Subject: Re: Collecting places
Hi Ziners; I've been reading the varied collections with interest, as I had never really thought of our preferences as collections, but after reflection I realized how our travels keep drawing us back to islands.

Since this past week we were fortunate enough to join friends on a houseboat expedition for a long weekend through Canada's Thousand Islands (1,864 actually -- the criteria is must be above water year round and must sustain at least 2 living trees) we added considerably to our collection.

I'll admit that even after a thorough orientation,as novices we left the dock with some trepidation, but managed to arrive back with no dents in the cabin or nicks in the prop and friends have now stop addressing me as Gilligan. Mind you, I confess we did see several islands a couple of times as we slowly circled searching for the discreet docking signs posted by National Parks. Perhaps clearly visible signs aren't regarded as environmentally friendly but next time binoculars will definitely be included on our must-have list as will a magnifying glass to decipher those miniscule buoy numbers on the charts!!

Several companies offer basically the same itinerary on a 2-3 hour cruise, but for any visitors to Canada, this is a unique way to get up close and personal with an incredibly beautiful part of Ontario. Very peaceful, relaxing and early or late in the season, you may be fortunate enough to be the only boat docked at an island, and have a passing menagerie to admire with your morning coffee -- on our first morning we awoke to deer, wild turkeys, and blue herons just off our bow. Second night we docked at a lovely island named Camelot -- and yes, the showers through the night stopped by 7!

Enroute home we decided that next year we'll aim for the other 500 islands -- but with binoculars and magnifying glass on board, perhaps we'll only see them once!

For any readers interested in this type of an adventure, this site gives a good overview.

Anne Burlington ON