The best $29 (USD) I ever spent

August 24, 2019

Real time.  (And the reason I say that in out of sequence posts is when I eventually post photos taken in the recent or distant past I try to show the actual date they were taken, not the posting date)

Friday was a travel day as I left Ottawa, Ontario and traveled several hours southwest to Toronto, the last Canadian stop of this trip (boo-hoo).

Along the way I made a stop which I will remember as one of the top highlights of this trip (and there have been many highlights).  I stopped in Gananoque (pronounced gannon-AQUA) and went on a 2 1/2 hour boat tour of an area called the Thousand Islands.  This is an area in the St. Lawrence River which has, as the name indicates, an abundance of islands, some large and some small, and is actually a Canadian National Park.  I will elaborate more on this in future posts but this is just a “tease post” to ensure that you will stay tuned to see more later.


Gananoque is in the upper right corner of the photo above and after the ride was over I got back on Highway 401 and drove west of Kingston, then dropped south to Route 33 which ran along the water for quite a ways.  I used yet another small ferry and continued on Route 33 back up to Route 401 in Trenton where I proceeded on to Toronto.  It was a beautiful drive and after I passed the little town of Picton I was in “wine country”.

This is a ship almost identical to the one I was riding on as we sailed from Gananoque:


Ours was a tad bigger, with an extra level, but I didn’t get a photo of it.  Just imagine that the spiral staircase on the left actually starts at the deck above it and goes up to one more enclosed level.  I sat on a bench seat right next to that staircase and could stand or sit and take photos left or right as the targets dictated.  The staircase, and the people periodically going up and down it were, surprisingly, never much of a hindrance.


That’s my backpack tucked under the spiral staircase.

My digital camera has a viewing screen which tilts so I may hold the camera high over my head yet tilt the screen downward and see exactly what the photo will be.  That is how I took many of these shots.  Without that feature this trip, and these photos, wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable.

One of the neatest things we saw during the ride was Boldt Castle, on a private island on the New York side of the St. Lawrence River.  Gananoque isn’t far from New York State (as the seagull flies) and most of the tour boats actually operate from the NY side, as you will see in a moment.  But first, a tease of Boldt Castle, construction of which began in 1900:


Below is “just” the Power House, a structure set out in the river with generators which provided power to the island back in the day:


And nearby on another island is the Boldt Yacht House, thank you very much:


I took so many photos during the first hour and a half of the ride that I actually filled the memory card in my camera (double boo-hoo) so I had to rely on my smartphone for photos of the last hour.

We had a little excitement during the trip, too.  Shortly after the digital stopped working I nudged the woman standing next to me, pointed, and said “I think one of us needs to change course pretty soon,” not referring to her and I but to our boat and the boat which was getting ready to cross right in front of us.  Our boat was traveling lower left to upper right in the photo:


This all happened very quickly.  The photo above was taken at 1:04:07 pm.

The photo below was taken at 1:04:20, just 13 seconds later.  And this is not a zoom shot or trick, it was now that close.


And just 7 seconds after THAT, at 1:04:27


I’m quite sure that this violates maritime safety rules and I suspect the captain of that ship, based in New York State, is in big trouble.   As far as I could tell our boat never adjusted it’s course or speed.



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