Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday 8/23/2013 Gananoque to Boldt Castle & Wellesley Island

We left Gananoque and headed down the St. Lawrence, mostly taking side channels and narrow passages between some of the many islands.  Some cottages were huge mansions, while others were simple one or two room places.  Many islands contained only one cottage, and some islands were the size of the cottages.


Eventually we had to cross over from the Canada side to the US side, and we did that just past Heart Island & the Boldt Castle. We cleared customs on Heart Island and spent most of the afternoon touring the Castle & the Boldt Boathouse.
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle Boat House
Power house
on the veranda--see the heart in the bench?
dining room
the foyer
another view of the power house

 If you don't know the story, George Boldt built a castle for the love of his life, his wife (1900).  She died suddenly and George, whose heart was broken, abandoned the nearly complete structure and it went into ruin.  Eventually the Thousand Islands International Bridge Commision took possession and started a lengthy renovation project.  Many of the main rooms are completed, and work is underway to complete some of the upper rooms.  Most of the upper rooms are still grafitti covered.

Did you know George Boldt made his millions as the most successful hotel magnate in America?  He ran and had a financial interest in the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia and the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.  Did you also know the original Waldorf-Astoria was torn down to make room for the Empire State Building?

We had intended to stay at the Thousand Islands Yacht Club Friday night.  But when we called their office, they gave us the number of the place next door.  Jake, the dockmaster at the next door Wellesley Island Yacht Club, met us and directed us in to our dock.  It wasn't as nice as the TIYC, but it had everything we needed.  Duke loved the place - the marina is on an grassy island, with a single dock ramp to the mainland.
However, Duke took a detour and left the island and escaped.  We recruited several boaters to look for him.  Fifteen minutes later, he reappeared from under a nearby dock where he was looking for critters.  He was a wet mess and had to be bathed.

After getting settled in we rode Daybreak's dingy over to friends of Kenny & Jeanne for a small cocktail party.  We had a great time, the catered food was fabulous, and we had several interesting conversations - mostly about boats.  Turns out they knew the boat, a 60 ft. Azimuth, that Daybreak had to make room for back in Kingston NY.  And that same boat later was badly damaged in the Erie Canal when it hit a submerged car.

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