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Kingston waterfront news: December 2007

The CFB KINGSTON DOLPHIN SCUBA CLUB remains very active with diving throughout the winter.

Yesterday, for example, members dove off the Kingston Yacht Club during the day and then practiced in the KMCSC pool in the evening.

The Dolphins regularly post accounts and photos on their blog, and they occasionally update their photo gallery on Flickr which has, among other things, a photoset of members ice diving in Kingston Harbour last February.

Incidentally, though it's a military club, it's membership is open to all Kingston residents. A yearly associate membership costs $65.00 for civilians, $45.00 if you're between 14 and 21.

The CFB Kingston Dolphin Scuba Club is one of the truly great things about the Kingston waterfront. Active year-round, its members always seem to be collaborating with others on the waterfront, and they have been systematically sharing what they do, see, and find.

Posted December 21 2007
Category: Diving
Kiteboarding Kingston - Riding Map

Someone created a Google KITEBOARDING KINGSTON - RIDING MAP. Big Sandy Bay is mis-identified, but the rest is great.

For example:

PUC Dock

Kingston's most popular summer launch site, good from east through west on the south side of the compass, best in SW winds...but it really comes to life in a true west once the swell gets bigger and cleans up a bit. Best catagorized as "bump and jump" with a nice little carvatorium on the inside at the pipe.

Though this is a very accessible launch it is an intermediate level spot at least. There is a slight current, and limited landing spots downwind. Jump off the dock to launch, but make sure you make it in before the last little beach upwind of the hospital! If you miss that your best bet is to ride it out and come in WAAAAY downwind at the base of Fort Henry. Not a bad planned downwinder for those on the early stages of the learning curve. Bring a quarter and call a cab from the pay phone at the entrance to the fort to get back to the PUC docks.


Related: Here's a Google Earth File of Lake Ontario Windsurf Spots compiled by Evan Wamsley.

Posted December 20 2007
Category: Boardsailing

APPROVAL OF 2008 CITY MARINA FEES is also on Council's agenda for Tuesday evening. It's on page 38 of the report if the link doesn't bring you directly there.

Posted December 17 2007
Category: Marinas

THE LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH AHOY RENTALS LTD. is on Council's agenda for Tuesday evening.

It appears that the timber frame exhibit shelter for the Phoebe is to be placed near where Ahoy Rentals is currently, so Ahoy will move southwest somewhat, with a new structure to be built there.

Ahoy will be licensed to rent out a maximum of twenty kayaks, six canoes, six sail boats (12'-16') and twelve bicycles, whereas under the former agreement eight kayaks, four canoes, eight sail boats, two windsurfers and an unspecified number of bicycles were rented from the site.

Here's the Phoebe restoration project home page and the Ahoy Rentals home page.

Posted December 17 2007
Category: Boating

$220,000 FOR MARINA REPAIRS IN 2008 in a Whig story today. It's all about who should ultimately pay.

But the city's deputy mayor said Kingston has to accept the fact that it is not a waterfront city.

Deputy Mayor Bill Glover said the city has ignored waterfront development and a full range of services for citizens and boaters to enjoy.

Read the whole thing.

Posted December 15 2007
Category: Marinas

THE SNOWBIRDS AIRSHOW is coming back to Kingston on Wednesday June 18th 2008.

Posted December 13 2007
Category: The Snowbirds
MetalCraft Marine fireboats featured in the Miami-Herald

MetalCraft Marine's fireboats were FRONT-PAGE NEWS IN THE MIAMI-HERALD on Friday.

Also, MetalCraft Marine's news page is quite active, and you can subscribe to its RSS feed Live bookmark.

Posted December 10 2007
Category: Working waterfront
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Study Final Report, Fall 2007

The latest GREAT LAKES ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STUDY has just been released, and it's fascinating reading.

The 128-page PDF is full of interesting discussion and schematics on the economic importance of the Seaway, environmental considerations, infrastructure, and various aspects and challenges of keeping the Seaway in operation.

In Kingston it's easy to forget about the Seaway because its shipping channel passes South of Wolfe Island, so we don't see it on a daily basis. The Seaway is just 8 1/2 miles, as the crow files, from City Hall.

Posted December 10 2007
Category: The seaway

Yesterday CKWS-TV News reported this:


The Rideau waterway has scored high marks in a just-released survey on water quality.

Environment Canada compiled samples from rivers across the country. And it gives the Rideau a 75 out of 100.

