The Route South

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chambly Canal

The Chambly Canal is markedly different from the Rideau and the Erie.  Join us in this short video clip as we follow the canal, winding its way alongside the Richilieu River.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ottawa, Montreal and the Chambly Canal



Thursday July 19, 2012 – Friday July 20, 2012
Our niece Melinda is coming for a long weekend, flying in today from Clearwater and we are excited.  We have been busy scoping out what and where we can go play tourist.  After a false start, the airline came through and she was able to make her connections.  Thursday night we went to the light show at Parliament, a fabulous, fascinating program projected on the exterior of the main Parliament building.  It doesn’t get dark until almost 10 PM so the show didn’t start until then and ran until almost 11 PM.  We were tired out by the time we walked back to the boat.
On Friday we went back to Parliament for the Changing of the Guard.  This ceremony happens promptly at 10 AM every day of the year.  So after breakfast out, we went back up to Parliament Hill and sure enough, at the stroke of 10 AM the first of the Guards set foot on the parade ground.  Talk about military precision!  We went back to Byward Market for some final shopping, scoring even more cheese as well as some meat for the grill tonight.  At 1430 we moved off the wall and down to the blue line so we could lock down the famous (or infamous?) flight of eight locks.  These locks are one right after the other, like going down stairs.  It normally takes two hours to do and we wanted to get through today so we didn’t have to waste time in the morning.  Our plan was to lock through then go down the river four or five miles and anchor.  However, when we arrived at the blue line they were locking several boats in the opposite direction and it was 1650 before it was our turn to go down.  I replaced the broken anchor light while Melinda went exploring for an hour.  We got the express ride down so it took less than an hour and a half and the lockmaster gave us permission to use the Blue Line so at 1820 we were tied up for the night.
3.9 hours - .5 NM


Parliament Building, Ottawa


The Changing of the Guard - Parliament Hill - Ottawa



Cindy and Melinda.  Where are their hands?

Fortunately, Cindy speaks French with her hands!  Buying provisions at Byward Market - Ottawa

Al Fresco dining at Byward Market - Ottawa

Waiting at the top of the flight of eight locks - Ottawa

The Rideau is a Canadian Heritage site and a popular tourist stop.

Plenty of onlookers.

Finally through!


Saturday July 21, 2012
We had to be off the Blue Line before the locks opened so we were away by 0700.  We had a pleasant, no-lock cruise down the Ottawa River to Chateau Montebello, purported to be the worlds largest log structure.  Quite Impressive.  Lunch was deferred until later so we could eat at the resort.
35.6 NM


Chateau Montebello
A nice place for lunch!


Interior views - Chateau Montebello

Interior views - Chateau Montebello

Interior views - Chateau Montebello

Dining room - Chateau Montebello
There are both indoor and outdoor pools.
There is an underground passageway between the hotel and the indoor pool for wintertime use.


Sunday July 22, 2012 – Tuesday July 24, 2012
By 0645 we have rejoined the Ottawa River.  Since we have some locks to do today we need an early start.  At 1025 we arrived at Carillon Lock, a 65 ft. drop with a HUGE guillotine door.  The grumpy lockmaster has a bad reputation for yelling instructions in French – we are in Qu├ębec now – and between the three of us we know, well, no useable French.  But our fears were without merit.  Maybe it was his day off or maybe they sent him to charm school, but we were given instructions in English and our locking through was simple and easy.  We entered the lock at 1045 and popped out the other side at 1125, 65’ closer to sea level.  The lock gates were open and waiting at 1435 we arrived at Sainte Anne de Bellvue.  We locked through at 1500 and tied up at the lock wall.  Watching boats go through the locks is a spectator sport on Sunday afternoon at this delightful suburb of Montreal and it was common to start a conversation with the spectators.  One such fellow asked where Belleair, our port of hail, was located.  When we told him it was near Tampa he replied “my nephew moved to Tampa to play hockey”!  Further discussion revealed that his nephew is Martin St. Louie, one of the Lightning stars.  Marty played on the Lightning’s winning Stanley Cup  team.  Sainte Anne de Bellvue will be our home for the next few days while we visit Montreal.  Monday we took the bus and the subway into downtown.  After grabbing a bite of lunch we walked around old Montreal area but it was hot and after a few hours we reversed course, taking the subway and then the bus back to Sainte Anne de Bellvue.  Sadly, this is where Melinda will leave us and fly back to Clearwater.  Tuesday morning we put he in a cab for the airport, her visit was over too quickly.
48 NM

Way down in the bottom of Carillon Lock.

