"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 31, 2018

Thousand Islands Lighthouses

I've enjoyed taking pictures of lighthouses since we left Texas in 2011. I have a lighthouse map and an online photo album with 267 lighthouses that I like adding new lighthouses to. The past year or so I haven't seen too many new lighthouses, but our trip to the 1000 Islands gave me a chance to collect a few more.

Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse - There have been a series of lights marking the entrance to Oswego harbor since 1821. This is the most recent and only one remaining today. It was built in 1834.
Stoney Point Lighthouse - First built in 1939, a new tower was built in 1869 to increase its visibility. It's near Henderson Harbor, NY.
Horse Island Lighthouse - Built to guide mariners into Sackets Harbor, the first lighthouse was established in 1831 and replaced in 1871. It's a private island now and only the top of the light can be seen from the water.
Galloo Island Lighthouse - Built in 1820, construction of a replacement limestone lighthouse was completed in 1867.
East Charity Shoal Lighthouse - A buoy was placed on the shoal in 1900. In 1934, a more permanent solution was created when the old pier light form Vermillion on Lake Eerie was placed on the concrete pier and base on the shoal.
Tibbetts Point Lighthouse - Located in Cape Vincent, New York, it was the first Thousand Islands lighthouse built at the outlet of Lake Ontario in 1827. 
Wolfe Island Lighthouse (Québec Head) - It was built on the eastern shore of Wolfe Island in 1861 to mark the route to Kingston to the North and Lake Ontario to the south. It's a short 20' tall "pepper pot" structure. The owners of the land around the light built a replica of the Thomas Point Shoal light (located in the Chesapeake Bay) as their summer cottage.
Rock Island Lighthouse - Established in 1847 and rebuilt in 1903. It's owned by New York Parks and open for visits during the summer months.
We took our dinghy over to the island and had a chance to climb to the top. It gave us a great view of the river...unfortunately the windows were pretty dirty and I didn't get many good pictures.
Sunken Rock Lighthouse - Established in 1847, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1882.
Sisters Island Lighthouse - Built in 1870 and is now privately owned.
Crossover Island Lighthouse - this light station was established in 1848, but completely rebuilt in 1899. It's now privately owned.
Cole Shoal Front Range Lighthouse - Erected to mark a rocky shoal which lay in the river off property owned the Cole family in 1860. The lantern was removed in 1923.
Cole Shoal Rear Range Lighthouse - Erected in 1917 to serve as a rear range to the 1860 Cole Shoal Light. It was deactivated in 1923 and is privately owned.
Prescott Lighthouse - The light was originally on the redbrick building known as the Dominion Lighthouse Depot, that sat along the waterfront in Prescott from 1903 to 1985. When the old building was demolished in 1986 the light was saved and placed on this new building in 1989. It serves as an ice cream shop and visitor center during the summer.
Of course this isn't a lighthouse, but I forgot to add it to another post. This island is very close to Heart Island where Boldt Castle is, it's called Just Room Enough Island. Just Room Enough Island, also known as Hub Island is the smallest inhabited island, located on the United States side of the Thousand Islands.

Thousand Islands Boathouses

Heaven is a little closer in a home by the water.

The Webster Dictionary's definition for boathouse is simple: a shed at the edge of a river or lake used for housing boats. In the Thousand Islands they take their boat houses a little more serious than that and some are over a century old built as lavish retreats on their own, with bedrooms, dining rooms, fireplaces and even ballrooms. Grand boathouses dotted the St. Lawrence River during its Golden Age when wealthy business barons owned fleets of vessels. Other boathouses are practical ports of call. Like every island, every boathouse has a story to tell. 

Boathouses in the Thousand Islands come in all sizes.The Boldt Yacht House was built in 1899 to accommodate as many as 60 of Boldt’s watercraft, including skiffs, steam yachts, runabouts and his luxury houseboat. 
Some are extremely small like this one we found close to Brockville, ON.
They also come in all colors, like these in Thousand Island Park
Some are very interesting like these two found near Alexandria Bay.
And some are plain...but most are well kept and decorated with with flowers.
Some of the boathouses look like houses.

August 30, 2018

Aug. 25 – Thoroughbred Horse Racing

Baldwinsville Free Dock

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ―Mother Teresa

Early Saturday morning our friends from Oneonta called...they raise horses at their Waterhill Farm. One of their babies was running in a race at the Finger Lakes Racetrack and they wanted to know if we'd like to join them. Of course we wanted to! They picked us up in Baldwinsville and off we went for a day of fun at the racetrack. Finger Lakes Racetrack isn't as fancy as Saratoga Race Track, that we visited last summer, but it sure was fun watching a horse run that our friends had raised.

