May 25, 2015 – Lock 9, St. Jean sur Richelieu – 21.3 nautical miles

We woke up at 0600 but knew we could not get underway before the Canadian Customs office was open at 8:00 a.m. and we had determined to refuel before we left and figured John Motte, the harbormaster, wouldn’t be available to get fuel and pay our bill until after 8:00 a.m.

I checked engine oil and fuel tank levels and thought we would need about 50 gallons of fuel. The engine oil was full after the long run yesterday. Go figure.

At about 8:15 a.m. I called John and then moved the boat to the fuel dock. John came down and we took on 55.3 gallons of fuel at $4.09 per gallon. I paid our bill and called the Nexus reporting number to clear customs. We got a clearance number and put it in the window then fired up all systems and made our way out of the harbor, under the bridge to Vermont, across the US/Canadian line and up the Richelieu River to report at Canadian Customs. They were pleasant but all business and after checking paperwork issued a paper allowing us to leave the boat in Canada until September 1.

Then it was a very carefully navigated course down the channel through a very shallow river for another 18 nautical miles to the entry of the Chambley Canal. Along the way we stopped at Fort Lennox, a historic site for French, British and Americans.  When we arrived I called the lock to request passage. She said they would not be available for another hour so we parked at a float on the east side of the south end of the locks and took a walk along the waterfront.

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Vicki does Fort Lennox

Vicki does Fort Lennox

About 15 minutes before she was supposed to return the call we returned to the boat to carefully monitor vhf channel 68. When the hour passed and there was no return call I called her but got no reply. Fifteen minutes later I tried again but got no reply. Fifteen minutes later I called again but got no reply. Finally, about 45 minutes after she had said she would call me back I got a call to find out that there were no more passages through the locks today and that the next opportunity was at 9:30 am tomorrow. Though we had expected to stay on the wall between locks 3 and 4 we now were still on the south end of lock 9. Somewhat frustrated that she didn’t tell us that in the first place and that we had only made 21.3 nautical miles today we decided to make the best of it.

We took a long walk to a mini-mall and bought some groceries and things. We returned to the boat in time for chart hour and then we walked along the waterfront checking out the restaurants. We finally decided on a Quebec version of a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, when I saw poutine on the menu that was it so after a helping of poutine and a half order of nachos I rolled out of the place. Vicki did not cease to give me grief over my poor judgment in food choice. Boy was it good.

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