The huge guillotine door at the bottom of the lock.

Watching boats is a popular Sunday afternoon pastime - Sainte Anne de Bellevue lock.

Town wall at Sainte Anne de Bellevue.


Wednesday July 25, 2012
Early start today – we are away from the wall before 0700.  Today we go to play with the big boys in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  We have two locks to do in the St. Lawrence and these are big…big enough for ocean-going shipping.  At 0845 we enter the Canal de la Rive Sud, the canal that routes us around the rapids near Montreal.  An hour later Sainte Catherine lock is in sight and we have to wait twenty minutes for an up-bound ship to clear the lock before we lock down 36’ with another pleasure boat.  It was just over an hour’s run to the St. Lambert lock where we waited fifteen minutes for a ship to lock through.  Once in the lock it only took fifteen minutes to lock down and we were on our way out of the Canal de la Rive Sud and into the St. Lawrence River.  A hard turn to port will take you to the old port of Montreal, but we chose to go right, heading down the St. Lawrence to Sorel.  The current is kind to us on this large river and we arrive at Sorel at 1640 where we leave the big river and begin heading south on the Richelieu River.  Two hours later we arrive at the lock at Ste. Ours, where it only takes fifteen minutes to lock through.  After locking through we tied to the wall for the night – a 12 hour day!
79 NM
Ocean-going ship - St. Lawrence Seaway.

Ships have first priority in the locks.

One ship waiting as we leave the lock.

Thursday July 26, 2012
Ste. Ours is a beautiful spot and we were in no hurry to leave.  I walked around the island park before we left at 0930.  As is our practice, we lunched under way, passing Mont Sainte-Hilaire.  We arrived at the Chambly Canal at Lock #1 at 1350.  There are three locks in a flight and by 1445 we had locked through all three and tied up to the wall in the pool above the lock.  We wandered around the little town of Chambly, figuring out where to have dinner.
27 NM


Church with Mont Sainte-Hilaire in background.
Friday July 27, 2012
The Chambly Canal has a totally different look and feel to it.  Different from the Erie and different from the Rideau.  It is much smaller, more intimate.  But it still has plenty of locks!  Each lock takes 10-15 minutes.  The logbook shows that we locked through #4 thru #9 between 0855 and 1022.  When we arrived at Bridge #10 at 1150 the bridge tender told us that she was closed for lunch and that we should tie up and she would call us when her lunch break was over!  Closed for Lunch?!  So we ate too.  Finally at 1230 she opened the bridge and off we went.  At 1300 we approached our last Canadian lock, #9.  Ten minutes later we were through.  Shortly after 1600 we were back in the USA.  At 1635 we cleared US Customs at Old Rouses Point.  Clearing in took only a few minutes and we were on our way, anchoring for the night at Windmill Point, at the north end of Lake Champlain.
33 NM




Flower boxes at the lock - Chambly Canal.

Chambly Canal with Richelieu River alongside.

Pretty village on the Richelieu.


Friday, July 20, 2012

The Rideau Canal

We really enjoyed our time on the Rideau.  The Parks Canada brochure describes it well - I can't say it any better.

"The Rideau Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canal cuts winding over 120 miles from Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.
One of Canada’s historic canals and a Canadian Heritage River, the Rideau is maintained and operated by Parks Canada to preserve and present the canal’s natural and historic features, as well as to provide a navigable channel.
The Rideau Canal was conceived in the wake of the War of 1812. It was to be a war-time supply route providing a secure water route for troops and supplies from Montreal to reach the settlements of Upper Canada and the strategic naval dockyard at Kingston.
In 1826, England sent Lieutenant
Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers to 
supervise canal construction. Thousands 
of Irish immigrants, French Canadians and Scottish stonemasons were among the labourers who helped push the canal through the rough bush, swamps and rocky wilderness of Eastern Ontario.
Opened in 1832, the Rideau Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. When the fear of war passed, the canal soon became a major artery for regional commerce. This role continued for several decades but began to decline with the completion of the St. Lawrence canal system and the introduction of the railway and steamboats. Today, the log rafts, barges and steamers have given way to pleasure boats, while roads provide easy access to lockstations by land."
Below is a short video we shot while traveling through one of the many small creeks passing between the lakes.  It looks more like a canoe trail than a boat channel!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh!! Canada!!


