Day 6 Montreal Yacht Club – 26 nm today 180 nm to date

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Ramble On off to the first bridge

Set off on a pretty sunlit day down what is now more tree-lined canal than river. The 1st bridge was only 2.5nm away and given no info we set off only to find that the bridge operator wouldn’t respond. However through the magic of AIS we knew a ship was coming in 30 mins. When the ship was in sight the bridge opened and we went through.

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The freighter locks through 1st

It was just under 5 nm to the next lock and the ship did not overtake us although at the lock we had to give way to the ship and wait for it to be locked through. Delayed us about 1.5 hrs. By the time we did get access to the lock a CDN Coast Guard cutter joined us and kept the order to the next lock. We behaved ourselves!! The next lock, Lambert, was our last lock on the St Lawrence.



Clearing it we had to sail under the old and new Champlain bridges. Image may contain: sky, bridge, cloud, outdoor and water

We then turned west at the end of le Sainte Helene (remember Expo 7?). Although it was only 1.3 nm to the Montreal Yacht Club it took us about an hour as we were headed into a 5.6 knot current. A long painful segment just creeping along.Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor and water


The yacht club was very nice with good facilities plus all motor boats cause who would have a sailboat there with that current?? A wonderful dinner at the Õréa restaurant in old Montréal just a short walk from the yacht club. All-in-all a tiring day even though we didn’t do much more than 20 nm. But when it ends in a good port and good dinner it becomes all good.

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Montreal Yacht Club

Day 5 Kahnawake Marina QC 28 nm today 155 nm to date

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The bridge finally opens
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John, who has patience, waits for the lock to clear
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Rafted to Ramble On for the ride down. The yellow gizmo is a suction device (there are 3 of them) to hold the freighters in place.

According to the Seaway site bridges at this time of year bridges are on demand for openings for pleasure craft. Just before leaving Chris called the bridge and was told there’s a schedule and the next opening is 11am. So rather than have breakfast on the move we had breakfast before leaving. But guess we gunned it too much as we had about a 20 minute wait once we got there. When the bridge didn’t open at 11 I called on the radio at 11:05. I did not get a radio response but the gates to stop the cars immediately came down. Maybe he was napping. It was a very cool and drizzly day and John’s hot soup was most welcome. At the first lock the light was red so we proceeded to the pleasure boat dock to wait instructions which we received about 45 minutes later. Cruising requires patience ?Both of these locks (Beauharnois 1 & 2) had us with only one boat against the wall with the other boat rafted to that boat. Ramble On was against the wall leaving us little effort in locking through.

We arrived at Kahnawake Marina about 4pm. Originally we were told that the marina wasn’t open enough to accommodate us so we decided we would  anchor in the bay close by. While we were scouting the anchorage we heard a whistle and a man beckoned us in to perch on the end dock. Which means we can plug in the electric heater! Plus it’s a very pretty setting. The sun is out so it’ll be dinner outside.

Day 4 Valleyfield QC 26 nm today 127 nm to date

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Racing a freighter and losing

Warm enough to enjoy Linda’s French toast in the cockpit of Ramble On. No locks today and pretty much a straight shot to Valleyfield. We hugged the north side of the channel as a freighter passed us. We fuelled up at the Valleyfield Marina before getting to our dock. Interestingly, all of the fuel/dock hands were young women. Vry used to seeing several hands as women but think this is the first time it’s all women. Progress? I think so. They were very good.

Chris and I had a saunter around town and picked up some groceries. Very mixed architecture with one church that seemed to be its own style. returned through a lovely waterfront park that contained some of the original canal—very pretty. Image may contain: sky, car and outdoorWhile it was warm when we arrived it became quite cool later and the rain arrived. Rather like spending a rainy day at the cottage staying inside the boat to read and do small tasks.

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Ramble On tucked in behind us




Day 3 East of Cornwall 22 nm today 100 nm to date

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Waiting for the freighter to clear the lock

Through the 2 US locks today. Almost no wind today plus nice and sunny. Late start as we waited for George Jackson of North Sails to deliver a spin bag for Ramble On and Tarja to kindly drive my laptop battery that Canada Post said they’d deliver 2 weeks from now at the post office. Instead it arrived through our letter box! Off the dock just after 10:30 and headed for the

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John minding the bow
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Bob minding the stern

US locks: Eisenhower and Snell. Had to hold on the pleasure boat dock rafted to each other waiting for the freighter Algoma to lock through. Both locks are a 41’ drop but have a bollard one ties bow and stern lines to and it floats down as the lock empties. Rather civilized. No photo description available.Arrived at our anchorage just east of Cornwall about 3:30. Finnish Line 2.0 is anchored and Ramble On is rafted on. We broke out the bottle of Prosecco that Rosemary and Jim so kindly gave us on our departure to celebrate that one year ago today I arrived back on Finnish Line 2.0 from the Bahamas at KYC.


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All the way down and now getting out










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Ramble On clears the lock
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Caravan Park on an Island ???
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Celebrating with the Prosecco that Rosemary and Jim gave us











Day 2 Crysler Park Marina 34 nm today 78 nm to date

Day 2 and another windy, gusty day that was very cold with the north wind. Sailed the bulk of today up to the lock at Iroquois under just jib and stayeImage may contain: 1 person, outdoord mostly in the 7s but hit 9.2 a few times SOG (speed over ground). Probably a knot and a half of current. John and I spelled each other off so one of us could be below warming up. The Iroquois dock had no visitors’ dock because if the high water but we had prepaid via the app Secunik (probably the worst app I’ve ever used) so we didn’t need to go ashore. Normally this lock would only drop ships/boats by a foot but with the high water it was a 3’ drop … still no biggie. The bigger 40’+ locks are coming but we will always go down which is much easier than going up.

After 10nm more we arrived at Crysler Park MarinaImage may contain: sky, ocean, boat, outdoor, water and nature just west of Upper Canada Village. We couldn’t raise any marina personnel either via cell or radio so we came in and took 2 slips. We were then informed that it was a dock under repair so had to move. We took turns on each other’s boats getting over and backing onto a long dock with 20+ gusting winds. Very exciting !! The people here are very nice and although remote it is a nice facility. The best thing about an “exciting” docking is you get to have a beer after.Image may contain: one or more people, cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, water and nature

This part of the St Lawrence wasn’t very pretty and had some ugly industrial plants.

May 20th The Down East Circle Route begins

Off this morning on Finnish Line 2.0 with crew John Corrigan plus Ramble On with Linda and Chris to do the Down East Circle (down the St Lawrence to Nova Scotia, New England, New York City and home via the Hudson and the Erie Canal). Family and lots of fellow sailors to say goodbye. Motored until the Hill Island bridge and then sailed jib only mostly in the low 7s but hit 8.4. WInds in the 20s with gusts well into the 30s.Now in Brockville. Special thanks to Tarja, Simon, Tristan and Leyla for all the help in getting the boat ready.Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, sky and outdoor

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They’re Off !!
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All tucked up for the night in Brockville ON



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Down East Circle Route Intro

Scheduled departure is May20th for the route that will take us down the St Lawrence, around Nova Scotia, along the New England coast to New York City, up the Hudson River, through the Erie and Oswego Canals and across Lake Ontario to home. Expect to be home in early October. We are sailing with another boat Ramble On with Linda Schmalz and Chris Walmsley.