Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Canada series continued - Welland Canal Locke #3

At this point in the week, I was intending to shift to either the upcoming American Independence Day celebration or other unrelated topics such as a guest blog by the Sparrow, more about Lydia Herrle who graduated from grade 8 a few weeks ago, and other things - what I call the chinks and chunks of on-going recovery.  

However, I have had such positive feedback from family and friends over the Canada series that I decided to extend it for one more posting.  (Besides it gives me a great chance to showcase more of my photos - and release some positive endorphins - or whatever they are - by reliving good, positive experiences.)

So today we go to a locke on the Welland Canal and watch a couple of boats pass through.  Today, we take another break from the continued 24/7 process of recovery from workplace abuse.  Today, we savour in the sun and the scenery.

Today, we rest.

But first we have to get there.

I've mentioned before how I was terrified of heights.  Prior to when the workplace abuse escalated to the point where all my waking hours were consumed with survival, I had been working on those (irrational) fears - with the help of my poor, long-sufferin', life companion, best friend and spouse.

In order to go to Niagara Falls or to the border to cross into the States, we either had to take the "back route" or go over the Burlngton Skyway:  a high, long bridge overlooking Hamilton harbour.  I would squeeze my eyes closed.  Someone would hand me a stuffy which I would take in a death grip.  Like the little kid in the back seat of the car, I would ask:  "Are we over yet?  Are we over yet?"

Now, as my husband says, I'm no fun.  I still haven't challenged myself to be behind the driver's seat on this bridge, but I've healed to the point where feelings no longer run amok up and down my legs.  Where butterflies in my stomach don't exist.  Where my eyes stay open, and I enjoy the scenery way down below.  This time, I took pictures as we flew above the water.  I was sorry when it ended and we were back on tierra firma.

 The second challenge has always been the St. Catherines skyway (pictured above), an equally long, if not longer, structure which goes high over the Welland Canal.

A very short distance from the St. Catherines skyway (which you can see in the background) is Locke #3 on the Welland.  We just happened to arrive as one laker was in the locke having come from Lake Ontario, headed to Lake Erie and another approaching from the South heading the opposite direction.

Locke #3 has a museum plus an observation deck.  Usually crowded.  Bike trails.  Walking trails.  Nicely landscaped.  Even with the crowds, a place of peace.  Maybe because of the slow pace in which the lakers pass through the locke, first threading their way like a needle into the locke.  A tight fit.  Sometimes with so little clearance that the sides almost touch the walls.

In this case, the boat was going up as the water beneath it rose.  Slowly.  Between the rails I took this picture of a seaman going about his work.  Either oblivious to the many eyes peering at him or doing a very good job of ignoring the watchers.

From the top I, along with many others, watched as the doors opened and the laker started on its way out.  Notice the red and white laker on the right-hand side far away.  The two will soon engage in the "dance of the locke" as I've dubbed it, where the boat approaching will veer sharply to its left, almost touching the wall, while the vessel leaving will also veer to it's left.   Ships passing on the canal.

Zoom lenses are great.  Good cameras are even better.  The approaching laker is passing under a lift bridge.  I took the shot, not just to show the laker approaching and gliding under a lift bridge but also  because I found the background scenery fascinating although I'm not sure what it is.

The remaining pictures tell the story by themselves as the one leaves and the other enters.  Slowly.  Very slowly.  The red one has veered sharply to its left and is so close to the wall that if you were standing there, you could almost touch it.

And so dear reader, as these two ships pass by each other on the canal, I wish you a safe passage today on the canal of life wherever you are.  It is my hope that this blog, whether it's actively working on my on-going journey of recovery or detailing workplace abuse, or, like, the last few days, taking a rest and venturing out into the frightening world outside my door, will encourage you and help you in your on-going journey of life.

In closing, I've posted a link to a time-lapsed YouTube video which shows a laker transversing through the Welland.  Frenetic.  Almost like they're on steroids.  Quite the opposite of the laid back day we enjoyed.

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