Tuesday July 10, 2012
No big rush to get started today.  These islands are all so close together that it hardly takes any time at all before we have arrived at our destination.  But first, there is all that weed to remove from the anchor!  We started the engine at 1020 but it took a full ten minutes to hack and scrape all the weeds off the anchor.  The conventional wisdom is that you need to anchor in a minimum of 15’ to 18’ of water.  The weeds only grow in shallower water.  The deeper water doesn’t support photosynthesis.  You do remember your high school biology, don’t you?  

Look at all the weeds!  This is going to take a while.


Finally the mess was cleared up and we were under way at 1040, passing by Rockport thirty minutes later.  Once again we passed beneath the Thousand Islands Bridge, this time on the Canadian side of the border.  As we neared our destination we saw a Defever 44 named “Rickshaw”, one of the few trawlers we have seen this summer.  I knew the boat from the Defever owners’ site on the Internet and we had a nice chat on the VHF radio. They are doing the “Great Loop”, which is basically a circumnavigation of the eastern half of the US.  By 1215 Morning Star is tied to the small Parks Canada dock at Mulcaster Island.
9.4 NM

Wednesday July 11, 2012
Parks Canada, the Canadian National Parks service, owns, administers and maintains many of the islands in the Thousand Islands.  The islands are quite small, probably on average 50 acres, and you can usually walk around one in a half-hour.  There are generally hiking trails around and through the islands.  Some have a few moorings, others a small dock or two.  Most have a few sites for tent campers and perhaps a couple of picnic tables and a charcoal grill and a fire ring.  All seem to have a composting toilet back in the woods (a very hi-tech outhouse).  They are really very nice and help to assure that there is no water pollution from the campers and boaters.  I don’t know what they do about the birds, fish and animals!  Several of the islands don’t even allow generators, portable or permanently installed ones like on Morning Star.  Nor do they allow boats to run their engines to charge their batteries.  This helps maintain the peace and tranquility of the island as well as forcing people to move along after the maximum 2-night stay.  Many of the local boats have installed solar panels to generate electricity and keep their batteries charged.  There is an honor pay station at each island and a Parks Canada employee comes by every day or two to empty the box and spot check to see that everybody is paying their fair share.  We have opted to buy a Parks Canada seasonal pass since it will not only allow us to use the moorings and island docks, but also the lock walls when we get to the Rideau, Richelieu and Chambly canals.  The darn pass is over $300 for our boat but it’s cheaper than paying as we go.  We left pretty little Mulcaster Island about 1040 and only took 50 minutes to get to Camelot Island.
3.5 NM


Small Parks Canada docks will hold no more than about four boats.

Mulcaster Island.



If there's no room you can always anchor out.

A private, quiet, cozy anchorage.


Thursday July 12, 2012
Sadly, we start the engine at 0930 and prepare to leave Camelot.  It would be nice to linger or visit more islands but we have miles and miles to go this summer.  Enroute to Kingston, Ontario we pass by three or four more Parks Canada islands.  Thwartway looks beautiful.  Milton and Cedar Islands are within sight of Kingston and before 1300 we are tied up in our slip at Confederation Basin.  We have business to conduct as well as a bit of tourist to play.
First priority is to get connected to the Internet.  Before we left the States, I called Verizon to switch Cindy’s iPhone over to the US & Canada plan.  Not bad…$10 extra.  However, the data for the phone plus our MiFi would have been about $300-$400 per month, based on the rate at which we normally use the Web.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I switched the Internet off on all our devices.  But we had a scheme.  After lunch we walked to the Rogers Cellular store nearby with our iPad.  Our Krogen friend Carol told us that we could get a Rogers SIM card installed in the iPad and get a bunch of data for $50/ month.  The sales lady offered us a free SIM card but told us that it probably wouldn’t work because we had a US credit card.  This makes no sense.  I can go across the street and pay for a meal or buy a shirt with my US credit card.  But sure enough, when we tried to log on, we were rejected.  When the boss-lady walked into the back of the store the teenager who was working behind the counter told us how to work the system.  Following his instruction, we went next door to Shoppers’ Drug Mart, a local drug store chain, and purchased a pre-paid $50 VISA (paid for with our US credit card).  We then logged on again using the prepaid card and the marina ‘s address and it went through fine!  Wow!  Why does it have to be so hard?  Geeks and nerds are beginning to rule the world!
We spent the afternoon taking a trolley tour of Kingston, visiting the Royal Military College (kind of like West Point and Annapolis all rolled into one) and Queens University, as well as many of the other local sites of interest (such as the prison!).  We had an excellent guide and the tour was great.  We recommend it highly!  This was the beginning day for the Annual Buskers’ Rendezvous, the street performers’ fair, so after dinner at a local pub we wandered the streets, watching a few of the acts before calling it a night.  It was like Mallory Square in Key West, only bigger.  Several city blocks of streets were closed off to traffic in the downtown.
19.4 NM

