The first day out of Pont a Bar we had to give up the garage door-type clicker that triggered the lock mechanisms. The trigger for these locks is a pole that hangs down in the center of the canal. The boat driver creeps up on it slowly and the crew grabs the pole and gives it a quarter turn.
A yellow light flashes at the lock to let you know the lock senses you. Once the doors open, the boat is tied up and, just like before, the blue rod is lifted to close the doors
Don't pull on the red rod. That's an emergency stop, just in case there's a problem. If you pull it, you'll have to call a VNF technician to come reset the lock.
Depending whether you're going up or down, the lock fill or empties, the doors open and you're on your way.