July 3, 2012

June 29, 2012  Day 49                                 Total miles to date  989.81

This is why we have to wait to enter the lock!
We departed Montreal at 8:45 to make the short trip to the St. Lambert Lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The instructions were to call them at 7:30 to get the first available lock time, which for us was 10:30. The commercial ships have priority! We arrived at the lock wall and tied up to wait with two other boats.  At 10:20 the gates opened and a large ship exited the lock.  When we were given the signal we entered the lock – by now there were six pleasure craft boats. The lift was only 18’ and did not take very long. We did not have to raft up as some of the smaller boats did.  We reached the next lock, St. Catherine’s, just as a large ship was departing, and we were able to go right in around 12:15.  The lift on this lock was 32’ and again we were not required to raft as did the others.  We followed the Canal de la Riv Sud that took us to Lac St. Louis, a fairly large lake that requires following a zig zag pattern to stay in the channel.  We had a 25 mph wind and strong current but our autopilot kept us right on course. 
Tied up on the lock wall at Sainte Anne
We arrived at our destination, Sainte Anne de Bellevue, at 3:30 and tied up to the free lock wall below the lock with many other pleasure crafts. Today is Friday and the beginning of a holiday weekend. Canada Day is celebrated Sunday, July 1, and the parties have started!

After getting settled, we took a walk along the lock wall and down the main street running parallel to the wall.  It was filled with small restaurants, most of which had outdoor terrace seating facing the water.  There also a few shops along this street. Sainte Anne is a quaint “suburb” of Montreal, part of the west islands, and there is a commuter train that goes by frequently. As the evening progressed, many more boaters arrived to find a spot on the wall. Several of them had just come in for dinner or to have a picnic.  Many local residents come here just to walk along the walls and look at the boats. We enjoyed meeting one local couple, Pierre and Marie, and invited them on our boat for a visit.  The parties, loud music and celebrations went on into the night!  We were just happy to have a spot we could stay for a few days during their holiday.