Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crysler Park to Grenadier Island

What a gorgeous day for the run back up river!

Clear skies, little wind, temps in the low 20s. But the current does sap two to three knots out of our speed. Whereas we ran down stream at 21 knots, sometimes faster, now we’re plugging along at 16 to 18 knots. (Speed in knots is measured in nautical miles per hour. One nautical mile is 6,080 feet, i.e., a tad longer than a land mile.)

Here’s Abaco, a tug we met and couldn’t resist photographing. Check out the crew taking a nap on the aft deck.

At the Iroquois Lock of the St. Lawrence Seaway, we save time and $25 by scooting through a gate on the adjacent control dam

The limiting air draft (height of the boat above water) is 2.5 meters. We’re 2.4 metres, with antenna and nav light lowered.

There’s always something to see on the St. Lawrence River.

Every now and then, we encounter commercial traffic, and lots of fishermen out in small runabouts.

At Brockville Narrows, where the ship channel runs close to the north bank of the river, there is so much traffic, we spend as much time watching for speeding boats approaching from the stern as looking ahead.

Regardless, we have a smooth ride all the way to the Parks Canada dock at Grenadier island Centre. Including some poking around and taking of pictures, we cover 66.5 nautical miles in four hours on the water.

At Grenadier, there are 16 slips available. At Last! and four other boats (one is here for a picnic only) occupy five slips. We dock apart from the rest as we prefer privacy.

Just as we settle in, an express cruiser comes in and docks right next to us. We can’t believe it! Eleven empty docks to choose from and he docks next to us. The captain of the cruiser jumps out of the boat, immediately hauls his generator to land and starts it up. Thankfully, it’s a Honda and not loud, but we can hear it. After all, we came to this park to get away from marina noises. We promptly put up our port and bow blinds facing our unwanted neighbours. We are not amused, but we elect to stay as the Admiral is busy making dinner of butternut squash soup and grilled St Albert’s cheese sandwiches.

Other than a curt “good morning” the next day, we never utter another word to the four people aboard the cruiser. They turn on lights and pretty well take over the dock with a BBQ and chairs around a fire pit--with their big dog running free.

One cruises to get away from it all but cannot escape human nature.

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