Starting the Trent Severn Waterway

The next three nights were spent at a succession of small towns along the waterway (Frankford, Campbellford, Hastings). On the Waterway, as on the Chambly and Rideau Canals, boaters may tie up at the locks or along walls that small towns provide, sometimes for free. The locks charge a nominal overnight fee. We paid for an annual pass. We locked through seventeen locks to get to Hastings. Now, to the casual observer, it may look to be a simple task of getting a boat through a lock; just drive in, loop a rope around a cable, and wait for the lock to fill or empty. However, it is not that easy. As soon as the water valves are opened there is a strong in-rush of current which, for our boat always seems to want to force the stern away from the lock wall. Not a problem when in the lock alone but when with other boats just two feet away, it becomes tense very quickly. The person on the stern where more of the boats weight (57,000 lbs.) resides must hang on to the line for dear life to prevent the boat from crashing into the boat next door. All this is very, very hard work. At the end of one day, the captain was completely worn out. The only upside to all this is that it provides lots of good physical exercise. One thing is certain, a boat of this size cannot be handled in locks without physically able and strong mates. We did find later on that a simple change in the placement of a ball fender toward the bow made the process less strenuous.LockHolding

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