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Back to the jaunt in the St Lawrence watershed, specifically my itinerary was from Clayton mainland to Grindstone Island, then return to the mainland, then southwest to Cape Vincent, and then to Kingston, Ontario.  To get to Kingston from Cape Vincent involves two ferries:  one from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island in Canada and then after a 20-minute drive across Wolfe, another ferry from Marysville to Kingston.  Here’s a map.

0aaaamap

In an archipelago like the Thousand Islands (actually I read there are over 1800 islands fitting the parameters that an “island” remains above the water all year round AND has at least one tree), boats are ubiquitous and landing craft like these two are invaluable.  Summer populations swell the numbers of residents.  Historically, a lot of the wealthy from centers like NYC came up here and built big.  The island out beyond the two LCM-8s here is Calumet Island, and that tower is the only significant remnant of Calumet Castle, built by Charles Emery, a tobacco entrepreneur from Brooklyn. Click here and here for more info about Emery, just one of the players here during the Gilded Age.

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photo taken from Grindstone Island, looking toward Calumet Island and Clayton

In this watershed, pilotage is provided by a total of five providers.  The pilot boat below is at the Cape Vincent station of the St Lawrence Seaway Pilot Association. Notice how clear the water is.

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M/V William Darrell has operated as ferry between Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island since 1952!  Its dimensions are 60′ x 28,’ and later in this post you’ll understand why I’m telling you that.   Scroll through here and you’ll learn that the H on the stack stands for Horne;  the Horne family has been operating the ferry since the 1820s, . . . almost 200 years.  Click here and scroll to see this ferry with a Winnebago on it a few years ago.

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M/V William Darrell entered service as a 12-car ferry.

The Wolfe Island wind farm has operated since 2009.

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Wolfe Island  as seen from the ferry Frontenac II to Kingston

 

Frontenac II, 1962 built, has dimensions of 180′ x 45′.

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as seen from onboard

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as seen from the Kingston land’s edge

Island Queen and other vessels take passengers through parts of the archipelago.

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Of course I found one, although there was no name.

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On leg 1 of my return to Cape Vincent aboard Frontenac II, I saw four vessels like this with . . . lunker? rig.

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When I got back to M/V William Darrell, there was just me,  until this bus pulled up.  But the ferry crew took in stride what would have me worried.

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We crossed, and all went without incident.

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The only downside was that the bus drove off first, straight to the immigration both, and I spent a good 20 minutes as the passengers’ documents were checked.  Had the immigration waved me through first, I could have been halfway to Watertown before the bus cleared.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who might not post for a few days because the gallivant work trip downstream goes on.

Here, here,  and here are north country posts from a few years back.

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