July 6 – 9
These islands are wonderful….and small. There are actually 1800 of them instead of a mere 1000. Many of them are barely big enough for a small house and boathouse, but they look so interesting; they would make great little Christmas village houses. What was not wonderful was our mishap while cruising to this area. We all heard a major, loud noise, one we had never heard before, and the starboard engine immediately stopped responding. Thinking we had lost a prop, the Captain went down to the engine room to check. Lo & behold, our starboard shaft had severed, creating a gap of 2 to 3 feet between the two ends. This was one of those new, 1 3/4” shafts we had just purchased and had installed before we left St. Charles. Won’t even mention the cost, but for both of them, it was in the thousands, as is nearly everything for a boat. If it’s a marine or boat product, quadruple the price. At Liberty Landing they speak in units, one unit equivalent to $1000. Anything under a unit, & you got off easy! We had her hauled out again at Bonnie Castle Marina in Alexandria Bay, where we were shocked to see upon haul out that the only thing holding the starboard prop and end of the port shaft onto the boat was the starboard rudder. If the rudder had not stopped the prop, we would have lost both the prop and shaft, leaving a gaping hole in the hull through which water would have poured in! Luckily, we had kept one of the old shafts for a spare in case one of the new ones got bent. We never expected anything like this. The mechanics were surprised, too, and decided the shaft must have been defective. We visited Boldt Castle, on its own island, Heart Island, right across from the marina. Construction was begun in 1900 for George Boldt, developer and owner of the Waldorf Astoria, as a gift for his wife. Talk about great gifts! Sadly, when his wife suddenly died in 1904, at the age of 46, he stopped construction, and the castle was never completed. It deteriorated over the years until the state bought it in the 1970’s and began refurbishing it. It had cost Boldt 2 ½ million way back then. We visited the castle with Ella and Art, friends of Val and Carl who live nearby and own a local airport, and we had a wonderful dinner at their home.