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Old 09-08-2016, 09:59   #16
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Originally Posted by Ungvar View Post

I'll be cruising the area for 4 or 5 days, so I'm hoping I can pick a weather window for Pigeon, which I notice is so small and far enough out it doesn't even appear on Google maps. I'm wondering if I can some how beach or anchor very close to shore on the leeward side of the island. Looks rocky as heck though.
===

Here's a screen snap of the chart for Pigeon Island. It would be dangerous, and possibly illegal, to land there in all but the calmest weather.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wpe0xv19qz...46.59.png?dl=0

Lat/Lon is at the bottom of the screen image.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:10   #17
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

I was just up at Long Point Harbour a couple of weeks ago:

Was talking to the captain of the dive boat (~25' boat) which works out of there - he is touching bottom as he comes in.. so I doubt any boat with a keel which doesn't lift will be able to get in without touching bottom. (Having said that my wife and I thought it would be a great spot for our cat which draws ~3ft if we could get in...)

There was an older large boat in there.. but to be honest I don't think it would be able to get out.

There were some buoys and with clear water what remains of the old dredged channel can been seen if you try...
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:14   #18
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Originally Posted by Sunsetrider View Post
Be aware that the water level is several feet below chart levels this season.
Lake ontario is currently 0.6 metres above chart datum. However, this is considered low around here. The water level is usually 1m or more above chart datum, especially in the early summer.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:34   #19
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

Yikes, a 25' power boat was dragging bottom eh? That doesn't sound good for a 35' Sailboat. I haven't been upriver even as far as the 1000 islands yet this year. Good tips guys. I went through the control lock at Iroquois just a couple of days ago and there was only a 6" lift, so I'm not surprised to hear about low water levels.

Big Sandy Bay sounds nice, I'll keep it in mind for Easterlies, which we've had a lot of this year.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:11   #20
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Thanks guys, I know there are no good Anchorage's at these locations, a quick look at Active Captain told me that.

I also know there are light houses on each of these islands, which means the Coast Guatd gets men ashore in 40' work barges.

I'm hoping to find some one who knows how to do it, because I know it can be done. Maybe I should be talking to the local dive operators.

These are my sailing grounds, absolutely stay away from False Duck and Timber Islands. Nice to sail by False Duck provided you stay in the buoyed channel. Long Harbour hasn't seen a sail boat in years. Lots of places to anchor in Prince Edward Bay and off the north side of Waupoos I and the marina.

Nothing to see on Pigeon I, just a lighthouse and stay away from the south and west side of the island. As suggested try Main Duck. Schoolhouse B isn't bad but it's a shally type of bottom, you'd be best to have at least 100' of chain and diving on the anchor to s t it would be a good idea. Main Duck Harbour is good with a dock and a fairly deep bay with a soft bottom. Be sure to follow the range in. And, stay away from the south side, lots of boulders.

As a point of interest I doubt very much that the Coast Guard for obvious reasons, would use a 40 footer to service their lighthouses.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:27   #21
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

I haven't measured them, but those outages barges the Coast Guard uses are pretty good size boats. They have to be to carry loads of construction materials out to places like, main duck island.

Some of them have harbour masters (like a sail drive) so they must be relatively deep too.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:25   #22
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

Main Duck Island is a delightful place to visit. Many years ago, it was a favorite trip but then Ports included it in one of their guide books and border crossing became more of an issue. There was a day when it was sort of a no man's land and a stop when leaving the US before reaching Kingston.

There is also some confusion about School House Bay. There are 2 decent anchorages, one large and wide open to the N and NE and another in a protected inlet. Depending on who you talk to, the bays both go by the same name, School House Bay or not.

If anchoring in the larger exposed bay, be aware that there is a sunken barge in the SW corner. Anchoring over the barge may well lead to a lost anchor. The water in the bay is deep (10+ feet) and sand and gravel over shale.

It has been a few years since I've been to the small inlet (what I believe to be Schoolhouse Bay). The entrance is narrow and there were range markers. Follow the range into the bay. The bottom is soft and muddy. Don't worry too much about running aground, it won't hurt. Back in the day (before Ports) upwards of 20 boats could squeeze into the inlet. People cooperated and worked to use the space as efficiently as possible. The couple of times that I went there after Ports. Early arrivers would hog the deep water in the channel blocking the inlet and limiting the number of boats that could be anchored there. In those days, the area right behind the little island with the big tree had decent water, 6-7 feet and you could raft 6 boats across.

In the late 80s or early 90s, Queen Elizabeth made an official visit to the island on the Brittania when she toured Canada and the Great Lakes. On the way back, she made an unannounced second stop on the island because she enjoyed it so much.

