From Toronto, we sailed (20-30 knot beam reach winds, 1-1.5 m waves = bumpy and fun!) to Presqu'ile Bay (near Brighton). Beam reach winds are 90 degrees from the side of the boat. Because of the wave height, it took us longer than planned, 10 hours.
It's funny how easy we assume we can predict what an anchorage, a marina, even a route is going to look like. When we sailed the same area for many years, you know the waters, anchorages and marinas quite well. Now, though, everything is new. Every day, it's new waters (wave action and size, temperature fluctuation), new anchorage (bottom type and depth, current), new marinas (layout, staff knowledge, current). We can't assume we know exactly what's coming. Even with all the equipment and apps we have, there's always a taste of the unexpected. We like the challenge!
I didn't pay attention to the tiny "Wd" letters shown on our chartplotter for Presqu'ile Bay. I just saw "Cy". I love Cy; I hate Wd. "Wd", "R", "S", "Si", "Cy", "M" are letters that indicate the type of bottom we can expect: Weed (call it Salad), Rock, Sand, Silt, Clay, Mud. Anchoring in Clay holds very well to high winds (but the anchor gets very dirty when you lift it the following morning. That's ok, I can deal with that). Weeds, on the other hand, are a pain in the bottom - excuse the pun. Not seeing the Wd, we anchored in the North West corner of Presqu'ile Bay (remember, we've just finished a 10-hour, bumpy sail; we're tired and can't wait to open a cold beer).
This morning, we confirmed our mistake. See attached picture (it's worth 1000 words). We had all this weed (a whole salad bar) attached to our chain and anchor, 50 feet long. It took Frank and a pretty nasty looking sharp knife to remove it before we could sail along the Murray canal that connects Presqu'ile Bay to the entrance to the Trent-Severn canal and a beautiful route towards Kingston. The Murray Canal has 2 swing bridges. We stop'd at the first one to pay the $5.25 fee. It's a beautiful 8-km long, 13 feet deep, 50 feet wide canal, bordered by trees and brush.
That's not all the salad we ate (h-ate). We wanted to spend a few hours at the marina beside the Trent-Severn canal entrance. When we exited the Murray Canal and changed our bearing towards the marina -- a no-worry 17ish feet depth along way -- I gave the piloting to Auto (auto-pilot) and read my book, keeping a close watch at the chartplotter, not the water. Too late we noticed, before entering the marked entrance to the marina, weeds (at 17 foot depth!) drastically slowing down our progress! We've never seen that much salad up North.
We had to stop right away and drop the anchor before we could proceed further. Frank donned his dive suit and, with that nasty knife again, dove under the boat to cut off huge chunks of weeds entertwined around the prop and rudder. After we successfully returned to the marked channel, we decided to continue on to Belleville instead of a short stop at the Trent-Severn Marina. And instead of anchoring again somewhere with a potential of another salad bar, we decided to sleep at the Belleville marina. That's enough excitement for one day. Belleville has a beautiful shoreline bike/walk path. We'll take our folding bikes out and enjoy the rest of the day. Mojitos and Mexican tacos for dinner.