Friday, August 22, 2014

The Main Event

We thought that we were going to miss the Antique Race Boat Regatta Weekend in Clayton, but luckily they were having demonstrations and fly-bys on Friday too. It was a different venue than we were used to seeing when we go for the auction, but it was so interesting and not so crowded. There were many different classes of boats, some of which were staged on the museum's grounds and taken to the launch ramp by tractor.

Others were in the parking lot and launched by crane. 

These boats have large crews that attend to them, and as soon as they start up they are gone, since they have no neutral and are already in gear.

You can imagine the noise that these make, but it's the sound and rumble that Dave loves.

This event was not an official race (but you knew these competitors were trying!), and the tradition is for the drivers to wave at the crowd as they fly by on their last lap. Of course the spectators all reciprocate with waves and cheers.

 There was even a company doing aerial photography by drones taking movies of this great event.

While the drivers and crew took a lunch break, the pits were opened up to the public, since the crane was not in use. These boats are works of art and so diverse.

This boat had a Ford Pinto engine in it! Dave recognized the engine right away. We used to drive Pintos when we were first married, but they sure didn't sound like this...or look like it either!

Unfortunately when the same boat went out, it had some kind of rudder failure or leak and started taking on water. They all have floatation in the bow so they don't completely sink. Luckily there was a rescue crew standing by.

It had to be brought back to the dock and flipped right side up with the help of a diver and lots of crew, then hauled back out with the crane. At least it was in fresh water so hopefully that Pinto engine wasn't damaged too badly.

This mishap caused everything to be put on hold until the rescue boats could get back on the course. We waited for quite some time, but had to leave early to head back across the mountains about mid afternoon because I am a bit paranoid about deer and moose, especially after dark. We missed some of the best boats and 'races' (or would that be non-races?), and even though I was a bit leery about going to this possibly (?!) loud event, once I saw how interesting it was, I was actually a bit disappointed that we couldn't stay the whole time. All in all, it was the perfect ending to a fantastic 48 hours in the Thousand Islands!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Full Day of Fun, Surprises, and Current

We may go away, but the computer is always with us. I just happened to be checking estate sales on Craig's list and to my surprise, featured in the Albany section, was an ad for a sale at Reed's Garage in Fisher's Landing, which is between Alexandria Bay and Clayton. It also happened to be right near where we wanted to kayak. We were the second person to arrive and what an amazing place! It was filled with marine items and mostly very old outboard engines of all types. The owners were wonderful and even quite comical, and they allowed us to check out any garage, outbuilding, or storage container that had its doors open.

Some of the outboards were old ones abandoned, others were used for parts, and from the looks of things, some were even still being worked on in the shop.

This was quite a parts bin from an old hardware store. The drawers were triangular.

They even had their vintage hydroplane race boat hanging from the ceiling. There were tons of trophies everywhere so they must have won a lot of regattas.

The whole property oozed 'family history' and we felt like were in a television show.

We didn't end up buying anything, but the experience was priceless. We could have spent hours exploring but we (I) really wanted to go kayaking too. I draggggged(!) Dave away and we headed to Grass Point State Park, where there was a great campground, marina, and launch ramp.

  The Thousand Island Bridge is in the background.

This why it's called Grass Point. It looks serene but there's lots of current from the river everywhere.
Mahogany in front of the lighthouse.I think we've stepped back in time yet again!

Some day we will come back and check out Rock Island Lighthouse.

How would you like to have this old steel hulk in your yard? I know Dave would!

 Having a problem with the phone on your island? Verizon will make a service call to fix it.

What a great replica of the bridge across the St. Lawrence to Canada.

Time to stow the kayak, hop in the Sea Fox skiff, and head into Canadian waters. What a pretty area, but the current absolutely flies between the little islands.

Dave's favorite house complete with vintage wooden boat.

The Gananoque tour boat

Quite a cottage perched on this rock!

Heading under the Thousand Island Bridge and you can see the current racing.

We entered the International Rift the opposite way that we usually do, motoring between Canada and the U.S.

I'm glad we didn't meet a boat coming the other way at this narrow choke point.

The rift led us to the main channel and we headed back to the motel at Alex Bay. Time to walk the docks and rest up for the next day's main event at the Antique Boat Museum. Coming of the Antique Race Boat Regatta!