Thursday, July 26, 2018

While we wait

Pam and John's scheduled return was delayed a bit so Dave and I decided to accept our old friend's invitation to join them for the weekend in the 1000 Islands.   Cindy and Norm spend summers on a small island near Goose Bay in the St. Lawrence River just north of Alexandria Bay (and about 35 miles away from where Pam and John were visiting Pam's mother) and we've been trying to get up there all summer.

Camp Henry as seen from the water

They call the island "Camp Henry" (for Cindy's father) and it has two small old cottages on the river.

the old cottage built on rocks

The three of us had the small, original cottage to ourselves.   I love it, warts and all.    I love the views out the ancient, wiggly glass windows, it's rustic, whitewashed interior, the little bay outside the bathroom window, the old boathouse slowly sinking to it's knees, even the oddly sized bed with it's ridiculously bouncy bedsprings.

inside the old cottage

face to the sun

view from the bathroom!

The downside of all that wiggly old glass and whitewashed rustic interior is that there is no insulation whatsoever.   The perfect location to view riverside sunsets means that the hot afternoon sun beats down on the cottage and the night time bugs swarming over the water have pretty much free access to the inside....if you are brave enough to turn a light on.

  Record breaking heat made sleeping in the small and bouncy bed next to impossible.    Until we found that putting our heads where our feet should go positioned us right in front of a window with the most heavenly breeze.    If we kept all the lights out we didn't invite any of the water bugs and moths inside so, after a good belly laugh at ourselves, we actually got a good night's sleep.   Except for when one of us moved slightly, the other almost bounced right out the nearby window.

Lewis loved being on the island.   He ranged all over on his own,  went into the water for a drink or a swim, chased squirrels and even met and worried a water snake for a bit.

Lew loved the freedom of the island

Saturday we went out in Cindy and Norm's pontoon boat to check out some of the nearby islands.

wind through the curls

We pulled into a calm cove near the magnificent Boldt Castle and Norm cooked hot dogs for lunch on his sea-b-que grill!

Boldt Castle and it's children's play house

hot dogs cooking on the grill

Afterward we cruised around the islands while we waited for the start of the 1000 Island International Charity Poker Run.   Huge power boats race between several checkpoints, accumulating cards at each one.  At the end the best "hand" wins.

The 1000 Islands area is an archipelago of over 1800 islands, some large and some very small. 

these folks own two islands and have built a sweet bridge between them

Some of the islands hold fabulous homes, new or old.   Some are tiny, just a tree or two.    Some are merely rocky shoals uncovered when the water level drops.

check out the boulders used as support pillars

interesting entry door

tiny island

Ironsides Island, home to a Great Blue Heron rookery

some islands are just rock

some are just below the surface......beware boaters!

People get creative with their shoal markers!

Around 2 p.m. Norm piloted our boat out into the shipping channel so we'd have a front row seat to witness the huge and powerful off shore racing boats fly by on their scheduled route.

I can't describe the thunder as they passed.
It made poor Lewis fly right off his seat....

It was difficult to catch them as they roared past us.  The day's wind and the nature of the channel made the water choppy enough but the wake from these boats had us rocking and rolling in our little pontoon boat.  Holding a camera steady and pointing it at a fast moving target proved tricky!

fabulous colors

how can they see through the spray?

Sometimes they'd come by singly and sometimes in groups.   Often a helicopter followed just above them.

And, once in a while,  something much bigger and much slower thrummed past us....

they push a wall of water in front of them

As we sat and watched and rocked the first few Poker Run boats came back from their Ogdensburg stop so we enjoyed their power for a few more minutes before heading back to the cottage for Happy Hour.

heading back to Clayton 

As we got further away from the frenetic action in the channel, the peace of the islands returned.    We passed a small family of Loons taking the chicks for an outing and saw a tree of Cormorants resting after lunch.

Thanks, Cindy and Norm, for a beautiful weekend in our old stomping grounds.

Cindy and Norm K

To top off the weekend, Pam and John were waiting for us when we got home.
Not only were they waiting, but they were waiting with a home made Strawberry Rhubarb pie and a bottle of craft Gin from Clayton!    These are good friends!

So nice to have them back....

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dave works

While John and Pam are away Dave is keeping busy.....

fitting the new piece

Beluga is a rather old girl (don't react to this statement, it hurts her feelings).   She needs regular check ups and careful maintenance to keep her fit and ready to carry us to all corners of the country.   Dave has been keeping an eye on one piece of structural metal below the water heater because he noticed it was coming loose.   Upon further examination he found the culprit, a rusted support member that needed to be replaced. 

the old piece!

He cut it out, had a new piece made at our old company and fastened it in place.  Problem fixed! 

Lewis likes to help Dave with everything so he positioned himself in the shade to supervise. 

 He's usually a dandy supervisor except that day he neglected to warn Dave about a low clearance area on the job.   A problem for Dave.

at least he's still smiling!

The next job Dave did was to install some abrasive strips on the deck's stairs.   In his exuberance to beat us all up/down the stairs, Lewis sometimes (think, often) misses one or two and ends up in some rather spectacular crashes.   He's no spring chicken anymore and we're concerned about his long legs so perhaps the non-slip strips will help him stick his landings.....

Again he supervises

he tests each strip as it's installed

and demonstrates that he can, indeed, use each and every step

Dave's last job this week was as my sous chef.   He's very obliging in the kitchen so I give him some of the more challenging jobs ('s I don't want to do).    Today's dessert was cherry/blueberry Clafouti so, while I prepared the batter, he pitted the cherries.

David purple fingers


And, if you give him a nice glass of wine he'll grill the pork tenderloin al pastor even if it IS raining outside.

After dinner, every evening, Dave and Lewis fish off the dock.   He says there are no more fish in the lake but Lewis loves the process so they do it each night.

Lewis thinks Dave is wrong, there certainly are fish, so they just keep casting....