On Saturday, when I was in Iroquois, I noticed a ship out on the river, so I made my way down to the lock to watch it pass through.
At the lock, there is a billboard with information about the lock, showing its position in the St. Lawrence Seaway system. According to the sign, the lock is 934 feet between gates and 80 feet wide. The largest ship it can accommodate is 730 feet long, with a 75 foot, 6 inch beam. Looking down at the lock from the viewing area, it appears mighty narrow. It is hard to credit that the incoming ship is going to fit.
Here she comes! Not only does the ship fit into the lock, it glides right through as if the Captain knew just what he was doing. Probably he does know just what he is doing.
When I was a youngster, we would occasionally have a family outing and picnic down by the Welland Canal. There, ships are lifted or lowered in each lock in the system as they bypass the abrupt water level change at Niagara Falls. As the water level doesn’t need to be adjusted here, the ship is able to continue straight through the lock without stopping. As the entrance gate closes behind the ship, the exit gate opens.
The lock gift shop/ snack bar was open and outside was a sign listing the ships passing through the lock for the day, and whether they are travelling upstream or down. The Pineglen, the second ship of four listed, was headed upstream, bound for Lake Ontario. There was a small turnout of ship-watchers on hand to witness her passage.