Dick and Gayl's Cruising Adventures

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Kingston, with landmark historic Martello tower in foreground

Saturday, July 2 -- A Bonus Day in Kingston
It took us a while, but we figured out that Saturday is the day that Canadians publish the big paper that we Americans publish on Sunday.  We think publishing the big paper on Saturday makes a lot of sense, because that gives people who work on weekdays two days to digest everything in it, rather than just having to rush through it all on Sunday after church. We got the Saturday paper and took our time reading it with coffee and pastries, before heading for the nearby Public Market.
The Market was a feast for all the senses.  Vendors sold herbs and fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese, bedding plants and cut flowers, including freshly plucked wild flowers.  We strolled the market and sized up all the options, then stocked up -- sweet Ontario-grown strawberries, pencil-thin tender asparagus, wax beans . . . we were in fresh produce heaven.


In the afternoon we rode our bikes to Fort Henry, located across the Cataraqui River from downtown Kingston, at the confluence of the Rideau Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  The fort was built in the 1830s to defend the Rideau Canal and Kingston's Naval Dockyards from enemy attacks that might come from the St. Lawrence or across the lake.  In its day, it was the largest and most costly fort built west of Quebec.
Fort Henry is a museum now.  It has been restored to look as it did in 1867, and a huge number of college students serve as soldier interpreters and enacters, bringing history alive for visitors to the fort.  We watched two teams of soldiers do a precision cannon loading and firing drill, based on an 1867 arms manual.  We took a guided tour of the fort.  We enjoyed watching family-focussed activities led by the soldiers to teach in a most entertaining way about the highly disciplined life of soldiers stationed there in 1867.
The search for a geocache took us to a woodland trail along the lakeshore on the grounds of the fort.  We enjoyed the natural beauty of the trail, but were a bit alarmed by the size of the waves on the lake.  We hoped that the winds would die a bit before we had to venture out the next day.

Penitentiary with a view

Sunday, July 3 Kingston to Trenton
72 miles   2312 trip total
We began our cruising day at 6:50 to catch a 7 a.m. bridge opening (the next opening would be at 9 a.m.).We had perfect weather for this long day crossing a sheltered section of Lake Ontario.  The morning began calm and cool, and built to warm and breezy by the middle of the afternoon. 
As we cruised along the Kingston shoreline, we passed a penitentiary built on prime waterfront real estate.  Is that the prison yacht club next door?
The lake was busy with weekend boaters out sailing and motoring about.  Our wake was a playground for personal watercraft and boats towing skiers wanting a thrill ride.
When we tied up at the Trenton Marina at 3 p.m., we were thrilled to see five other Looper burgees flying among the boats at the docks.  Since going north on the Champlain Canal at Waterford, while our Looper friends went west on the Erie Canal, we have not seen any other Loopers.  Since we left Sorel in Canada, we have seen precious few other American boats, until Canada Day in Kingston.
It was a treat to reconnect, and to know we would be sharing our cruising adventures with kindred spirits once again as we continued up the Trent Severn Waterway.