Georgian Bay: Midland To Killarney
Starting June 20th, I intend to sail from Midland (Doral) to Killarney with my wife.
I hope to be able to do the return trip in 2-weeks.
Last year I sailed from Midland to around Killbear. It took about 3 days to get up there and one (long) day to get back.
We have friends up the East side of the Bay (around Frying Pan Island and just North of Killbear - Dillon Cove). Our plan is to visit with our friends on the way up. The length of time we spend with them will definitely be a factor in whether or not 2-weeks is a realistic time in which to make the cruise.
My thought is that we sail up the outside i.e. not in the small-craft channel, and cut into shore for anchorages.
The challenge is that the prevailing wind will be almost exactly on our nose all the way up the coast.
I'm wondering, does anyone who has experience sailing up the East side of Georgian Bay have an opinion on whether the Midland to Killarney and back trip is comfortably doable within 2-weeks?
If not I can make arrangements for my wife to get home from Killarney and I can carry on - either through the North Channel, or down to Tobermory and back across home. My wife has only 2-weeks of holidays. I can pretty much take as much time as I want to get home.
Any 'must see' points of interest in that area? I understand that the Bustards are well worth a visit.
Now the planning starts. I reviewed my charts and it looks like I'm going to have to spend a bit to get all of the required charts for the area (I've got most of Southern Georgian Bay and the strips up to 2203).
I guess that's just another example of the definition of 'B.O.A.T.' (Break Out Another Thousand)
Anyhow, any insight will be appreciated.
All of this depends on the wind. ;)
Shouldn't be a problem if you take the outside route. The inside route is for small power boats. The distance is roughly 105nm depending on routing. If you can figure that you'll average a very conservative 4knots with prevailing south westerlies, then it should be roughly a 26 hour sail. This is based on a very direct offshore routing, west of Giant's Tomb, west side of the Watchers, east side of North and Long Island, east of Papoose Island. Great water the whole way AS LONG AS you stay east of North and Long islands. Be advised, you could be in for some serious swells coming off of Lake Huron if we get any sort of sustained (3 days) high (15knots+) winds from the west. This would be outside the normal pattern though.
As a 2 week trip, it's more than doable. I would allow for 3 days of passage each way which would give a week with your friends.
Dave, just did this trip last year..... it was awesome. Check out my Photobucket Album for the pics.
( don't listen to Patrick reagring the small craft channel, There's lotsof bigger boats I've seen in there, he's just a stinkboater up in this area and can only sail on Lake Ontario where there's no rocks :p :p ;) )
We left Penetang Thurs. morning and motored ( little wind) to Kilbear the first night. I went up between Giants and the mainland and cut into the channel somewhere in the Twelve Mile Bay area. Left Kilbear 7:00 am and motored in the channel ( dead calm that early in the morning ) up to Point au Baril. Above Point au Baril the inner channel is very exposed so no point in being in the channel. Heading out of Point au Baril the forecast wind was W 10 -15 knots and that would put us on a perfect tack to hit Killarney by 7:00 at night. The wind picked up to close to 20 knots and then were hit by a thunderstorm couple hours out of Killarney. I had dropped the sails and managed to skirt around the storm front but still had the winds shift from W 15 to E 30 in a matter of minutes. We landed in Killarney around 8:00 or so. I had phoned ahead to reserve a dock at the Sportsman Inn.
We spenet the next couple of days in Baie Fine and headed back through Collins Inlet, where we stayed one night unexpectantly when another thunderstorm ( gustrs to 52 knots) ran right over us, luckily I had dropped anchor minutes before, literally.
Next day was a motor ( no wind) to the Bustards, highly reccomend this group of Islands. The two pics of our dog were taken at the Bustards.
Next day we stayed in the channel down to Shawanagan Island, which is just below Point au Baril. As I said above most say to go out but the channel although is narrow and shallow at spots, we draw 5 ft. and had no probelm and the water levels are supposed to be up this year. From Shawanagan we motored home in the channel again as another t-storm was brewing.
For the most part we motored more than sailed. You can stay out and sail and go in the channel and motor and have lots of areas to revise and adjust your plans according to weather. We did the trip up and were back late on the nineth night out, with three parked nights in Baie Fine because we enjoyed the bay so much.
You should be able to do it in two weeks, just leave yourself some leeway if you get pinned somewhere with bad weather.
It seems as though the prevailing winds (down where I am anyway) are NW to NNW. Do they turn more SW as you go up the bay? SW would be ideal as we'd be on a broad reach most of the way up, and a close reach across the top.
