1000 Islands to Kingston, Ontario



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1000 Islands to Kingston, Ontario
Monday August 02, 2004

Today we are spending our second day in Kingston, Ontario before heading up the Rideau Canal but I am getting ahead of myself. So, let’s start after our last log entry on the web.

On Thursday morning, July 29th we left Clayton, NY in the Thousand Islands and headed east about 10 miles to Boldt Castle on Heart Island just across from Alexandria Bay, NY. The picture above is taken back at Heart Island from a shuttle we took over to the Bolt Boathouse that contains a number of beautiful boats circa 1900. George Boldt built the castle as a Valentine present to his wife of 25 years. Unfortunately she died just as it was about finished and he stopped work immediately in 1906. It is now being restored by the 1000 Island Bridge Authority and is a popular U.S. and Canadian tourist attraction.

After our visit we circled north into the Canadian Channels and headed back towards the west stopping for the night at Wellesley Island State Park for a taste of island vacationing. There is a picture of two boys fishing in the photo gallery that we took from our cockpit. After taking in the 1000 Island scenery we decided that this area could be a four week cruising destination and you would still only experience a small fraction of its delights. We will be back.

On Friday, July 30th we crossed 6 miles to Gananoque, Ontario and checked into Canada and the Gananoque Municipal Marina. This is a friendly town and we enjoyed their small maritime museum. The weather closed in Friday evening and we stayed there Saturday as it continued to rain hard all day. We met a couple from Toronto, Dave and Pat Potipcoe on DRAGONWYCK, a Krogan 42. The boat was one of the best kept we have seen. We enjoyed talking cruising and dined together Saturday night.

On Sunday, August 1st we left Gananoque for Kingston for a two day stay before heading up the Rideau Canal. The weather was clear with a good sailing breeze out of the west. Kingston Confederation Basin is a crazy experience with hundreds of boats departing and arriving everyday. The finger piers are perpendicular to the prevailing wind that blows in the teens always. It is “Heart Attack” city to see the landings and departures. There is a team of six teenagers trying to control the mayhem. We leave tomorrow and have survived so far.

Kingston is the Annapolis of the Great Lakes. It was home of the 1976 Olympic sailing venue and calls itself the world’s freshwater sailing capital. The town has the Canadian Military Academy plus Queens College which keeps it alive in the winter. In the summer it’s sailing and tourist that make it jump. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? There are pictures of our passage to Kingston and a picture of downtown just a block from the marina. The trolley in the picture gives a fifty minute tour of the city with historical commentary and was well worth the fare. I could live here if it didn’t snow in the winter.

Our trip up the Rideau Canal almost wasn't going to happen. During the weekend we found out that the Canada Parks employees which run the canal could have gone out on strike as of today. We then heard Sunday that the negotiations had been extended. We called one of the lock masters to check and found out that there will be no problem until the August 17th. We should be well clear by then. We will have to watch the situation though as the same organization runs the Chambly Canal that connects the St. Lawrence River to Lake Champlain. We may want to be in the lake before that deadline. Hopefully there will be a settlement so we don't have this as a schedule constraint.

We expect to be in Ottawa Saturday, August 7th or 8th depending on weather for a three or four day stay. We are looking forward to connecting with Debra and Chris Faulkner, our daughter-in-law, Gwen's mom and dad.

This evening I am sitting in a park next to the trolley where there is a WIFI connection to post this entry. We have had our dinner. There is a musician singing from the park gazebo to a small crowd. It’s a very nice evening.


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