Monday, June 20, 2011

Journal Entry by Captain Jamie Trost

Notes on Clayton: For nearly a week now, Lynx has been chock a block full with enthusiastic natives, summer visitors and maritime aficionados on every one of her 8 sails. With one more today, and a final one tomorrow, the excitement doesn’t seem to be waning at all. Like so many towns along the Great Lakes, Clayton has a strong connection to and appreciation for all types of water craft. Settled along the South Shore of the St. Lawrence, the town has a prime vantage point for watching the Lakers and deep sea ships pass by, while the local craft of choice seems to be a classic, shiningly varnished 1950s runabout.

And what an area to sail in, as opposed to the more common experience of sailing through – the Thousand Islands offer spectacular scenery, but most of my traditional career, I have only ever seen them at a fleeting glance on my way to somewhere else. Lynx’s extended stay in Clayton offers opportunity to see more of the islands – their rocky and craggy shores speckled with pine, oak and the occasional castle (where else in America is there a castle every 20 miles?) – and appreciate the environment that has drawn summer visitors for over a century. The nearby Eagle Wing Group (of Islands and shoals) creates a need to keep a close watch on navigation, as in some areas the depth slants from over 100 feet to under 5 feet in just a few ship lengths, and without so much as a buoy for warning! So it is important not to get completely mesmerized by the islands. But fortunately the weather has been a summery mix of sometimes too gentle southwesterlies, clear skies and hot temperatures. The chill of the lower river is just a memory now.

With near perfect consistency in the wind conditions so far, the adventure sails have developed a pattern of motoring out of the narrow section off Clayton, then maneuvering between Grindstone Island and the Southern Shore then sailing downstream into Clayton to take in sail with a salute just off the dock. The speed and sail combinations vary, but the conditions are near idyllic – except when we lose the breeze and are at the mercy of the current. Likewise, the generosity of Clayton has continued the trend of our Thousand Islands Idyll – Guest Crew and local restaurateur Lori Durand has offered to treat the crew to a meal at her “Koffee Kove,” her friend, Mayor Norma Zimmer has volunteered to get the cook out for provisions, and we are being hosted to a fish fry tonight at the Thousand Islands Inn (the very place Thousand Island Dressing was first served!) by owners Allen and Susan Benas. And always coming through for any other logistic needs we have is event coordinator and one man marketing machine Michael Folsom.

For a traditional sailing vessel to spend more than a few days of summer in one port is rare, but for us to have the good fortune of being in as friendly and beautiful a place as Clayton is near miraculous. Thanks to all who continue to make our stay here such a good one.

All best,

Captain Jamie Trost and the soon to be sampling Great Lakes Perch crew of Lynx

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