Gota Canal Day 4: Berg


Click for larger image

The locks we’ve been through in Dirona have ranged from “full-service”, such as the Saimaa Canal in Finland, where you tie the boat off to a floating pontoon or mooring point and the lock is operated hydraulically by the lock keepers, to “full-manual”, such as the Crinan Canal in Scotland, where boaters operate the locks and sluices themselves and tend lines attached to a fixed point on shore. The Gota Canal is similar to Scotland’s Caledonian Canal, where the locks are operated hydraulically, but you need to tend lines attached to a fixed point on shore. A major difference is that in the Caledonian Canal the canal workers attach your lines to shore. In the Gota Canal, the canal workers don’t help with the lines so someone needs to go ashore to attach and tend them.

The Gota Canal locks all have small docks on either end to drop someone off to handle lines. But in all but the highest locks, Jennifer can get off inside the lock from the boat deck and James can toss the stern line up that we loop back down to the boat. Then Jennifer grabs a bow line and tends it as we rise in the lock. The process is not difficult, but does require good teamwork and communication. The canal is known as the “divorce ditch” due to the troubles some couples face in navigating the 58 locks.

Perhaps one of the most exciting is the Carl Johan flight of seven locks joined together at Berg. With a total rise of 61.7ft (18.8m), the flight is the longest in the Gota Canal. And directly beyond are two sets of double locks, for effectively eleven in a row. The area always draws a crowd, of boaters waiting to lock through and onlookers taking in the action. So you always have an audience if anything goes wrong. :)

On our fourth day in the Gota Canal, we passed through the Carl Johan flight plus another eight, and also three bridges and an aqueduct, then moored for the night on a lovely, secluded jetty at Ljungsbro. Locking through isn’t a physically tiring job, but it does require car and some concentration, and we were pretty tired at the end of the day. In total we passed through 15 locks with a combined rise of 130 ft (39.6m). If felt like we’d risen as far as we’d travelled, as we covered only 3 miles in 3.1 hours.

Below are trip highlights from August 6th, 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.

Click for larger image
Sunrise
Beautiful sunrise over Roxen Lake.
Click for larger image
Locking Down
A pair of boats locking down through the Carl Johan locks. The lock masters plan to bring two sets of boats down, then it will be our turn to take the trip up.
Click for larger image
Waiting to Lock Through
Waiting at the bottom of the Carl Johan locks for our turn.
Click for larger image
Carl Johan Flight
Entering the first of the seven joined locks in the Carl Johan flight, the largest flight in the Gota Canal. We’ll rise a total of 61.7ft (18.8m).
Click for larger image
Entering Bottom Lock
View from the lock gate of Dirona and another boat entering the bottom lock. Jennifer walked up from our berth and James will toss her the stern and bow lines once the boat is against the wall in the lock.
Click for larger image
Partway Up
Partway up the seven locks in the Carl Johan flight. The process was time-consuming, but not difficult. Jennifer walked the stern line between each lock and passed the end down to James to secure it, then ran the bow line through a ring to tend it on the way up.
Click for larger image
Looking Down Flight
Another group of boats locking up the Carl Johan flight behind us.
Click for larger image
Oscar Locks
Approaching the Oscar double lock in the other side of the basin at the top of the Carl Johan flight. A large pleasure craft basin is at the top of the Carl Johan flight and most boats stop there on the way up or down, as did the sailboat that locked through the flight with us. Since we’d already spent a night in the area, we decided to continue on.
Click for larger image
Upper Oscar Lock
Rising in the upper Oscar Lock. After this locking, we’ll have gone up another 15.7ft (4.8m).
Click for larger image
Berg Locks
The Berg double lock is immediately after the Oscar locks with a rise of 18ft (5.5m). Here we’re in the upper lock.
Click for larger image
Brunnby Lock
The Brunnby Lock is another double lock a short distance beyond the Berg Locks with a rise of 17.4ft (5.3m).
Click for larger image
Heda Lock
Approaching the Heda double Lock, our 15th and final set of locks for the day with a rise of 17.1ft (5.2m).
Click for larger image
Ljungsbro Aqueduct
Ljungsbro Aqueduct, the first of two aqueducts in the Gota Canal. This is the second aqueduct Dirona has passed through—the first was off Enkhuizen in The Netherlands.
Click for larger image
Relaxing
We stopped for the night at a wonderfully secluded small jetty to relax and enjoy the canal. Locking through isn’t a physically tiring job, but it does require car and some concentration, and we were pretty tired at the end of the day. In total we passed through 15 locks today with a combined rise of 130 ft (39.6m). If felt like we’d risen as far as we’d travelled, as we covered only 3 miles in 3.1 hours.
Click for larger image
Wasa Lejon
The day-cruise boat Wasa Lejon that we watched lock through yesterday passing us on its way to Berg.
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.

 
 


If your comment doesn't show up right away, send us email and we'll dredge it out of the spam filter.


2 comments on “Gota Canal Day 4: Berg
  1. Andy says:

    What make & model inflatable life vests do you use?
    Are they hydro-static inflatable?
    What is the volume in cubic feet of the SCUBA tanks behind James?

    • The life vests are Mustang MD3183. Fairly small and easy to wear but full auto-inflate when immersed. The SCUBA tanks are high pressure steel that I believe are rated at 3,500 PSI but I don’t recall the exact volume.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.