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Old 25-05-2009, 13:11   #1
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Gananoque - Thousand Islands: Local Perspective Wanted

I'm sailing from Toronto to Gananoque-Thousand Islands in late June. I've never been on the water there and understand local hazards include lots of rocks, tight shipping lanes and of course a thousand islands to keep an eye out for.
We're planning on sailing only during daylight hours and berthing at marina's for overnights. I'm a pilot and I've got 2500 nm cruising experience but it was a lot of open ocean, it has been a few years since then and I haven't strayed more than 5 hours away in a while.
Does anyone have any useful information to make it a safe and happy trip? Local perspective and information that may or may not be published helpful.

Thanks!

Mark
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Old 25-05-2009, 14:08   #2
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Hi Mark

The small craft channels in the 1000 Islands are well marked. Local charts are a must whether electronic or paper or both. Sticking to the north (Cdn) side of the river will take you through a few twists and turns but nothing that you'd have to worry about. The currents can be strong but they're predictable and marked on the charts. If you want a really easy route go to the south side of the river and take the American shipping channel. You'll avoid some narrow spots.

I've been on a 234' buoytender & icebreaker through the small craft channels although one Captain put us hard aground in an area called the "Fidlers Elbow". He managed to put a 210' dent in the bottom of a 234' ship!

The biggest hazard, IMHO, are the other boaters (Jet Ski's & Houseboats) on weekends under the Ivy Lea international bridge!
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Old 15-07-2009, 13:55   #3
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Thank you Rick. We're back from Gananoque now having returned safely. It does get a little tricky in the 1000 islands there with some tight maneuvering around shoals and rocks with 15 feet on on either side in more than one place. I personally wouldn't venture in there after dark.
That said it's picturesque and pretty--nice for motoring about. If you go--TAKE BUG NETS. The bugs reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock movie with birds!
Taking the southern route around Prince Edward County is a slight challenge if you want to do it all in daylight from/to Kingston or Waupoos. We couldn't make it into Wellington as they only had dredged to 5 feet. Glad the weather was kind and we were able to anchor. Some fisherman decided to lay his nets out across the bay we were in unbenounced to us and without talking to us to at least give us an opportunity to move outside his trap..that created a hazard and delay.
Waupoos is a fantastic (quiet) marina. Confederation Basin is great too--but they keep the transient traffic a LONG way from the showers.
Great trip--even with the hithcockian mosquitos in Ganny.
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Old 15-07-2009, 23:01   #4
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Nice report, Mark. Thanks! Going to head out there again?
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Old 16-07-2009, 05:38   #5
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I will go back but not likely this year with too many places to explore and work keeping me in one place. But the trip is outstanding and the destination worth the exploration. The area is full of history from the war of 1812 which is pretty cool too. It brought some history to life from high school days. I can't imagine sailing wooden war ships through the region without motors...I guess that's why there are so many wrecks about!
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