Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cornwall, ON to Salaberry de Valleyfield, QC

The St Lawrence was like a lake in this portion.
The destination is Marina Valleyfield, the largest marina in Quebec
We are where the sailboats are pictured at the bottom.

We had an easy day today of 35 miles and NO locks.  Weather cooperated again.
We were told when the reservation was booked the slip number so thanks to the marina plan in the IPAD 
we located it and backed in.  A helpful neighbor took our stern lines. 

This is the old canal in town.  You must pass through two small swing bridges (pedestrian) to enter the canal.  Dockage is along side.  Nice very French town.  Rained a bit while we walked into town for dinner then stopped.

Island Hopper's bow is sticking out.
Kevin and Ian checking out the sites
Debbie has been making fun o my haircut for a week.  I was shaggy so I went to a barber in Clayton, NY.  Now I know why there was no wait.  He shaved me.  when I take my glasses o I can't see anything so I thought when I told him take a little of, that was enough.
Here is another shot of the canal

Debbie ordered this course.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crysler to Cornwall, ON.

We had a nice journey from Crysler to Cornwall, Ontario.  36 miles and two locks, Eisenhower and Snell about 4 miles apart with a drop of 42 feet each.  There are 7 locks for us to traverse to Montreal. All operated by the St Lawrence Seaway Commission but the first 3 are operated by the US and the remaining are in Quebec.  I will report our comparisons after we traverse the Canadian locks. The US locks were easy with little wait.  Each lock charges $25, cash in US locks and a ticket system in the Canadian locks.

We are used to communicating with the locks on the radio. No radio communication with these locks.  You must tie up to a dock and pick up a phone to tell them you are desirous of a lock through.  You better know upbound from downbound.

 We exit one lock and must stay in a line to the next one so the sailboats dictate the speed, about 7 MPH, luckily a short distance.

We are enjoying a nice push from the current about 2 MPH.  Note the current on the buoy.
 Check out the shape of this cloud, looks like a duck.  Great weather continues.
 Nice marina in Cornwall. We shoehorned in a slip, later the dock attendant a very young lady said we probably should have used the wall for our slip.  Oh well, tested my docking skills.
Several very nice French Canadians helped us with our lines.  A very nice park surrounds the marina.

Cornwall Website
Bryce enjoyed the adjacent park and watching the river traffic.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brockville to Crysler, ON

 We departed at 0900 for Crysler, ON a distance of 39 miles and one lock. We have been running slow around 10 knots but our speed in increased over the ground by the current to 12.  We had one lock to pass through today, Iroquois lock operated by the US, drop is only 6 inches.

Divers were seen often in the area of Brockville, too cold for me.
 We checked out a historic village nearby called Upper Canada Village.  Link to Village

One of the bridges near Brockville, over the St Lawrence.

We were approaching a lock so all on board had to don a life jacket also know as a PFD.  Even Bryce, Debbie thought.
 We share the waterway with the big boys which are seen often.
 We are entering Iroquois Lock, one of 7 before we reach Montreal.
 The marina is in a park setting so again, Debbie and Bryce are happy.  It is in a basin with 200 slips and a long dock for transients.

Link to Marina Website

We decided to grill out tonight as the gas grills were very nice provided by the marina.  Restaurants were a van ride away so we enjoyed a great home "cooked" meal in Island Hopper.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gananonque to Brockville, ON.

After clearing customs in Gananoque we will stay in Canadian waters for a while.  We are now headed east towards Montreal on the St Lawrence, next town Brockville, ON.  Easy day, no locks, nice weather and only 32 miles.  Total miles from Sarasota, 2240.

The marina is in a protected cove.  The transient docking is along side adjacent to a park so Bryce and Debbie are happy about that, no long walk to grass.  Thanks to Trip Advisor we found a great Bistro within an easy walk.  A grocery was also a bike ride away so we added a few provisions.  Expensive in Canada plus a 13% sales tax, ouch.

 A "crusie ship" from Kingston stopped for a overnight just ahead of us.
 The view from town from Island Hopper

The crew are handling the lines and fenders as we depart Brockville.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alexandria Bay to Gananoque, Ontario

We departed at 10:30 for our 23 mile cruise west to Gananoque, Ontario.  Nice marina and town which we are told is the gateway to the Thousand Islands in Canada.  We also need to clear customs/immigration there.  We arrived at noon and backed in to our slip.  I left the crew on board per Canada Law and  found the phone to call immigration.   They asked who was on board but more importantly did we have any weapons, tobacco or alcohol.  No to the first two and yes to alcohol.  We ended up paying duty on 17 bottles of wine and two cases of beer in excess of the allowance.  Duty was  $50 paid by Visa.
 I am breaking Ian in on crew duties, here he is becoming a "cableman" in training.  Some marinas have cable TV, not many, but when they do we plug in via this cable.

1000 Islands Link
 Even the fireplugs are cute in Gananoque.
 The pictures do not do the beauty justice.  It is magnificent scenery.
 A park in Ganoque
 View from the marina slip looking out to the wave barrier and the islands in the distance.
Private boat house on one of the islands we passed.

One of the nice shops in Gananoque

 Check this Debbie a land yacht for rent for our next adventure.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boldt Castle

 Our second day in Alexandria Bay was spent at Boldt Castle.     BOLDT CASTLE LINK

It was just across the river from our marina so we took a local ferry.  It rained off and on all day so a good day to see the inside of the Castle.  Rain is badly needed we are told.  The rain ushered in  cooler temperatures which were welcome.
 This building was the first one built as it was the power house.  It was built in   1900  to  provide electricity to the house and grounds from diesel generators.  Note the clocktower which contains chimes from the John Wannamaker Dept. Store in Philadelphia.
 This structure was the children's playhouse complete with billiard tables, bowling alley and rooms. It was built to resemble a castle on the Rhine river.
 A fountain on the grounds
 Across the river is the boat house for Mr Boldt's collection of 45 boats, including the house boat La Duchesse which is now displayed in Clayton. The structure also contains rooms for the captain and crew.
 Some of his boats on display in the boat house.
Beautifully maintained gardens on the island.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clayton to Alexandria Bay, NY

We left Clayton bound for Alexandria Bay, NY just 12 miles downstream.  We cruised among the Thousand Islands with great natural beauty.  Many of the islands are privately owned complete with very nice homes, boat houses, etc.

Alexandria Bay Website

The day was beautiful and the water very clear.

 This is the hotel/marina where we docked for two nights.  The picture was taken from across the river while we visited Boldt Castle.

Link to Hotel/Marina

The Seaway is right behind us so you see freighters occasionally, though they must
not exceed a speed of 10 knots so not much wake.
Downtown Alexandria Bay, very touristy and busy.