Gananoque to Navy Bay

This is the worst part of any sailing trip. Should we stay or should we go? We make the decision to start a slow journey back towards home rather than spend more time in the Thousand Islands and rush home later. We leave Gananoque Marina and head to Navy Bay near Kingston. I made a mistake and Lori saves me, again.

We leave Gananoque Marina just before 11am. The marina was just as crazy as usual but now I was in what I call “city driving mode”. Where I just push towards where I want to go, not giving everyone my usual 60+ feet of clearance. We got through the crowds and promptly left the busy marina.

Leaving Gananoque Marina

It was a beautiful day, not much wind but the forecast told us that it was going to slowly going to pick up throughout the day. I set a course ahead, pointed out a landmark for Lori to steer towards (Lindsay Point) and I went below to grab some snacks for us. Lori calls out to me. I respond, one second! I still had yummy food to get. She calls out again and says she doesn’t think it’s very deep ahead. I popped up and looked ahead, it looked perfectly clear. But Lori was insisting and pointed to the charts. She was right! We were heading towards a three foot shoal. We did an emergency stop with a 90 degree turn.

Felt dramatic, but still had space before it got too bad. Fortunately Lori was paying attention!

Once we exited the narrow channels we raised the sails and continued into the middle of the 40 acres where we decided to practice heaving to (hove to, heaved, I find I’m still struggling with the right way to say this – we backwinded our foresail to allow us to stop without having to adjust or lower our sails).

Heaving To – Source: Astrolabe Sailing

This allowed us to float in one spot while we did a few chores and washed out the cockpit. When we were done cleaning we released and centered the wheel. The boat gently spun around with the wind until the genoa filled with air and we were on our way. So easy!

It was a relaxing sail with both sails up and cruising along at about 4 knots. But then I notice another sailboat heading the same direction as us with just their mainsail up. You know the rules. It’s a race! I then notice they are gaining on us. I jump around, pull some lines, move the traveler, make some more adjustments. Lori just casually looked up at me from her book, rolled her eyes, and then went back to reading. The sailboat was still gaining on us us and eventually slowly passes by. I deflate. And then I heard their engine running. Ok, that made me feel a little bit better.

As we neared Kingston we see one of the paddle wheel ferries. OK, it looks like a paddle wheel ferry but the boat was going at least four times the speed that the paddle wheel was turning at. I’m suspicious that the paddle wheels are not doing anything at all.

Later we saw another CS sailboat going in the opposite direction. I grab a photo. It’s a CS33, but I can’t make out the name.

CS33 Sailboat Near Kingston

We started to see more boat traffic near Kingston and decided to drop the sails, start up the motor and head into Navy Bay. We saw two other sailboats already anchored. We squeezed in close and found a safe spot to anchor. After we anchored I noticed that we were a bit close to one of the boats. A Catalina named Bottoms Up. But we were a safe distance and I didn’t want to move further away, it gets shallow in this bay and was nervous getting close to shore. So if you know Bottoms Up, let them know I apologize for encroaching on their space. I’m sure they were thinking that there’s tons of space with only two boats, why anchor right next to me!?

Sailboat, Bottoms Up, in Navy Bay

The other anchored sailboat was a Hunter, but I was unable to make out the name.

This anchorage can be a beautiful calm spot to stop, if the wind is not coming from the South. This area has a lot of history. One of these times I need to go explore Fort Henry to the East.

That night we just hung out on the boat, ate some delicious food and played cards while enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Sailing Statistics

July 21, 2021
Gananoque Marina to Navy Bay, Kingston
Weather: Slightly cloudy, 26C, 6 knots wind from North
Distance: 16 nautical miles
Total time: 5 hours 42 minutes
Time under motor: Approx 30 minutes
Time under sail: Approx 5 hours 14 minutes
Average speed 2.8 knots
Maximum speed: 7.18 knots
  1. Left Gananoque at 11am’ish
  2. Almost grounded the boat
  3. Hove To in the Forty Acres
  4. Arrive Navy Bay just before 5pm

Sailing Notes

There’s a sharp turn to the South you need to prepare for when leaving Gananoque. It looks clear to go straight along the shoreline but it gets shallow quick! Fortunately Lori was paying attention!

Backfilling your foresail to “heave to” is an easy and comfortable way to stop your boat for a break.

Our fridge fan is dying a painful death. It jams, needs a flick of the finger to start spinning again but it complains the entire time. We ordered a replacement fan that was delivered to our home and now trying to figure out a way to get it to the boat.

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