No. 7 - August, 1973

CRUISING GUIDE - MONTREAL TO EASTERN LAKE ONTARIO

GENERAL REMARKS


CHARTS:    1411- 1421 Lake St.Louis to Kingston

           1459       Kingston Harbor

           2005       Follows 1421. Bay of auinte

           2006- 2007 Bay of Quinte

           2060       Prince Edward Bay

           2064        Kinston to False Duck

           211(American)Lake Ontario - eastern end

           21 (    " )Chaumont Bay and Henderson Bay

           2000       Entire Lake Ontario

 

Care of: When folded like a road map they look shipshape. When frequently refolded on the same lines, those lines wear out very quickly and get holes where the fold lines meet. Forget about keeping them ro11ed – they blow around. Stowage of: Way aft where the ¼ berth shelves get too skinny for anything else.

 

Light list - needed for Lake Ontario

 

Weather reports; MAFOR from Kingston at 2:15 AM and every 3 hours thereafter. First batch of numbers is for Lake Ontario. If you don't have a receiver that is capable of getting the MAFOR broadcasts, get friendly with a fellow on another boat who is so equipped. Commercial broadcast stations give only one weather report: "Clear With cloudy periods".  You want to know what the wind is going to do to you.  Around 780 on our radio, we got decent forecasts from Cape Vincent at 15 and 45 after the hour. Somewhere between 14 & 16 we got an Oswago station at 11 after the hour that was better than most. Phone numbers for weather information: Kingston - 389-3252, Cape Vincent - 788-2500.

 

For a one month cruise: 1 1/2 gallons stove alcohol used. . . $1OO for gas, ice, oil, docking and ice cream cones. . . gas (91/2Hp) 1 gallon per hour. . . ice lasted 2 days.

 

Glad we Had: A good compass, binoculars, hatchet (to chop wood the Canadian government supplies on the islands), fire starter and a grill (for the same wood), GOOD screens, cockpit tables as previously described by Don Crandall, pup tent (so the kids could camp ashore sometime. And they darn well did!), lots of line to tie to trees so we wouldn't ride into rocks or docks, lead line (or depth sounder), Ice pick, cooler that fits under cockpit floor, Uncle Remus stories (for when we couldn’t get the kids into that tent.) And a good idea from Pat Best: dry ice in the cooler. 50 lbs lasted a week, is half the size of the same amount of wet ice and turned the cooler into a real freezer

 

Anchoring: A danforth doesn't hold you in a blow when the bottom is weedy. The bottom is always weedy on this route ~ when it isn't too rocky for the weeds to grow. It can grab the bottom of the weeds nicely but can't get through them to dig in. Until it was stolen (from the bottom - rode and all! But that's another story) we often had to use our Northill storm anchor in weedy areas. (If you see a 40lb, stain­less steel, folding Northill, please call the Ontario Provincial police. They haven't been made in eternities and are unobtainable. So if you see one, it's ours).

 

APPROXIMATE MILEAGES:

 

Montreal to Kingston 189

Beauharnois to Kingston 155

         to Clayton, New York 137

         to Brockville   105 

Valleyfield to Chrysler Park  52

          Snell lock    34

Snell Lock to Eisenhower Lock 3

          Ogdensburg 42

          to Morristown 11

          to Alexandria Bay 33

Eisenhower Lock to the end of the canal 6

End of canal to Iroquois Lock    18

Chrysler Park to            11

Alexandria Bay to Cape Vincent   27

Rockport to Gananoque    12

Ivy Lea to      "        8

Gananoque to Kingston    18

 

Grenadier island (U.S.) to Waupoos Island via Main Duck 31

Nine Mile point on Simcoe Island to Waupoos island            21

Kingston to Grenadier island (U.S.) via Boat Channel          18

Grenadier to Henderson Bay YC                                 14

Henderson Bay YC to Prince Edward Point (Long Point)          33

Tibbetts Point to Sackets Harbor                               22

 

CURRENTS: Everyone talks about the dreaded currents off Cornwall, but you battle currents all the way upstream. They are significant from Beauharnois on, especially off Cornwall, Cardinal, in the Brockville narrows, in the area of both spans of the 1,000 islands Bridge. The trip from Chrysler Park to Brockville took us twice as long going up stream as it did coming back down. Take lots of extra gas - total of 12 gallons was adequate for our 9 1/2.

