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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?? :D )

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.
 

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FreediverGA
Don't worry too much about the currents. There will be a current but unless you try something silly when you know you shouldn't you will be fine. With a June / July trip, there will be tons of recreational boaters around to assist you with any VHF reception issues you have with the handheld VHF near Fitzwilliam Island. You will be a novelty on the lake and I'm sure lots of boaters will be keen to assist you with weather and all kinds of advice. (Some of it you should even listen to!)

I think I understand that you were thinking of overnighting on Halfmoon Island. Halfmoon Island is not a whole lot more than a small reef that is peaking above the waterline. I would suggest that it would be an inhospitable place to sleep for the night. It is described in Saling Directions as follows: "Halfmoon Island 6.5 miles south of Lonely Island is a bank of small stones with two small clusters of trees."

I have Chart 2235 spread out in front of me now and it looks to me like the worst stretch will be Bears Rump to Lonely Island... about 15 miles of open water with some emergency respite at Halfmoon. Currents shouldn't be strong in this area since you are in Georgian Bay proper with water 170 ft deep between Bears Rump and Halfmoon and 320 ft deep between Halfmoon and Lonely Island. Apparently, there is a ruined wharf at the NE corner of Lonely Island which should afford some access to ths otherwise intimidating landing. I have not sailed close to Lonely Island (hence the name I guess). Saling Directions describes it as follows:
Lonely Island 4 miles east of Club Island is wooded and 200 ft (61m) high. South Bluff near the south point of the island is a prominent steep cliff. A small concrete wharf on the NE point of Lonely Island is in ruins. Then there are other comments on the location of the Lonely Island Light and the West Light.

Fitzwilliam Island is about 17nm from the Tobermory transmission tower and I had difficulty calling one of my friends who worked at the Tobermory Canadian Coast Guard station but I recall I could get the WX messages. As I said earlier, there will likely be lots of folks around the area who would be glad to assist a crazy person in a kayak with WX info and other support you may need.

In June / July, you shold be able to pick a good weather window. 10 ft waves would be rare and should be forecast well in advance if they are to occur.

Save lots of time for Cove Island. It's beautiful! I would recommend a circumnavigation just for fun (and because I'm not paddling). I theory, you may not be allowed to camp on Cove Island since it is inside Fathom Five National Park which is the only underwater national park in Canada. I think the risk is mnimal... (and Bruce Penninsula jails are apparently reasonably comfortable:eek: )

Keep the thoughts and info flowing!
 

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FreediverGA
Sorry to hear about your job... that seems to be happening a lot lately. Hang in there. Better things to come.
How far are you travelling to get to Tobermory? (i.e. approx where are you from?)

I checked out Google maps and you're right, Halfmoon does look a little more hospitable than I described from Sailing Directions although still not much of a place. It shows on the charts as only 12 ft elevation.

Regarding distance to the horizon... there are tables that can assist you with this. The tables are sometimes reproduced on charts or in chartbooks like Richardsons (large enough to sink your kayak by the way). Here is one link with the tables. Distance to The Horizon Unfortunately, these tables are in metric and although I am a proud citizen of a metric country, meters and kilometers have no place in nautical measurements in my humble opinion. Give me my boat speed in furlongs per fortnight before you give it to me in kph. ... OK, end of rant, back on track...

For example, lets say you are sitting in your kayak and your eyes are 1m above the water. From the table, distance to the horizon is 3.7km. You are looking for Halfmoon with an elevation of 12 ft which is approx 4m... table shows 7.4 km. So all things being perfect, you would be able to detect Halfmoon island at 3.7 + 7.4 = 11.1km (or 6 nautical miles). Better yet, Lonely island is approx 200 ft (61m) high. Lets say 60m .. From the table, distance to the horizon is 29km. So if you know where you are looking and what you are looking for you should be able to detect Lonely Island at 3.7 + 29 = 32.7 km (17.6 nm) Remember, these distances are to the very top of the tallest feature that you are looking for on the island and you may not recognize it as such until you are closer.

Quote:
"I was sure that because i was a sea kayaker not a sailor with nice boat I wouldn't get anything but a laugh and a get lost punk attitude."
I had to laugh at this. All boats are nice (except maybe cigarette boats and PWCs). A nice boat is one you are on at the moment. If you are looking for a "get lost punk" attitude, try the Off Topic forums!

Keep the questions and comments coming.
 

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Freediver
Ch 16 is used for hailing and emergencies then shift to a "working channel" for the transmission. In Canada (or at least on the great lakes in Canada) ch 68 is generally used for vessels communicating with marinas and harbours and is not used for routine ship to ship (or kayak to kayak) communication.
 

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Freediver,
Lions Head would be a good place to start. My boat is currently in Bayfield having some work done on it but I now have a slip in Lions Head. I'll sail her from Bayfield to Lions Head once she is launched.

From Lions Head, you can go to Wingfield Basin on the NE tip of the Bruce Penninsula. Winds are mainly from the west so you will be paddling in the lee of the Bruce Penninsula. The, from Wingfield to the rest of your voyage.

I havn't forgotten about those pictures of Rattlesnake Harbour... I'll get them to you shortly.
 

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Freediver,
The Flying Welshman has given you links to some good data for you to analyse. I think the data will tell you that starting a trip like this in early October would not be wise. The season here is fantastic but short. I think you said you were thinking of starting from Lion's Head. I'm at Lion's Head Marina and we haul out on Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving is in mid October in Canada). The weather can be very nice in September with some of the best sailing of the year but it can also turn quickly once you're past mid month. There won't be nearly as many recreational sailors out on the water in October as in the summer to help you with VHF transmission relays if necessary or help you out of a jam if the weather turns bad quickly.
It's a noble cause but I think you would be better doing this in the summer.

My humble opinion.
 
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