We have been doing this for six of the last seven years, and we
enjoy the opportunity for some "quality time" with them. Without the
size and comfort of our Catalina 400, such a cruise would be
difficult, to say the least.
The "Thousand Islands" (actually there are many, many more than
1000) provide great cruising grounds, via marinas and the New York
State and Parks Canada island parks. Depending of the island, there
are moorings, docks and or anchoring opportunities, along with
camping, pit toilets, hiking and of course, swimming.
To avoid having the grandchildren endure an 11.5 hour, 75nm trip
across Lake Ontario and into the St. Lawrence River, Jeff and I cast
off about 7:30am from our home port on Great Sodus Bay, New York
bound for Gananoque, Ontario. Joyce, Tina, and the kids went by car
and met us. Gananoque is a fine starting point for a vacation in the
Islands. We arrived at the marina about 7:30pm.
The next day we were underway early, in order to find a spot on
one of the very popular park islands. Endymion is one of the Parks
Canada islands we have enjoyed, since chartering back in the 1980's.
Having found space and secured the boat on the dock at Endymion, the
kayak and RIB dinghy were launched and the fun began. Here Jim, with
Jeff and the grandkids, start a ride in the "dink".
One aspect of such cruising is the other boaters we meet. In this
case, four sailboats from the Toronto, Ontario area were on the dock
with us. Three of the four had children, several of which were near
the ages of our grandchildren. This made for a very nice time. The
kids all got acquainted quickly, as did the adults. One day, the
"adults" had a water volleyball game. The players put their life
jackets on like diapers, which held them higher in the water
enabling better and harder swings at the ball. Everyone had a great
and exhausting time. Of course, fishing is popular with all ages, as
shown here – Emily, Will and Tina are trying their luck. Actually, a
few small fish were caught, but returned to the river. The water rem
perature in mid-summer gets into the 70's, and everyone enjoys it,
as Joyce and Emily can attest.
One might ask how the six of us manage on the Catalina 400 for a
week. Actually is it quite comfortable. The grandkids sleep forward,
and we break the salon table down into a near queen-sized bed. Jeff
and Tina sleep there and Joyce and Jim are aft. Since we have a full
enclosure for the cockpit, we in essence have another room. We eat
all of the meals there, even if it is raining.
The St. Lawrence River is a wonderful place to cruise. It serves
as part of the international border, between New York State and the
Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Although it is a river
flowing to the Atlantic Ocean, there is litrle current as it
traverses through the 1000 Islands area. Cities like Kingston,
Gananoque and Brockville, Ontario and Clayton, Cape Vincent and
Alexandria Bay, New York have many activities and provisioning is
So, for those who seek adventure and relaxation at the eastern
end of Lake Ontario, make sure you enjoy the Thousand Islands.
The St. Lawrence River is a
wonderful place to cruise. It serves as part of the international
border, between New York State and the Provinces of Ontario and
Quebec, Canada. Although it is a river flowing to the Atlantic
Ocean, there is little current as it traverses through the 1000
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