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Kingston waterfront news: December 2008

FIVE BRICKBATS TO KINGSTON CITY COUNCIL (2008) is an interesting post by an apparently very well-traveled Canadian.

Here's brickbat number four:

(4) the failure to create a walkable, enjoyable public downtown waterfront.

One of the more annoying aspects of the mismanagement of Kingston is the absolute disregard the city has for its downtown waterfront. Centennial park directly in front of City Hall doesn't cut it. Nor does the little bit of pathway/public space between City Park west beyond KGH. The absolute lack of interest in providing a walkable inviting downtown waterfront from Belle Isle down to the foot of Ontario St is an embarrassment and should shame each and every councillor. It's not difficult - just takes some leadership.

Amen, brother. Read the whole thing.

Posted December 31 2008
Category: Other viewpoints
High winds this week

PHOTOS FROM THIS WEEKEND'S HIGH WINDS have been posted by Chris Wamsley on Flickr. UPDATE: Check out this photo of the Confed breakwall and this Ferry carwash shot.

Also some members of the CFB Dolphins Scuba Club, which is active all winter long, went for a shore-dive to the KGH wreck.

Anyone else have photos to share?

Posted December 30 2008
Category: The region
Proposed obsolete Canadian Charts

LOCAL CANADIAN CHARTS ON THE OUTS?

That's the scoop according to an article by Ross Pollack in the latest Thousand Islands Life.

According to the article:

These Canadian charts are beautiful examples of the printers' art: at once highly readable and richly presented with great registration of the different colored inks. But government efficiency will soon eliminate the cross-checking possible with different US and Canadian charts of the same St. Lawrence River waters.

According to a spokesman for the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, navigational charts covering the same US-Canada border areas will no longer be produced by both nations, and water boundary areas will be divided between the nations for mapping purposes.

The plan is for the relevant stretch of the St. Lawrence River to be charted by the US alone. Eventually, these Canadian charts, numbers 1435 to 1439, will be obsolete and will be replaced by up-to-date versions of US charts 14770 to 14774 and 14802.

There's apparently nothing else online about this yet. There's something fundamentally repulsive about this.

Posted December 26 2008
Category: The region

READER COMMENTS can now be added to any news item or any article in this website.

If this works, this should vastly broaden the input from K7 readers.

This is still in the testing stage, so try it out and let me know what you think.

Just click the "Comments" link below and give it a whirl.

To post a comment, you only need to provide a name or an alias. All other information is voluntary.

Posted December 25 2008
Category: K7Waterfront

THE DECEMBER THOUSAND ISLANDS LIFE is online.

The zine now features an RSS feed and has a new look. Overall it's a very nice upgrade.

Update: Kingston's now included in their collection of Thousand Islands Communities.

Posted December 15 2008
Category: The region
proposed shoreline repairs around the West Street ramp

AT COUNCIL TUESDAY: a proposed $115,575 for shoreline repair around the West Street boat ramp, just east of Kingston Yacht Club.

While we're on the subject, here's our list of launch ramps in and around the city.

Posted December 11 2008
Category: City Council
Bow of Guernter's wreck

GUENTER'S WRECK is the subject of a new Preserve Our Wrecks photoset on Flickr.

The photos, which are excellent, were taken in November.

This wreck has been known to local divers since the 1960's, and it was catalogued by Parks Canada as early as 2002.

Last summer, a self-promoter "discovered" it. A lazy, impressionable, and non-fact-checking mainstream media bought-into the story, including CKWS-TV, The Whig, The Montreal Gazette and beyond.

Recently, according to Jonathan Moore, an underwater archeologist with Parks Canada:

We have no real archeological evidence that it is HMS Montreal.

Posted December 8 2008
Category: Diving

GONE ARE THE OLD-STYLE SHOAL MARKERS in Kingston Harbour. This summer, the M.O.T. replaced them with much smaller, and much lower, cylindrical ones.

Beyond arcane trivia, why would this matter?

There are many factors that make Kingston Harbour a great place to race sailboats. The axis of Lake Ontario, the narrowing and gradual funneling of the shorelines towards Kingston, the low-lying landmasses to the south and west, the landscapes inland that help generate thermal winds, these are all good.

New shoal mark in Kingston Harbour
The new Myles Shoal marker

For dinghy-racing sailors, another nice feature of Kingston Harbour is the fortunate positioning of both Myles Shoal and Penitentiary Shoal which, until this summer, were both marked with large green buoys that were easily visible at a mile distance. (See the chart below.)

Myles Shoal lies exactly 1/2 nautical mile off Kingston Yacht Club, almost directly into the teeth of prevailing breezes. Myles Shoal makes a perfect first-target for a group of practice-racing dinghies as they leave shore. The stretch between KYC and Myles Shoal has surely served for many-a-thousand dinghy tunings and warmups over the years.

From there, Penitentiary Shoal lies exactly one nautical mile from Myles Shoal, a perfect practice distance. This leg bears 272 degrees magnetic (ignoring magnetic anomalies), which is typically to the right of prevailing breezes, but this right-offset largely compensates for the left-side bias when racing in Kingston Harbour. The result is usually a tactically balanced upwind practice-leg for a group of racing dinghies. Perfect!

But the new shoal markers are smaller and lower, and can't be seen at a distance of one nautical mile when viewed from low on the water. The markers are in the same positions as always, but there has been a significant downgrade in their recreational utility. There are simply fewer obvious targets to sail-between now. Kingston Harbour lost a dinghy-sailing intangible this summer.

When the M.O.T. decided to swich-out the old shoal markers, it's likely nobody gave the dinghy-sailing aspect any thought whatsoever.

And so it goes: a really special waterfront slowly becomes an ordinary waterfront one step-at-a-time.

Constantly losing intangibles, each one perhaps "no big deal" taken individually, eventually adds-up on aggregate.

Myles Shoal and Penitentiary Shoal
Posted December 2 2008
Category: Navigation

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Last Updated: July 17, 2012