07-03-09 Kingston, ON

With our engine maintenance completed, and our tour of Alexandria Bay complete, we started out for Kingston, ON. The weather was overcast and a threat of rain. However, as we progressed through the 1000 Islands toward Kingston we saw some of the most beautiful scenery we have encountered on the trip. It is stunning here. There literally are 1000 islands and most have a house or houses on them. Sometime it is a shack and other times it is a grand mansion. Of course, all have a boat dock, elaborate to the nth degree. The route is well marked with day beacons and buoys. We passed several tour boats that were heading for Boldt Castle. The castle must get 40 tour boats a day, some from 20 miles away in Gananoque, ON. These are large boats carrying about 250 passengers.

We reached Kingston, 35 miles West, in about 3 hours and settled into the Flora MacDonald Confederation Basin, a city run marina. The marina has over 300 slips and about 200 of them are for transient boaters. It turns out that there is a craft fair going on and the waterfront is covered with tents and vendors selling their homemade wares, from Honey to weird paintings. Very much like Autumn with Topsail, but with over 150 vendors.

Since we are entering Canada for the first time, we must clear Canadian Customs. This involves flying the yellow “Q” flag (Q for quarantine) until you are checked in by the customs agents. The quarantine is a holdover from the time that sailors would be at sea for months and would enter a port with all types of diseases. They were quarantined to protect the citizens. At any rate, the custom continues. Rick, only one person is allowed to leave the boat to check in, went up to a pay phone, dialed the Canadian Customs toll-free number, and had a pleasant talk with the agent. Rick provided the names, boat registration number and boat data, amount of “spirits” onboard (too much and you pay a duty), and a verbal certification that Beamer has been vaccinated. The agent provided a Number to be written down and kept in the forward window of the boat and that was that. No boarding. We are told that about 50% of the entrants are boarded to verify that they are not bringing in vegetables, plants, too much “spirits”, or weapons. Guns of any type are not allowed to be brought into Canada by visitors. They are confiscated if discovered and not returned. Since one of our rules on this small boat is no guns or knives allowed, we are LEGAL visitors to Canada.

Late in the afternoon, it pours rain, and we are trapped on the boat for about 2 hours. We catch up on "Americas Got Talent" via our Tivo at home using our Slingbox (truly amazing!). Tomorrow, July 4, we will tour and explore this very old city. Tune In for the details.

Here are some pictures of Boldt Castle, on Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY.

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