Ships are amazing to watch, and in the 1000 Islands between the U.S. and Canada, you can see them close-up and personal, even if you're not there. In today's post I'll show you how!
Due to the St Lawrence River's length, these amazing vessels pass close to many towns and parks, and share the same navigable waterways that pleasure craft use. I recall watching 1000 Islands shipping around Clayton and Alexandria Bay in New York state as a kid. Back then, they were coal-powered and had to stop at coal refueling docks like this. Amazing stuff.
If you never had a chance to experience ship watching, it's a lot of fun and not hard to do. All you have to do is be at, or on, the St Lawrence River.
Or do you?
Here's the secret - you can see these ships all season long ... via Twitter
Just follow any number of St Lawrence River ship watchers. You'll really appreciate the time they spend taking and posting pictures, and you can tell they have a love for the hobby and a sense of connection to these vessels, their cargo, and their journey. What kind of ships will you see? All kinds! St Lawrence River cruises, cargo ships, tour boats, military ships, tugboats, barges, and many more.
Let me show you a few examples to get started:
One of my latest Twitter discoveries serves up a regular feed of photos, definitely worth a follow. I recently reached out to @SeawayNNY, since several recent tweets featured ships passing by my favorite spot (Clayton NY and Calumet Island), and asked if I could share some photos with you. Thankfully the answer was "yes".
Here are a few of the great shots from @SeawayNNY:
Having spent so many years of summers on the St Lawrence watching ships pass by Clayton and up close from our family boat, I really enjoy the detail in these shots. These photo tweets really capture the beauty and working nature of these busy vessels.
Want more? You got it!
There are several other Twitter accounts I follow that serve up wonderful 1000 Islands ship pictures. Each day I see some amazing shots and it keeps me close to the place I spent a lot of time at as a kid, and still love today. Give them a follow, too!
Whether you call it the Thousand Islands or the 1000 Islands, it's a great place. Beautiful islands, great boating and fishing, relaxation, and ships. All shapes and sizes of ships.
It's fun to check out the ship names and very often spot interesting cargo. One of the most fascinating cargo loads I've seen was a deck full of huge wind turbine blades. Yeah, via Twitter! Visiting one of the St Lawrence ship tracker websites or Twitter accounts keeps you tuned in to a lot of interesting shipping activity.
Thanks again to @SeawayNNY, and if you have a favorite source of 1000 Islands ship pictures, I'd love it if you would leave a comment below.
Also, if you enjoyed this article, please share it on social media!
A 1000 Islands fishing vacation is one of the greatest ways to spend part of your summer. When I was a kid, my brother and I each had a fishing pole and together we'd drop or cast a line from my father's boat or the docks at Calumet Island Marina. The shallow water was clear enough to let us see maybe 5 or 6 feet down and spotting the type of fish to go after was fairly easy. Outside the harbor in deeper water, the St Lawrence was fairly low-visibility compared to today. The easiest fishing in the harbor was for the small ones that would take any bait we put on the hook. Ideally, we were looking for large or small mouth bass (something to eat) but always ended up with perch, sunfish, or the small rockbass. They'd all end up back in the water (in fact, I don't recall ever catching an actual "eating fish", though my father did fry some perch once - I suppose to show it could be done). Perch are bony little fish; lots of work to eat! I did latch onto a pike from the bow of our Steel King in the harbor, but alas, it was too small to keep. Another occasional find in the harbor was carp, but that wasn't a favorite.
The "real fish" were found outside the harbor; for us, off Grindstone Island. The good ones were large mouth and small mouth bass, and we feasted on many of them over 10 years of summer visits. Once my father did bring in an eel. My young imagination wondered if it was electric and almost cautioned him not to grab it, but before I could say anything, he had removed the hook and sent it back to the cool river water.
Occasionally, trolling was the order of the day. For that, I learned about a different kind of fishing pole, very stiff, with steel line. Muskies and Northern Pike were the targets and, though I found trolling to be a bit of a bore at that age, the thrills begin quickly when we hooked one. Even when I was freezing aboard a wooden flying-bridge Pacemaker one cold November west of Calumet Island, snow coming down, the prospect of seeing that fighting fish kept me in the game. In the end, it was just a cold day fishing, with no reward other than having been there. Good enough.
If you are planning a 1000 Islands vacation this year, don't leave out fishing. You won't find a better place for it! For a start, take a peek at the information the Clayton Chamber of Commerce has on fishing the area.
Got any 1000 Islands fishing vacation stories to share? Leave some feedback below!