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St Lawrence Seaway Locks and Thousand Islands Boating

June 6, 2018 by Mike

St Lawrence Seaway Locks (and how they work)

Thousands Islands boating holds many adventures, be it fishing, diving, cruising, or touring.  One of the adventures is going through the St Lawrence Seaway locks. 

Another locks adventure of sorts happened when the Seaway was closing for 2017, and the Federal Biscay got stuck in Snell Lock due to ice.  It took quite an effort to break her free, which delayed Seaway closing as several ships waited for the bottleneck to clear.

My experience with the locks was decades earlier as a kid.  My father took his boat from Rainbow Harbor in central NY State to Clayton, NY.  We passed through several locks along the way, and I still remember them today. 

There was a strange sensation of quiet with our engine stopped.  I recall being near the cement wall as our boat slowly rose or descended.  I watched as the embedded ladder rungs passed by as we slipped our line through each one to keep near the wall.  The sight of huge gates slowly swinging open or closed was indelible, an amazing sight.

So, something to share with you:

Here’s an interesting booklet I found on-line called “Tommy Trent’s ABC’s of the Seaway”.  You can find it here:

ABC’s of the Seaway.

St Lawrence Seaway locks

It’s sort of written in comic book font, blue on white, which makes it quite interesting visually.  There are a ton of diagrams inside that explain the St Lawrence Seaway.  You’ll also read about the locks, the history of bulk cargo ships, satellite identification system, communication frequencies, ship watcher silhouettes, and more!  Do you know what terms like back haul, dead time, dump, turning back, and downbound mean?  Take a look, you’ll learn a bunch of cool stuff.

Let me know if you have any locks stories of your own by leaving a comment below, because I’d love to read about them!

Mike


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