We made it.
16 July 2016 | Admiralty Islands, St. Lawrence river
Wow, what a trip. Not the distance of the loop, but more stress. What was originally planned as a 6-8 week trip to explore the Thousands Islands was reduced to 4 weeks. We did get to do some exploring, but not as much as we would have liked.
The Thousand Islands proved to be a mixture of cottages and isolated areas, looking across the river on both sides to mansion sized homes. What a deviation from the North Channel of Lake Huron with it's quiet isolation and miles of unspoiled wilderness. The national park systems of Canada and the United states have made great efforts to protect the environment and make the area cruiser friendly. Parks Canada has created hundreds of small 5 dock free marina's that cruisers can use, there are hundreds of isolated anchorages, but on the weekends, they are crowded with boats of all kinds. We would like to explore more, but it is time to head back. We did find that the area has great sailing, and it is not unusual to see a Yacht Club that is 80% sailboats. On our trip back from Gananoque to Picton, we encountered multiple sail races and dozens of cruising sailboats plying the 16 knot winds in the sheltered Bay of Quinte.
Like the North Channel of Lake Huron, depths change rapidly from 180 feet to 6, in distances of 50 feet or less. Anchoring takes planning.
One thing we are sorry we missed is the Sunday "Service in the Sea". The multi denominational service is conducted in the water, with the boats being the pews. It is in an ancient sink hole with 30 feet of water less than 50 feet from shore.
The communities that neighbor the thousand islands are quaint and welcoming as the picture shows, there is an abundance of good food and treats to keep any cruiser happy. We started back to Cleveland, and will be searching out more small communities, we have decided if our old legs cannot get us around a town, it is too big.
Fair winds and following seas.
Ed and EJ