The Tousand Islands - Pinch me I must be dreaming!

20 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
It's actually 1,864 islands stretching for 50 miles up the St Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario and straddling the US / Canadian border...and IT IS AMAZING! We left Kingston on Sunday morning and started weaving our way through this archipelago, some islands no larger than a boulder, the largest (Wolfe Island) is 18 miles long! The smallest inhabited island in the world lies in the New York portion, and is called "Just Room Enough" ~ the island itself is 3,300 square feet!

We chose three islands to stay at along our journey, all three are within the Parks Canada 1000 Islands National Park which meant we were able to go ashore and explore!

1. Beau Rivage ~ We anchored about 200 yards off the island and dinghied in. There are several campsites and a pavilion, along with a hiking trail that goes around the island. In the evening we enjoyed a campfire and flew the drone for some amazing pictures!

2. Endymion Island ~ The next morning we cut through some narrow openings between islands and wound our way around to Camelot Island but there was no where available for us to anchor or dock so we made our way to its neighbor Endymion. Here we were able to pull up to a Parks Canada dock right on the island and met some power boaters who had opted to do the same for the night! We are entering the area of Canada where French is becoming more common and one of the gentlemen was trying to teach Michelle some words that will likely get her in trouble down the way! Most of the island was closed as an endangered plant was found there (deerberry) and the temperatures were rising (84) so we took to the water ~ a little dip in 60Β° water will cool you down quickly! The stand up paddleboard (SUP) was inflated and Michelle enjoyed several trips around the island to see the forbidden sections from the water! Our new friends showed us an embedded medallion on the SE corner of the island that delineates US / Canada border!

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3. Georgina Island ~ Our final stop was Georgina and here again we were fortunate enough to find space on a Parks Canada dock on the island. Gorgeous, wonderful, amazing...there are not enough positive adjectives to describe this island! We loved it so much we stayed for an extra night. With several miles of hiking trails we explored every corner, nook and niche available. We saw a deer, did some fishing, a little more paddleboarding, swimming and another campfire. It was just a GREAT stop!

We left Georgina Island this morning and on our way sailed past Singer Castle! Built in 1905 by the President of Singer Sewing Company as a surprise for his wife it was a beautiful site.
Tours are available but we passed early and it is not somewhere a 41' sailboat can just pull up to and walk around!

We continued on and arrived in Prescott, Ontario about noon. We've done a short walk about town and it is so charming! Since Amazon failed to get a package here on time we will be staying two nights and continue our trek down the St Lawrence on Saturday. We have locks and draw bridges ahead of us for the next few days so we are taking this time to do some research and get our relaxation in while we can!

Kingston, Ontario ~ The Limestone City

19 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
As we came to a close on our trip through the Great Lakes we entered Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is in the Northeast corner of Lake Ontario and it is here we will enter the St Lawrence River!

Known as the Limestone City for all it's beautiful architecture and old buildings, our walks around the city had us admiring City Hall, churches and other buildings that were so beautiful!

Along the waterfront are Martello Towers which were constructed in the early 1800's to defend Kingston against those nasty Americans! :)

We had some chores to do of course ~ hardware store for boat projects, laundry, and Michelle found a great Farmer's Market to stock up on fresh produce! Confederation Park was right outside our marina and a festival with live music was enjoyed on Saturday!

Sunday was Father's Day and Kent was treated to breakfast and a walk about town.

It was a great visit and wonderful closure to our Great Lakes cruising! Now on to the St Lawrence River and 1000 Islands!

Amherst Island ~ Stella Bay

16 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
There is an island about 10 miles West of Kingston, Ontario called Amherst Island. It has a population of 450 year round residents, a couple of churches and a general store. We found a little cove and dropped anchor for a couple of nights to relax and explore! Sadly most businesses, such as the museum, craft store and restaurant are closed during the week and only open on weekends for tourists.

We enjoyed the quiet and would take a few walks a day...our favorite part was this family of fox that lived in an old barn we passed on our walks! The kits were curious and mischievous and the parents were protective. We never got close enough to get a good photo but it was always a treat to see them! We also saw a not so bashful deer that did come close enough to photo!

We got ice cream from the general store, played on the swings in the park, and enjoyed the very friendly community! One of the gentlemen in a home on the cove called Kent over and said he was going to the big Chandlery (boat parts store) in Kingston the next day and offered to take Kent with if we needed anything! We were planning on leaving the next morning so had to decline but it epitomizes the friendly people that live on Amherst!

