1,000 Islands - Great Lakes.
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
435Trip End Dec 31, 2020
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Where I stayed
We made friends with a local chap who offered to show a couple of Aussies around the islands in his boat. By the end of the day he probably wished he hadn't offered as we managed to get embroiled in a lengthy customs/immigration hassle with the US coast guard!
We were having a lovely time and our host Mike said he would take us into US waters so we could visit the famous Boldt castle
Just as soon as we entered US waters the coast guard cruised up, stopped the boat and asked our citizenship. When told Australian he got very officious and asked for our passports and spent all of 15 minutes reading the stamps! We were told we were to proceed immediately to the customs office at Boldt Castle. We told him that was where we were heading anyway but I don't think he believed us. Normally Canadians entering US waters just on a day trip only have to phone customs advising this but our friend was also told that he would have to go to customs. Once we arrived at the customs office the day deteriorated rapidly. All 3 of us were treated like criminals. We tried explaining that we had only just come from the US into Canada some 6 weeks ago and had previously entered the US on 4 occasions so we were not a threat to the US of A. We also explained we were only going to see Boldt castle have some lunch and then go back to Canada. The officials spent about and hour searching the boat from top to bottom. They then quizzed us in detail about whether we had property in Australia, and the ages of our children
It was a pretty unique experience and the worst customs/immigration experience we have ever had and we have been to some pretty amazing places. We can only assume he was on a bit of a power trip or just got out of bed the wrong way that day!
One other experience of note in Gananoque was going to a live theatre production. Although a small town it has a lovely historic theatre and people come from far and wide, often by boat to visit the Springer theatre which is right on the waters edge. We saw a comedy "Communicating Doors" and thoroughly enjoyed not only the show, but the ambience of a theatre with a balcony that overlooks the islands in the waterway.