Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Welland Canal - Part One

One of my main reasons for travelling to the Niagara area was to get a glimpse of the Welland Canal.  I didn't realize what I would be getting into as it is a pretty impressive system of canals and locks that stretches 27 miles from the southern shore of Lake Ontario at Port Weller to the northern shore of Lake Erie at Port Colborne. 
 There are a total of 8 locks on the system.  The maximum size of a ship that can traverse the system is 740 feet long by 78 feet wide, so this means it is mostly used by Canadian and foreign registered ships (although occasionally a US flagged ship will venture through).
 I barely missed the Hellaspornt Crusader as she was leaving.  She is one of a number of salties that travel through the canal.  This was at Lock 3 which is located in St Catharines.  I believe the bridge is the Garden City Skyway which holds the QEW.
 Approximately 40,000,000 million tonnes is carried annually through the Welland Canal.  The Lake Erie terminus is approximately 326 feet higher than the Lake Ontario terminus.  Each of the locks can raise or lower a ship approximately 43 to 49 feet.
 An old grain elevator that was used by Robin Hood Flower.
 The second ship I saw was the Cedarglen.  She was sporting her new red paint and I saw her in Port Colborne.  This is not a view that you can normally get at the Soo Locks (which is kind of a shame).
 I'm not sure how much the Port Colborne lock can raise or lower a ship.
 I was just trying different angles.
 But the cooler aspect of the canal is the fact that there are points where you can almost touch the ships (but it's not advised).  I'm not sure if you can tell where I was standing in this picture.
 You can definately tell in this picture.
 Being up this close, you can see details on the ship that you can't really see when they are out on the River.  In this case, you can see the remnants of a former owner of the ship.
 A closeup of her anchor.
 I realize that ships are huge but you don't really get that impression until you are standing next to one.  This one seems to go on forever.
 Her current owners.
 A shot of her pilothouse.  The missing bridge wing is from an incident she had in Marquette.
 Her rear anchor.  It says "If found return to....".
 A shot of her stern.
 One more shot of her stern.  I'm not sure if you can tell in this picture but it was still snowing somewhat on Saturday.
 My next ship was the Algoma Navigator.
 A closeup of her bow.  You can never tell how rusty some of these boats are until you are this close.
 Her anchor.
 Another shot where she seems to go on forever.
 Another shot of her pilothouse.  For some reason, she reminds me of the Algoma Olympic.
 An odd angle of her pilothouse.
 A stern shot.
 Most of the bridges on the Welland Canal are this type of lift bridge.  They are pretty neat to watch.
 The Algoma Enterprise still in layup.  In front of her bow is the remnants of the Maumee.  I didn't want to take pictures of that because it was too sad.
 This apparently was the original lockmaster's house and was built in 1830.
 An Old Canadian National Railroad Station.  It is now a restaurant.
 This is a shot of the orignal Welland Canal which was built in 1832. 
 This used to be a swing bridge used by the trains.
 A shot of the Right Honorable Paul Martin as she is about to lock through.  Sadly, it was getting dark, so I couldn't
Another shot of the original portion of the Canal.

1 comment:

Isaac Pennock said...

You've finally experienced it! Yippee!