Again in the 80s, Stan (forget his last name) would take up residence on the island in Grampian 30. He was often referred to as the Commodore of the Main Duck Yacht Club. If you had some spare ice for his Gin and Tonic, he was most appreciative. His anniversary was in the summer and on that day he would use ship to shore radio to speak with his wife who would not accompany him on his sailing trip the MDI.

Main Duck has an interesting history, including being owned by John Foster Dulles a former US Secretary of State and as transshipment point during Prohibition.

Pigeon Island is a low lying rock (maybe 3-6 feet above water) covered in bird crap and surrounded by shoals. Sail by it if you will, but you will find nothing interesting and worth landing on.

Finally, since no one has mentioned it yet, be wary of the shoals south of Main Duck. Very deceptive. There are shale ledges and there are boulder strew areas. Getting pulled off those shoals is not inexpensive.
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Old 09-08-2016, 14:24   #23
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

I am at Waupoos right mow😊 We have anchored off Long Point a few times and there is lots of room in 10 to 20' as the point is about a half km wide. You only want to be there in W or SW wind though. From there you could dinghy to False duck and Timber if the wave conditions are light. But stay vigilant. Conditions can change rapidly and dramatically. Bon voyage!
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Old 09-08-2016, 16:50   #24
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

Local also, from Sodus on south shore. Can anchor NE of Timber with line ashore, be very careful. We give a pass to Wapous and instead anchor in South Bay in the small area of deeper water to avoid weeds, it is in the middle of the bay. Locals will visit in tin boats. Lake is NOT below chart datum, it is about 4 inches below normal for August today. When/if you get into St Lawrence River on the American side, make Cape Vincent a provisioning stop, short walk to grocery, etc. Last time we were there still free town dockage. And customs is at ferry dock Easy-peasy.

Enjoy a beautiful place!
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:06   #25
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Margurite.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:45   #26
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Agreed. There are plenty of good anchorages in the area. The places you mention are not. Get a hold f some charts, or go online to waterwaygude.com where you can see digital charts.

Main Duck ... I missed getting out there so far (poor conditions). Charts and guide books say the dock in Schoolhouse Bay is less than 5' deep. Some friends say we could get in there with our 6' draught, but I'm doubtful. I'd anchor in the bay if/when I get out there.


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We've been to Main Duck's a few times. Some people love it; we're not some of them.

It's a great safe haven if in the lake and it blows up.

It's a great mark / obstruction for the LO300.

Be careful of the shipping lanes that run immediately north and south.

The island is covered in a fierce strain of poison ivy. I used to get it every summer as a kid, until at 13, I took a home remedy that stopped it for 40 years, UNTIL I went to Main Duck's and got plastered with it. We were also inundated by hoards of mosquitos much more plentiful than anywhere else around the lake.

The shores of the larger bays on the north side (either side of Schoolhouse) are often littered with dead Carp carcasses.

While I would still stop there overnight if it made sense, I have been there, done that, and will now opt for Waupoos (lovely) every time.

To each there own. If you have a need to explore places off the beaten track, have at it.

For the sake of very little money, I recommend installing a depthsounder or fishfinder before doing any significant cruising in shoal waters. Fishfinders give a great image of the bottom contour when following on a chart, and weed locations to avoid when anchoring. In areas of shoals (we have sailed Georgian Bay, North Channel, and 1000 Islands for years) a lead line is near useless. (We started sailing with a paper chart, lead line for depth, chip log and watch for speed, and a compass for bearing.) In areas of shoals, one can have 100 m (330 ft) on one side of the boat, while being aground on the other. You have to have charts and know where you are. A lead line will confirm the water is too thin after you have run hard aground. Then again, you can just look over the side. Lead lines don't work well over about 3 knots of speed, especially in deeper water. Did people sail for years with them? Of course. But now there are much better tools, cheap.

Again, your boat, your choice, but if you opt for no sounder and run aground, please don't consume my tax contributions by calling the Coast Guard, or burden other boaters, to help. Be responsible for your own choices.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:40   #27
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
We've been to Main Duck's a few times. Some people love it; we're not some of them.

It's a great safe haven if in the lake and it blows up.

It's a great mark / obstruction for the LO300.

Be careful of the shipping lanes that run immediately north and south.

The island is covered in a fierce strain of poison ivy. I used to get it every summer as a kid, until at 13, I took a home remedy that stopped it for 40 years, UNTIL I went to Main Duck's and got plastered with it. We were also inundated by hoards of mosquitos much more plentiful than anywhere else around the lake.

The shores of the larger bays on the north side (either side of Schoolhouse) are often littered with dead Carp carcasses.

While I would still stop there overnight if it made sense, I have been there, done that, and will now opt for Waupoos (lovely) every time.

