Lake Erie to the Welland Canal

Sailing across Lake Erie was slow, as it generally is for us, but enjoyable for all that. Since Lake Erie is, as far as we could tell, 180 feet deep at its deepest point, and 30-60 feet deep everywhere else, it had a mean temperature approaching that of bathwater. That made it quite enjoyable to throw a fender attached to a line behind the boat and just tow in the water, although doing so reduced our speed to about as fast as one of us could swim.

We arrived in Port Colborne, the first stop on the Welland Canal, the day after leaving Cleveland, and after getting a ridiculously expensive pump-out(which we nevertheless now do on instinct every 4-5 days) and clearing the ridiculously convenient customs process, we pulled up outside the locks to await our turn going through. What we did not yet suspect was that we would end up waiting there for about 24 hours. Our departure time kept getting pushed back, before they finally told us that a freighter had lost control in a lock and broken a few of the safety cables. We were told that they were not allowing a couple navy ships through, indicating that we had a snowball’s chance in hell of going through the locks that afternoon. As this problem apparently happens about twice a year, it seemed perfectly natural that it should fall on the date of our passage through the locks. We cannot exactly complain, however, as we were able to dock there for free, and had the opportunity to spend many useless hours on the internet, which is a pleasure that is (probably beneficially) rarely available to us. We also had the time to get to know Terry and Susanne, two of our fellow stranded yachties, whom we seem to keep finding along our route. We left early the next afternoon, accompanied by a massive tall ship: a 3-masted schooner, named Empire Sandy, which was incredibly cool to see.

I can unfortunately relay very little of the Welland Canal. Because of a bit of a fever, I was indisposed for the vast majority of it forcing everyone else to do the real work; I only remember portions of it as a rather hallucinatory fever-dream. More on the Welland canal soon!


2 thoughts on “Lake Erie to the Welland Canal

  1. Love reading this. What a journey you have created for yourselves.
    Hope that Dustin has fully recovered. Wonder if it could have been the cyanobacteria, blue-green algae in Lake Erie.

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