Memo to CKWS-TV News: That's not what the report says. Canadian Environmental Sustainabiolity Indicators 2007

You can find the 67-page report here: Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators -- released Dec 6 2007.

Assuming that CKWS-TV News is accurate about the rideau scoring "75 out of 100", then qualifying that as "high marks" is drastically overstating the findings of the report.

If you read the report, which CKWS-TV News evidently didn't do, here is how the Water Qualitry Index (WQI) is interpreted:

Water Quality Index ratings



Excellent (95.0 to 100.0)

Water quality measurements never or very rarely exceed water quality guidelines.

Good (80.0 to 94.9)

Measurements rarely exceed water quality guidelines and, usually, by a narrow margin.

Fair (65.0 to 79.9)

Measurements sometimes exceed water quality guidelines and, possibly, by a wide margin.

Marginal (45.0 to 64.9)

Measurements often exceed water quality guidelines and/or by a considerable margin.

Poor (0 to 44.9)

Measurements usually exceed water quality guidelines and/or by a considerable margin.

Therefore, the proper conclusion is that the Water Quality Index (WQI) for Rideau waterway is fair.

Here's the distribution of "scores" for the 359 waterways tested by Environment Canada in this report. The Rideau Waterway is close to average at best.

The Rideau Waterway is in this grouping

Posted December 8 2007
Category: The environment

HMCS TERRA NOVA, a 366-foot Canadian Restigouche-class destroyer escort, is to be scuttled to create an artificial reef for diving near Gananoque.

The target-time for that is late 2009.

The claim that "the sunken ship will attract some 10,000 recreational scuba divers to the region in the first year" seems implausible.

Update A meeting account from Chris of the CFB Dolphins SCUBA Club. The scuttling is planned to be just off Browns Bay Provincial Park, near Mallorytown on the 1000 Islands Parkway. That's about 60 km from Kingston.

Posted December 7 2007
Category: Diving

THE ADMIRAL'S WALK APPLICATION FOR DRAFT PLAN OF SUBDIVISION is included in the documents for this week's City of Kingston Planning Committee meeting.

Therein is a lousy-quality scan of a "concept site plan", shown below; click the image to go to the source document.

The new theme appears to be, "maximum marina". How such a facility might work in practice, given the extremely limited shoreside space, certainly isn't clear.

A notable oddity: the diagram appears dated July 2006, which is surprising since we've not been shown anything remotely resembling this before.

Admiral's Walk Site Plan, December 6 2007


Posted December 4 2007
Category: Elevator Bay
Wikipedia logo

Have you noticed how Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, dominates Google search result pages?

For example, consider these Google search results:

  • Google " Kingston, Ontario", and Wikipedia ranks as the first entry after the City of Kingston's website, and ahead of all the websites belonging to Queen's, Fort Henry, CFB Kingston, KEDCO, all the hotels, all real-estate brokers, the Chamber of Commerce, all the other directories, everthing.
  • Googling Queens University returns Wikipedia as the first Canadian non-Queen's entry.
  • Googling Royal Military College: Wikipedia ranks second behind the RMC website.
  • Wolfe Island returns Wikipedia in fifth spot, but still ahead of 312,995 others.

Like it or not, Google considers Wikipedia as authoritative. When someone wants a general overview of something notable, Wikipedia is as good a place as any to start.

It is therefore in our interest to ensure that Wikipedia articles about notable things in our midst exist, are rich and accurate, are properly categorized and linked, and thereafter are watched in perpetuity.

Our waterfront is woefully underrepresented in Wikipedia. That needs to change.

Some existing Kingston waterfront-related Wikipedia articles that need work:

These articles exist already, but are sparse, mere shades of what they could be.

Some potential Kingston waterfront-related Wikipedia articles that don't exist yet:

There are currently no Wikipedia articles about any of the following:

  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. That's really bad.
  • The Kingston Yacht Club.
  • Kingston Rowing Club, as opposed to this other Kingston Rowing Club.
  • Two of our local towers: Cathcart Redoubt, and Shoal Tower. Articles on Murney Tower and Fort Frederick tower exist already.
  • Melville Shoal, despite its local lore.
  • Snake Island, the Brother Islands (Eastern_Lake_Ontario), and other cormorant-ravaged landscapes.
  • Nine Mile Point Lighthouse.
  • Big Sandy Bay
  • ... and surely others.

So pick a notable piece of your physical environment and see to documenting it in Wikipedia. It won't cost you a dime, and it will get viewed far more, and be trusted far more, than almost anything else you can do on the web, at any price.

Posted December 2 2007
Category: The region

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012