Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Kingston to Trenton, Ontario
Tuesday, June 25, 2003
This a report from the "off the beaten path" department... Tonight we are docked at the very end of a long narrow (and deep) bay on the back side of Prince Edward Island in the village of Picton, Ontario, population 4000. We are in a cleft in the surrounding hills, the moon is full and fish are flopping lazily all around the boat. Other than the flops, there is hardly a sound anywhere.

Kingston, this morning, was a delight. This is a city that knows how to treat its visitors. The municipally operated Flora MacDonald Confederation Basin in the midst of downtown, is a world class marina. A visitors' center at the head of the docks is well staffed and has all the guide books and tee-shirts one could ever want. A block away, on Wellington Street, is a huge open-air farmers' market where we bought, among other things, a basket of "picked this morning" strawberries from Picton, Ontario... little knowing that we would be spending the night in that very same Picton!

We exchanged money at one of the several banks on Wellington, getting $1.50 Canadian for each $1.00 US. Good Deal!

One of the most interesting of the shops we visited was Vandervoort's hardware store on Princess Street... it wasn't just hardware! Everything you can imagine is there including, especially, The Bosun's Locker, where we bought some local charts and were treated to a graduate course in navigating the north channel, Georgian Bay and the Trent-Severn by the Bo'sun himself.

Then it was lunchtime. Pearce, as usual, found the best restaurant in town for lunch, Chez Piggy, a bricked courtyard oases filled with umbrella-ed tables, Acacia trees and grape arbors surrounded by buildings that you enter through a couple of alleys. Of course, the food was superb!
Disregarding the Float Plan (what float plan?) we left Kingston -- which never was on the float plan -- and headed west. The Adolphus Reach is an inland passageway a hundred feet deep and a mile wide, also called the north channel that snakes inside of Amherst and Prince Edward Islands for the seventy or eighty miles to the Bay of Quinte and Trenton, Ontario. The first half is a forty mile almost straight line leg that we left totally up to "Hal" (with Kay watching over him intently). The Simrad Autopilot people know their business and "Hal" performed precisely as programmed as did Kibon, who purred along at a comfortable 18 knot cruise. Thanks again, Silverton! (And Caterpiller!).

When it was time for "Hal" to turn right, we decided it was too close to cocktail hour, switched "Hal" off and turned left into a long hill-lined fiord that led to Picton at the "Tip of the Bay."

A cold Molson (Canadian, not the stuff they ship south) at a pub in the village, conversation with several locals, Pearce's grilled chicken Caesar salad for supper and a movie on the tape machine finished up a really nice day.

Tomorrow, Trenton and the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Picton is such a nice place to stay awhile we debated dallying over breakfast, but overcast and occasional rain showers convinced us to push on. It rained off and on most of the morning as "Hal" guided us through The Narrows of North Channel. Shoals on both sides of our track are well marked, but the width (or lack thereof) of the channel is why the passage is called "The Narrows." Radar is a definite asset here!

It seems there's still not much boat traffic hereabouts... summer really gets underway about July 1st which is Canada Day. This is the  weekend when Canadians turn out for barbecues and fireworks; we're looking forward to joining the celebration. We spotted one "old timer" passing by and couldn't resist circling, waving and taking her picture. We debated: is she a bark, a barkentine, or a what? Any suggestions???
Around lunchtime, Pearce decided it was time to top off the fuel tanks... or was it lunch that motivated him? We put in at Morch Marine, a full service marina with restaurant attached (according to "Hal") in Bellville, Ontario, a pretty good sized town on the mainland. Interesting breakwater here: they've wired together two "barges" of used tires, each about 50' by 300' and placed then staggered across the harbor entrance. Boats have to make a big S-turn around the tires coming and going, but it's a great surge stopper.

Diesel is pumped in liters and paid for (of course) in Canadian dollars. Lunchtime conversation centered mostly on how to figure out how much in US dollars per gallon equals 643 liters of fuel at $551.91 Canadian. We finally decided that's a bit pricey, but the restaurant was superb. The Funky Carp is worth the stop. (Are we eating our way across Canada?).

Trenton comes around the corner quickly when approaching from he east and we soon were docked at Fraser Park Marina where, after hooking everything up, the first order of business is a homemade ice cream cone! Best yet!

Kay and Marge supermarketed and laundermatted while Pearce and Gene spent an hour setting up the portable TV satellite dish along with the verbal encouragement and advice of numerous dockwatchers. We actually got the thing working only to find that Direct TV who was supposed to have turned on the account by June first hadn't. Therefore we could get all the pitches for pay-tv but no other channels! For two hours Pearce tried calling customer service and got only a busy signal. Some service!

At least, we keep busy.

Back to Log Index page for the next leg: The Trent-Severn.
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