top of page

June 21-28 Oswego, NY to Trenton, ON

June 21 Oswego to Clayton, NY We left Oswego to cross our first Great Lake, Lake Ontario on a nice calm day. After a couple hours on the fly bridge (finally!), we entered the St. Lawrence River, but the buoys were reversed with red on left leaving, even though we were entering. Since we were going in to the Thousand Islands (of granite), knowing which side of the buoys to go on seemed important!

Turns out that Lake Ontario is the headwaters of the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean is the mouth, so from the river's point of view we were returning. It was 30 miles up the across the lake and another 20 miles down river to Clayton, NY, where we had an outside slip with a great view over looking the river and its islands. Had an phenomenal sunset.

The constant pace of a new port every day has started to become draining, and we decided to spend another night in Clayton, which is a charming town. We explored it using our electric scooters, which was fun. We also took the advice of the looper boat docked beside us to take the Clayton River Boat tour to Boldt Castle on Heart Island.

Mr. Bolt, a hotelier including the Waldorf Astoria, built a castle for his wife, with a motif of hearts everywhere. However, she died when it was only 2/3rd finished and he stopped construction. He did have three absolutely enormous boat houses built (only one is left today) for his fleet of 60 boats. Nobody ever finished it or lived in it before it became a museum. The finished two floors of the castle were ornate reminding us of The Breakers" mansion by the Vanderbilts.

The ride to and from the castle was equally fascinating as we learned about who lived in what houses amongst the many, many islands. Everyone from Pullman (trains), McNally (maps) and a famous Canadian hockey player. One island would have a cottage (around 600 sq ft) and the next island would have a Victorian house of 6,000 sq ft.

June 23 Clayton to Chippewa Bay, NY The following morning, we toured the antique boat museum, which had absolutely gorgeous boats provoking many oohs and sighs from both Jason and Nancy. We also toured Bolt's House Boat, the Duchess, which was pretty fancy too!

Jason was not happy with the number of dead bugs on the boat. At night there are swarms of non-biting bugs, but you can feel them on you at night and many die or get stuck to the boat by the morning dew. We couldn't get a slip in any of the marinas in the Bay of Alexandria (on a weekend) so we headed down the river and anchored out amongst the islands in Chippewa Bay, NY.

Choosing a spot to anchor proved challenging because of the 30-40 ft depths surrounding the islands. Nancy thought we could anchor in some of the 6-8 ft spots but it turns out those were within a boat length of an island, also none of the islands seemed to have easy dinghy access for Radar.

We ended up carefully winding our way further into the island group and anchoring in 6 feet of water (which was really 10 ft of water since the lake level this summer is up about 4 feet). Jason had doubts about how well our anchor was going to hold on a rock bottom. Nancy felt more confident but was glad it was a forecasted to be a calm night. Nancy baked some pork chops for dinner and we had another great sunset.

However, it turns out that we anchored one island over from a boat launch and had a constant stream of small boats passing by very closely to get through the inlet for it. Radar once again held out from noon until 8 am the following day before using the pee pad. We barrage him with praise and treats each time he goes!

Nancy woke up at 2 am and looked over at the depth finder we put in the master cabin. It was reading 6 to 7 feet as it was supposed to until it dropped to depths of 2 and 3 feet. The anchor drag alarm hadn't gone off but Nancy woke Jason anyway. The boat had not dragged anchor, so it must have been schools of fish. It happened another two times throughout the night, keeping Nancy from getting much rest.

June 24 Chippewa Bay to Kingston, NY In the morning, one of the two anchor alarms did go off when the boat flipped 180 degrees due to a light breeze, prompting a 7 am discussion of did we or didn't we drag. We finally decided just to get up. Jason believes we dragged 6-7 feet and recaught. Nancy thinks we just had the alarm set for too small a radius. The boat was absolutely covered in bugs and because of a light rain the bugs were stuck to the decks. This was very traumatizing to Jason, who not only passionately hates bugs, but freaks out at anything that may possibly dirty the boat.

Jason rinsed off the main deck, but Nancy thought that most of the bugs on the flybridge would fly off once the boat sped up. We motored over past a couple islands and docked at Singer Castle of the sewing machine fortune. Supposedly he had lied to his wife and told her that he was building a small hunting lodge. The tour was great, with lots of secret tunnels and passages.

We had a beautiful and scenic trip through the islands on the Canadian side of the thousand islands, heading back upriver to the city of Kingston, our last major population center for about 500 miles or a month of cruising. Jason rinsed down the flybridge (Nancy's theory had been incorrect) and after brief naps, ate at a steak house a couple blocks away, stopping on the way back to have "beaver tails" for dessert, a Canadian fried dough delight.

The next morning, Nancy took Radar to explore the city (looking for a birthday present for Jason), while he tackled a laundry list of small fixes (removing hair clogging the shower drain, installing a toilet paper holders, reorganizing the overwhelming number of toiletries we brought on the boat, (Jason brought enough to last the year!). He also did a thorough engine check up.

June 26 Kingston to Trenton, ON

We had a nice ride up the Bay Of Quinte, which was weird for being a bay in the shape of a Z. However, the scenery was pretty and it was a nice enough day to be on the fly bridge.

We stopped at Meyers Marina in Belleville for diesel, the lowest price we could find for miles. Unfortunately, it was still was the 2nd most expensive place we have gotten diesel in 5 years. Nancy immediately regretted speeding up to 14 knots for a couple hours to push on to Trenton. Turns out in Canada, they fuel for you and they won't let you stay on the boat (I guess in case the boat explodes).

Their pump was very slow and it took almost an hour to fuel and pump out. While we were waiting, we noticed water periodically spurting out a thru hole. When we got back on the boat, Jason checked and we had water spurting all over the engine room. Fortunately, it turned out to be the anchor washdown hose, which is non-vital and could be turned off.

As we left the marina, going our usual 8 knots, we noticed rain clouds on the horizon. We checked our weather apps and the severe thunderstorm was going to hit an hour before we arrived at the marina. Nancy, sped up, painfully aware of how much each minute at 14 knots was costing, but reasoning the bill for fiberglass work if we crashed while docking in 30kts wind would be more.

We arrived at the marina with the storm on our heels and had a hard time communicating by radio with the marina--it was too broken up. Fortunately, once we got within 100 feet of the marina, communications were restored. Nancy and Jason both missed the 3 ft tall red sign saying Dock G, but did notice the staff out at the end of the dock. We tied up, just as the first drops started to fall. The wind and rain onslaught came 2 minutes later while Jason was trying to hook up electric, leaving a pretty soggy Jason. After the storm, Jason tried to wash the bugs off the boat, but they were everywhere and were sticking to the wet boat.

Trenton turns out to have 2 hardware stores, and a Napa auto store. Jason was able to find the hose fitting at the Napa store that was a 15 minute walk away. We decided to stay another day to allow Jason time to fix the hose, which was of course a pain to reach requiring much disassembly. However, after several hours, the hose was repaired and the engine room was back to its original state. Nancy did a full grocery trip and stocked up on supplies at the drug store. Our outside slip meant that the walk to shore was a loooong way, making walking Radar a pain (see below our boat in the far distance).

Next Up is the 240 mile long Trent Severn Waterway!



bottom of page