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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Frankford, Ontario - on the lock.

We crossed under the Gateway to the Trent Severn, the bridge over the River that leads to the supermarket. Next we crossed under the railroad bridge.  Almost immediately thereafter, we came onto Lock #1. No response on the radio or three blasts of the horn. We tied to the blue line. Soon thereafter the first lock opened and we were inside.
Grianan waiting behind Crawdad on the "blue line". The blue line indicates you are ready to enter the lock. Only the first and last lock answer the VHF radio. The lockmaster answers the telephone, will respond to a boat on the blue line or can be reached by three whistles or honks on the boat horn.

The doors are opened and closed manually. We did not see a fat lockmaster.

The lock is open and ready for us to enter.

Greg from Grianan appears to be having a rip roaring good time.

Water leaks into the gates and you can see the sill that is located under the door. The water will rise above the sill to the top of the lock door.

There is a bit of competition between the locks as to the flower gardens. Some lockmasters don't care, but others work feverishly to enhance the beauty of the lock.

The Lockmaster nudged us forward so that two large boats could fit into the lock. Such a change from the other locks. Only two large boats can fit into the lock at one time. The traffic is extremely light. A few years ago the traffic was 3500 boats for a season. Now it is below 1000. The cost of locking and mooring has steadily climbed and it is expensive to traverse the Trent Severn. Tourists will pay the freight, but the locals cannot or will not pay.  Families no longer spend their vacations or weekends on the Trent Severn.
Here you can see the dam to the left and lock to the right. Sometimes the dam is not in sight, or the lock may be on the left.

This picture does not do justice to the swirling water in the lock. The lockmaster can control the speed at which the water is released into the lock.

After the 5th lock the clouds opened up and the wind and rain were out of control. After locking up, we remained in the lock until it subsided at which time we moved outside the lock and tied up again, waiting to see what the sky would deliver. After a few minutes, we moved onto Lock 6.  Seemore, Dream Catcher and Jeremiah were already moored at Lock 6. They asked us to join them and tie up along the blue line. OK to do so at this lock, but not elsewhere. Soon 3 more boats joined us above the lock. We cruised a total of 7.5 miles. We were exhausted. Not! We knew we would have the whole afternoon to enjoy Frankford or to just enjoy time on the boat.
Becky Moore from Seemoore is assisting the Lockmaster. She appears to be having way too good a time.

This 1974 Chris Craft Roamer was in perfect condition. Lady Catherine.

This picture was taken from the top of the lock door, looking into the lock.

There were three other looper boats as well as two Chris Crafts and another Mainship all tied from the lock. Despite the rules that did not allow tying to the blue line, the Lockmaster fit us all along the wall. Unusual here was "hydro" aka electrical power.

Kate and I walked the mile or so into Frankford. Not much there but a good hardware and grocery. We needed neither, so we entered each retail store and looked around. The Chinese Buffet looked unappetizing, especially after we say 3 cooks roaming the city in their filthy aprons. No restaurant for the night.  We cooked our own entree and each boat brought a side dish. Delicious! Could not be a better meal in the restaurant. 5 boats had a great dinner at Lock 6.

Off for a bit of a longer ride tomorrow.

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