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 jaevans100@gmail.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


Our trip to Niagara Falls was beautiful…..




…..and exhilarating.


Wet and exhilarating could also be usd to describe the gale that blew though our marina in Kingston while Bill and Carole were visiting.


The two captains surveying the scene inside the marina harbour, where Bill saw 50 knot gusts on his anemometer; note the waves coming over the breakwater.


Quieter times – Sue and Roy Dawson at our great anchoage at Camelot Island, which was…..


…..mostly quiet and benign…..


…..but sometimes not – this was an impressive little squall that lasted a few minutes.


Sue is a formidable Scrabble adversary, and the Captain was humbled (but also learned a lot about how to crush one’s opponent using small words).


Another peaceful anchorage, this time at Adelaide Island…..


…..where the water was great for a morning swim; not bad for mid-September!


Although a bit cool, our last day was a beautiful one for sightseeing – we headed for the American side to see….


…..the Boldt castle, an unfinished monument (now restrored) from a 19th century industrialist to his wife, who died before it was completed.


This is a portion of the main building, which is huge……


…..and this is the former power house building; the owners of nearby estates have clearly been inspired by the castle, as many have embarked on all manner of elaborate garden monuments of their own (sort of a steroid-driven competition of the garden gnomes).


His Idea about to be hauled out by crane at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour


His Idea soaring above us – it’s an impressive sight, as she appears much bigger when out of the water.


His Idea snug in her winter berth – shrinkwrapping to come – under the watchful eye of the Kingston Penitentiary Guards (the guard towers are but a short distance away across the fence.


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  1. So, are you going to have to apply for a name change for the vessel now? “His Idea, but she liked it” !
    I have thoroughly enjoyed following you guys through your Blog and can’t wait for May to get going again!



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