Monday, September 5, 2011

Thousand Islands :: Unplugged!

Tuesday will mark week three in the Thousand Islands. Seventeen days of which were on the hook. It never ceases to amaze me how my world shrinks while on board. 160 square feet of living space. Mom asks me the other day if I ever feel claustrophobic. Not at all. I don't even get cabin fever. If life could always be this simple. I am truly blessed to have a husband who encourages me to enjoy because "winters are long". Thank you Jim for giving me this freedom. I truly savour every minute. You're a good man Charlie Brown.

It is true that each of the island groups has its own character. Week one was spent in the Admiralty Islands off Beaurivage, a National Park Island. Upon exiting the Bateau Channel, this cluster of islands greets you. I'll never forget the first time I saw the half dozen sailboats docked at the foot of the Jack Pines of Mermaid Island. Taking the Wanderer's Channel and getting lost not knowing which island was which. The very popular Lake Fleet was not too busy and I managed to spend three days at Camelot. I was glad to have a mooring ball on the south side when hurricane Irene brought high North / North Easterlies. My favourite spot is on the north side of this island, anchored and tied to shore. The water is deep and great for swimming! One morning Alex and I jumped in his dinghy to scout out a new location off Endymion: a lovely anchorage tucked between Endymion Island to the east and a private island to the west, a mere five minutes away from Camelot. Upon arrival, we found one boat making ready to leave. Needless to say that we didn't waste any time to make wake! What amazes me about the Thousand Islands is the individual character of each island. Each new anchorage offers a new experience. I so enjoyed Endymion and its habitants: turtles (painted and other species), three snakes (possibly rat snakes and a smaller specie), a pair of noisy peleated woodpeckers, red and grey squirrels, ospreys, blue jays, crows and very friendly female mallards. The next day, we ventured into the Navy Fleet to explore. We dropped anchor off Collier Island only to discover that the area was a busy thruway for water skiers, Seadoos and such. To top it off, the access road to the Ivy Lee bridge was a stone throw away. Sundown and dawn proved to be peaceful and enjoyable.

Every chance I get, I grab my binoculars, climb in the dinghy and set for the best spot for birding. To my list I can add: yellow rumped and pine warbler. For some reason I find the shore birds difficult to identify. The common sandpiper is the only one I'm sure about. While floating on our "recreational floating devices", Alex and I spotted a threesome of Sanderlings.

The Sanderling (Calidris alba, syn. Crocethia alba[1] or Erolia alba) is a small wader. It is a circumpolar Arctic breeder, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to South America, South Europe, Africa, and Australia. It is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches. Imagine! These guys were on their migratory path from the Arctic to South America!

The Thousand Island sunsets are spectacular! Purple, red, orange, yellow horizons adorned with the silhouettes of wind sculpted jack pines. One thing that is highly noticeable throughout this archipelago are the fallen trees, no doubt victims to high winds. Anchored as best as they can in rocks, some have toppled over, their shallow roots unable to keep them up in the gales.

Today is Labour Day Monday. With my buddy boat, Grey Ghost, I start making my way back home tomorrow. It has been a good stay.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like an amazing time! I have enjoyed the islands but usually we only get a two or three day stay before we need to turn around and head home due to a two week restriction.
    We've checked out Navy Fleet and Admiralty; Endymion sounds enchanting.

    Safe trip home...