Two other boats came and anchored during our second day there and we dinghy'd over and invited them to our boat for cocktails. They were all from the Ottawa area but didn't know each other and we enjoyed an evening of swapping stories and getting to know one another! Later that night a severe thunderstorm came through but our cove was protected from most of the wind so the result was just a good bath for the boat. Veronique shared the picture of us headlining this post as we were sailing to Kingston!

Our favorite anchorage to date!

Bay of Quinte!

11 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
Well, if you look at the map we it was a short trip...just put the wheels out and drive over a couple spots of land and voila!!! Here's what we actually did!

We dropped anchor tonight in Hay Bay in the Bay of Quinte. Weeds couldn’t keep us out, we just went 55 miles around and entered from the East! Our plan is to stay here for a couple nights!

We went fishing this afternoon! 🎣 Yep you guessed it, hamburgers for dinner. πŸ€ͺ

Tomorrow we will try again, and do some paddle boarding and drone flying!

Stay on the road...Waupoos Island

10 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
Us and our wandering ways were really getting antsy staying in Presqu'ile waiting for a weather window. Finally this morning we say "good enough" and took off about 6 am. While it wasn't unsafe, it wasn't comfortable either! We traveled 50 miles through strong wind and high swells but they were both at our stern so it certainly could have been a lot worse. No rain, thank goodness but it was pretty darn chilly!

Our mission was to anchor off Waupoos Island which we had never even heard of until a neighbor of ours at the marina last night recommended it. We stopped at Waupoos Marina on the mainland to fill up on Diesel and they were AMAZING! Very nice and informative, told us the best place to anchor for protection from wind. They also told us where to tie up the dinghy when we go ashore and requested out of respect for the island residents we stay on the road when walking Jack. The picture is the road!

The first thing we noticed when anchored was all the sheep we could hear coming from the island! Apparently this is the spring and summer home of Waupoos Island Sheep!

We had a nice evening walk after dinner and saw a bunch of them out in this amazing field grazing naturally. Along our walk we also passed some beautiful cottages, an old chapel, and some uninhabited homes.

The wind has laid down and we are comfortably back on board relaxing after a long day. Except Jack, he's topside wondering if he can swim ashore to chase the sheep.

Field Day!

09 June 2024
Michelle Holdren
During our school years Field Day was a day outside with classes competing in races and having fun, it was always a day to look forward to. In the Navy "Field Day" is a day of deep cleaning, scrubbing, polishing, etc. Well, living on a boat our field days tend to mirror the Navy's version!

The wind is persisting at 15 - 20 knots so we remain safely tied up to a marina in Brighton, Ontario. Tomorrow it is supposed to lay some (settle down) so our intent is to leave then. Sadly we've learned from the locals that the Murray Canal going into the Bay of Quinte is choked with weeds and causing major issues for those trying to transit. Given the milder winter we had the lakes didn't freeze over and the weeds didn't fully die off, giving them a head start on spring growing. Several boats have had their engines overheat because the weeds quickly got sucked into their intake hose (pulls water in from the lake to keep the engine cool). One gentleman told us he overheated last week and had to sail out of the canal with an unfavorable wind. When he dove in to clean the weeds off his entire keel, rudder, and prop were fully entangled and it took him over an hour to clear them.

So we are making the "smart" choice and skipping most of the Bay of Quinte and going around the point. This map shows the blue dot is where we are, the yellow path was our intended route and the green path is what we've now decided to take. You'll see we are still dipping into the East end of the Bay of Quinte to anchor out for two days near Ram Island in Hay Bay.

So while we wait for the wind to subside, it's Field Day on Aquaholics Too! Kent is scrubbing away on the deck and Michelle is cleaning away down below. We live at the pleasure and whim of Mother Nature and as such patience is a virtue!
Vessel Name: Aquaholics Too
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter 41AC
Hailing Port: St Joseph, MI
Crew: Kent, Michelle and Jack
Kent and Michelle have been planning this retirement trip for a few years and worked hard this past winter to get Aquaholics Too, the house, and themselves ready! Jack ~ He still doesn't even know what hit him! He's always enjoyed boat life and is adjusting to it being permanent very well. [...]
Aquaholics Too's Photos - Main
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