Street performers conscript volunteers from the audience.


Friday July 13, 2012
Yesterday was play-day.  But that was then and this is now. While Cindy tackled three loads of laundry at the marina Laundromat, I took the shopping list and a backpack and walked to the grocery market.  By 1030 we were both back aboard and everything was stowed.  We quickly filled the water tanks so we could leave before the 1100 checkout time.  
We were out of the slip by 1040.  By 1050, we hit the bridge!  Well, more exactly, our anchor light on the top of the mast hit the bridge.  I couldn’t believe it!  The east side of the LaSalle Bridge is shown on the chart as 18’ clearance.  Our cruising guidebooks show 18’ clearance.  The river is 12” low because of the drought plus the lack of snow last winter.  Our mast is 17’.  I know it is because I measured it with a laser transit.  We should have had 19’ clearance - two feet clear above the mast.  We knew we were close as we approached the bridge and in fact, we were clear for the first half of the bridge when suddenly BANG!! WHAT A RACKET!!  The anchor light is shattered and gone!  The wind indicator is gone too!  There was a loud, groaning sound as we scrapped the underside of the concrete bridge the rest of the way out.  It was over so quickly, leaving Cindy and I wondering how this could have happened.  How could so much information be so wrong?
Our nerves had calmed down by the time we reached Kingston Mills Locks at 1125, the first lock of the Rideau Canal.  They are busy locking several boats down so we took this opportunity to purchase our Locking Pass, which will be good for the locks on the Rideau, Richelieu and Chambly canals.  Like the Parks Canada pass, even though it’s another $300, it is cheaper than paying as we go.  Finally at 1325 it’s our turn and we lock up into Colonel By Lake and onward to the River Styx.  Really, I’m not making this up!  At 1545 we call it a day and tie up to the float at Upper Brewer Locks.
15 NM


This is cottage country.

There are small ones.

Medium ones.

And big ones.


Saturday July 14, 2012
The locks don’t start working until 0830 in Canada so we can have a leisurely start in the mornings.  Since we went through the locks at Brewer yesterday afternoon we were able to leave before 0830.  We passed through the hand-cranked swing bridge at Brass Point at 0850 and arrived at Jones Falls an hour later.  But like yesterday, there were boats already locking down so we tied up to the wall outside the lock and walked up to watch.  It was an hour before we could enter the first of four locks at Jones Falls and 1200 before we locked through.  Through the afternoon we negotiated Davis and Chaffee locks.  When we arrived at Newboro Lock there was no room at the top of the lock so we tied up on the wall at the bottom at 1450.  It is a hot afternoon and I actually went for a swim.  It was “refreshing”.

Its hot in Canada!  Who knew?


A word about the locks in Canada.  All of the locks on the three canals we are doing this summer are hand operated.  They are all over 100 years old and the doors and valves are hand-cranked open and closed.  Each lock has a few full-time employees and several college kids helping out seasonally.  These jobs are so in demand that they are awarded by lottery.  And these kids bust their butts!  But to a person, they were delightful, friendly and helpful.  We enjoyed chatting with them about their jobs and colleges and they seem more interested in us since we were from Florida.
21 NM

The first series of locks at Kingston Mills.  Notice the hand cranks.

College kids covet the lock tender jobs.

Locking through.


