Sunday, August 12, 2018

Little Triangle Loop, Week #6, 28July to 3Aug018, CROSSING THE BORDER

      Saturday morning I get up and hike to the other Village of Waddington park with docks. I put a check for dockage (honor system) in the box at the park. In the afternoon, Barbara and I hike into town about 2 blocks from the water to get an AT&T signal. We do not want to be in the hassle of disputing a bill for international roaming later. We use the laptop and download bills from the few creditors we have so we can mail payment to them. Then we mosey back to SummerTime. We ran the generator some in the morning for making coffee. We run it again in the afternoon so we can cook and put some charge into the batteries. A sailboat pulls up behind us in the afternoon, so I warned him before we run the generator.
      On Sunday morning I run the generator again for heating coffe and putting more charge into the batteries. The Village has a new bath house to go with their new pavilion. We go over and use the showers to get ready to go to church. We, as always, go to the closest protestant church since we are most always walking. It is an old Presbyterian Church, the second oldest church in the village. It burnt in the early 1900s, and was rebuilt. It still looks old architecturally inside. It has high arched ceilings with curved wooden beams supporting the roof. There is also a magnificent old pipe organ in the sancturary. They volunteer that is from the early 1900s donated by one of the Vanderbilts. Their organist plays it very well. After church we go to a restaurant for brunch. Not something we normally do on Sunday, but this restaurant is special. It is "Artworks Creperie", and they do a brunch featuring crepes of various types.
They have a pretty sizable clientele for such a small town, and I am hoping that this is a sign their food is good. We are both amazed at the excellent crepes we have off this brunch bar. After stuffing ourselves, we go back aboard SummerTime and ready to depart Waddington.
      We depart Waddington in NY, and go to Crysler Park Marina, all of 8 miles, in Morrisburg, Ontario. We call Canada Customs from the shore phone, and get our reporting in number to display. We fuel SummerTime as there are not too many places that have diesel on the Seaway. I had planned to stop in Ogdensburg, NY, but as their docks are out we are buying fuel in Ontario. It is expensive due to Canadian taxes, but I only have to buy 56 gallons to top the tank off. I will not have to buy diesel again until we get back into the States. SummerTime's berth is like most transient berths. It is by the channel entrance so every boat coming in rocks us. I am glad the winds are not directly out of the east as we have almost no protection sitting in the mouth of the harbor where we are. Wayne and Ruth, two gold loopers from Crysler Marina see our gold "AGLCA" burgee and kayak over to introduce themselves. They are the local AGLCA harbor host and quite friendly and knowledgeable. Wayne points out that the "Crysler War of 1812 Battlefield" nearby is where 4000 US patriots were defeated by 800 Brits and Indians.
     On Monday we go to the marina office for the free shuttle ride to Canada's Upper Village. Eric tells us that the village will not open for another half hour, so we have him drop us at the 1812 Battlefield.
Kind of reminds me of Gettysburg. Cannons on top of a hill, and infantry trying to charge across open ground to take them.
We spend a few minutes on top of the mound, and then go to the "Village". It is an 1860s period village that is comprised of buildings from that period. The buildings came from the area that was to be flooded when the St. Lawrence Seaway was constructed in the late 1950s. There are people dressed in period clothes doing interpretations and demonstrations. One of the first things we visit is a wool mill, where machines driven by a water wheel card, spin, and weave wool into fabrics.
The next building is a grain mill. Here we see the water wheel, as they have it pulled out as it has failed. They had a replacement wheel running the mill. We witnessed flour being ground. The small pond feeds a saw mill also. This is also powered by a vertically mounted water wheel that spins as water falls from the pond over it. It is powering a vertical saw blade that is sawing slab boards off of a log. Not the "buzz saw" of song and cartoon fame.
 I have seen one other sawmill like this, in historic Mackinac Michigan. That sawmill was powered by the conventional wheel we see on postcards. We continue to tour the village. We go through some of the old houses with their period furniture. We have a lunch at the Hotel that is similar to the lunch we would have bought there in the 1860s. The cheese on our sandwiches actually came from the village cheese shop. We go in there to see cheese being made, but there is not much too see. Some tubs with milk in them that is going to take several days to ferment so cheese can be made. It is a long day for Barbara and I, and we are worn out when we get back to SummerTime.
       Wednesday morning we get up and head to Robert Moses State Park Marina on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Massena, NY. We contact US Customs and Border Protection using their new "ROAM" app for smart phones. We do a video interview and are cleared back into the US. It is another long run of 15 miles to get there in the mid afternoon. The park is on an island, and not near anything. We use the genset to  cook and then shut it off as there is no power at the transient docks. We spend a quiet evening on the boat. We crank the genset Thursday morning long enough to make coffee and toast for breakfast. Thursday morning we move to the service dock and get our holding tank pumped out. We can not put water in our water tank as their hose is not long enough to reach down the dock to SummerTime. We leave the state marina and head for the Eisenhower Lock, the first of the two American locks in the Seaway. I call via radio just before arriving about 9:30 and am told it will be about a 3hr wait to get locked down. There are several ships on the AIS going up and down river.
