Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We had a very unusual wakeup call this morning. At 5:45 a.m. we were roused by a full marching band playing from the shore where the Royal Military College stands. We looked out the companionway to see what the ruckus was all about and we saw at least 100 swimmers crossing the bay from the Fort Henry side. It was a very surreal scene. We figured that it was some sort of college initiation and we went back to bed. I wish now that I hadn’t been so sleepy and had taken a picture of this event.
By mid-morning we were packed up and ready to go the 12 nautical miles to Beaurivage, National Park, Thousand Islands.
First we wanted to get fuel so we headed to the Kingston Yacht Club to refuel. I used the VHF radio for the first time since getting my radio licence and called ahead to ask about coming in. KYC gave us the go ahead. When we got to the entrance of the marina, we were swamped by about a dozen small sailboats, sails up, being sailed by 8 to 10 year old kids! Sailing school was in! The attendants hadn’t warned us about this so we slowly ran the gauntlet to the fuel pumps. I was terrified of knocking one of the little gaffers over. (I wish I had a picture to insert here but I was too busy to grab my camera at the time!!)
We needed another gas can for dinghy gas so I took one of our bikes to the popular Vandervoort Hardware about 1 kilometre away.
The route to Beaurivage was up the narrow Bateau Channel of the St. Lawrence River so it wasn’t suited for sailing but we had a very peaceful, enjoyable motor ride. Again, it’s hard to imagine such primitive nature so close to the big cities. Actually, there is the aspect of remoteness but there are also a lot of expensive, mansion-like homes/cottages along the way.
We found the perfect little anchorage with about 6 other sailboats, right behind Beaurivage Island, a national park. This area really reminds Rick and me of Six Mile Lake in the northern Ontario Muskoka area where we used to camp and rent cottages with the kids. We love this spot.
We’ve seen a lot of hawks, blue herons and loons. I especially didn’t expect to see loons so close to civilization and at first both Rick and I thought these birds were cormorants. Upon closer inspection we saw their dotted necklaces and we’ve heard their unique calls. It’s been a thrill to see them and they are another reminder of Northern Ontario.
There’s a lot of boat traffic going by in the channel next to our bay, and there are a few cottages nearby. A few times a day one of the big excursion boats showing tourists the Thousand Islands also goes by us. Even so, we feel like we are truly in vacation country and feel right at home.
One of the first things I did after we anchored was to go for a swim. The only disadvantage to anchoring in Navy Bay the previous two days was the lack of privacy for freshening up and swimming off the sailboat. It felt great to swim.
In the evening we did some exploring with the dinghy. We are really appreciating the luxury of a reliable dinghy and motor and we are taking full advantage of it.
Next time I plan to write about our experiences at the nearby town of Gananoque. Stay tuned if you want to learn more about this small Ontario tourist town.