To each there own. If you have a need to explore places off the beaten track, have at it.

For the sake of very little money, I recommend installing a depthsounder or fishfinder before doing any significant cruising in shoal waters. Fishfinders give a great image of the bottom contour when following on a chart, and weed locations to avoid when anchoring. In areas of shoals (we have sailed Georgian Bay, North Channel, and 1000 Islands for years) a lead line is near useless. (We started sailing with a paper chart, lead line for depth, chip log and watch for speed, and a compass for bearing.) In areas of shoals, one can have 100 m (330 ft) on one side of the boat, while being aground on the other. You have to have charts and know where you are. A lead line will confirm the water is too thin after you have run hard aground. Then again, you can just look over the side. Lead lines don't work well over about 3 knots of speed, especially in deeper water. Did people sail for years with them? Of course. But now there are much better tools, cheap.

Again, your boat, your choice, but if you opt for no sounder and run aground, please don't consume my tax contributions by calling the Coast Guard, or burden other boaters, to help. Be responsible for your own choices.
So I gather by this post you have never attempted to make land fall on Pigeon, False Duck (not Main Duck) or Timber Island?

Thank you for letting me know you prefer to rely on electronics for navigation some people do, some people don't, it really depends on what kind of experience you're looking for.

I don't think the Coast Guard telling me over the radio to call commercial salvage because they don't tow careless navigators off rocks will excessively burden your taxes though.

If I was a careless navigator, I wouldn't be on this forum, which I find to be 95% fiction and 5% fact, trying to find people who have done exactly what I'm trying to do. I have had a couple of excellent responses about options for Timber Island, and a couple of others who have at least been very close to Pigeon, even one who tried to hide a 5* Geocache there. I have visited that posters Geocaches on other islands, so in his case, I know with absolute certainty, he knows how to make land fall on difficult islands.

Since I routinely and extensively navigate shoal waters, in all the places you listed by lead line and chart and compass, I am familiar with their limitations.

One of my reasons for seeking more challenging locations, is I am bored with the 1000 islands, not because I am unfamiliar with them.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:28   #28
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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Originally Posted by Ungvar View Post
So I gather by this post you have never attempted to make land fall on Pigeon, False Duck (not Main Duck) or Timber Island?

Thank you for letting me know you prefer to rely on electronics for navigation some people do, some people don't, it really depends on what kind of experience you're looking for.

I don't think the Coast Guard telling me over the radio to call commercial salvage because they don't tow careless navigators off rocks will excessively burden your taxes though.

If I was a careless navigator, I wouldn't be on this forum, which I find to be 95% fiction and 5% fact, trying to find people who have done exactly what I'm trying to do. I have had a couple of excellent responses about options for Timber Island, and a couple of others who have at least been very close to Pigeon, even one who tried to hide a 5* Geocache there. I have visited that posters Geocaches on other islands, so in his case, I know with absolute certainty, he knows how to make land fall on difficult islands.

Since I routinely and extensively navigate shoal waters, in all the places you listed by lead line and chart and compass, I am familiar with their limitations.

One of my reasons for seeking more challenging locations, is I am bored with the 1000 islands, not because I am unfamiliar with them.
CCG, COMRA, and OPP marine respond to grounded boat and tow them all the time. Few commercial tow services in Canada.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:48   #29
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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CCG, COMRA, and OPP marine respond to grounded boat and tow them all the time. Few commercial tow services in Canada.
CCG Comra members are not full time Coast Guard, it's a Coast Guard Auxillary unit. They're volunteers, so you needn't worry about your tax dollars at work.

I'm not big on calling the police for any reason, including tow jobs, but I sincerely doubt the OPP has anything in the area with enough power to tow a 24000 lb boat high on the rocks any where. Are they going to send their 24 ft Seaswirl out?

The CG isn't going to send their precious aluminum 47 with its fully exposed rudders and props out into shoal waters to tow me off a rock ledge. Again, I am cognizant of my salvage options. Dive operators in Kingston,
Friendly fellow boaters (not the unfriendly ones though), or a small tug. And yes there are several small tugs in the area, as you mentioned there are over a thousand islands, the majority with cottages on them. Those cottages are constructed using small tugs and barges.

Granted, the tug option is very pricey, but I do have insurance, and I have never had to make a claim yet (knock on wood).
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:05   #30
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Re: False Ducks, Timber Island and Pigeon Island.

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...Again, your boat, your choice, but if you opt for no sounder and run aground, please don't consume my tax contributions by calling the Coast Guard, or burden other boaters, to help. Be responsible for your own choices.

What a jerky thing to say. You were doing so well with useful info, and then you just have to tack on this moralizing bit of crap. No real boater I have ever met would express such sentiments. Boaters help boaters, period.


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