I really do enjoy writing for our blog, however, you would never say it, by the amount of posts I put here giving updates on our travels. Such is life I guess, with the demands of work, and leisure for that matter.
The biggest news is that the C-Shel has left the Rideau. Last year, given all the talk of the mismanagement of the system by Parks Canada, we thought there might be a mass exodus of boaters off the system to the 1000 islands, St. Lawrence River. This we thought, would cause a shortage of available dock space in the 1000 Islands region, so we decided to get ahead of the game and put our name on the 3 year waiting list at Gananoque Municipal Marina. So instead of 3 years going by, about half a year did. Gan Marina called us and said we have a slip on a set of new docks that are going to replace the break wall, it will have a wonderful view, and will be ready for spring 2014. Since we are the type of people who seem to thrive on change we decided to take the slip. I am able to live and work aboard for the summer, so commuting from Ottawa to Gananoque wouldn't be an issue, it seemed like the right thing to do.
We took a week vacation at the end of May to bring the boat down the Rideau to Gananoque. We only needed a weekend, but wanted to take our time and fully enjoy and say goodbye to the river system that gave us so many memories over the last 15 years. The Rideau was like a ghost town at the end of May. Very few boats, and we even stayed as the only boat at the ever popular Davis Lock. Our only company was a family of Geese tending to their Goslings.
After saying good bye to the Rideau, we stopped into Kingston's Confederation Basin for provisions and some eating out, then the next day off to Milton Island for the night. We rarely stop at Milton, it is usually packed. This time however, we had the island to ourselves. The water looked inviting for a swim, clean and clear. However, one touch and that idea soon dissipated. The water temp was much colder that the Rideau. About 12.5 degrees celcius, the Rideau at that time was around 16-17 degrees. I know this first hand because I fell in during our trip down the Rideau...
While on a mooring at Colonel By Island, on Big Rideau Lake, I decided to take a kayak ride in the cool calm evening to take some video. We had just purchased a new Hobie i9s inflatable Kayak and we were still smitten with the novelty of it, using it whenever we had the chance. I was a little over confident in the stability of the kayak, I laid Cyndi's Canon HD Camcorder with expensive wide angle lens attached on the Kayak before getting on from the swim platform of the boat. Stepping aboard the kayak a little to much to one side I immediately knew I was in trouble. In the millisecond it took for the boat to flip I was already thinking about my wife's video camera, the very video camera that was used to take all the videos on our YouTube Channel. As I was completely submerged and my body going into shock from the cold water, especially my lower extremities, I managed to swipe my hands a few times to see if I could miraculously get ahold of the video camera. No such luck. As Cyndi came out of the boat after hearing the splash I made on entry, she could do nothing but laugh, and continued to even after I told her I had lost her video camera. I had a hoodie and pants on so I looked like a drowned rat. I promised we would get another camera, and that was that.
...Back at Milton, with the fresh memory of how cold the Rideau felt, there was no way I would enter the St. Lawrence River on purpose in May.
The next morning with a cruise though the thick fog down the Bateau Channel, we arrived at our new home base for the summer of 2014 in Gananoque.
C-Shel Docked at Milton Island
Now that it is the end of July, do we regret out move? Not in the slightest. Just as the Rideau is a boaters paradise in its own way, so is the 1000 Islands. So many places to go, so many anchorages, the water is beautiful, and we are having a blast. A few weeks after the video camera incident, we bought a new GoPro Hero 3+. The 1000 Islands video below is the result. I think Cyndi is glad I lost that camera overboard.
Update Jan 2015 - YouTube has removed this video because it contained copyrighted music. We are reworking the video and will update when complete.
Though we have plans on another boat to get us down the intra-coastal and to the Bahamas, I don't think we will give up our dock at Gan. We will more than likely be back up here for the summer months to enjoy the world class freshwater boating Eastern Ontario has to offer.