There were many last moving out things to take care of, moving onboard (the boat looked like a disaster inside & out, actually still does) and seeing friends & family. Yesterday we departed Montreal and motored 4hours to Sorel. As we left our home port there must have been some allergen in the air because eyes teared up. Weird. Our route happens to pass my former office. Almost every day I looked out those windows onto the river dreaming of the day I would one day be passing en route south. This was that day! Here's a photo taken by one of my colleagues of Topanga sailing by (thanks ML). We had coordinated it and he had brought his good camera but since we left a day later than planned he only had his iPhone. We look minuscule. I waved goodbye from up on deck to all my friends & colleagues. After 10 good years it was a significant chapter in my life closing. A new one opening.
In Sorel we were met by my parents, Charles & Abi and Patrick. Together we worked a miracle and actually got the mast unstepped and secured horizontally on deck stands. Our 35foot yacht is now a 53foot ship! A pizza & beer dinner on board followed.
Early the next morning we set off and pointed our bow due south for the first time down the Richelieu river. Heading under that first low bridge, the first real physical obstacle to Topanga (with her mast up) was a dream come true, another moment I have imaged so many times.
The rest of the day was spent motoring with one lock passage at St-Ours. This was absolutely the easiest lock we have ever done, we actually paid by credit card on board while the floating docks did all the work. If the rest are like this we'll be laughing!
This is our first actual blog post from the boat, pleasantly floating on a mooring ball in the Chambly basin. Tomorrow we will pass through the nine locks of the Chambly canal; nine locks with a total lift of eighty feet!
|Easy does it
|Supreme satisfaction at a job well done!
|Free mooring balls are the best!