July 15, Saturday, North of Montreal to St. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec
We set out under cloudy weather from our anchorage after drying off the fly bridge seats from yesterday’s storm. As we approached Montreal we saw that it is significant seaport with container ships and cargo containers piled high on the banks.
We approach Montreal still under clouds, and that is the closest we got to it the city since we had plans to meet up with Dirk’s cousin Herb and wife Linda in St.Anne d Bellevue at the end of the day’s travels. As I we passed an area south of Montreal we thought of our son Wesley – it looks like a huge amusement park with a number of large roller coasters – just up his alley.
Cruising around Montreal requires traveling in a large canal to bypass the rapids part of the St. Lawrence. This meant going through two very large and high locks on the Seaway; St. Lambert and St. Catherine, which raised up the boat 15 feet and then 30 feet! Each of the Seaway locks are 750’+ long and 80′ wide and there are huge cargo ships going through that barely fit. Lock masters ask pleasure crafts to raft up together near locks, and to wait until a break in commercial traffic. We waited about 1 1/2 hours for the first lock, but only 20 minutes for the second. And then it takes about 20-30 minutes to get tied up, for the water to rise and to exit these big locks. Once in the lock we chat with our boat neighbors.
The sun came out during the early afternoon and the canal and later the lake were beautiful.
The lake to the west of Montreal is shallow and we needed to zig zag and follow somewhat confusing buoys to stay in the deeper waters although it looks just like one big deep lake. When we finally arrived at the town of St. Anne de Bellevue all the dock walls we had planned to tie up to were already full. It was the first sunny Saturday in what turned out to be a big tourist town and it was packed!
Dirk found a spot to anchor across the small bay and then we lowered the dinghy, Dirk put on the motor, and we putt-putted back to town and tied up to a wall on the town’s boardwalk along with other dinghies. We were concerned that Herb and Linda would have been looking for us for a long time, but since they had a challenge finding parking, we were all an hour late and it worked out. We had a lovely evening catching up while we dined the outside deck, and were the last customers in the restaurant.