Cape Vincent to Kingston
Posted on July 23, 2018
Tue, Jul 17. Departed Cape Vincent, NY and travelled up the Saint Lawrence River / Seaway to Clayton, NY. Many Loopers have commented on what a great little town it is and it did not disappoint. We opted to stay 2 nights at the marina to explore the town and area. Had lunch at the Wood Boat Brewery and toured the Wood Boat Museum. The water in the St. Lawrence is so clear which would seem unlikely with all the freighters passing by and all the boat traffic. Walked around the town and shops and later had dinner at O’Brien’s. Not very Irish, but good food. After 3 months on the boat, Bob has embraced this lifestyle and is now a “Rasta”.
Wed, Jul 18. We signed up for the Boldt Castle / 1000 Islands tour via the Clayton Islands tour company and it was really worthwhile. The tour boat took us through both the Canadian & US side of the 1000 Islands. Incredibly beautiful. We had read about navigating through all these islands (large granite rocks with houses on them) and decided it best to tour it with experienced local captains. Boldt Castle is not to be missed. Building of the castle started in 1899 until 1904. George Boldt built it for his beloved wife Louise and planned to give it to her on Valentine’s Day but tragically Louise died 2 months before at age 42. George never set foot on the grounds again and let it fall into disrepair. The 1000 Islands Bridge Authority bought it and has been restoring it to its original condition since 1920. Spectacular buildings and grounds.
Clayton was hosting a Charity Poker Run for the weekend and our marina was about to be invaded with 90 loud speed boats some of which had already arrived and were taking practice runs. Fun to watch but the deafening noise .
Thur/ Fri, Jul 19-20. Departed Clayton Marina and headed to an anchorage in one of the 1000 Islands – Picton Island. Beautiful quiet setting so we decided to stay 2 nights. Swam, relaxed, toured the 1000 Islands via both our dinghy and the Tiara. We took the Tiara back up to the Boldt Castle area and toured the many islands. The boat traffic on the St. Lawrence and in the American Narrows was very busy (the racers kept whizzing by us at 50 mph or so) in the seaway.and it was Friday so we headed back to our quiet spot. At our anchorage and nearby we were treated to Loons & Swans.
Sat/ Sun, Jul 21-22. Departed Picton Island and made our way to Kingston, Ontario, CA where we would clear customs and start our visit through Canada. Tried getting into two marinas that were closer into the downtown area but they were completely full. Landed a slip at Portsmouth Olympic Harbor Marina which is about 1.5 miles from the downtown area and next door to the closed Kingston Penitentiary (now a museum). Kingston was the original capital of Canada. During the war of 1812, the capital was moved to Ottawa for fear the Americans would invade and the Rideau Canal was built for travel between the two cities.
In the afternoon, we took an Uber to Grecos Restaurant and Wine Bar and ate at the bar as there was an hour wait for a table. Trip Advisor had it listed as one of the Top Ten restaurants in the area and it didn’t disappoint. Excellent food and service. Johnathan, the son-in-law to the owner, was as congenial as they come. Even treated us to a delicious dessert on the house as a “Welcome to Canada” offering. Afterwards, we walked around the bustling downtown area full of restaurants and shops.
On Sunday, we took an Uber into town and had lunch at Dianne’s Seafood House down by Confederation Park. Food and service excellent and enjoyed talking to Chris the bartender as we dined at the bar. Afterwards, we walked to the grocery store and hailed an Uber back to the boat. Tomorrow we start our adventure on the historic Rideau Canal and make our way through 45 locks to Ottawa.