 

SEAWAY LOCKS: A white sign with blue lettering guides you to the low floating docks where pleasure boats tie up to await locking through. Up on the cement wharf is a phone which you use to call the lockmaster, to give him your "pertinent information" - such as your size and boat number. They usually will tell you how long you must wait - which is anything from ten minutes to about two hours. In the Beauharnois Locks you use the starboard wall going upstream. They toss you down long lines to hang onto - and if you're crazy or inexperienced you rush to get in front. Then YOU get next to the wall, YOU hang on to the lines, every­one else rafts up to YOU and YOUR spreaders scrape against the cement wall. Morale: chivalry is its own reward. Its $2 a lock and the two Beauharnois Locks are back to back, almost, with no wait for the second lock. Snell and Eisenhower use a different wall and a different system. For these locks, you need your bumpers on the port side going upstream, and you put bow and stern lines around a bollard which floats in recess in the wall. Long lines help. These locks are about 3 miles apart, and you can wait forever for the second one. No tie up while you wait - you circle and diddle around. And if you aren't careful, you can run aground just downstream of the Eisenhower Lock where it looks as though they would have provided lots of water. But they didn’t. See your chart. The Iroquois Lock is a toll booth lock. You usually go straight through without tying up, and they reach out for you money with a long money grabber stick as you pass by. Just in case you get curious about those long booms they lower at the end of the locks - they hold a hydraulic cable capable of stopping a freighter should there be engine problems which prevent the freighter from stopping so that he won't crash into the lock gates (!). Thought that information would be consoling. In the Beauharnois Canal there are two lift bridges - toot your horn three times. And when you come home again don't get swept into the bridge by the current - as did a PCYC Shark sailor whose motor failed at an inopportune time.

 

LET'S GO! Since you are going to leave work early Friday, you might as well spend the night at Snake Harbor - a mile or two west of the lock entrance. EVERYONE goes to Snake Harbor - and perhaps it is that on the new charts. On ours, it isn't called anything. It’s just above the Soulanges Canal (chart 1411) - a tiny basin enclosed on 3 1/2 sides by cement walls (bumper board time). There's a swimming pool there and its fun to walk along the old canal. No supplies; but you don't need them yet.

 

No services or supplies until Valleyfield Yacht Club, where there's gas and water, a 1/2 mile walk for ice (75 cents), no ladies' shower though, a park with a swimming pool, a 1 mile walk into town, overnight docking at 15 cents a foot. Or you can stop at Coteau Landing - no supplies. Or Ile des Francs-Tireurs where we've never gone because we hear you are expected to leave lots of money at the very elegant restaurant. You can get gas at St. Anicet- a landmark from the lake is the big silvery dome on the church there. You can get gas, ice and water at Summerstown (chart 1413) - hot, weedy, very crowded place. They are planning a big expansion this winter, so by 1973 it may be a decent overnight spot.

 

The mouth of the St. Regis River is a nice overnight anchorage; but you might as well battle on to the Snell Lock. For overnight, forget the long cement wall by the small boat stand by area, and go all the way down to the tiny basin and anchor. It's well protected and surrounded by a beautiful meadow that smells like childhood summer memories. You'll probably have it all to yourself.

 

After the Eisenhower Lock, poke around the Long Sault islands (chart 1414. 8arnhart Island has a boat basin if you want to overnight there. Or anchor in the lee of the Croil islands. The entire area is quiet, peaceful, green and nice for swimming. You need some of this tonic for the soul, because from here to past Brockville you sort of grit your teeth and slog on.

 

Chrysler Park Marina (chart 1415) is near Upper Canada village. Horse back riding is a middling walk away, docking overnight is 20 cents a foot, ice is 80 cents, there are a few (expensive) grocieries, clean showers, very helpful, friendly marina owners, pump out of course.  It is also full of the “wolf pack" or, the “Bronx Navy" as they're called on the L.I. Sound. (The cruisers that travel not in fleets, not together; but in packs.) Coles Creek across the river was going to be our overnight spot on the return trip; but without our storm anchor we felt better in the 35knot winds at a dock. It looks like a nice spot.

