On the St Lawrence


We’re just out on Ontario with the New York coast to the right.

We’ve got internet in Canada now so I’ll dump these posts into the blog.

Our Sunday trip from Oswego across the east end of Lake Ontario was smoother than expected with the waves 1 foot or less. It got a little rougher when we entered the St Lawrence river. We had a 15 mph wind against the river current that kicked up sharp whitecaps and a bit of spray. The wind was against our travel as well. We spotted only one other boat out just before leaving Lake Ontario, and 2 or 3 others along the river. The small boats stayed home.


The Last Chance protects this area of the Thousand Islands

We reached the Clayton city dock before 2 PM and were greeted by improved weather and “Dock reserved all weekend for special event” signs. We came in anyway and found the event was just ending. A few hours later it was just us and one other boat. We had plenty of time to walk much of 2 streets holding the older commercial part of town.


We ate twice here. Not great but better than average.

Clayton started in the 1800’s as a resort area and has grown very little since then. It was the jump off point for many of the Thousand Islands. Visitors transferred here from railroad to boat to get to their island destination. Some of the old buildings remain on Riverside Dr. which is their main street, but too much has been rebuilt for it to really have that old town feel we have been getting in other upstate places.

The Antique Boat museum is the big attraction here. The 3 hours we allocated for it were not enough. Sue went just to keep me company and ended up enjoying it as much as I did. She liked the historical information, such as how different types of boats made the Thousand Island community possible when it was an ordinary thing to row a boat 20 miles in a day.


A “National Boat Show” with boats & engines from the 20’s to the 40’s

Rowing and sailing small boats on the undammed St Lawrence must have been interesting. We hit currents usually exceeding 1 mph and sometimes as much as 3 mph on today’s trip on the tamed river. We thought we accomplished something using 500 hp of diesel engine to go 20 miles downstream to get to Clayton yesterday!


Racing boats from the last century

Today, our 2nd day, was solid rain in the morning that stopped in the afternoon. Tomorrow we’ll see how far we can get. There are 3 locks in the US part of the river and 3 more in the Canadian part before we get to Montreal. These are the big commercial locks giving priority to the big boats, which can make for significant delays.


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