We have gone out to Hope Island quite a few times. The best we've ever managed was just over 5 hours from Midland. My thought was that this would be the first day's leg (either that or anchor on the East side of Giant's Tomb - Beckwith would be a CF on the weekend!) Once we get around the West side of Giant's Tomb and past the Watchers we could then make it to Frying Pan. That's 2-days. From Frying Pan up to Killbear is another day (taking into account coming inshore from the outside route). So we are at 3 days and not quite half way to Killarney.
Last year I got from Killbear to Midland in 12 1/2 hours, but that was with exceptional wind.
I know that if we stayed outside we could do a straight run and cover a lot of water, but we would still have to cut in to anchor (I'm not ready to do the over-night sail thing just yet).
I think you are at the North-east end of Beausoleil. Do you have any recommendations for points of interest up the East coast? Around Pointe-au-Baril, Britt etc?
Thanks again for your insight.
I hope the wind is favourable as I would much rather be sailing.
We saw (and experienced) some of those storms last year. It seemed the year for them....
Good news on the water levels, whcih should make your trip easier if you need to take the small craft route at any time.
This was from Sweetwater Crusing
The latest weekly water levels report and forecast from USACE shows that Michigan-Huron’s level continues to recover from recent lows. I’ve updated the graphic forecast on the Navigation page. The current prediction is that Michigan-Huron this summer will be about five inches about its level last year, closing to within about eight inches of the historic mean. “Over the next month,” says USACE, “Lake Superior is projected to rise 2 inches, while Lake Michigan-Huron is predicted to rise 4 inches.” Superior might be slightly lower this summer.
Patrick...... see my alternate opinion in bold...... :D
Dave, if you up to 2203, you'll have most of what you'll need. 2204, 2205, will cover you into Killarney and just beyond. You'll also want to get the larger charts 2244, 2245 and 2235 if you're headed over to Manitoulin. I would also reccomend getting the overall chart of Georgain Bay if you don't have it already. It gives you a good overall view of how all the charts tie together and also has some of the banks and shoals that aren't covered in the other charts esp. in the NW corner of the bay.
If you don't have the Ports book yet, get one..... it will save you a ton of time and worry on locations to anchor, pump out, restock, etc. etc. It sure made our trip a lot simpler.
If you want, I would be happy to meet with you sometime in April / May before you leave to talk more on the trip. I'll be up either prepping for launch or working on the "spring list."
I live in Barrie and expect to be up to Midland quite a bit over the next little while. I am hoping to launch early this year (late April - early May - fingers crossed).
Maybe I could sail up and we could meet at the Dock Lunch (when does it open?) sometime in May.
I'll PM you when it gets closer to the time.
Talk to you soon
I'm not just a stinkpotter up there. I used to cruise around on a Shark and a Hobie 18. My brother and I used to sail to Midland for pizza, me in a Laser and him on a windsurfer!
Unless the Tomb and Cedar Point are having that big an effect, I have to disagree on the winds. They used to be more out of the W and WNW but have shifted more WSW in past years. In terms of strength, I don't know what's happening. Here in Toronto, winds seem higher than they have in past. At the cottage, they seem lighter. We used to get (more than 15 years ago) some really good 3 day blows (sustained winds over 25kn) at least 4 or 5 times per summer; not anymore. We also don't seem to get a seabreeze effect anymore. It used to be you could count on it. Our Saturday morning races would have ghosting starts but by the time you started your final beat to the finish it would be blowing 10-15. Shifting high pressure systems?
The reason I was recommending the outside route was Dave's objective for the trip is to spend time with friends IN Killarney, not getting to Killarney. Otherwise the inside route is the way to go. I love the ability to pop around into almost any little bay and be able to drop the hook, swim and fish. Real fishing; muskie, bass, pike and pickerel (walleye to the US).
In terms of depth, I have also been watching the lake levels. Not just for sail but for power as well as it affects my fishing holes ;). The Bertam draws only 2' (3'6" at speed) and the outboards (both of em) need only 2'6" at speed, but the Northstar draws 5'3" unloaded. I like to give her 6'.
Waves at O'Donnels Point are on a direct line from Huron and their size IS in direct relation to the combined fetch of Lake Huron and Georgian bay. It's like that old experiment of light going through a pinhole. As the waves pass through, they expand concentrically outwards. It just happens that as the wind is blowing at the same time, it will force the waves back to their original direction.
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