we could not figure out. We shut down all electrical systems and it continued. We listened everywhere and while it was louder in some areas than others we could not locate the source. We haven’t heard it since so will probably never know what it was. My best theory is that there was an irrigation pump on shore with the pickup pipe almost under our boat and we were hearing the noise of the pump transmitted through the water and amplified by our hull. If you have a better theory let me know.

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One thought on “May 20, 2015 – Champlain Canal – 39.3 nautical miles

  1. Bob Smith

    So great to see that you “survived” the big boy locks. They can be intimidating. It is fun for us to see the photos of familiar sites along your journey. You are making the most of it. We enjoyed St Anne de Bellevue too. We’ll keep watching your progress and know that you are having fun. Best, Bob and Debi

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