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A Tour of NE Lake Ontario

A forum to discuss lighthouses in the US Great Lakes Region
(Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and the lake lighthouses of New York & Pennsylvania)

Postby CHUCKX53 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:53 pm


We recently returned from the Upstate NY area, as a long awaited ‘clean-up’ trip to finish off the U.S. Lights on and around Lake Ontario. We were able to get out to Galloo and East Charity Shoal via Jon-Boy Charters out of Henderson Harbor for a very reasonable cost, and since he also operates the Captain’s Cove Motel right there on site, it was a good match.

The Lake surface was very mild, with almost no wind. Storms were forecast to be moving in that evening, so we left port at 4 PM instead of waiting until the next day, as had been the original plan. As you can see from the photo, East Charity could use a new coat of white paint, but doubtful whether the new owner from Texas will be wielding a paintbrush anytime soon. Seeing the original Vermilion light up close was pretty neat, as I was thinking about it’s lonely existence out here, now for 75 years. The waters were so calm around the light, that I could have been on a small lake.

Next, we sailed to Galloo Island, for some shots of this now-neglected outpost. I was not surprised by the deterioration that I was seeing through my lenses, but it was like seeing a light on it’s sickbed. Some of the Keeper’s Quarters windows are broken, and the wooden addition on the left is totally weathered without a speck of paint that is evident. Some of the shingles are missing, and a hole is visible on the right side of the roof. I had to use my Tamaron 500 dialed down to about 450m, as we couldn’t get that close. I was feeling a bit sad as I was shooting, for this once-proud Light that was going to ruin, unless help could be found for it soon.

We returned to port after a long ride up the NW side of Galloo Island, which was an adventure in itself. All told, we were out 4 hours and clocked about 53 miles on the waters of Lake Ontario.
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East Charity Shoal.jpg
Lonely Watchguard
East Charity Shoal.jpg (59.3 KiB) Viewed 3085 times
Galloo Island.jpg
Galloo Needs Help
Galloo Island.jpg (71.28 KiB) Viewed 3085 times
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:58 pm


For the Horse Island Light, I was able to rent a boat for $50 from this small Marina, about 3 miles South of Sackett’s Harbor. They only had one boat available, an old 14-foot deep-V-aluminum fishing boat with a 7.5 Hp tiller motor. As I was told the lake levels were 2 feet low, this made getting out of the quarter-mile channel to the lake a bit difficult. Sitting my 230 Lb bulk at the stern of this boat to steer made the bow ride rather high, so it was a bit problematic to be able to see in front of me very well.

Since this is a rather rocky area, I had to go out about a half-mile offshore before turning north to the island. At the time, I was running into 1-2 foot waves, crossways, so it made for an interesting ride. Circling far around the West tip of the island, I approached cautiously from the North side, looking all the time for rocks. I was able to glide in after cutting the motor to a rock shelf where there was a picnic table with a fire ring, throw out the anchor, and tie off to a large rock.

Making my way down the Path to the light, I was able to take some shots of the schoolhouse structure from the front. However, the tree overgrowth still obscured a good deal of what I was trying to capture. I then noticed a large field-like area to the SW, so I made my way around to there and was able to photo the light & keeper’s quarters unobstructed.

Leaving the Island and returning was a whole lot easier, since I was more with the current on the way back. However, being so far offshore, I missed the channel markers, as they were just a series of small poles sticking up out of the water. Doubling back, I finally located them and returned to dock.
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Horse Island.jpg
Near Sackett's Harbor
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:08 pm


These last 2 lights in the area, can be seen from land as well as the water. Stoney Point and Tibbits Point Lighthouses complete the U.S. lights in this area of Lake Ontario. These are photos I took from my last time up in the area, in 2005.……
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Stoney Point.jpg
Stoney Point Rear
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Tibbetts Point.jpg
Tibbets Point Hostel
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Postby NoahG » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:56 pm


My biggest fear has always been how much investment private owners will be willing to put into their "new" offshore lights. :?
Noah G.
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:50 am


I was recently contacted by Capt. John Delorme, of Jon-Boy Charters, and he indicated that he would like to start some lighthouse charters going this summer out to the Lake Ontario lights I have listed above, and more, possibly even some Canadian ones such as Main Duck, Pigeon Island, and Prince Edward Point. He is going to have his website updated to include this in the near future. Captain John is a heck of of nice fellow, and we had a real great trip out on the lake with him.

Here’s the Web Site......JON-BOY CHARTERS.....

http://www.jonboycharters.com/jon-boy.php
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:56 pm


An update to Jon-Boy's Charters website, with the inclusion of "Lighthouse Tours This Summer".......

http://www.jonboycharters.com/

If you get the chance, this is really a worthwhile trip....The Captain is the best. :yay:
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