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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to plan some short 2-3 day trips for summer 2009. I am already planning a trip to Port Dalhousie to do the wine tours with the admiral but I am wondering if anyone has some further ideas. I am trying to avoid going to New York and dealing with customs hassles at this point. I remember the old days of being able to go to Youngstown for the day but it seems to be a real hassle now a days.

Any thoughts on where to go to drop the hook for the night?
 

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Bronte's supposed to be nice and Cobourg is a long day sail in a 30' Hughes (give it 11 hours or better). But I really like Cobourg.

You also can't go wrong with the Thousand Islands/Kingston, but you do better with wind and anchoring spots in mid-June or early September, rather than in July and August.
 

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Hey Patrick, don't be so quick to write off NY. A weekend in Wilson is worth the trip. If you go right to the back of the harbour you will find the State Park with very cheap transient docking and space for several boats to anchor.

All you do is take your passport up to he "video check in" at the park dock and stick it under the camera. They will ask a few questions and unless you have a "history" with US immigration it will take all of 5 minutes.

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Lake Ontario Cruising

Off the tip of the outer harbour of Toronto Harbour, Eastern Gap, outer bouy is a bay, there is two floats which you can tie off and anchor. Go to Google Earth and zoom in on the point and you will find this bay. It is about 20 to 50 feet deep.
If you have Netus Card, going into the States(New York) is easy. Youngstown has rebuilt the docks and I have found it freindly.
Queen City Yacht Club is another place we like to go.
Also, if you venture to the east, The Bay of Quinte offers great sailing and anchoring.
We prefer anchoring, it's cheaper, and the wind goes down the hatches all night.
 

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Hey guys. Patrick asked about 2-3 day trips. Thousand Islands and the Bay of Quinte are not possible.
 

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Niagara-on-the-Lake and 50 points marina

We like port Dalhousie a lot but our favorite spot is Niagara-on-the-Lake yacht club: short walk to the town, Fort George etc. Club itself is very nice with good docks and accommodations. 50 points marina is another good spot. 50 point is a marina in park side setting with a restaurant at the marina. It is very well maintained by Ontario Parks. You can go for a walk and have a good dinner right at the marina. They also provide you with a bike so you can go for a ride or do some more wine sampling it is still in wine country. While Port Dalhousie is nice if dock on the east side it's a long walk to the town. If you dock on the west side on the wall you are close to the town centre but you have people constantly walking past you boat with very little privacy. IF you have only two nights you can spend one at port Dalhousie and another at Niagara on the Lake. It's only 5-8 nm away. If you have 3-4 days you can hit all 3 places. 50 point about 25 nm from port Dalhousie and I think 28 nm from Toronto. We can personally spend a week at Niagara on the Lake because we like it so much.

I would recommend you get Ports book for Lake Ontario it will provide all you need to know on every destination on the lake. At the boat show which start this weekend they usually have them a bit cheaper than if you buy them at the store.

Hope this helps.
Igor
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Boatpoker: Thanks for the tidbit about the video checkin. I have no issues with US Immigration so that sounds doable.

pcyc2: I forgot to mention I am at TIM (Toronto Island Marina) QCYC is at the other end of Toronto Island. I could just ride my bike there!! ;)

My wife has a nexus card but I don't.

Igor: I was actually planning on picking up a cruising guide on Saturday. I'll be there with the admiral.

I was also thinking of just dropping into PCHM or Lakefront Promenade Public Marina or Credit Village Marina. Spend the night crawling the pubs and restaurants. Granted it's only 20 minutes by car from my home, it would a nice day sail for the 2 of us with the bonus of sleeping on the boat.
 

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All you do is take your passport up to he "video check in" at the park dock and stick it under the camera. They will ask a few questions and unless you have a "history" with US immigration it will take all of 5 minutes.

Dirt People Scare Me
I believe the five minutes comes AFTER Canadians have to go to the Toronto airport and get an I-68 and also have to acquire a NEXUS or CANPASS cert. And God help you if you have a box of Cohibas on board.

Travel to the south side of the lake has gotten considerably more bureaucratic for Canadians since 9/11. I have no idea if Canadians make Americans jump through more hoops, but I do know that American visitors to our club in the summer are down, and that a lot of Canadian cruisers simply aren't bothering with the cost or the time needed to scoot over to the "other side".

The real victims, of course, aren't the "terrorists" (few of whom own C&Cs, I would venture), but the small business folk in northern New York State who benefitted from Canadian seasonal custom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was thinking the same thng. I just looked around the US Customs website and thiught that it was an awful lot of grief for an overnighter. My wife has a Nexus pass (retina scan and the whole nine yards) and it isn't useful for the boat visits unless we both have it. I am not going through that hassle as I rarely travel to the US (once in the last 5 years) anymore.

