Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Thousand Islands - Navy Islands to Collins Bay

The anticipated storm from the previous evening simply did not materialize and we wake up to another beautiful, sunny, but slightly cooler morning. Ana, the kids and I, board the dingy and motor into Mulcaster Island for a walk. This is one of the public islands that are maintained by the government, and it is indeed maintained amazingly well. A neat trail tracks around the entire island, and along the trail we find two campsites, an impeccably clean toilet facility, a huge bin of packaged firewood for sale, and some lovely vistas, perfect for selfies. But it’s quite obvious that the government is involved as the price of firewood is $6.80, payable in exact change or by cheque. Not five bucks. Not ten bucks. But $6.80? And nobody but a desk-chained bureaucrat who had never ventured into the bush would think it a good idea to expect campers to be carrying around a pile of change or cheques for firewood.

The Henriques take a turn exploring the island while we eat breakfast and get the boat prepped. We pull the anchor, along with a hundred pounds of weeds wrapped around it and I pick those off with the boat hook while Ana slowly navigates us out of the anchorage. There is a strong, north wind today, which has really cooled things off and we’re looking at a high of only 22 degrees instead of the 30 degree temperatures we have become accustomed to on this trip. After a short time at the helm I am freezing so I put on two shirts, a sweater, a jacket, wool socks and a hat, all of which help to block that brutal wind.

We motor all the way back from whence we came – past Gananoque, by the Admiralty Islands, through the Bateau Channel, past Kingston (which goes on forever), and finally end up in Collins Bay, our final destination, for a total of 34 miles for the day. We are clearly back in sailing land, as nearly all of the boats in the Collins Bay marina are sailboats, and we saw a large number of them sailing around Kingston.

Tony and I use the dingy to zip over to the marine store to get some gear oil for Bella Blue, while the girls and kids take a walk to explore the area and see what restaurant options they can find. We return to the dock before them so head up to the fly bridge on Cabin Fever for a round of beers and some Corb Lund on the stereo. I introduce Tony to one of my favourite Corb Lund songs “Hard on Equipment” which is all about the hired man on the farm, who is a great guy, but is real tough on the tools – here are some lyrics:

“Well it’s vice grips for pliers, and pliers for a wrench, a wrench for a hammer, hammers everything else.”

“He’s been roundin’ off bolts since the age of fourteen, was that a five eighths or a nine sixteenths?”

Well, Tony loves it, probably because he reminds him of his own days on the farm, jury-rigging everything insight, and I love it too because it reminds me of practically every maintenance job I’ve ever done on Bella Blue.

The marina is very well set up with great bathrooms and showers, a park for the kids, and even a floating club house that has a library, television, small kitchen facilities, and a rooftop patio. Once again, we see such a contrast between what so many other marinas are able to accomplish and what our home marina and its patrons settle for.

The ladies report that the restaurant options are limited so we put together a nice meal of vegetarian pasta and salads and enjoy it together in the clubhouse. We pull up the maps and do a little trip planning for the next few days and then it’s lights out.

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