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Old 24-07-2018, 15:22   #1
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sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Hi
We are sailing to the Thousand Islands from Humber Bay.
Does anyone have any advice on taking outside vs canal route. How much time do you save? also once you pass Colbourg is there any place to anchor or duck in if weather gets bad if you are going outside to Waupoos?
Any advice for that portion of the sail or any advice for some nice anchorages while in Thousand Islands would be gratefully received.
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Old 24-07-2018, 16:42   #2
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

You can duck into Presquile bay, about the only place east of Coburg. Some good anchorages and a marina with transient docks at the end of the bay. No diesel fuel.

Bay of Quinte not exactly great sailing, shallow and weedy. Pump out in Trenton.
I would take advantage of the prevailing wind and stay in the lake, Don't have to go far past Presquile Pt. to find an anchorage, can sail straight back out into the lake in the morning, past Scotch Bonnet Island then turn the corner. I'd stay outside of Nicholson Island, can go between it and Scotch Bonnet.
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Old 24-07-2018, 17:22   #3
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Thanks so much for your reply.
How long do you think it would it take to go from Cobourg to Waupoos. is that doable in one long sail?
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Old 24-07-2018, 17:25   #4
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Outside route is long and you have to stay offshore. But a great trip.

Fishermen’s cove is on the way to wapoos but maybe 4 foot deep.

I’d go main duck to wapoos to prinyers to Picton and back then Kingston then cedar then thartway then endimyion then Gan then rusho bay then Clayton then CV then sacketts then chemont. 2-3 weeks. Gorgeous.
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Old 24-07-2018, 18:04   #5
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Chances are you will lose the wind in the afternoon in the east end of the lake at this time of year. I would probably try to do it in one shot but I sail that end of the lake and enjoy sailing at night.
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Old 24-07-2018, 18:46   #6
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
Chances are you will lose the wind in the afternoon in the east end of the lake at this time of year. I would probably try to do it in one shot but I sail that end of the lake and enjoy sailing at night.
I donít recommend traverse shoal and the ducks at night for the inexperienced
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Old 24-07-2018, 18:49   #7
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Don't see where anybody has posted anything about their experience level. I assume the OP knows their own abilities and comfort levels.
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Old 24-07-2018, 19:23   #8
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

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Originally Posted by ladybo View Post
Hi
We are sailing to the Thousand Islands from Humber Bay.
Does anyone have any advice on taking outside vs canal route. How much time do you save? also once you pass Colbourg is there any place to anchor or duck in if weather gets bad if you are going outside to Waupoos?
Any advice for that portion of the sail or any advice for some nice anchorages while in Thousand Islands would be gratefully received.
There's an interactive cruising guide in Active Captain. Create an account and login then click on Map. Lot's of anchorages and other useful information about the 1000 Islands.

If you're in a yacht club, there are lots of reciprocating clubs all over Lake Ontario and 1000 Islands. Many appear in LOCCA's listing (although there are many more).

Let me know if you need more information.

Sue W.
TIYC secretary.
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Old 25-07-2018, 04:10   #9
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Thanks so much everyone for your generous knowledge sharing. It is really appreciated. I do love this community

I have the ports book and was wondering if anyone can shed some light on the actual distance between Cobourg and Waupoos. I think there might be a misprint in the table as it has port hope to waupoos some 12 miles closer than cobourg to waupoos. but in the text of the book it says it saves you a day of travel by going outside.
We are sailing with our girls, 13 and 15 and our dog. I am tempted to try the outside route this time but of course am concerned about safety and comfort. we draw 5.6 so it doesn't look like we would have any place to duck in if weather turns.
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Old 25-07-2018, 06:07   #10
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Well, Cobourg is certainly closer to anything east than Port Hope, but not by much.


The outside route, like any outside route, exposes one to weather. Just like the ICW, one must balance speed against weather risk.


The landmass (PEI) from Prequile to PEP is flat, not much to look at. I really like the area around PEP though.


Is outside faster than inside? Depends upon weather. Certainly not if it's an East wind. Which is more comfortable? Again, depends upon weather. Which carries more risk of weather and issues? Certainly, the outside route.


Most Canadians who live in the area poo-poo the inside route as hot and weedy. I, from the other shore, like the trip, with stops in Bville, Hay Bay, Picton, and Prinyers. I enjoy the Adolphus Reach.


If your goal is direct speed from Cbourg to Waupoos, go outside, weather permitting. If you're in no hurry, take your time with a few stops on the inside route.


Many people consider the small towns along both shores as crappy little tired towns. Before you go anywhere, study up on the history of each place- it's amazing the stories of these little towns. Armed with knowledge you will find great joy in matching history with what the little town offers today.


Nobody goes to Fisherman's on PEP anymore. But when I was a kid it was a thriving fishing village. That's my memory of it- and a delightful memory. I guess that's what makes my perspective different. Same for Cape Vincent- I LOVE that town!



The inside route of course will take you through the Murray Canal. In my experience, kids love the thought of transiting a canal.



If you plan to visit the islands around Alex Bay, buy "A Floating World" by Paul Malo which is a wonderful history of this past playground of the rich. It will give so much more depth (no pun intended) to the islands.


Clearly Waupoos is your destination. But your voyage should be one of many destinations, each with it's own charm. Let Waupoos be but one of many destinations of equal importance, and you'll open a whole new world.
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Old 25-07-2018, 08:09   #11
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

I cruised out of Belleville for a few seasons. I got to know the Bay of Quinte and the 1000 Islands fairly well. If you just want to get to the Islands, then the outside run is best (assuming a decent weather window). But Quite offers plenty of anchorages and access to some nice small towns if that is of interest. If youíre going slow, the Bay is a better option.

