I bet you have never thought how ships get up and over Niagara Falls. I never had either. On the Niagara River, from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario (or visa versa), there is about 170 feet of elevation to negotiate over the thundering water. And, to make matters worse, there is an elevation difference of about 325 between the two lakes. Not to worry, the problem was solved back in 1829 with the opening of the WELLAND CANAL in Canada, construction having begun in 1824, just before the opening of the Erie Canal. Not only do you now know how ships can get from the Atlantic Ocean through to Lake Superior, but here probably for the first time ever you will get to see a sailing – MINE – from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. And it happened in about seven hours Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
You will be able to sail (pun intended) through my next posts. Mainly locking and sailing, and few words. If something piques your interest, I trust you will research more, as I often do. Even when reading a well written mystery, set in a historical period or specific area, I will find myself googling as I pour over things I need to learn more about. So, feel free to stop, research, learn, and share with me, to even share here with others.
Here is a map of the Welland Canal. We left Buffalo at 5AM to head back west to the entrance of the canal on the Canadian side of Lake Erie.
the elevation view below shows you what we did, sailing from right to left, going “down hill.” Note the flight of locks (6, 5, 4) for a quick high descent. Lock 8 is considered a “control lock” for water flow. Lock 7 is the southern most lift on the Niagara Escarpment. Locks 5, 6 and 4 are twin “flight locks.” There is an information center, and observation platform at Lock 3.
we arrived at the entrance to the canal at about 7AM.
and, on the way
just one of the many bridges that open up along the canal
a close-up of the old lock you may be able to see above
about to enter Lock 8
finally this “puppy” exited, and it was our turn to enter
our turn for Lock 8 – the first lock on the Welland Canal when heading north to Lake Ontario.
I am going to “lock you through” Lock 8 more than other locks so you can an idea of the process and progress. Image below is looking back north.
and then exiting
one of the many “lift bridges” (remember you can open my galleries for larger images)
arriving at Lock 7
and more “heavier” traffic as we approach the lock — NOTE the horizon. It appears the earth is flat, we are at the edge, and will fall off.
There are wires across the locks – “guard gates” – that these yellow booms pick up. The idea is to protect the lock doors from being rammed by a run away vessel. I really wonder if they could stop a ship with its inertia. Well, they have to be raised.
exiting Lock 7, looking to Lock 6
Leaving Lock 7
and, now for Lock 6, a double lock
our “friend” is leaving the other side
Loosing track? I am, and it was really hard selecting images from the two cameras I was using to document these seven hours. but, now opening to Lock 5.
now we can pass through Lock 4 to get to Lock 3
and, then exit
now approaching Lock 2 – a single, so we had to wait for this big guy to get out of our way
and, leaving Lock 2 on the Welland Canal
Approaching Lock 1
where there is a car bridge
and to be safe, a guard gate
and looking back north while in Lock 1 with the car bridge lowered back down
and the Pilot House of the GRANDE MARINER
exiting Lock 1
where a pilot boat met us to take off the pilot. We had one pilot from Lake Erie to Lock 8. Then he left, and another boarded to take us through the locks.
bye Welland Canal
and, onto Lake Ontario
and, on the Lake
On Lake Ontario around 2PM it will not be until after midnight that we will dock in Rochester, New York. So, until then, enjoy, and do come back. Yours, RAY
WATER WANDERINGS 3-18 SEPTEMBER 2019
GREAT LAKES, WELLAND CANAL, OSWEGO CANAL,
ERIE CANAL, and HUDSON RIVER
Part 1 – Genesis
Part 2 – Chicago – arriving aboard the Grande Mariner
Part 3 – Underway to Wisconsin and Mackinac Island
Part 4 – Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan
Part 5 – Port visits – Cleveland and Buffalo
Part 6 – Welland Canal – Canada
Part 7 – Rochester, NY and The Oswego Canal
Part 8 – The Erie Canal (may be a part A and B)
Part 9 – The Hudson River (may be a part A and B)