Gota Canal Day 2: Lake Asplangen


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On our second day in the Gota Canal, we travelled further into idyllic rural Sweden, passing alongside many farms and parks and through ten locks and four bridges. Unlike yesterday, we weren’t alone in the locks, and passed through with a smaller boat in front.

Cruising through the canal, with its maximum speed limit of 5 knots, is slow-paced and relaxing. We covered 8nm in a little over 4 hours, including lock time, for an average speed of just under 2 knots. On reaching Lake Asplangen we had risen another 63ft (19.2m) and were at 88.3ft (26.9m) above sea level. We spent a restful night at anchor with a view to the traffic passing by to our north. Anchoring isn’t allowed within the canal itself, but is fine in the several lakes en route.

Below are trip highlights from August 4th, 2019. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Morning
Morning calm along the Gota Canal in Soderkoping.
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Waiting for Opening
On a jetty just west of Soderkoping, waiting for the 9am opening of the E22 bridge. The Gota Canal locks and bridges generally operate throughout the day between 9am and 6pm. The E22 bridge is one of three that only on the half-hour. We departed Soderkoping at 8:30am, just after the boat visible on the dock with us, to hit the 9am opening.
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Traffic Behind
Several other boats arriving from Soderkoping for the 9am bridge opening.
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E22 Bridge
Passing through the E22 bridge.
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Campsite
One of the many camper parks along the Gota Canal. Camper vans are very popular here.
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Marine Service
A marine service center in a dry-dock off the canal.
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Feeding Ducks
Feeding the ducks along the canal.
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Lock Keepers
The lock keepers at the first lock of the day, the Duvkullen Lower Lock, asking the dimensions of boat ahead to ensure both will fit in the lock. The locks are 30m long, so with our 16.5m length, that leaves 14.5m maximum ahead.
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Duvkullen Lower Lock
Jennifer tending the bow line while talking to the lock keeper as we rise up 2.3m in the Duvkullen Lower Lock. The locking instructions call for the stern line to be tied off, and since the stern lines stays the same length the boat moves forward slightly in the lock current. The boat ahead has done the same, so both boats will move forward together as the water rises.
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Duvkullen Upper Lock
Rising 2.4 meters in the Duvkullen Lower Lock.
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Five In a Row
Looking forward to the next set of four locks as we enter the Mariehov Lower Lock. It’s not quite a staircase, but close.
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Mariehov Lower Lock
Rising 2.1 meters in the Mariehov Lower Lock with the water covered with foam from the strength of the flow into the lock. Normally pleasure craft are required to keep their engine off during locking, but we were allowed to keep ours on for hydraulic power to the thrusters so we can keep the boat in position against the current. The commercial boats do the same, although they normally choose to just bounce of the lock walls and don’t worry about it since the mostly fill the space.
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Mariehov Upper Lock
Exiting the Mariehov Upper Lock after a rise of 2.6 meters. Jennifer walked ahead to take the lines at the next lock.
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Carlsborg Lower Lock
The Carlsborg Lower Lock is a double lock with a rise of 5.1m. Here we have risen to the top of the bottom lock and will proceed directly into the next lock.
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Traffic Behind
Looking back to the boats behind us rising in the Mariehov Upper Lock.
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Carlsborg Upper Lock
Tending the bow line at the top of the Carlsborg Upper Lock, another double lock, with a rise of 4.7m. We carry 2 50-ft 1/2-inch lines that have worked well through most of the locks we’ve passed through, ranging from the Ballard locks in Seattle, to the Crinan and Caledonian Canals in Scotland, to here in the Gota Canal. They are light enough that we can easily toss them up from the boat to a lock edge, but still just strong enough to hold the boat. In the larger commercial locks where we can only reach one attachment point, we typically use a heavier line 3/4- or 1-inch mooring line.
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Vannegerga Bridge
Passing through the Vannegerga Bridge. The bridges are all operated remotely from a control station at nearby lock and generally open as soon as we are within visible range of their cameras.
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Cow
Much of the Gota Canal passes through agricultural areas.
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Lodby Bridge
Another pleasure craft stopped on the jetty before the Lodby Bridge as we’re about to pass through.
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Klamman Lock
Approaching the Klamman Lock, the ninth and final lock of the day. This one is used to regulate water levels with Asplangen Lake to the west, and has little rise.
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Bicycles
Bicycle paths run the length of the Gota Canal and we frequently see cyclists as we travel. We’re running at the 5-knot speed limit and the bikes frequently pass us. At our speed, even the more fit joggers can pass us too. :)
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Snovelstorp
Passing through our fourth and final bridge of the day at Snovelstorp before entering Asplangen Lake.
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Yacht Controller Remote
When in the locks, James uses a Yacht Controller system to remotely control the thrusters and keep is in position. We’d change the batteries before starting through the then locks this morning, but wouldn’t you know it, the remote failed partway through the series. After several battery changes, we were expecting that the system was toast, but it started working again on the fourth set.
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Asplangen Lake
A relaxing dinner anchored in Asplangen Lake after a busy day of ten locks and four bridges. Today we rose 63ft (19.2m) and are now at 88.3ft (26.9m) above sea level. Anchoring isn’t allowed in the canal itself, but is in the various lakes between the dug canals.
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Diana
Diana crossing Asplangen Lake, viewed from our anchorage. Tour boats such as these are the only commercial traffic in the canal—no cargo or industrial traffic passes through.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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One comment on “Gota Canal Day 2: Lake Asplangen
  1. John S. says:

    Looks quite peaceful and scenic. Thanks for great pix and comments.

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