Sunday July 15, 2012
We fired up the engine promptly at 0830 and entered the Newboro Lock at 0835.  Ten minutes later we had locked up and into Upper Rideau Lake.  By 0925 we were locking up at Narrows Lock, into Big Rideau Lake.  The Rideau River is a series of lakes connected by the river and canals,  The waterway is beautiful!  Just after lunch we lock up at Poonamalie Lock (pronounced poon ama LEE)  and by 1310 we are tied up for the night at Smith Falls.  The bicycles came down off the top deck so we could ride to the grocery store, Canadian Tire (kind of a tire/sporting goods/hardware store) and most importantly, the LCBO store.  LCBO stands for Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the state controlled liquor store.  We are dangerously short of wine…a dire situation which we intend to remedy this afternoon!  After returning to the boat and putting every thing away, we sampled our LCBO purchase before riding into town for dinner.  On the way back, we detoured to the small park across the water from Morning Star where a concert was taking place.  We only stayed for a few minutes because it was obvious that we could hear the concert just fine from the comfort of Morning Star.  It was a pleasant evening and we chatted with our French-Canadian neighbors.
24 NM


Smith Falls Town docks.


Monday July 16, 2012
Today will be a short day so we didn’t start the engine until 0845, locking through the Smith Falls lock at 0900, followed shortly by the two locks at Old Sly’s.  We rounded out the morning locking through Edmonds and Kilmarnock locks before arriving at Merrickville at 1145.  Merrickville is a pretty little town so we went out for lunch and then walked around for a bit, stopping in a few of the unique stores.  Cindy picked up a few things at the small grocery.
12 NM

Beautiful little Merrickville.
Tuesday July 17, 2012
Lockmasters don’t talk to the boats on the VHF radio.  The way they know you want to lock through is to pull up to the “blue line”.  The blue line is a sacred stretch of wall on the approach to the lock.  You tie off to the wall at the blue line if you want to lock through.  You will incur the wrath of the lockmaster if you tie up there without intending to lock through.  So at 0835 we pulled up to the blue line.  Fifty minutes later we had gone through Merrickville’s three locks.  Twenty short minutes later we were tied up at the blue line at Clowes, where we had to wait for an up-bound locking before we got our turn.  It seemed that we had no sooner gotten through Clowes and we were at Upper Nicholson, followed by Lower Nicholson then Burritts Rapids.  We had completed 7 locks by 1100!  Fortunately we had a break in the action, not arriving at Long Island lock until 1425, just ahead of a small thunderstorm.  We tied off the lock’s floating dock, being careful to avoid the blue line until the storm blew by.  Fifteen minutes later the storm was past and we entered the first of three locks, finally locking through the last at 1525.  We tied along the wall at the bottom of the last lock at 1530, where we stayed the night in a beautiful rural setting.
28 NM

Waiting at the Blue Line.


Wednesday July 18, 2012
Since we locked through yesterday before we stopped, we can leave early today so we are away at 0745.  We locked through the lock at Black’s Rapids, two locks at Hog’s Back and two more at Hartwell before arriving at Ottawa.  It is a beautiful city and Morning Star is tied alongside the wall in the heart of downtown.  We are across the canal from the Performing Arts Center and can see the Parliament buildings on Parliament Hill by looking out our window.  The tie-up is free with our Parks Canada pass.  We only have to pay $10 per night for our electricity, which will gladly do so we can run our air conditioning.  We walked a few blocks to the fabulous Byward Market, where we stopped for lunch before visiting the local shops and vendor stalls.  We picked up a few things at the butcher shop as well as the cheese shop and the bakery.  Ummm!
12 NM

Being passed by kayakers!

Rural Ottawa.

Parliament and Ottawa ahead.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Ten Hundred Islands


I got back from Florida on the afternoon of the 3rd.  Larry and Jean returned from their road trip about the same time.  We were just in time for Ess-Kay Marina's 4th of July celebration...thats right, on the 3rd.  That's when Brewerton shoots off their fireworks.  We got back to the marina just in time.  The grill was fired up and the burgers and dogs were cooking.  The marina provided the meat, grill and cook.  Everybody brought a dish to share.  And of course drinks.  We all had a nice time in spite of the brief rain shower before the pyrotechnics.  Since Wednesday was the actual 4th, we decided that we didn't want to travel with the crowds.

4th of July comes a day early in these parts!

