Our Time in Kingston
After completing the Rideau Canal we spent about three weeks in Kingston awaiting the haul out of His Idea for the winter. This interlude gave us plenty of time to explore Kingston and the surrounding area, including a day trip by car to Niagara Falls, meeting up with with fellow PDQ cruisers Bill and Carole Lowther, and a cruise in the Thousand Islands with Roy and Sue Dawson.
The Thousand Islands are at the eastern end of Lake Ontario where it transitions into the Saint Lawrence River, and are spread over the border between Canada and the United States. It’s a lovely cruising area interspersed with with many parks and sheltered anchorages, private cottages, and interesting historical sites. Even though it was mid-September we were fortunate to have mostly good weather and great swimming in water temperatures still in the low 20’s.
Kingston turned out to be an excellent choice to end this leg of our journey. It’s a small city with a lively downtown (loaded with Queens University students) and a long history as a maritime and military centre for Canada. Our berth at Confederation Harbour marina put us in the centre of town, convenient for shopping, dining, theatres and cycling to the Royal Military College of Canada, Fort Frederick, and other places of interest. Although this was our longest stay in once place yet, we certainly managed to stay busy and entertained.
Just up the lakeshore from Confederation Harbour is Portsmouth Olympic Harbour (built for the sailing events of the 1976 Olympics) where His Idea will spend the winter ashore. While not quite as picturesque as Confederation Harbour – our next door neighbour is the Kingston Penitentiary – it’s well suited for winter boat storage.
A good portion of our time in Kingston was spent taking care of the details related to His Idea’s hibernation, including sourcing a suitable firm to winterize and shrinkwrap the vessel. Because of the very cold temperatures, winterization here is a much bigger deal than we have been used to in Vancouver, and we decided to leave it to the experts.
After doing everything we could to prepare His Idea for the winter, it was with decidedly mixed feelings that we left her behind. She has served faithfully and with little complaint, transporting us safely over more than 3100 miles of rivers, lakes, canals and ocean. While enabling us to experience many things from a perspective often very different from road travel, she has also become a very comfortable home away from home.
So we feel we’re ending the first year of our travels in a good place – happy to be back home with family and friends after 6 months away, but also very much looking forward to our return, and more great adventures, next spring.
End of Season Statistics and Other Items of Interest (at least to the Captain)
- Statute miles travelled (Stuart, FL to Kingston, Ont) – 3123
- Hours of motoring – 335
- Fuel used (not including generator) – 3991 litres (878 imperial gallons)
- Average MPG – 3.6 (note: at typical ‘fast cruise’ of 15 to 16 MPH, estimated fuel burn is about 20 litres per hour)
- Generator operation – 63 hours; 125.8 litres (27.7 imperial gallons)
- Average fuel cost – $1.20/litre
- Average fuel cost per mile – $1.54
- Average daily moorage cost – $33.92 (over 158 days)
- States & Provinces visited – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virgina, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersy, New York, Vermont, Quebec, Ontario
Plans for Next Year
This will be our final post for 2012. Our tentative plan for cruising in 2013 is to depart Kingston sometime during the latter part of May, traverse the Trent-Severn Canal (which takes us from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron), cruise Lake Huron and Lake Michigan through the summer months, and complete the season’s last leg from Chicago to the Kentucky Lakes region (via the Illinois, Missisipi, Ohio and Cumberland rivers) in September.
If you have been visiting our blog and wish to be notified when we start publishing again next year, please drop us a line at email@example.com. We’ll then send you a short email in advance of our first post.
Thanks for following along. We hope you’ve enjoyed travelling with us aboard His Idea.
John & Ria