I do think that the small place in Ontario will be a whole lot busier. I was browsing around the Oakville, Mississauga and Hamilton marina sites and thought I might give it a shot. I am a little worried about transient access to a lot of places. It isn't like Georgian Bay (my other area) with enough little bays for protection and where it is shallow enough to just drop the hook. Lake Ontario is mighty deep for anchoring with very little protection in a wind shift. The whole place is a lee shore!
 

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I land on the US side about 10-12 times a year on deliveries and on my own boat. It takes 5 minutes tops if you use a video check-in location and have a Canadian Passport. I have never had a Nexus card or filled out an I-68. These are both optional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you have a Customs Decal? The US site said they were effectively mandatory.

BTW, do you have a booth at the show this weekend? I'll stop by if you do.
 

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Patrick: I am at the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors booth Friday and Sunday. I have several times been asked at the video check-in if I have a customs decal, I answer no and they took my name and address saying they would send a decal and a bill. Several hundred crossings and I have never seen a bill or a decal.
 

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Patrick, everyone knows that crusing on Lake Ontario is .... leaving your marina, turn left sail 1 day, turn right sail 1 day, turn right sail 1 day, return to marina. :rolleyes:

For fun stop off at another marina and stay for a night just like your marina.


We're at the show on Saturday, hopefully, but I doubt, the sail section will be interesting, otherwise I'm hoping for some decent deals on "needed" boat stuff.
 

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after sailing on lake ontario my whole life i have to agree with scottbr although i miss the weeknight club racing.
had some good times in the thousand islands,wilson ny(a few nice watering holes there),50 point,toronto island,port dalhouise,niagara on the lake and going from marina to marina on the way back and forth testing their taps but lake ontario just doesnt have the same sense of adventure as g.b. nor the clean water and gorgeous scenery.
me nor my wife would jump off the side and go for a swim in lake ontario.
thats huge for us and the visitors we have comming up with us.
anyone else going to the boatshow this weekend?
im heading down sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Scott, you make it sound like a Nascar race!! :) I don't mind going to another marina that looks like mine as long as there is a decent restaurant nearby and some decent folks to chat to. Even if I could ride my bike there faster.

cncvoodoo, I know what you mean. Back in 84, sailing the Shark Worlds at the RCYC in 84, the winds during the "practise" race were so light and it was so hot, everyone was jumping off their spreaders for fun. And this was only 1/2 mile south of the islands. The previous summer I lost 3 pairs of Addidas to the corrosive effects of Toronto Harbour while flying 420s and Laser IIs at the RCYC junior club.

The whole reason I have the boat here in Toronto is for accessibility. I have a beautiful family cottage up in Honey Harbour, Georgian Bay. 1-1/2hr by car then 1/2hr by boat. scottbr and cncvoodoo can attest to what the neighbourhood is like. Unfortunately, co-owning a restaurant here means that I don't usually get 2 days off together anymore and doing a 3 hour roundtrip for the day makes less sense than doing laps around Toronto Island.

When I go to the cottage, I have always felt "the change" as I head north of Barrie while watching for the OPP plane. Now I get the same feeling stepping onto the tender for TIM. A whole lot closer but a little more expensive. Even the act of pulling out old wires and laying in new on the boat gives me a sense of joy. Heading out for the day or overnight with my wife is like ecstasy.
 

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Patrick, I know what you mean. We are much closer to Ontario than G.B. but can get away on weekends and really anjoy the area. A friend has a cottage on the north side of Mermaid and we've spent many summers up there. Where's your restaraunt.

voodoo, I'm heading down to the show on Saturday with some friends, we're going to the show and then out for dinner somewhere downtown afterwards.

Want to meet the new Hunter dealer and crawl around in boats I'll never be able to afford and maybe pick up some needed "stuff" for the boat.
 

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I seem to recall you need a third crew to handle lines, which means couples cruising or hiring a hand. This isn't too rough, but it means the "hey, let's just go!" thing is daunting.

Also, Erie can kick up worse than Ontario and it's usually heading dead to wind downlake from the east end. I would generally say I would explore Erie returning to Ontario after I had gone to Huron/Georgian Bay for the summer, because it would be a run all the way back under most prevailing conditions.

Not last summer, though. We had loads of easterlies and actual rollers in Lake Ontario.
 

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This is true. A lot of friends of mine were essentially driven out of Toronto by stupidly high real estate prices, and found they could live in downtown Hamilton for half the price. This has led to gentrification and general cleaning up, so it's not the industrial site it once was. Also, although it doesn't get much respect, it's still a healthy size (only slightly smaller than Ottawa in population, I believe) with a uniquely sheltered waterfront of considerable size.
 
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