Inside Passage

The inside passage is often used by pleasure craft to avoid the larger waves around the outside of Prince Edward County. As we were expecting some stronger seas, we decided to do this route over a couple of days. It had been a few years since we had sailed this area and we had some fond memories.

Wednesday, June 16: Treasure Island to Prinyer’s Cove (18.7NM)

At 8am we hoisted a pretty clean anchor with just one larger waterlogged tree branch. But no issues and were sailed and motor sailed in light winds from the North West (6-9kn) up to Prinyer’s Cove. By the time we arrived at 3:15pm we had gusts up to 18kn, but it was sunny and 19-20C.

We went right past Asha’s dock on the south side of Prinyer’s Cove past the marina. Asha is one of our sister ships, a CS 40 Hull#45, of the 55 CS 40s ever built. She is 2 years younger than Vitae and we had met her owners years ago while sailing in the Thousand Islands. It’s always nice to chat with like minded sailors, especially when they have the same boat. We did dinghy over to chat with them on their dock after we anchored.

Prinyer’s Cove is full of mooring balls so we had to carefully pick a spot in the middle. It’s quite deep and we had about 150’ of chain out. Since it was only middle of June and many boater’s were delayed getting their boats launched due to covid restrictions, most balls were still empty. During July and August I would think it is difficult to find a spot to anchor here. It’s good holding in mud bottom.

Beam sailing north of Wolf Island

Thursday, June 17: Prinyer’s to Grassy Bay (10.6NM)
(north end of the Long Reach)

After a super quiet night at Prinyer’s we hoisted anchor at 8am. No weeds came up but the chain was nice and muddy. Hoisting the chain slowly helped reduce the mess. It was a gentle close-hauled sail with lots of tacks west on the Adolphus Reach until the wind died just before the turn north into the Long Reach.

Here we were able to sail wing-on-wing with speeds up to almost 8kn. Fun! But the more north we went into the Long Reach the more erratic the wind became and it would suddenly swing to the opposite direction. We had had a great sail and weren’t looking forward to motoring into the wind once the turn came toward the Bay of Quinte and Belleville, so we turned west into Grassy Bay. We tried to tuck in as close to shore as we could to avoid the south westerly blows but we knew that holding was good in this bay. We were in 12’ with about 85’ of chain and comfortably anchored by 2pm. It stayed blustery all afternoon into the evening and then became still and calm.

Sunrise over Grassy Bay

Friday, June 18: Grassy Bay to Trent Port Marina (20.9NM)

We started the day early at 5:30am as we wanted to beat the rain and strong westerly winds later in the day. Again we had just a little mud on the chain but no weeds and a pretty clean anchor. While motoring we had our coffee and breakfast – as usual oatmeal with peaches for Dave and Vector for me – and of course, a piece of Lindt chocolate with the morning coffee!

There was not much wind at first so we motor sailed with the Jib around Forester’s island and under the sky bridge by Deseronto. It’s always a bit worrying as your 65 foot mast goes under a bridge with 75 feet clearance. Of course water levels will change that hight and from the deck of the boat it always looks like you are going to catch the bridge with your mast. Then the next bridge was in Belleville, and we passed under it by 8:20 am.

We arrived in Trent Port Marina at the entrance of the Trent Severn Waterway, and were assigned a slip of F4. This slip turned out to be way at the end of the F dock, and much too shallow and weedy for our boat. We did not even enter, but went across to G dock and took a nice open water slip. Then we went and registered telling them which slip we had taken and confirming that it was ok to be there.

Assigned slip F4 – no good for us !

A note about Trent Port Marina, they do have ongoing issues with weed growth, and with the low water levels this year they were working hard to remove excess weeds. They have bubblers in main channels which move the water and inhibit the weed growth, and then they have a crew of half a dozen students with rakes that were raking up weeds in the slips, but best of all they have the weed munching machine in the video below.

Here are the screen grabs of our tracks….

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