Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 7: Welland Canal

I am sitting in the sun on the upper deck as we very slowly traverse the Welland Canal. This is the major (and only) shipping route from the Great Lakes to the ocean. As a result, it can be clogged with large ships. Today, it is a little busy. We have taken on a 6th person for the trip - Wally - who is a local expert in traversing this canal.

Let's start from dawn. We left Rochester at 5:00am, about 15 minutes before twilight and 45 minutes before sun rise. We had to make up some time. Luckily, Lake Ontario was glass so we cruised almost to the end of it and into the Welland Canal. The entrance is in Canada (by feet) and across the lake from Toronto which we could see in the distance. We pulled over and met Wally. He informed us that our trip through the canal would take 12 hours. Not the news I was waiting to hear. Anyway, this gave us some time to cook breakfast (since it was only 9:00am). Mark made us steaks and eggs and it was delicious. At around 10:30, we entered the canals first lock. This thing is massive - many times larger than anything we have seen. They are designed to carry ships that are 600 or 700 feet long and we go up maybe 100' each time. I'll have some pictures but even the wide angle does not do the justice.

We are following a large ship out of Toronto that is traversing in front of us. This is what slows us down since we can not pass the ship nor is there room for 2 of us in the locks = he takes up the entire thing.

Internet seems to work well though we are roaming onto Canadian cell coverage so I'm keeping the phone off for now. I'll upload some pictures around lunch time.

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