Gota Canal Day 6 & 7: Motala


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On our sixth day in the Gota Canal, James turned 60. That day, we passed through 13 bridges and 7 locks, including the 5-flight Borenshult Locks, and rose 51.2 ft (15.6m) to reach Motala at 290 ft (88.4m) above sea level where we stopped for two nights. We celebrated James’ 50th in Hong Kong during our yard trip to China to see Dirona being built. What a wonderful adventure we’ve had in between.

Below are trip highlights from August 8th and 9th, 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.

8/9/2019
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Happy Birthday James!
James opening his birthday presents.
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Birthday Cards
Birthday cards from friends and family to celebrate James’ milestone 60th birthday.
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Jetty
Looking back to the jetty we moored on for the past two nights. We’d moored starboard-to and had to turn back around to continue. We barely have room to turn in the narrow channel—you can see the mud we churned up on the left.
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Spitfire
Spitfire enjoying the cruise along the Gota Canal.
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Disused Lock
Passing through a disused lock along the canal.
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Juno
Passing the MS Juno mid-channel. The Juno, launched from the Motala shipyard in 1874, is the world’s oldest registered cruise ship (having overnight accommodations) and is pretty much “Gotamax” at 103.2ft (31.45m) long with a 22ft (6.68m) beam and an 8.9ft (2.72m) draft (the maximum published dimensions are 98.4ft (30m) long, 23 ft (7m) wide and 9.25 ft (2.82m)). Since we don’t have much space to move over, so we had to pass pretty close. Note the ship’s traditional log fenders.
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Disused Bridge
The narrow gap at a disused bridge along the canal.
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Ljungs Vastra
The Ljungs Vastra bridge opening as we approach. Generally the bridges open once we’re near and we don’t have much, if any, delay.
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Sjobacka Bridge
The old bridge keeper’s home at the Sjobacka Bridge.
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Above Ground
It seems very strange to be underway at the level of the roof line of houses beside us.
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Ruda Bridge
The Ruda Bridge open for us to pass through.
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Sorby Bridge
About to pass through the Sorby Bridge.
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Kunns Norrby Bridge
Onlookers taking pictures as we approach the Kunns Norrby Bridge.
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Kunns Norrby Aqueduct
Passing over the Kunns Norrby Aqueduct, the second of the two aqueducts along the Gota Canal.
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Nas Bridge
Tranquil scene at the Nas Bridge. On the right the bridge signal lights are showing red and white, indicating the bridge is in the process of opening.
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Tight
A meter on each side does not feel like much room as we pass through the Nas Bridge.
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Pavilion
Unique pavilion almost suspended over the canal at Vastanakroken in Borensberg. The passengers on Juno must almost be able to touch is as the ship passes.
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Borensberg Lock
Approaching the Borensberg Lock, our first lock of the day.
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Manual Lock
The Borensberg is one of two manual locks along the Gota Canal and is mainly used for water regulation with Boren Lake with a rise of 0.2m. The lock keepers will handle the gates and sluices, but Jennifer is helping out, partly for fun and partly to speed up our passage.
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Sluices
The lock keeper opening up the sluices at the Borensberg lock.
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Borensberg Bridge
The Borensberg Bridge opening up so we can exit Borensberg lock into Boren Lake.
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Gasthamn
Lots of space at the Gasthamn in Borensberg.
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Boren Lake
Waiting at the west end of Boren Lake for our turn to enter the Borenshult Locks.
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Borenshult Locks
The five-flight Borenshult Locks are the second biggest flight in the canal and have a rise of 50.2 ft (15.3 m). These two boats will pass through first, then it will be our turn.
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Tending Line
Jennifer tending the bow line as we rise through the Borenshult Locks.
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Partway Up
Partway up the Borenshult Locks. The banner on the brow reads “Happy 60th James”. Jennifer managed to keep it a secret from James until we moored that night, and he was wondering how people along the way knew to wish him a Happy Birthday.
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Flow
When we’re alone in the lock, the lock keepers seem to really let the water flow in hard.
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Manual Bridge
The lock keeper from the Borenshult Locks closing the manually-operated Treoresbron Bridge. This is how all the bridges would originally have been operated, but today its the only non-powered bridge on the canal.
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Otto Edvard Carlsund
Monument to Otto Edvard Carlsund, who led Motala Verkstad from 1843 to 1870. Motala Verkstad is one of Sweden’s oldest engineering companies and was created in 1822 by Gota Canal founder Baltzar von Platen to have local expertise available during canal construction. In addition to building various lock equipment, the company’s output included over 400 vessels, 800 bridges and 1,300 locomotives.
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Green Light
A green light indicating we can pass through the Charlottenborgsbron Bridge.
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Platens Graf
The tomb of Gota canal founder Baltzar von Platen, who died in 1829, three years before the canal was completed in 1832.
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Old Railway Bridge
Looking back to an old, permanently-open railway bridge.
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Motala Bridges
Passing under the Motala Railway Bridge with the the R50 road bridge visible just beyond and also open for us to pass.
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Motala Lock
Our seventh and final lock of the day is the Motala Lock, another water control lock with a rise of only 0.1m.
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Motala
Docked along the wall at Motala at the east end of Vattern Lake. Today we passed through 13 bridges and 7 locks and rose 51.2 ft (15.6m). We’re now at 290 ft (88.4m) above sea level.
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Kung Sverker
The Motala-based returning through the Motala lock from a day cruise to Borensberg with a load of passengers taking in the view from the bow.
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Crankshaft
A 35-ton section of a 70-ton crankshaft produced at local Motala Verkstad in 1954. The company has been producing crankshafts since it was formed in 1822 during the Gota Canal construction, and in the 1970s was one of the world’s leading producers of crankshafts for ships.
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Hotell Nostalgie
Enjoying a drink on the terrace at the Hotell Nostalgie with a view to the canal and the Motala lock. Dirona is partially visible on the distance, moored on the wall on the other side of the canal (click image for a larger view). The large ship moored in front of us is the MS Wilhelm Tam.
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Wilhelm Tam
The MS Wilhelm Tam entering the Motala lock. The Wilhelm Tam was built in 1912 at local Motala Verkstad, where that big crankshaft and the MS Juno we saw earlier today was built.
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Dinner
A great dinner canal-side at Hamnpiren GlassCafe & Bistro.
8/9/2019
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Motala
Motala lit up in the morning sun, viewed from our berth.
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Gota Kanalbolag
The Gota Canal Company headquarters. The company was established in 1810 when canal construction began and was privately held until the Swedish government took it over in 1978.
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Banner
James’ “Happy 60th” banner looked small on the brow, but huge inside.
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Ducks
Spitfire spent ages studing the ducks sleeping ashore and nearly blew a gasket when they all stood up together.
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Diana
The Gota Canal cruise boat Diana was launched in 1931 near Stockholm. This ship, the Juno and the Wilhelm Tam all are owned by Gota Kanal Rederi AB, founded in 1896.
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Fountain
The fountain in the basin behind our berth in Motala looks wonderful lit up at night.
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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4 comments on “Gota Canal Day 6 & 7: Motala
  1. Jack Apple says:

    James,
    You feel like a good friend that I met ten years ago.
    Happy Birthday.

  2. Olle Sköld says:

    Oh I didn’t know you had just turned 60 right before I visited you, happy birthday from the crazy 3D-printing guy. :)

    • Yeah, it’s true, I’ve just crossed 60. Thanks for the birthday greeting and it was great to see what you are able to create with 3D printing. I’m going to have to learn more about it.

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