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
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
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.
At least, we keep busy.
Back to Log Index page for the
next leg: The Trent-Severn.