The prevailing winds blow westerly (SW mostly), so a run east to west through the Bay of Quinte can actually be quite fun. It gets weedy by August, but thatís more an issue on the west end near the canal/Trenton.
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:05   #12
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

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Originally Posted by ladybo View Post
Thanks so much for your reply.
How long do you think it would it take to go from Cobourg to Waupoos. is that doable in one long sail?

Depends on the boat and the crew. In a 33 footer, we tended to do Western Gap to Cobourg Harbour in about 11 hours; getting to Belleville was less than that and we didn't have to get up at dawn.


But it depends on your boat, your size and the qualities of your crew. One of the best sails we ever had was leaving at 10 PM at night and sailing all night to reach Cobourg the next morning. A line of thunderstorms was going NE over the shore and we caught the associated wind, which was the plan. I've gone around the outside of the County a few times and yes, it's shorter. Quinte's a means to get to the places inside it and has its charms, but it's non-trivial navigation to stay in deep enough water at some points and you might as well motor much of the time.
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Old 25-07-2018, 09:31   #13
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

Don't discount the inside route through the Murray Canal and the Bay of Quinte. I live on the north shore and have sailed raced this area with a 6' 6" draft for 30 years and found no real problem with weeds unless you are looking for them,even in the 'bad years.' There are a couple of great marinas as you enter the Bay of Quinte. Trent Port at Trenton and Crate Marine in Belleville. Belleville also has a yacht club, BQYC as does Picton, PEYC.

Presqui'le Bay also has a covered government dock just as you round the point on the left. There may be a fee if they come to collect but very seldom do they. From here you can easily walk to the light house and Presqui'le Provincial Park where there is a beach and you are lucky a few deer sightings. You can also tie up at the end of the Murray Canal on the long concrete pilings. From there it would be a half day sail to a popular anchorage, the locals refer to as Sand Cove, although there is no sand beach) on after the narrows about 3 miles east of Belleville - a good place to take the dog ashore with your dinghy. From there it is about 25 miles into Picton Harbour. Docking may be an issue as many docks have been removed as a result of the high water last year. Calling Picton City Hall you can reserve one of 4 spots at their fuel doc - a nice spot. The yacht club may also have availability. If you didn't want to stop in Picton, Belleville to Prinyners Cove at the Upper Gap is about 8 house from Belleville.

If you want to chat about some other things to do and places to go, email me b.smith@cogeco.ca
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Old 25-07-2018, 10:05   #14
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

We used to make that trip every year from Youngstown, NY. Youngstown to Cobourg, then either up to Presquíile and through the canal or outside to Waupoos. As everyone has said, it is all about the weather. You wonít really know until you get to Cobourg, so you should plan for either. We loved the Bay of Quinte. Just stick to the marked channel (unless leaving it to anchor) and youíll do just fine. Watch for weeds in the Trenton area (we used to back down a lot). I donít have my Ports book with me, but there is a great little island (Indian Island?) just before Trenton that is a good anchorage if you go that way. Also, there is a great anchorage on a small island just as the bay splits to go down to Picton (Long Island?) which saves you a lot of time if you are trying to get up to the 1000 Islands more quickly. Itís about 1.5 hours down to Picton, which you then have to come out of the next morning, so only go in there if you want to - Picton is a great little town.

There are no places to duck into once you leave Cobourg and start heading around the outside, so you have to be sure of the weather. As I recall, the trip used to take us about 12 to 14 hours - we had a C&C 29 at the time and would motor or sail at a max of about 5.5-6 knots. Do not do the trip outside in an east wind.

If youíre in Kingston, stay at Confederation Basin - easy walk into town and great fresh air market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Fantastic provisioning, too. All of the Canadian provincial park islands are wonderful, but they are tough to get to the dock since they are very popular. Avoid the rented houseboats, they are usually operated by people who have no clue how to maneuver them.

Rely on your Ports book and you will be fine - they point out all the popular spots, but it is helpful to have Richardsons or a chart to invent your own anchorage when the other regular spots get crowded. Also, make sure you have the right kind of anchor for weeds - Bruce or plow is best in our experience.

Lastly, be careful about crossing into US waters without knowing it. Customs and Immigration are all over the place up there - we were boarded on Georgina - probably because we were a US boat. Hope this helps!

Melanie
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Old 25-07-2018, 11:29   #15
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Re: sailing to Thousand Islands from Humber Bay

We cruise Lake Ontario to the 1000 Islands for at least 2 weeks every year.

Cobourg to Waupoos is about 80 nm. In excellent conditions we can do it in about 12 hours. Most times, unless you motor sail if you drop below 6 knots, it will take longer.

It is a committment.

There is really no where to pull off in between.

This is 1.5 times the distance sailing from Florida to Bimini.

Due to prevailing southwesterlies it often works better on the way there than on the way back.

It really depends on your and your crews ability.

The south end of The Prince Edward Peninsula (I was born and lived in Picton) can get very snotty very fast as just about anyone who has done the Lake Ontario 300 can attest.

If your crew would be frightened in 30 knots and 4 m (12í) seas, I would recommend the inside route. Even if the forecast is fair, a surprise T-storm can happen any time.

If your crew is less experienced or prefers fair weather cruising, take the inside route.

If your crew likes a long spirited sail, and would be bored with calm water the outside route would be a better choice.

If you are on a tight schedule and need to make tracks, either way, you can get from Cobourg to the 1000 Islands in 2 days, but we find it much more relaxing and enjoyable to take 3 or 4.

All this said, that you would ask this question on a forum, rather than just check charts yourself is a little concerning whether you have the appropriate skill to consider either. If you only have a Ports Guide, get charts.
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