Thursday July 5, 2012
At 0700 we were finally under way.  It was a short 15 minute trip to Winter Harbor Marina, who has the cheapest diesel fuel in all of upper New York State.  We took on 150 gallons so we should be good through Canada and Lake Champlain.  We are hearing about prices of over $5 per gallon!  Ouch!
From Winter Harbor is was  about two hours to Lock #1 on the Oswego Canal, which runs north from the Erie to Lake Ontario.  Locks 3,5,6 &7 (there is no #4) were easily transited and by 1345 we were tied up alongside the wall between #7 & #8.
Our friends Mark and Emily Little were traveling from Cleveland to Canada in their motor home and coordinated a stop so we could all get together.  First cocktails aboard Sea Dweller and then we walked to dinner.  It was a great reunion and the time passed much too quickly.
28 NM

Friday July 6, 2012
Lock #8 doesn't open until 0730 so both boats are ready and waiting to go and by 0740 we are through.  Lock #8 is the gateway into Lake Ontario and it is quite calm, just what we are hoping for.  We set a course of 33 degrees, toward Sackett's Harbor.  It has been great traveling in Bateman's company but here is where our paths diverge.  They are heading to Kingston then Trenton and the Trent-Severn waterway, going on to Georgian Bay.  Their plan is to put the boat in winter storage and come back next summer see even more of Canada.  Morning Star, on the other hand will head further east to the Thousand Islands area, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence before going to Kingston and up the Rideau to Ottawa.  I keep stumbling over the name of the area, The Thousand Islands, mixing it up with the Ten Thousand Islands in Florida.  So we decided that this area should be known as the Ten Hundred Islands...at least to us.
By lunch time we are out of Lake Ontario, past Association Island and Lime Barrel Shoal, tying to the Sackett's Harbor town dock at 1245.  Our fresh water system pump is not working properly but I have a spare in our parts stores so I swapped that out before we took a stroll around town.  Ice cream was my reward for a job well done and Cindy got one in recognition of her excellence in assisting.  Unfortunately, the town doesn't allow boats to tie overnight.  Our intention was to untie and slip a few hundred yards out of the harbor to anchor.  But when we got there we couldn't find a spot that pleased us so we moved on to Whites Bay where we anchored in 15' of water at 1845.
44 NM

Saturday July 7, 2012
The engine was warming up at 0650 and ten minutes later we were pulling the anchor up and trying to clear it of all the weeds.  There must have been a bushel basket full of weeds.  I had to shoot water on it with the wash down pump while pulling them off with the boat hook.  But we prevailed and were back under way, passing Lime Barrel Shoals (again) at 0740, rounding Point Penninsula thirty minutes later.  By 0915 we were passing Grenadier Island (just one of several Grenadier's) and at 1045 we arrived in Cape Vincent's harbor in a drizzling rain.  As we approached the town dock we slowly, quietly and ever-so-gently ran HARD AGROUND!  We didn't feel it and couldn't tell we were aground...we just stopped moving!  Turns out, there is a stone ledge about a third of the way down one side of the dock.  We got off with the help of one of our dock neighbors.  Once the rain stopped and the sun came out you could plainly see the rock, especially now that it has a smudge of bright blue bottom paint marking its location.  By 1115 we were tied to the other side of the dock in plenty of water.

Village dock at Cape Vincent.  'Nuff said?


Despite its unfriendly introduction, Cape Vincent proved to be one of our favorite stops, a delightful little village.  When were you last somewhere where they had an honest-to-goodness village green?  You know - like the Billy Joel lyrics - "I remember hanging out at the village green".  We ate lunch at the nearby waterfront restaurant and walked around the town in the afternoon.  There was even a nice size grocery right next to the village green!
22 NM

Cape Vincent Village Green.


Sunday July 8, 2012
Sunday mornings are one of my favorite times to go out for breakfast.  Yesterday, while walking around Cape Vincent, we scouted our breakfast location for today - "Ann's".  It is a little Mom & Pop-style restaurant with locals catching up on the weekend gossip over coffee and eggs and pancakes.  Perfect fit for a great little town.
We were away from the dock shortly after 0930.  It took two short hours to run the 13 miles to Clayton, NY.  We have been told that the Antique Boat Museum is not to be missed, so after tying up to the Town Dock and having a bite of lunch aboard, we are off for some sightseeing.  Turns out that this museum has a very serious collection of old wooden boats.  I'd hate to pay their annual varnish bill!  After touring the museum we took the bikes down so we could ride to town for dinner.  Several people gave us a referral for a new restaurant in town and we weren't disappointed, except that we can't remember their name!
13 NM

Clayton, NY - the view of the Antique Boat Museum from the Town Dock.

