After 41 hours crossing Lake Ontario, it was good to stretch out muscles, get some real sleep, and run a few errands. The staff at the Confederate Basin marina in Kingston were friendly, helpful and offered us free coffee. What more could we need? They pointed me toward the local market a block away that would open the next morning. John and I took a quick walking tour around the neighbourhood before we got doused by the rain and the rest of the afternoon was spent in another bout of reorganization and a much deserved nap.
The following morning we set out for a coffee on my way to to provision a few local, fresh foods while John started the 4km trek to the nearest marine store… which of course turned out to be permanently closed. (Thanks so much Apple Maps… you have been officially dumped from my phone.) So while John was getting a more expansive view of the city, I spent a leisurely morning at the tiny market chatting with the dozen or so vendors that were there and gathering fresh produce, local maple syrup, honey, bread and jam. After John’s return, we trudged up Tragically Hip Way for a second provisioning trip out to the grocery store for the remaining items needed.
We also had our very first visitors to the boat. Thanks so much to Dawna and her husband David for dropping by and saying hello! Much of my sanity while prepping for our adventure was due to the wonderful women I was introduced to in the Facebook women’s sailing group “Women Who Sail” (of which Dawna is a member). It was amazing to find a community that was so generous with their information and support even before we set off. It’s made many aspects of boat life so much easier to adapt to.
As it was our first official stop, we were having a lot of people check in and asking if we were up to anything exciting. Sleep was exciting. Grocery shopping is fairly exciting for me, though admittedly not for John. Checking out a small section of town adjacent to the marina was interesting, and not having a car will certainly be beneficial for my legs and glutes… hauling groceries back while walking – beneficial for more muscles and my cursing ability. We are on a tight budget which means eating out is the exception, not common practice.
Life on board is also somewhat convenience-free. On the boat, we don’t have hot water. Running water is achieved with a foot pump and the pressure forces the water to bounce off any surface in its path – usually soaking anything within the bounce radius. We don’t have a shower (the spot where the shower was in the original plans is our tool “locker” – the term locker used incredibly loosely). Other than the boat instruments, our phones/computers and the fridge (or supposedly the fridge), there are no electrical appliances on board as we were unsure of how effective our solar panels would be (they are, in fact, amazing, but it’s good we don’t have much draw on them.) The beds we made for the boat are incredibly comfortable but the sound of the water (as well as the fish, the geese/ducks/motley assortment of birds) echo through the boat hull making falling sleep somewhat challenging and bladders to be overactive. The stove is propane, and is gimballed for cooking while underway (genius!). My favourite place to eat is in the cockpit, with no table, feet up, plate in my lap. Food always tastes better in fresh air.
Kingston was booked solid for the holiday weekend so we needed to move on, but we managed to reserve a slip in Gananoque and after refueling, we set of Friday morning for the thousand islands.