Due North

Due North

June 22, 2019 Saturday Riviere Richelieu – Canal de Chambly Lock 9, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu QC   to  Riviere Richelieu – Canal de Saint Ours Lock Île Darvard, QC  38.1 nautical miles

45°51’57.6″N 73°08’50.5″W
45.866004, -73.147349
Elevation: 30 ft

Along the Way

It’s a windy cold day. June 22, one would think it would be summer even in Canada.

We are off down, but headed due north, the Riviere Richelieu. The first section is the Canal de Chambly. The Riviere Richelieu has a lot of rapids and steep declines. The Canal de Chambly smooths it all out. We are following the French Canadian we met last night on boat Max IV. They ran point on the bridges and locks.

Bascule style bridge (uses counter weights to lift)
Motorcycle run along the canal. One of the many we saw today.
Pont Tournant (swing) style bridge . Look at the rollers along the bottom.
Bypassing rapids
Some of the bridges were pretty narrow. Max IV is a 40 foot boat with a slightly narrower beam than Yes Dear.

I wasn’t going to do this. I wasn’t going to do this. I wasn’t going to do this. I am posting pictures of ALL the locks we went through today. All 9 of them!

Lock 8. Locks 1-8 are all pretty much set- up the same way. The locking staff hand cranks the lock doors open and shut. They also hand crank the water intake/outtake doors open and shut. The lock walls are only 3 feet when you enter and typically drop 7-12 feet. Fenders need to be placed in an ‘M’ format (waterline, gunnel, waterline, gunnel, waterline) on your boat to not scrub the wall with your boat.

Lock 7. The locks were a tight squeeze getting both boats in.

Between Locks 7 and 6. There are small bays built into the canals so north bound and southbound traffic can pass between certain locks. The lock masters coordinates these passings.
Locks 6,5,4. The entry into Lock 6 was a surprise! Locks 5 an 4 are just down the way.
Lock 6 closing. There might have been room for a toothpick behind Yes Dear and the lock door.
We had to wait on the wall at Lock 3 for southbound traffic to pass. I thought it was just a bridge.
Lock 3. It’s a pont tournant bridge and a lock
Lock 3. View of Bassin de Chambly
This was another surprise!!!! Lock 3 exits directly into Lock 2! Lock 2 enters into Lock 1.
Rather than a massive lock there are 3 locks adjacent to each other.
This charming lock master helped us through Locks 3,2,1 a horizontal distance of about 400 feet and a vertical drop of 30+ feet. He moves from one lock to the next as the vessels travel through.
And then there is Lock 1. Lock 2 entering into Lock 1.
Lock 1 enters into Bassin de Chamby.

Back on the river. There was a lot of boat traffic being a Canadian holiday weekend and all. We found the boaters much more courteous than the south Florida boaters!!!

We had to laugh. Most of the boaters were wearing swimsuits. Hearty Canadians. Mary and Dale, we were wearing jackets.

‘Mounties’ (Mont-Saint-Hilaire)
Sea plane hanger
There a a lot of full canvas pontoons on Riviere Richelieu. We don’t see them so much in Minnesota or anywhere else on the Loop for that matter.
Through the wicket. Croquet lots of current and wind
Every little community had a beautiful church with an ornate steeple. These two churches were directly across the river from each other.
The biggest house we’ve seen today.
There are 3 cable ferries on the Riviere Richelieu
The final lock on the Riviere Richelieu – Canal de Saint Ours. Two Loopers on the wall! We went through the lock and tied up on the floating docks on the other side, There were two Loopers there too.
Wow. The lock master tied us to a floating dock in this lock. Easiest lock ever.


New Looper friends WILD GOOSE.

Whew. No more locks until we leave Montreal.


The Canal de Chambly is a National Historic Site of Canada in the Province of Quebec, running along the Richelieu River past Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Carignan, and Chambly. Building commenced in 1831 and the canal opened in 1843. It served as a major commercial route during a time of heightened trade between the United States and Canada. Trade dwindled after World War I, and as of the 1970s, traffic has been replaced by recreational vessels.

The Canal has 10 bridges—8 of which are hand operated—and nine hydraulic locks.

Canal Length: 7.5 mi
Dimensions of smallest lock: 110 ft × 21 ft  Yes Dear has a 14.2 beam plus width of fenders
Passage time: 3 to 5 hours

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