Clayton, NY waterfront.

George Boldt's 110 ft. houseboat.  More about him later.


Houseboat living room.  Yeah, that's a real fireplace.

One of many restored antique boats at the Museum.

 Just a small portion of their small boat collection.




Antique outboard motors.

Small boat restoration shop.


Monday July 9, 2012
We are out of duct tape!  Everyone knows that you can't run a boat without having a roll of duct tape aboard.  It might even be in the Coast Guard regs somewhere.  I hopped on my bike and rode into town where the local hardware store filled the bill in short order and we were under way by 0935.  Its another short two hour run down the St. Lawrence, passing under the Thousand Islands Bridge, to Heart Island and the famous Boldt Castle.  

Light house maintenance on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Ocean-going freighters and pleasure boats coexist on the St. Lawrence.

Passing the mega-yacht "Luna" as we approached Boldt Castle on Heart Island.

"Luna" is 375' long!  She is owned by russian multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Look carefully at the very bottom deck.  Thats where the covered swimming pool is located!

Everybody says "you've got to stop at the Boldt Castle" and everybody is right.  It didn't disappoint.  Its a popular spot and we had to wait for somebody to leave before we could tie up.  After a quick lunch, we were off to explore the castle.  Its was built by George Boldt, founder of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.  He was obviously quite wealthy and he built the castle as a gift for his wife.  When she died a few months short of completion, Boldt notified the workmen to put down their tools and leave.  He never again visited the island and never completed the castle.  It changed hands numerous times over the years and finally was given to the Thousand Island Bridge Authority, the folks who are responsible for the bridge between Canada and the USA.  It has been partially restored and beautiful.  The grounds are breathtaking.

No, its Boldt Castle, not the Magic Kingdom.

The Sitting Room...or is it the Drawing Room?  I can never remember. - Boldt Castle.

Billiards room - Boldt Castle.
Notice the fish over the fire place!  You know its a big fish when you have to retire the rod and reel too!
No point in building a castle if it doesn't have a ballroom...with its own pipe organ. 

The Library.

Yep, a Tiffany glass domed skylight.

So this is what those things look like on the other side!

Talk about a room with a view!

If you're going to own a castle on a island, you might as well own a boathouse too!

The Boathouse has at least three indoor dry-docks.

Boldt Castle, from the Boathouse.  Morning Star far right.


The Thousand Islands is cottage country.




After four hours at Heart Island, it was time to find a spot to anchor for the night.  We hoisted the yellow "Quarantine" flag, the "Q" flag, for short, and crossed the border into Canada.  The south side of the St. Lawrence is in the US and the north side is Canadian.  The Thousand Islands are mixed so you need to pay attention.  Don't want to cause an international incident!  Arriving in Rockport, Ontario, we could see that the Customs wharf was closed down and fenced off.  When Cindy hailed a young man and asked where we could clear customs, we waved us into his marina.  There is a phone in the office with a direct lint to the Canadian customs office.  It was an unbelievable clearing-in.

Randy (RWP) - Hello, I need to clear in.
Canadian Customs (CC) - OK, Where are you calling from?
RWP - Rockport.
CC - How many aboard your vessel?
RWP - Two
CC - What are the names?
RWP - Randall Pickelmann & Cynthia Pickelmann
CC - Name of the vessel?
RWP - Morning Star
CC - Documentation number?
RWP - 943471
CC - Do you have any guns aboard?
RWP - Nope.
CC - Do you have any wine or spirits aboard?
RWP - Yep.  We live aboard full time so we have wine and liquor for our personal use.
CC - OK, write this number down - 20121910505.  Thank You very much.
RWP - Ummm.  Don't you need to see our passports?
CC - Nope.
RWP - Don't you at least need our passport numbers?
CC - Nope.
RWP - That's it?  We're done?
CC - Yep.  
click


Holy Cow!  That was easy.  We left Rockport 15 minutes after we arrived, putting up the Canadian courtesy flag before they changed their minds.  A half-hour later we were anchoring at Grenadier Island (a different Grenadier).  What an interesting day.  We are in Canada!


Grenadier Island welcoming committee - what else but Canada Geese.


18 NM