Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Seeing Red

We always keep an eye to the sky when we are out boating. However, storms can sneak up on us on Lake George since it is surrounded by mountains. That is exactly what happened to us a few days ago. With only a 20% chance of rain, we headed down to our favorite spot in the Mother Bunch Islands. We anchored for lunch and thankfully Dave dove the anchor, securing it around a rock (the bottom is hard with poor holding).  That's when a dark cloud peaked its head over the western shore mountain and we watched it for awhile trying to determine which way the rain was headed, hoping it was going south to north away from us. I even checked the radar and it showed clear skies (amazing there is cell/internet out there). As it became larger, it looked to encompass the whole northern lake, so I knew there was no sense in trying to race back to Ticonderoga. Just as I looked up again and exclaimed to Dave that this one cloud had switched direction and was moving really fast from north to south, a chilly north wind kicked in and a squall hit. Other boats were dragging anchor, but with being hooked around a rock, we stayed put, which was good because we were just a few feet from the rocky shore. We were getting pummeled with rain though, when Dave remembered Moxie's boat cover was on board.  We hid under it for about half an hour, laughing like crazy (and seeing red!), until the storm passed and the sun came out again.

Luckily there was no thunder until after it passed, so I think this storm formed over our heads. We figured that we better head back north and a little closer to the launch ramp, which worked in our favor. The sky darkened again, so we bypassed swimming at the Waltonian Islands. Shortly after we hauled out Moxie, another squall hit. We sure got all 20% of the much needed rain, but please not on my head!😉

Saturday, July 14, 2018

By Land and Sea

During our stay in the Thousand Islands we explored by land and by sea. By land we took Gulliver out to Cape Vincent and the Tibbits Point Lighthouse. This is where the river meets Lake Ontario. It still amazes us to see all the huge wind generators on Wolfe Island.

By sea, we used both the kayaks and the Sea Fox, sometimes both in the same day. We have found that kayaking is much better early in the morning before the wind picks up, especially since there is so much current to contend with. Of course we love getting through the tightest places.

The morning that we went out to the Rock Island Lighthouse, the current was really screaming, so we ducked into their boathouse.

How many people get to paddle inside a shipwreck? 

We saw lots of bird life, especially loons.

Up Otter Creek, we came across a couple of families of Canadian Geese in the marsh.

Dave's pike...nope, he didn't catch it, just found it floating. He doesn't look too thrilled about touching it. 😉

Speaking of fishing, this little aluminum skiff was certainly outfitted to the hilt...

We would have loved to watch the owners shoehorn this boat into the boathouse.

The end of a perfect adventure. The Antique Boat Museum's auction is coming up in August so we'll be doing it all over again. I think Dave is ready now...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Holy Cow!!!

Holy Cow (!!!) was the name of one of the Poker Run boats we saw, but it also describes the whole "Thunder On the Bay" experience. Keewaydin State Park has one of the biggest launch ramps in the area and can handle the many boats that come for this Poker Run America event. That's why we planned on camping there for the first few nights of our trip. What fun it was to watch these boats come in, launch, and start up their boats!

At one point we were out on the road and saw this catamaran sideways on its trailer and made a quick U-turn to go back to the park, because we knew that was where it was headed. What a rig and boat this was!

It hydraulically righted itself to become flat and ready for being put in the water.

The owner did all the work himself and he was such a normal guy, talking freely to us about the boat and his addiction to boating. In fact many of these boat owners were just normal people (many with families on board) with a bit of money to spend on what they love to do.

Friday evening and Saturday morning we walked the docks in Alexandria Bay, looking at all the different boats. They certainly are diverse and there is a vast array of powerful engines.

There was even the biggest Boston Whaler we have ever seen...a 42 foot Outrage with 4-350 outboards on it!

We talked to the skipper of the pace boat about where the turbine engine Aqua-Mania was, because we hadn't seen it, but he said that they were having some issues. What a bummer because Alex Bay is this popular boat's home port.

The only twin turbine powered canopy boat on hand was My Way and the dock was literally packed with people waiting to hear it spool up to start. It needs that enclosed canopy area, because it has been clocked at going 242 mph!

I loved seeing the heat rising from the jet exhaust as the boat made its way out to the start of the run.

There were spectators galore too, and the boats all did a parade lap behind the pace boat past the park where we were (I'm glad we were on land and not kayaking). Then the green flag was up and they were off towards Ogdensburg, then back to Clayton and finishing back at Alex Bay.

You couldn't miss the helicopter in hot pursuit!

Here is a quick video to give you an idea of the experience as they pass by Boldt Castle. Listen closely and you can hear the turbine.

On Sunday when we were kayaking, we got to see all the boats head back to the launch ramp. What a great event to come up to the 1000 Islands for! I think that there was even more enthusiasm this year because the poker run had to be cancelled last year due to the high water and flooding. We'll be back!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Ships

We saw more ships this time during our 5 days on and in the St. Lawrence Seaway, than we have any other trip. It seemed like every time we looked up, there was another one either upbound to Lake Ontario or downbound to Montreal. I know this sounds opposite of what it actually is, but that's because up and down depends on the river flowage and current. It still amazes us to be in such close quarters with these huge vessels, especially since they are traversing in fresh water. At the Grass Point Campground we could even lay in bed and watch them go by. Below are several of the different ships we saw. My favorite is the last one that passed by the Keewaydin State Park Marina. Enjoy, and the poker run boats will be in my next post!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Back From T.I.

What a great time we had camping in the Thousand Islands. 

We stayed in two different state parks, Keewaydin with its gigantic pool and nice launch ramp (where the poker run boats were launched), and then Grass Point with its view of the St. Lawrence River and ships...plus fantastic kayaking. I will be splitting up my posts when we get back to my computer in Ticonderoga and I download the photos from my new camera. Get ready for photos of ships and wildly fast boats!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th Of July

We hope you are enjoying this Independence Day week. We took one last swim at the Waltonian Islands today and I snapped this photo before the lake got busy. It's hard to believe it's a holiday from the lack of boats...that all quickly changed though.

We have now regrouped at home and are ready to head to the 1000 Islands in Gulliver. Time to see freighters and race boats, and of course more clear water. We have the Sea Fox in tow with the kayaks in the boat. Stay tuned for more adventure stories!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Heat Wave

Summer has come on strong with the hottest temps in years. Lake George and its clear cool water beckons us. Yesterday we never even realized it was 98 degrees back on land in Ticonderoga....until we got back to the launch ramp. We have our special spot down in the Mother Bunch Islands where small state camping islands surround us, preventing most of the wakes from rocking us at anchor.

And wakes there were on this busy Sunday! It was one of the busiest days I have ever seen on the lake, but normally we tend to stay off the water on the weekends. We certainly didn't want to do that with these high temps. The cool water took awhile to get used to...unless you are Dave who dives right in. With a laser thermometer, the surface temp when we arrived at noon was 72.5 degrees, with a thermocline of about 5 degrees colder 3" down. By the time we left in late afternoon, the surface temp was 78 degrees, which was much better, yet still very refreshing, to say the least. The next few days will be more of the same and we will either be in Moxie, the SeaDoo, or perhaps at the town beach. Stay cool everyone!