Start: Peterborough Marina, Ontario, Canada, 1025
End: Lock 24, Douire, Trent Severn Waterway, 1704
Total Distance: 6.8 nm
Time: 4:26 (Moving)
Average Speed: 1.5
Number of Locks: 5 (20-24)
Number of dog treats: 0. For second day in a row. Lucky is beside himself.

There are three locks (out of the 40+) on the Trent-Severn waterway that we are actually looking forward to. Two are lift locks and one uses a marine railway. We get to the first o the three today: ThePeterborough Lift Lock. Lock 21. It is a lock that lifts (and drops) boats 60 feet. It is done by the boats driving into big water filled pans (one on top of the lock, one on the bottom) and then those pans either rise or fall (depending on if you are locking up or down), offset by the weight of the opposite pan. If you are in the boat (which we were), you sit in a pond of water that magically rises. And you hope the back gate doesn’t open and drop you 60 feet into the water.

The lock took eight years to build and was completed in 1904. It is one of eight lift locks in the world and the biggest of the bunch. It was/is an engineering marvel. From the nice sign at the museum, the number of boats in each chamber does’ matter since the weight in the chamber doesn’t change. According to some dude named Archimede and his principle of physics, the boat displaces water equivalent to its weight.

IMG_5408That was our second lock of the day; we had to get there first. Lock 20 was right outside the marina and there was a traffic jam all morning. We left our dock at almost 1030, puttered across the lake, floated around until the lock was ready and then went in number four of four boats. The lock was very full. We got a standing ovation from the Desert Cruisers, the boat immediately ahead of us in the lock, because they were thrilled we didn’t run into their nice expensive boat.

Once clear it was a short trip to the lift lock where the four boats reassembled back into the chamber for the ride. The nice part about this lock was that we could tie off and enjoy the ride. When we looked up 60 feet into the air, the other chamber was filled with an enormous tour boat. Nice voice comes over the loudspeaker that said we were going to move and we were off. Rising slowly but surely up, while next to us, the tour boat came down. All too quickly it was over and we had to get out. Videos of what it looked like below:


Our boat stopped for 30 minutes to tour the museum and while we were there, rain poured down.Museum done we continued on our locks. The plan was to go through seven to eight locks and stop when they closed the locks for the day. We made it through three. The river continues to have a ferocious current that kills our forward progress–we make about 3-4 mph over ground. And as we were leaving the second lock the radio squaked about a severe thunderstorm warning right as the time the first lightening bolt hit close by. We clawed our way through the rain and hail to lock 24 and stopped with two other boats at the bottom to wait out the storm. After about an hour, at 1630, the lock master opened up the lock, we got to the top, lightening started up again, we tied up outside the lock and were done for the day. We didn’t make it far, but the day was a hell of a lot of fun thanks to the lift lock!