Before we could start up the Ottawa River we had to retrace about 35 miles of the St Laurence Seaway back through the St Lambert and St Catherine locks. We left Montreal at 7 AM, with the current this time, and steamed 5 miles to the St Lambert Lock. We made it there by 7:30 with no one else around, the gates on our end open but with a red light. This time we followed their standard protocol. We tied up to the waiting dock and called the lock on the special phone (they don’t answer to radio or normal phone calls). They said there were no big boats around (as well as no small ones we saw) but they would put us through at their standard time of 9 AM. Wish we’d known that before starting out so early.
There was an additional delay due to several trains on the near lift bridge, then we went through the lock alone. Eight miles later at the St Catherine lock the gate was again open but we pulled up to the waiting dock at the side. Just as we slowed to tie up the light turned green so we again went through alone.
We continued for 2 ½ hours to reach the St Anne De Bellevue west lock wall. St Anne De Bellevue is a neighborhood of Montreal at the west end of Montreal Island. The street closest to the water had “cute” shops and restaurants on both sides with those on the water side having outside dining and decks overlooking the lock wall walkway. It is a “must” stop for boats going this way with plenty of boats present Thursday and Friday. All of these were smaller so probably they used the Lachine canal through Montreal Island. They bypassed both the locks we went through today. Maybe that’s why we were locking alone.
We had a couple of nice meals after finding a restaurant we will probably revisit if we come this way again. We’re staying 2 nights because of a very rainy 2nd day today which would be unpleasant with the two locks we’ll hit early tomorrow.