The 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous was a success. Not a gigantic success, but a success nonetheless.
We left Brockville Friday afternoon and made our way towards Gananoque in perfect conditions. We had a lovely evening at Adelaide Island watching a rental houseboat full of young adults try their hand at anchoring. Turns out that winding up and heaving the anchor over the rail still only results in 1.5:1 scope and almost no holding power. It did not matter as the other end of the boat was tied to a mooring ball, so the anchor was only an attempt to hold the stern away from shore. We received two “regrets” on Friday. One from Joe and Kathy Forrest of Our Cottage who were holed up in Colin’s Bay after Kathy had suffered an injury and they were not wanting to go out in the rough weather to possibly make things worse. We also had a message from Terry and Cindy Rob of Mastercard III who had intended to arrive by land, but had a family emergency that prevented them from leaving.
We awoke to find the wind whipping things up a little bit and decided to get a relatively early departure. In retrospect we probably should have made more distance in the Friday afternoon conditions as the drive from the Adelaide was straight into the wind with quite a bit of pounding. As we approached Gananoque Narrows we spotted a familiar vessel tied up on a dock at a cottage. It was an Alcan 29 I remembered meeting a couple of years ago, so we went over to say hello. We were waved off the nearby shoal by someone on the end of the dock and then helped into the dock next to the Alcan. We re-introduced everyone and invited the Alcan to our rendezvous. Unfortunately they had conflicting plans, but we exchanged contact information and committed to staying in touch.
We arrived in Gananoque around 11:00AM. We tied up at the guest dock and took stock of the situation. The weather was not optimal with the strong Westerly winds, but at least it was not raining. Shortly after noon, we had a radio call from Catherine Ann saying they were in the area. We invited them to the guest dock and spent a little time moving boats around to make room.
Buster and Catherine Ann at the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous (click on picture for larger image)
We spent some time hanging out with Rob and Cathy and cousin Thea of Catherine Ann. We had seen each other’s boats a few weeks earlier, so there were not a lot of new projects to show off. We did a few more measurements that showed that even though similar, the boats were quite different. Around 3:00 the next crew arrived. This was Case Vandenbelt and friend Gail of Cadoruca, a custom built but recognizable as Alcan/Alwest. Case has been in the business for quite a while and regaled us with stories of the early days of Alcan boats. He filled in a number of details of history that I will publish as an update to the site.
With the afternoon winding down and the crew of Cadoruca back on the road, we made plans for the evening. We had not heard from the crews of ‘Bout Time or the soon to be renamed Caroline, so we decided to head for calmer waters in the form of Beau Rivage Island. Catherine Ann had friends on the island who greeted us at an empty dock and helped us in. We invited them to our dinner as we had way too much food on hand for the small party. We had a lovely dinner with fine company.
Part way through breakfast we heard my cell phone ring. I ran to the boat to pick it up, but it had already gone to voice mail. The voice mail was from Joe and Kathy on Our Cottage indicating that they had made the trip from Kingston and were disappointed they had missed us in Gananoque. We decided to immediately head for Gananoque in Buster to try to meet up. We arrived in Gananoque and spotted Our Cottage at the guest dock. We tried to hail the boat, but they were not answering. I raised Catherine Ann on radio to indicate the situation and they too decided to head in. We tied up behind Our Cottage and tried to raise them on cell phone.
Buster and Our Cottage at the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous (click on picture for larger image)
We could hear the cell phone ringing aboard Our Cottage, so we knew they would not get our message until we had already seen them. Eventually Joe and Kathy returned from their tour of the town and the Sunday version of the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous started to pick up. Not too much later, Catherine Ann arrived and the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous got into full swing.
Catherine Ann, Our Cottage and Buster at the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous (click on picture for larger image)
We took the obligatory group photos. 1st the boats and then the crews
Crews of (left to right) Buster, Our Cottage and Catherine Ann (click on picture for larger image)
Plus we had to make sure the photographer got into the picture
Photographer Thea (far right) joins the fun (click on picture for larger image)
Catherine Ann had a previous commitment so had to sail off before noon.
Catherine Ann departing the 2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous (click on picture for larger image)
The crews of Buster and Our Cottage decided to hang around for lunch (we had lots of food to use up). We enjoyed the afternoon
We declared the inaugural Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous a success and sent Our Cottage on her way. We untied Buster and headed back to home port. We clicked one last picture of Our Cottage at the Gordon Marine in Gananoque as we headed out.
Our Cottage at Gordon Marine
On the way back to Brockville we spotted the Alwest that has been converted into a dive boat.
Converted Alwest (Click on picture for larger image)
Some Time Later
Out Cottage had made quite a substantial trip out of the Trent-Severn canal system to participate in the St. Lawrence rendezvous. We were overjoyed to see them in Gananoque after their near miss due to injury. After they left Gananoque, they headed back up the Trent-Severn canal and managed to meet up with MasterCard III for an extension of the rendezvous.
MasterCard III and Our Cottage in the Trent-Severn Canal
MasterCard III and Our Cottage in the Trent-Severn Canal.
Interesting to note that none of the boats in attendance were actually Alcan branded. We had 2 Alwests and one Sea Villa, plus the crew from what would best be called a custom Alcan. I later learned that Frank and Deb of the Alcan 370 soon to be christened “Joint Custody” had attempted to join us in Gananoque. On top of that, we had heard from Jeff Ellison of ‘Bout Time that either crew, or crew and boat, would join us for a short while. I apologize for abandoning the post in Gananoque, but it seemed the prudent thing to do at the time.
Thanks to all who participated, or attempted to participate in this inaugural event.
Invitation to the event
2007 Alcan Boat St. Lawrence Rendezvous
Date and Time
Noon Saturday, August 25, 2007 to 11:00 Sunday August 26.
Gananoque Municipal Marina, Gananoque, Ontario
Pretty much anybody who owns, or is interested in, Alcan, Alwest, Sea Villa, Alloy and other derivatives of the aluminum house cruisers initially made under the Alcan label in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Schedule of events
1) Boat Show Saturday afternoon. Check out the other Alcan/Alwest, whatever and see how the past and current owners have modified, updated them.
2) official group photo. Sometime around 4:00 Saturday, I would like to get all of the boats and all of the crews together for a group shot.
3) Potluck dinner, around 6:00 Saturday. I will be cooking Bratwurst and Italian sausages on Buster’s BBQ. Buster will supply the sausages, buns and condiments. If others could bring snacks, salads, deserts, then we would have a complete meal. Please let me know what you are bringing so I can avoid excessive duplication.
4) No particular time, some sort of entertainment. I have a radio controlled float-plane I fly off my boat. Makes for an entertaining 10 minutes. If anyone else has RC boats, planes, etc or other form of entertainment, bring it along.
Given the weather is expected to be poor on Saturday, the entertainment may be limited to cards and boat talk.