Our first stop after clearing the US Border was Singer Castle. A privately owned castle where we tied up for the morning on their dock and were able to take a private tour of the castle before tourists arrived on the tour boats! The castle was built as a “hunting lodge” and it is now possible to rent it out for the night to live out your own medieval island adventure – for a very reasonable rate! We thought about doing it that night, but unfortunately it was already booked :).
Our next major destination was to be another castle, which we wanted to do the following weekend, so we ended up on anchor in Lake of the Isles, a big bay surrounded by islands. This turned out to be my one of my favourite spots of the whole summer and luckily we had time to stay here for several days. It was incredibly beautiful and actually quite busy during the day with visiting day boats, but usually got quiet after sunset. We had several days of good weather and I was able to swim several times while we stayed there! On our first day, Russ and Jax observed some kids jumping off rocks nearby, so after work, Russ and I hopped in the water and swam over to the rock to jump off while Jax accompanied us in their dinghy for safety.
I also managed to build the pole and get some training in!
Due to some heavy winds at the end of the week, we started dragging anchor. Russ and Jax decided to head out to anchor just off Boldt Castle, and David and I joined them later in the evening after we finished up our work day. On Saturday morning, we all boarded Highwind and untied from InQuest who remained on anchor. We tied up Highwind to the dock on Heart Island (about 200 feet away) and unloaded to tour the castle. This castle was self-guided, so we were able to walk around the entire island freely and explore. The castle was built by George Boldt for his beloved wife Louise, but unfortunately she died a few months before they could move in, and he never returned. It was ultimately left to be ravaged by the elements before the New York Bridge Authority ended up owning the island and beginning a years-long project to restore it.
After Boldt Castle, we headed to Clayton, a cute town that had a maritime/wooden boat museum which we managed to squeeze in just before they closed. After that we headed across the street to a brewery and then a little further into town for quick distillery tasting before a lovely meal on the waterfront for dinner.
Next up for us on the journey was our crossing of Lake Ontario towards the Oswego Canal (and therefore the end of visiting new places for a while!). This was a trip that we knew we would need a weather window for, and had been tentatively planning to do a working/cruising day on Tuesday. However, as David was watching the weather, we realized that Sunday would be a not-great-but-decent day to do the crossing. Preferring to make the run on a weekend due to our work schedules, we left Russ and Jax, who preferred to wait for the better weather on Tuesday, and set out across the lake. We did encounter some 2-3 ft swells, but periodically hopping up on plane made the journey bearable, and after about 5 hours we passed through the first lock and tied up to the free wall in Oswego. We remained here throughout the week and enjoyed several excellent meals in town, including some amazing sushi, and we even came (a very close) second in a brewery trivia night!