Stop 3 & 4: Thousand Islands featuring Gananoque, Clayton and a ride past the Fancy Pants Houses.
Get a feel for Gananoque from our video!
Gananoque is a very scenic village in Ontario, Canada on the St. Lawrence River. It was founded by a dude, Joel Stone, from Connecticut, Stone was not an American. Back when Hamilton and Jefferson were rebel rousing, Joel Stone was fighting on the side of the British. When things didn't work out the way he wanted in the 1790s, he fled to Canada by horseback. He petitioned the king for a land grant due to his remaining loyal to the crown during the Revolution. He was granted 700 acres of land on the west side of the Gananoque River.
We pulled into the harbor on another gorgeous sunny day. We pumped out at the marina and learned that the public docks across the way were free to use for up to three hours so we tied up there and went ashore. The dock is in beautiful Joel Stone Heritage Park. with a sprayground, playground, bike trails, a beach and swim area.
We hauled our clown bikes out and set off for the grocery store to do a little re-provisioning. Traffic is light in the village so biking is a pleasure plus they have bike trails scattered around. It was a ten minute ride to the store.
After dropping all our groceries off on the boat we set off again to check out the town.
We browsed around a craft fair at the town hall. There were lots of crafty things to buy. We did buy some crafts from the Gan Brewery across the street.
Gananoque is full of interesting art. Dave was a little scared of this statue in the river art collection.
Later we motored out of the harbor to an island directly across the way. We anchored there for the next two nights. We shared this anchorage with a sailboat missing its mast (and sailors) and a derelict pontoon boat. They were quiet neighbors so we didn't mind.
It was a good anchorage. We didn't drag and we got great sleep, and that my friends is the definition of a good anchorage.
The next day was Laundry Day! We both ran out of clean underwear so that meant we ran out of excuses to not do laundry. I refused to let Dave help with my first cycle of Cruiser's Laundry (mostly because he's just too bossy). Laundry on a boat consists of two buckets, a plunger-y thing, laundry detergent and a lot of clothespins. And yes, Gananoque has two laundromats but I found boat laundry to be a lot more fun then hauling all our clothes into town and sitting around waiting on them.
The beautiful thing about a sailboat is that it has clotheslines all over it. With the hot sun we were enjoying, the clothes dried in no time. Yay, clean undies again! No more wearing them and turning them inside out and wearing them again! Just kidding, one of us definitely did not do that.
Laundry Day on the Boat
We rowed back to town for the afternoon. It was pretty quiet in town. Though the tour boat seems to do a steady stream of business, even in May, we didn't see that many people around town.
We visited the Boat Museum. Donations are gladly accepted. The attendee kid said for $2 we could both go in. That was the right price for the tiny museum. If you really want to look at wooden boats, go to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY. When you get done with that place, you'll never want to see a wooden boat again.
Gananoque Boat Museum (Spoiler Alert: This is almost all the boats in the museum)
After our tour (5 minutes), we took a walk around the waterfront area. Gananoque has a beautiful theater that is right on the river. You can boat to it (that's fancy)! We went to a show last year with friends, Anne and Craig and Don. It was fun and quirky. I highly recommend catching a show there.
Thousand Island Playhouse
We did stop by the Gananoque Inn. Dave had to poop. I thought we should at least enjoy a beer on the patio for repayment for what he did.
Our time ended in Gan and we headed down south around Greystone Island and anchored in Clayton harbor across from the famous (see above) Antique Boat Museum. I am not talking much about sailing because there is nothing to talk about. We motored to Clayton the whole way. We could have sailed briefly through the channel but we did not bother.
After arriving in Clayton, we rowed to the municipal dock. They have a little floaty dock by the boat ramp. They let us tie our dinghy up to the back side of it for free.
We then promptly did what every good tourist does when in Clayton. We walked up and down the main street and went in and out of all the little shops. We ended up at the Hop Spot for lunch. If you read my Kingston post, you'll know the Kingston Brewery makes the World's Best Vegan Burger. The Hop Spot in Clayton makes the absolute worst. They named it the "It's Not Easy Being Green" burger and when it tastes like that, they are right!
One of the big reasons we came back to America for two days (even though we had permission to stay in Canada for 100 days) was because I had arranged for an Amazon package (a boat part) to be sent to their post office. Did you know you can send a package to any post office in the world if you mark it General Delivery and they will hold it until you come pick it up?! I thought this was pretty cool . I had received my Amazon notification that the package had been delivered so we just needed to get it.
Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a happy ending. The post office couldn't find the package and when I consulted Amazon, I got a nasty surprise. The package that had been delivered was to my son back in Geneseo. Our important boat part was running behind and wouldn't arrive for another two days. We had to sadly tell them to return it when it showed up because we wouldn't be in Clayton that long.
We left bright and early the next morning and enjoyed seeing how the other .01% lives (lived) as we floated by the mansions of the 1,000 Islands. Enjoy our 1 minute video summing up the sites.
If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading along. Our next blog will be about Locking through the Seaway and the amazing people we met along the way! Cheers!