Playin Disco is a three year old filly bred on Waterhill Farm and owned by Dr. Blum. This is her first year to race. She came in third today, but she won a race back in June. It was so exciting watching her run and of course being at the track with breeders meant we got access to places others didn't. We had a wonderful day watching the horses run and catching up with Maryann and George. 

Playin Disco coming into the paddock
Getting ready in the paddock  
Playin Disco heading to the track
Playin Disco came in third in her race
Enjoying the races with George and Maryann
After the races we went to the barns to visit Playin Disco
George and Maryann really love and miss their horse
Maryann talking to Playin Disco's trainer
 We had dinner at the Lock 24 Restaurant.

August 29, 2018

Aug. 23-24 – Baldwinsville, NY

Baldwinsville Free Dock

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

We woke up Thursday (8/23) and checked the weather reports for Lake Ontario...windy, but it looked doable and better than any day in the near future. We decided we'd take our chances...we really didn't want to wait in Cape Vincent for a week. Most of the way across the lake to Oswego was bouncy but not too uncomfortable. That all changed about four miles out...the wind and the waves picked up and it was one of the roughest rides we've ever had. We didn't bury the bow, but we came very close. We could see the inlet, but the only bearable way we could make any head way was to tack back and worth...it was a long, very uncomfortable ride and it felt amazing once we passed the lighthouse coming into the harbor. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the wall at Lock 7 and picking up the mess in the cabin.

Our path coming into Owsego
We had quite a mess in the cabin...two broken wine glasses, one broken frame and the contents of every cabinet was out of place. 
Some may think the canal is boring, but we really enjoyed the comfort of not rocking while we were in Oswego.
Friday morning we headed south to Baldwinsville to meet up with the crew of Magnolia, we hadn't seen them since Block Island two years ago. It felt nice to be back in the calm, peaceful, protected canal. Baldwinsville has a nice park next to Lock 24...it's a great place to spend a little time. Stan got a hair cut and I did a little shopping before spending the evening with Anthony and Annette catching up on all their adventures.

We watched this Bald Eagle catch a fish and enjoy his breakfast. What a sight. 
Blue Herons have always been one of my favorite birds to watch...this one was pruning his feathers.
The orange feet on these ducks caught my eye. We were entertained all the way to Baldwinsville by lots of birds.
The Pearl coming into Erie Canal Lock 24 in Baldwinsville. Thank you Anthony for the great pictures.
The visitor center at the free dock in Baldwinsville.
Our beautiful view from the boat
We enjoyed a wonderful visit with the crew of Magnolia at the Lock 24 Restaurant
Annette, Anthony, Susie and Stan

August 28, 2018

Aug. 22 - Cape Vincent, NY

Cape Vincent Bulkhead

“There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.” – Anonymous

After our long day yesterday, working on the boat, we were hoping for a good nights sleep and a little downtime today. The docks and marinas in Clayton are exposed to the wakes from the river and winds from the north and west...so the approaching cold front woke us up very early. The wind was so strong that the rocking motion almost threw us out of bed. We were up, dressed and on our way to the coffee shop just as the sun was clearing the horizon. Everyone was out checking lines and adding more fenders. We were glad we had used our large orange balls when we docked.

We had breakfast at the Koffee Kove, but they didn’t have WiFi (it was surprising how few places offer WiFi along the St. Lawerence) so we moved over the Lryic Coffee House and settled in for a few hours...no reason to hurry back to a rocking boat. I caught up a little on the blog, checked emails, updated our travel map, looked at Facebook and did a little research on Quebec City. We’re heading that way in September by car. 

By early afternoon the wind had subsided a little and we were tired of rocking, so we headed out to Cape Vincent. The bulkhead there gave us a lot more protection. We spent the late afternoon and evening exploring this cute town that sits at the beginning of the 1000 Islands. They have a handful of interesting shops with lots of locally made items. I had fun browsing through them, then we went to Roxy’s for their Wednesday night wine and wings. We really enjoyed visiting with the locals and listening to the live music. 

Some of the little shops in Cape Vincent
Roxy Hotel and Restaurant - built in 1894.
I took this picture when we went by to check the place out...by the time we came back for dinner it was getting crowded. 
Cape Vincent Fisheries Station
Looking towards town from The Pearl