 

If you want gas at Morrisburg, Waddington or Iroquois, it's a long walk - and any walk is long carrying gas tanks. Whitehouse Bay is a nice, quiet place to anchor overnight. And just to starboard of the Iroquois Lock there is a protected overnight spot.

 

Cardinal is a smelly place. (chart 1416). Go south of Galop island - ­current eddies are less. The little bay on Galop which holds Benedict island, or the enclosed basin at the western end of Galop are nice overnight anchorages, or lunch and swim spots.

 

Pray, now, for the wind to get out of the west, so you can sail - past Prescott (chart 1417) where the marina was closed this summer due to high water. You can get gas at Ogdensburg (follow your chart carefully for the channel) just west of red buoy number 4 - about where all those dots are on the chart. So we're told. Both places look horrid from the water.

 

Brockville is busy crowded and noisy. Its redeeming features are Laundromats, supermarkets, Tait's bakery, gas, ice, water, pump out. You can tie up free at the long government wharf or pay ($3, we hear) to use a dock down in the basin past the customs house. The wharf is perpetually buzzed and bounced by runabouts. And people walk along it to stare at the people on the boats. We're endlessly fascinating, under our awnings. Stovin Island, just upstream is a better place to spend the night - though, as islands go, it is very busy. More sailboats use the dock at the western end than the one in the little cove. If you go into that little cove, watch the barely submerged rocks just on the starboard side of the entrance.

 

All the government islands, by the way, are clean, unspoiled, have tables, fireplaces, outhouses and "pavilions" where you can go to get out of the rain. All have docks in addition to those marked on the charts - and often one side of an island will have the "wolf Pack" - and you'll find some kindred souls on sailboats on the other side of the island.

 

The current is fierce in the Brockville Narrows - which ARE narrow, and shared with the freighters.

 

Follow the small craft route - nicer and less busy than going on the American side. (chart 1418). (That castle business on Dark Island is owned by Dr.Martin. He MUST be an Orthodontist.)

 

Just east of Grenadier - the Canadian Grenadier, that is, you find Adelaide Island. Mosquito capital of Canada. Well, it shares the honors with Grenadier. They are bad enough throughout the whole area of the islands; but bigger, fiercer and more numerous here than anyplace we've ever been. There's a great view from the light tower on the western end of Grenadier.

 

You can get some groceries - not many- at Rockport (chart 1419); and gas, ice, water. We preferred the Canadian Middle Channel to the American side - which is busier and more populated.

 

We expected big things of Alexandria Bay (1419). It is distinctly, enormously HORRIBLE. The town is run down, ticky-tacky-tourist-trappy, hot and ugly. The famous Bonnie Castle Marina is enormous, posh, slick, pretentious - just the pace for the many 10 storey high cruisers that were there. Row after row of roofed over docks held even more huge cruisers. Not our kind of place. But good if you need repairs or fittings.

 

Boldt Castle on Heart Island is fun for incurable romantics. Go after

7 PM, when the island closes and the tour boats are no longer a plague (and it's free). Then you have it all to yourself to explore. Dusk lends a certain suitable mystery to the place, and it's easier to ignore junk written on all the walls. No one told us NOT to spend the night there.

 

Georgina and Constance islands, under the bridge, are not quiet retreats. And the wolf pack unites there. All dressed up, at that. There's a nice little cove near the NW tip of Ash Island (anchor). Ivy Lea has margin­a I grocery shopping, gas, ice, water - and 10 million run abouts.

 

Now, (chart 1420), you can have a nice sail to the Lake Fleet islands. Forget Canoe Pt. on the NE tip of Grenadier. Wolf Pack. Endymion is nice; Camelot, too - if it isn't jammed with big cruisers. To the west is lovely Leek Island. It has just been bought by the Canadian Government­and is not yet marked on the charts as a park island. There's a wonderful cove on the SE side - where there were only sailboats, as there were no docks yet.

