common on the river. Waldorf Astoria hotelier
George C. Boldt built Boldt Castle on Heart
Island near Alexandria Bay, New York, for
his beloved Louise, but halted construction
when she died in 1904 at 42. Now, every
summer, tourists descend from tour boats
and flock to the refurbished castle operated
by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
Singer Castle on Dark Island, New York,
is a popular tourist destination. Frederick
Bourne, then-president of the Singer Sewing
Machine Company, built the 28-room castle
with secret passageways and turrets as a
hunting and fishing lodge in 1904.
THE DEATH OF THE LOVE BOAT
I wasn’t exactly on a yacht-and-castle budget
when it was time to get my own boat last sum-
mer, and asked one of my marina contacts if
he had something I could afford, “just a boat
that will get me around.”
“As a matter of fact,” replied Lucas Pearson,
of Village Quay Marina, “I do!” The 17-foot
Starcraft runabout with a 115-horse motor,
which had clearly seen better days, had the
Left to right;
Boldt Castle, a
to his wife, is now
open to the pub-
lic, with docking
The Gadfly, part
of the Antique
Boat Museum in
Cary, New York.
takes the helm.
named Love Boat.
unfortunate name of Love Boat. I could start
her with a key, a step up from The Red
Fisherman. Despite acquiring a boater’s license
in Canada, I didn’t have the courage to take
Love Boat out on my own until after lessons
from Lucas. Even so, on one of my earlier
cruises near Ash Island, I misread a channel
marker and managed to run into a shoal near a
particularly picturesque area known as Lover’s
Lane. It was a quick trip back to the marina
for a new prop. A veteran boater at the marina
made me feel better when he showed me his
footwear on the dock. One red Croc, and
one green. He had one pair of each color and
switched them accordingly when boating up
or down the busy river — red, right, return!
I had many solo voyages in Love Boat
without incident, but one evening for dinner I
visited some friends, who had a cottage on the
mainland. Another friend, a seasoned boater
and islander, joined me for the ride. On the
way back, under a calm moonlit August night,
Love Boat’s engine stopped. A tow back to the
mainland was my last ride in her. Lucas grimly
informed me the next day that the motor was
shot. This took me a moment to process. Love
Boat Dead? This was decidedly premature,
occurring just two days before I was to take up
residence on Lindsay Island near Gananoque.
I’d rented a cottage on a 12-acre island shaped
like a butterfly to write a story.
Lucas kindly offered his marina’s workboat,
a zippy little centerconsole KMV. I climbed
aboard with my waterproof nautical chart, gro-
For requirements to enter Canadian
waters, check this feature online.
ceries, supplies, bags of clothes, and started
the engine, heading for the Middle Channel
under a postcard-perfect blue sky. By the end
of that hot summer afternoon, I’d navigated
my way 10 miles through this beautiful archipelago, with only a few wrong turns, docked
at Lindsay Island, and slid the boat into the
century-old, green boathouse. Sailboats dotted the bay. A blue heron swooped over the
shoreline and into the horizon. It wasn’t an
epic voyage, but I’d made it on my own to this
island, one of more than a thousand.
Kim Lunman is an award-winning writer and
publishes Island Life Magazine. She winters
in Brockville, Ontario, and travels the St.
Lawrence River the rest of the year.