Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Second Day Off in Ontario - 30/5/14

We decided to check out the canals and the lock's. The whole process is very fascinating. The canal we went to connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. Here is some info on the Welland Canal from Wikipedia: (for those interested in facts!).

The southern, Lake Erie terminus of the canal is 99.5 metres (326.5 feet) higher than the northern terminus on Lake Ontario. The canal includes eight 24.4 metre (80 foot)-wide ship locks.[1] Seven of the locks (Locks 1-7, the 'Lift locks') are 233.5 metres (766 feet) long and raise (or lower) passing ships by between 43 (13.01 m) and 49 feet (14.94 m) each. The southernmost lock, (Lock 8 - the 'Guard' or 'Control' lock) is 349.9 m (1,148 feet) in length.[2] The Garden City Skyway passes over the canal, restricting the maximum height of the masts of the ships allowed on this canal to 35.5 metres (116.5 feet). All other highway or railroad crossings of the Welland Canal are either movable bridges (of the vertical lift or bascule bridge types) or subterranean tunnels. The maximum permissible length of a ship in this canal is 225.5 metres (740 feet). It takes ships an average of about eleven hours to traverse the entire length of the Welland Canal.
We checked for times when the boats came through and managed to watch a boat go 'up' the lock and a boat go 'down' the lock. The whole process takes about 10-12 minutes. I thought the rising of the ship was the most impressive, to see this massive ship rise before your eyes is quite something! 

Ship approaching Lock 3
(notice the Skyway in the background!)
Looking 'up' the canal,
notice the change of water level.
Ship entering
half way in
in with not much to spare on the sides
or the front/back.
Notice how it is flush with the side
Gates are locked
Girls watching
Notice the 'beam' on the top, this is a
self-unloader, very clever huh?

going up and .....
and up, remember how
the ship was flush with the concrete?

Ready to move 'up' to the next lock.
See the boat on the right waiting to go 'down'?
before engines, horses would 'pull'
the boat out of the canal!

notice the new water level?
Ship going 'down' the locks
'up' and then 

going to lock 2 and 1

the lock system in picture form

Here is hopefully some video, I haven't been able to make it work in the past so if you can't see it sorry :(. You will just have to believe me when I say that it was very impressive! :)

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