 

The Admiralty Islands (1420) are intriguing. Burnt island (really Aubrey Island) is a sailor's spot. Climb the light tower for a fabulous view. Mermaid and Beaurivage are equally nice, with more campers on the latter. Ganoque has everything, including too many people. Across "40 acres", on the American side is less touristy Clayton, New York. A good Grand Union is across the street form the village docks - and you can wheel your wagon down to the docks, and leave it there! Ice is 65 cents at the Grand Union - and cleaner than the big hunk you can get at Rice's Marina (Mobil). But the people at Rice's are really great - so get your gas and water there. Just to the west, on Bartlett Point is the most amazing place - the Clayton Yacht Club. It is shady, cool, quiet, clean, with good showers, good docks, nice people - and it seems no one is using it!

 

Just west of auebec Head (1420) is a likely looking bay, with one sounding: 4'. Beware: You can't get to the four foot spot. (That also is another story.) To the west is Brakey Bay, with a little notch of water on the eastern side - no soundings on the chart. Shores are steep to, wooded, deserted and the water is deep. A heavenly place if there isn't a storm with north winds.

 

Trident Yacht Club (1420) on the Bateau Channel is nice. Better sailing is the passage between Wolfe and Howe. We had a spinaker run all the way.

 

Kingston YC is terrific, of course. 1st night free. Clean showers and classy bar. Best of all - the very congenial Konrad Wolfe on No. 158. The Government docks are handier to shopping - but were not there because of high water this year.

 

I have never been jealous of money, beauty, brains, luck. I have never before coveted. But when we saw all that water - the Bay of auinte on one side, the 1,000 Islands on the other, and all of Lake Ontario spread­out before them, we envied the Kingston sailors. What a feast of water! Nice anchorage on Amherst lsland: Stella, a pier at Emerald, a wharf in Long Point Bay - good in a North wind (charts 2005 and 2064). Aldolphus ­Reach with Prinyers cove to the west of Amherst Island. To the South­west: Prince Edward Bay with Waupoos and Waupoos Island. (2060)

 

To jump back - you can enter Lake Ontario (2064) by the Lower Gap between Amherst and Simcoe islands - to go by the Boat Channel between Simcoe and Wolfe. We chose the former - the better to taste all that big expanse of water. Heading South East (1421, and U.S. 21 - which is better) you use your light list to identify pigeon island Light.  A very high TV mast on Wolfe Island (beside the compass rose on 1421) and the silo near Wilson point, N.Y. (Marked on 21, but not on 1421) are useful navigation aids.

 

And now, the American Grenadier island - where I suddenly believed in ghosts. What a CREEPY place! There are some long ago deserted summer homes - one, a once-upon-a-time beauty. Now water sloshes through the downstairs, shingles rattle. No one is there. Long ago summers - are they remembered by the people who used to love the place? The dust has settled. Where did the people go? Why? The shores of the basin harbor are slimy, cozy with algae and weeds, thick with water snakes and dead fish. We felt totally alone in a most depressing sort of way. Especially as it was stormy and we were running out of water, ice, head, etc.

 

South and east again. To Chaumont and Henderson Bays and Sackets Harbor. Wonderful sailing Y.C.’s at Chaumont and Henderson - Dick Knight at Chaumont can fix anything and everything. There's a marina at Sackets - stand in line for shower and john - where dock the friendliest people you can find. We were showered with kindnesses, courtesies and comrade­ship - as only the Americans can do it.

 

Lake Ontario winds are steady - can you believe a spinaker reach - THREE HOURS with guy and sheet cieated! We would have fallen asleep under that beautiful blue and yellow cloud, but we were too ecstatic. The waves get BiG BiG BiG when it blows, too.

 

Back up past Tibbetts Point - pretty – to Cape Vincent where there's a laundromat across the street form the marina - and more friendly Americans. The marina has clean showers, the town is attractive. It’s fun watching the St. Lawrence River Pilot boats dash out to pick off the pilots form the freighters in the channel. A few days of strong west wind can pile up a lot of surf off Tibbetts - and plenty of current. Ice at Cape Vincent is 1.25 for what they call a 25 lb block. The dirt on it is free. Docking is 20 cents a foot.

 

On Carleton Island (between Wolfe and the N.Y. mainland . . . A privately owned island), you can anchor in North Bay. On the island are the ruins of Fort Haldiman - a British supply base before the war of 1812.

