July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013 Day 51  Chambly Canal
St. Jean Lock Wall
St. Jean, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Seuss was right again…“I’m sorry to say so but sadly it’s true that bang ups and hang ups can happen to you.” From  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Well, this has been quite a day.  We departed Rouses Point, NY and were shortly in Canadian waters. Our first stop was Canadian Customs which is on a small pier on the Richelieu River.  We were the lead boat and pulled into the dock at 7:30.  The agent had not arrived yet, but eventually came (he was not late – we were early.) We had a smooth entrance into Canada.  We anchored while waiting for Irish Attitude, Harmony, and Journey to go through customs and soon we were all on our way up the Richelieu River.  This river is lined with many small houses and is a popular site for small boats.
Bill at the customs office

We arrived at a marina in St. Jean and got a pump out. Bill also purchased a Quebec flag. We had already put up our Canadian flag but he thought it would be nice to fly one for each of the provinces. (Tom, if you are reading this you would be proud!)
One of many bistros in St. Jean

We tied up on the blue line to wait for the bridge and Lock 9 opening. We received instructions on the order we would travel.  The lock is very small and we were put in the third group with one small boat.  We pulled into the lock and just as the lockmaster handed Joyce a line, Bill edged the boat back to straighten it up a little. The starboard engine got stuck in reverse and Bill could not even turn off that engine.  Joyce dropped the line in the water to prevent from being pulled overboard, and then we bumped into the little boat behind us, causing him to hit the closing gate!  Bill finally got both engines turned off and the lock attendants were able to secure our boat with more lines. We were fortunate not to have any damage to our boat, but the small boat had damage to the swim platform and some other dents.  No one was injured and we are thankful for that!! The lock master filed a report, took pictures, etc. and soon the attendants pulled us out of the lock to a small dock on the canal wall.  We had quite an audience and caused an hour delay for all boats waiting to enter behind us.

Bill quickly identified the problem when he went to the engine room.  The shift cable had fallen off the transmission which meant there was no connection!  It was an easy fix and we are grateful for that.  Bill walked back to the lockmaster who suggested we spend the night here on the canal wall. We were already out of sync with the lineup of boats and we would not be able to make it to Chambly anyway.  The bridges and locks are coordinated to make the boat traffic flow. There have also been cutbacks and the locks operate on a shorter schedule. So we “decompressed” and spent a quiet afternoon reading and watching all the bicyclists go by.  We had dinner on board and made plans to travel to Chambly tomorrow. We received a text from our friends and they said they would spend an extra day at Chambly so we could catch up with them. Loopers are the greatest people!