Before you guys laugh Yeah I'm talking about sea kayaking and not sailing. I need to find good intell on conditions and info from people that have first hand experience with local area. I'm not talking about those people you see poking around in those little things. I'm A BCU (British Canoe Union) 4 star level paddler. I have extensive experience in paddling in high winds 30-40mph and 12-14ft seas and also tidal races. To get my 5 star certification I have to plan a short range expedition 80-100 mile that includes open water crossings that requires dead reckoning navigation, also high winds and currents. I pretty much have to do a write up to show my Coach before I can do my 5 star expeditionary certification which is highest level you can get.
Here is the planned route I'm planing on taking. I was going to post a plotted route from Google earth but ended up being to large. I'm also having trouble finding a place that has the correct chart that covers this area. So one or two of the islands I have no names for or possibly the wrong name for one or two.
1. Starting at Dunk Road beach south east of Tobermory
2. middle island
3. flower pot island
4. bear rump
5. moon island
6. lonely island
7. club island
8. unknown island 4.62 miles 327 degrees from Club Island
9. cross over to Manitoulin Island heading south west along the shore then
cross over Owen channel
10. cross over to Fitzwilliam island over to wall island or snake harbour then heading down owen channel then around the western side of fitzwilliam crossing over to Unknown name island south of Fitzwilliam then cross over.
11. down western side of Cove island making my way south to Tobermory and back east around to the Dunk Road beach.
This isn't going to happen soon. I still have alot of time to train and get all the equipment I need. I just want to get info on conditions I most likely will incounter and warnings. I will check back time to time with other questions. That's if people are willing to help me out.
I'm looking at May time frame of year not this year but a year possibly two from now. what kinda of water, storm and wind conditions will I mostly likely incounter Late spring. What kind of VHF coverage does Canadian Coast Guard have in this area aswell. From what I've gathered I will be crossing over well used route for Sailboats making their way to the North Channel from Tobermory. If you can help me out now and in the future I will be greatly thankful!
This sounds like an ambitious journey. I have sailed that area a fair amount recently.
First thoughts -
You will need Canadian Charts 2274 (Cove Island and Tobermory Detail) and 2235 (Cape Hurd to Lonely Island)
You may also want to get Canadian Sailing Directions CEN306 for Georgian Bay. Chapter 2 covers pretty much your whole trip. My copy cost $19.95 Cdn new several years ago. I would highly recommend it for your voyage since it provides as good written description of the physical features of each island and landmark which may give you clues as to where you can beach for breaks and sleeping (Unless you are planning this as a non-stop afternoon paddle??
Note that some of the shoreline you plan to visit is not friendly to beaching a kayak although based on your experience summary, I'm sure you'll make out fine.
Canadian Coast Guard Coverage in the area is excellent. There is a CCG base in Tobermory with an excellent antenna visible for miles. Communication with Canadian Coast Guard Radio (Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio covers this area) and continous Marine WX broadcasts should be good with a handheld VHF although reception will be poor as you get closer to Fitzwilliam Island and through the Owen Channel.
There is usually lots of pleasure craft traffic in this area to relay urgent messages although likely not so much in May. Also, the MS Chi-Cheemaun (365 ft long ferry) plies the waters between Tobermory and South Baymouth ferrying up to 143 cars several times a day starting May 1. I doubt that you would need an EPIRB. My Blackberry worked perfectly well anchored in Rattlesnake Harbour but my handheld VHF was useless and the mast mounted fixed VHF was only marginal.
The water around Tobermory is notoriously cold and snow is not out of the question in May (neither is sun and 28 deg C). If May is your month, shade toward the very end of May.
Some name corrections:
5. Moon Island is Halfmoon Island
8. I agree with scottbr that the island bearing 327 from Club is Rabbit Island
10. Snake Harbour is Rattlesnake Harbour
10. Unknown Island south of Fitzwilliam is likely Yeo Island which is the largest although there is also James Island NE of Yeo and Lucas Island S of Yeo.
I have not experienced this but Sailing Directions CEN306 cautions about the currents in the Main Channel, Devil Island Channel and Cape Hurd Channel can be hazardous. Quoting form Page 8 "Caution - Currents of 5 to 6 knots have been reported in the channels between Fitzwilliam Island and the Bruce Penninsula after changes in wind direction." Likely nothing compared to what it sounds like you have been through though.
You know there are zero provisioning opportunities on your route once you leave Tobermory.
Heath officials would not smile but the water is clean and fresh enough to drink in my view. I have done so. Certainly no problem if you are boiling water for tea.
How far each day?
Do you have any specific questions?
I'm sure I'll think of more stuff and I'll post a couple of pictures of the area and the islands in future posts.
This sounds cool... keep us informed of your plans.