 

The Sail along the south side of Wolfe, heading back East, is a nice

one; but sad - because you are no longer sailing into the sunset, but away from it. . . away from all the water and winds of Lake Ontario . . . away from vacation; and back to all the telephones, traffic, schedules, pressures, reality.

 

 

MORE (1) On Lightning Protection

J.R.Maynard, sail no. 165 has written to suggest following the lightning Protection Code from the National Fire Protection Association. This code, briefly, suggests grounding mast and rigging (stays) with 98% conductivity (when annealed) copper, not less than no.8 Awg - in as straight a line as possible. For more complete information, you might wish to obtain a copy of the code.

WARNiNG: As one unfortunate T22 discovered the hard way, THERE is inadequate Bridge CLEARANCE during high water periods if you leave the Expo Marina using the small boat channel. Use the ship channel and you'll make it.

 

 

THREE T22s, Tom and Sue Burnham, Mike and Jane Roos, Ben and Ann Lambert made a July 4 cruise - 19 hours each way - to Block Island. Ben reports encountering a 4' - 5' chop in the "RACE"; and that the boats behaved beautifully throughout the pounding they took.

 

 

NEW PRODUCT of interest to those who trail their boats. The HI-N-DRI Launching System gives extra distance between the car and the trailer during launching and recovery. Diamond shaped arms unfold from a position parallel to the bumper to an extended length 4’3” from the car to the trailer tongue. It is made of durable steel, weighs less than 40 lbs., cost about $100. Made by TELEDYN£ AERO-CAL, 528 East Mission road, San Marcos, California 92069 (Marine Division).

 

 

BOOT TOP TAPE - COVE Striping. . . Minnesota Mining, Scotch Cal. . . Available by the inch; fractions of an inch on special order. The Montreal distributor is E. Harris, 6640 Jeanne Mance, 273-9195.

 

 

AND AN INFORMATIVE LETTER from Gary Strauss, No. 206 of Gibsonia, Pa.:

1) MAST SUPPORTS. See photos no.1 and no.2. They are made from scrap lumber and carpeting and are used for trailing. The mast is lashed down with two lines. One goes straight down to the bow cleat, and the other between the two stern cleats. This makes a very compact and rigid package. Photo no.3 shows an extension that slips on the stern trailing support shown in photo no.2. Photo no.4 shows the mast brackets in place and also the additional windows in the forward cabin. I found the windows easy to install (after conquering the initial trauma of making the first cut in my beautiful boat) and a great improvement in the forward cabin light level.

2) As I own the CB model and do not have the use of a hoist, I find it is ­much simpler to step the mast and do all the rigging before launching, while the boat is firmly cradled on the trailer. (ED. NOTE: Watch for over­head power lines in the vicinity!) When raising the mast I use the upper shrouds with 2X1/4” long "fireman's" snaphooks inserted between the turn­buckles and the chain plates. This arrangement stabilizes the mast very well until the lower shrouds can be attached and tensioned.

3) Heathkit makes a very good battery charger which is completely automatic and fully interlicked.


RULES FOR INTREPID SKIPPERS WITH TREPID WIVES or BE GENTLE, MEN

1. Don’t shout. She's trying. If she isn't keen, she's a darn good sport just to be aboard. If she didn't love you so much, she'd stay

Home.

2. Don't expect her to enjoy "windows under" sailing.

3. Don't make her jump to the dock from 10' away, with the boat going 4 knots.

4. Find a compliment for the culinary wonders she produces in a tiny area on 1 or 2 burners. (Its a wonder you get anything to eat at all).

5. Keep your pokey old fingers out of galley business. . . Don't expect her to scrub the decks after a regatta she hasn't even sailed in. And get rid of that cabin full of beer cans before 'She sees them all.

6. Teach her how to sail - spectator sports are dull.

7. Keep the spinaker in the bag when she's aboard if it scares her.

8. Remember, she's not a gorilla - or you wouldn't have married her. Some things require a man's weight and muscle (Aren't you glad?)

9. How about a nice dinner out after a long day of sailing?

10. A kiss in time saves lots of hassles.

 

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