 As we wait more ships appear on the AIS screen. Also there are more pleasure boats accumulating in the anchorage. After 8 ships, we are all told to make our way into the lock.
There are 15 of us, and they raft us side by side, 3 boats wide. We are not against the wall, the bigger boats are there. We leave the Eisenhower lock and go about 6 miles to the Snell lock.
We tie up in the lock in the same order we were in at the Eishenhower lock. It is after 3:30 when we get out of the Snell lock. I know we will not make Valleyfield's marina before dark. I consult the charts and settle for the Creg Quay marina near Bainsville, ON. We run hard trying to get there before closing at 5, but in the end I call on the phone and they give us a slip assignment. Phone service here is spotty, and it takes 4 attempts to clear through with Canadian Customs. There is a restaurant here, but it is not open. We eat on SummerTime. On Thursday morning we get up and fill SummerTime's water tank. We then depart for Valleyfield after I am sure we will have a dock to tie to in Valleyfield.
      We did not change countries today, like yesterday. We did however, change cultures. We went from speaking English in Bainsville, Ontario where Creg Quay is located, to speaking French in Salaberry de Valleyfield, Quebec. Valleyfield Municipal Marina is a large nice marina, and near downtown. We walk the half mile to the local grocery store, a Metro Mart, and buy needed groceries. We have not been within walking distance of a grocery store since leaving Brewerton, NY. We were out of several items: milk, bread, and most important for me: coffee. We have 4 big bags to walk back to the boat with.  It is a nice little town, and the old Beauharnois Canal is used as a gathering place for boats to socialize with each other. The foot bridge over the canal from the mainland to an island park actually has a swing section which we witness open to let bigger boats into the cruising/socializing area.
 After dinner, Barbara goes and does our basic laundry. We also use their showers which are in a separate building.
      We are up early on Friday morning. We have to make a bridge opening on the Beauharois Canal. The first opening for pleasure boats is at 9, and it opens only on the hour after that. We do not wish to miss that first opening as the two bridge tenders have reputations for being non cooperative with small boats. We make it to the staging area for the bridge at quarter to the hour.
There are other boats waiting there. And other "go-fast" boats come rushing up as we wait. When the bridge opens, there are 7 power boats and two sailboats that rush through. Then we wait at the second bridge, mostly for the slower sailboat I think so the operator only has to open once. After that we cruise at a sedate pace the 6 miles to the Beauharnois locks. I stop and purchase a ticket good for 2 locks this time. We lock through with the other boats and enter Lac de St Louis, which is really just a wide part of the St. Lawrence River. We have lunch while going across this lake. At the NE corner we come to the Sud Rive Canal. In it we meet a ship traveling south.
As we are just entering the canal, I pull over into a wide area by a marina, and wait for the ship to pass. In the canal we meet two more ships headed south. We get to the Cote lock and are whisked through, 3 of us. We are the wall boat this time, and all three of us are put in one spot. At the next lock, the St Lambert, we have to wait. The lock has a RR & car bridge at the south gates. I think we are waiting because it is rush hour. After about 45 minutes, you can see the superstructure of a ship rise above the lock and the bridges.
After it is out, we are cleared to enter. Once in the lock we see that there are bridges at both ends.
The lock tender explains that they cannot open one bridge set until the other is closed. I am not upset, as I never expected to get past Lac St Louis today due to the reputation of the Beauharnois Canal. We round the tip of the Isle de Notre Dame where the Canadian Grand Prix is held, and turn west to the Old Montreal Port. Our speed changes almost 6 knots from exiting the canal and a bypass to heading up the main part of the river with the rapids the locks were built to navigate around.
I called in the lock to see if there is room for us at the "Vieux Port" Marina. We have reservations there for Saturday and Sunday night, but I never expected to get through all 4 locks and the two bridges in one day. We have an alternate plan to anchor by some islands downstream of the locks if there is no marina space. One of the boats locking through with us showed me a good anchorage in case there is no marina space. They are headed on towards Quebec City. We are in luck and get a slip for the night. We get to the "Old Port Marina", or "Marina Port D' Escale" about 6:25. They help us tie up, the dock girl is very good at this by herself. We are in like a 3 sided concrete bath tub, and the city is right above us, a bee hive of activity even into the dark. We settle in for the night on SummerTime as we were up late on Thursday night, and got an early start this Friday morning. It has been a very rewarding day for travel.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not a crepes type of guy but based on your report I'd definitely give Artworks Creperie a taste test. Just gotta get there some day.