The Canadian Locks

So we went to bed pretty early the night before and got up and going so we could tour the Valley Camp boat museum next door to the marina we were staying in. When we walked up to the museum, an EPA research vessel was pulling in to drop off some things.

The museum was really cool – the entire inside had displays, aquariums, and smaller boats in the hull of the boat. From the top deck you could see our boat in the marina and the crew’s quarters were setup to look at also. There was also a display of the only Edmund Fitzgerald lifeboat to make it to shore and one life jacket. It looked really tough and the back of it was missing.

After our museum side trip, Chuck went onboard to call the Canadian lock. They were open and asked us to call again when we were outside of the canal! So we prepped the boat to head across the channel again. We headed out of the marina and got close to make the call. It turned out one of the tourist ferries was coming in with us and we had to wait for them to go in first and get tied off.

We cruised in slowly and the Canadian staff came out to greet us. They were great – very reassuring and I made sure they knew this was the first time we had gone through a lock! I grabbed one of the cables coming down the side of the lock and put a line through it. We did not tie off but used it as a type of shimey to slide up as the lock filled with water. You can see the progress made in the photos below. (No, I did not gain 20 pounds on this trip – I have on a long underwear shirt, fleece top, down vest, down coat and furry Patagonia top over that…it was cold (and I was intimidated)!)

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Going through the locks was a great experience – the people helping us were amazing! The lock slowly filled with water, the staff stayed and chatted with us while it did, and helped us leave the lock before the tourist boat. We headed out the channel towards our anchorage at Brimely, Michigan to spend the night before crossing the infamous Whitefish Bay!

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