Saturday, May 22, 2010

Uncle Sam Boat Tours

Nothing pleases me more than being out on the water on a beautiful, sunny day. So you can assume I was delighted to be able to take the "Two Nations - One Border" cruise on the St. Lawrence River, with Uncle Sam Boat Tours (, headquartered in Alexandria Bay, New York. They have several different sizes of boats, and this photo collage shows just a few of them. The middle photo shows me on the right, joined by Tillie Youngs, Projects Assistant for the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council ( .

This photo collage illustrates the tour title --- Two Nations. It enabled passengers to enjoy close-up views of the historic and scenic wonders in both the Canadian and American sections of the 1000 Islands. However, since passengers do not actually disembark on Canadian territory, there are no passports or visas necessary for the Two Nations Cruise. The knowledgeable tour guide explained the history of many of the historic homes and structures we saw: For example, she explained that the little footbridge on the left holds the record for being The Shortest International Bridge in the world, because it connects an island located in Canadian waters with an island located in USA waters. The guide jokingly explained that both islands are owned by the same family, so when they have have a disagreement, one party goes to the USA side and one to the Canadian side, until resolution is achieved. The photo on the lower right is the Thousand Islands Bridge that was mentioned in the blog about the Boldt Yacht House.

As an example of the friendliness and congeniality of the folks in this part of the country, everyone who happened to be on board the Uncle Sam Boat Tour that day received an invitation to join members of the Alexandria Bay Rotary Club (lower left photo) who had arranged a delicious buffet luncheon for local senior citizens who were able to take the cruise. Since they had more food than those present could consume, the entire boat benefited from their generosity. I was particularly impressed with the sheet cakes they offered, with photos of 1000 Islands landmarks skillfully painted into the icing (top two photos).

I enjoy taking photographs of churches in different parts of the world, so I was delighted to see the extremely picturesque church perched on a steep bluff overlooking the river (upper left photo). Our guide also made sure we saw the statue of St. Lawrence that also sits on a high bluff above the river (upper right photo). It was French explorer Jacques Cartier who gave the name of St. Lawrence to this---the widest river in the world. If you're like me, you may be curious what the thing is that St. Lawrence is holding (see bottom photo) It is a gridiron. This is because St. Lawrence was martyred on a gridiron as part of Valerian's persecution in the year 258 A.D.; during his torture, Lawrence cried out "This side's done, turn me over and have a bite." This is the legend often quoted explaining why Lawrence is the patron saint of comedians, cooks, and chefs. Some religions set aside a special feast day (August 10) for Saint Lawrence, and accord this special prayer to him on that day: "Father, you called Saint Lawrence to serve you by love and crowned his life with glorious martyrdom. Help us to be like him in loving you and doing your work. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen" I say AMEN to that as well! Miles of smiles!! Tricia
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