Friday, June 18, 2010

200 Classic wooden Boats. WOW!

Our trip to Clayton NY was something Anna and I have been thinking about since we left Nantucket. Clayton is home to the Wooden Boat Museum, an exhibit that would be hard to find anywhere else in the United States if not the world. The boats are exquisite. If you were to measure all the teak and varnish in terms of miles I think we could almost make it home. Ed looked like a little kid drooling over the old engines and wooden speed boats. Not to many years ago he had restored a Jersey skiff, a 17 foot flat bottom speed boat with a direct drive 400 horsepower engine. "Make sure the boat is pointed the right way, turn the key and hold on for dear life" was how he described it. The engine is positioned in the middle of the boat leaving room for the driver back at the transom. Ed laughed as he told us of his two rides in the boat after its completion. He said he topped out at about 80 t0 90 miles per hour, put her back on the trailer and said to himself "OK I did it, but if I keep doing it I think it will kill me". He sold it soon after and on the buyers test run he didn't dare give it all she's got. Our stay in Clayton was delightful, the town is wonderful, many of the restaurants have views of the river and the shops are filled with things related to the 1000 Islands. At the end of the town we came across a great pub which had some of the best wings I have ever had. I joked that you know you are in a great place when the special board starts with, "Three draft beers and a basket of wings 12.99." In the morning we said our sad goodbyes and saw Ed off. We had a great visit with him, he made a great addition to the crew. With bad weather on it's way Anna and I decided to make a run for Canada. If we were going to be stuck for a few days, we wanted it to be in a spot where we could enjoy the sights. So Kingston Ontario it is. On our crossing, we could not have been in Canada more than a mile when Anna spotted a huge Canadian Coast Guard Cutter off to our port side hidden in a cove between to islands. Wow we thought what a cool ship. "Look, it looks like it is launching an inflatable over the side". "Wow it's coming right by us, they got ski goggles on and are really flying" "Man they look like the Navy Seals." "Wait what's he signaling?" "Cut my engines?" Suddenly Anna looked at me like an officer on the bridge in the movie "The Hunt For The Red October" "I think they intend on boarding us" she said. Board us they did, and was I glad I had asked our friends at Coast Guard Station Brant Point to give us an inspection before we left. In the end they were extremely polite and professional, they even gave us a recommendation on where to eat in Kingston. As they sped off Anna and I joked, welcome to Canada! Or arrival to Kingston was just in time, the winds picked up and we tucked ourselves up in our bunk feeling safe and cozy. In the morning we awoke to some stiff winds but sunny skies. Kingston is a cool city, many of the buildings are constructed of Sandstone. Americans refer to it as the Annapolis of Canada. After spending a day here, we have decided to stay a second. There are to be free concerts in the parks tonight and the weather is out of this world. We could not ask for a better introduction to Canada and its people.
Anna and Ed had a great time together.

Osprey nests are all along the river.

This boat house seems to have had a little problem.

It's the "Elle Belle" we hope they have a safe trip up the St Lawrence to Maine.

The Channels through the river keep us on our toes.

Clayton was a great town, the backs of all these building face the river.

This was our favorite exhibit at the Wooden Boat Museum.

The old outboards were too cool.

I bet Kim Tonkin would love to have this. He has a cool little outboard in his store on Nantucket.

These boats where spotless.

This one had a working steam engine.

It looks like it was right out an old Ford.

The appointments give the boats such great lines.

Once again is this a car or a boat.

Ed loved this Engine.

This wooden speed boat was about 7 feet long. You kneel in the cockpit and hold on for dear life.

This bad boy must have been some loud.

What a collection.

Anna Ed and I had dinner on the top deck and were given this great sunset. We hope Ed had a great time, we sure did.

This lighthouse marked our entrance into Canada. Little did we know what lay around the corner.

The Canadian War College located on the shore of Kingston Harbor.

Kingston as we approached the city.

This Ice Breaker was in a museum right next to our dock.
The Maple leaf is everywhere.
I loved the controls an the ice breaker.
Once again I marveled at the size of the old ships wheels.

The restaurants on the streets have a great atmosphere.

The town hall of Kingston was once the capital of Canada.

The sandstone building that give Kingston its charm.

Canadian pride can be seen on every corner.

Anna and I loved this fountain located at the park next to our dock.

What a wonderful night.


  1. This is so cool! It really sounds like you are having an the way.....Will has decided to name his boat "Little Blue".

  2. Great pictures, keep em coming!