St. Lawrence Seaway, July, 1976


This was my fifth cruise with the Conways, the fourth in Sea Fever. I don't remember the details and, as far as I have been able to discover now, after forty years have passed, I took no notes about day-to-day activities. All I have are my memories and 145 Kodachrome slides covering my involvement in the trip from end-to-end. I have no GPS track and the slides are not timestamped. I do not remember all the stops we made along the way and I certainly do not have pictures of all of them. The total distance along the reconstructed itinerary shown on the map is 1820 miles. I remember spending about five weeks on the trip, which works out to about 6.5 hours of sailing per day assuming an average speed of 8 mph. Which is certainly doable. I am surprised that I have only 145 pictures (from 5 rolls of film). On a similar cruise today I'd surely come back with 10 times that amount, probably more. But then, digital images are easier to carry and much cheaper to take and I suspect that in 1976, coming back with 5 rolls of film would seem like a lot. Using Google Earth and comparing images posted there with my images I have been able to identify most of the locations for which I have images. What I have been unable to determine is where we anchored in the 1000 Islands, where we stopped between Halifax and Acadia, and, most vexingly, where we grounded between Quebec and Gros-Cacouna. If you have any suggestions based on the pictures in this collection, please let me know by leaving a comment in Flickr.

This is Flickr collection 72157644736273941.

  • Ithaca, NY to Iroquois Lock : A skeleton crew ferried the boat from Ithaca to Oswego via the Seneca, Erie and Oswego canals. I joined the boat in Oswego with additional crew and a car to take some of the canal crew back to Ithaca. After the masts were stepped, we sailed across Lake Ontario to the Thousand Islands.

  • Iroquois Lock to Quebec, QC : This second leg of the cruise took us through the more congested regions of the river. We traversed all of the Seaway locks and stopped in Montreal and Trois-Reviere.

  • Quebec, QC to Gros-Cacouna, QC : We spent a wonderful day in Quebec and took many pictures of the old city. The next day was a total disaster. We sailed about 50 miles downstream. According to the Quebec tide tables, we anchored near low water with plenty of room for the keel even with the rocks in the riverbed. Shortly after midnight, we grounded solidly on the bottom.

  • Gros-Cacouna, QC to St. Peters, NS : After the perils of the previous night, we fled to Gros-Cacouna to recouperate. Then it was on to Tadoussac, the Saugeny River Fjord, Riviere-au-Renard (for fresh fish), Charlottetown (PEI) and, finally, St. Peters on Cape Breton Island.

  • St. Peters, NS to Acadia, ME : The last leg of the trip included Cape Breton Island, Halifax, and an, as yet, unidentified fishing village at the southern tip of Nova Scotia. I left the cruise in Northeast Harbor, Maine, driving the kids back to Ithaca in the car that brought the follow-on crew to Maine.