North Sails LOFT NEWS
Story Contributors: George Jackson
EXPLORING A HIDDEN GEM: PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Cruise On Over and See The County
Many know the County as it’s known to folks from the Six. Sandbanks Park. The wineries. Charming inns and B&Bs. The rolling pastures dotted with quaint communities like Wellington. Most travellers arrive by car but now that sailing has returned why not consider a cruise instead? What better time to plan a waterborne adventure? Open up your favourite navigation app, Navionics, perhaps. Or Google Earth. Scroll over to eastern Lake Ontario…Take note of the north shore of eastern Lake Ontario.
Within a good day’s sail, the varied and vast cruising grounds of Prince Edward County await. Eastern Ontario has embraced Stage 3. Most everything is open. Anchorages. Marinas. Yacht clubs. Stores. Restaurants. Less the crowds.
Prince Edward County (PEC) beginning in Brighton continuing 38 nm east to Cressy Point, there are so many coves, harbours, open reaches, and terrific freshwater sailing to be had. Many different itineraries could be plotted.
The Murray Canal is the western access to the Bay of Quinte leading to Trenton and Belleville. Technically not on the county, both have yacht clubs and public marinas.
The north shore waters of Prince Edward County are dotted with anchorages while marinas are a little scarcer. Baycrest Lodge Marina located in the county just a few miles east of Belleville. A gem of PEC is Picton. Getting to there will likely be a mix of sailing, motor-sailing and motoring as you navigate through the Narrows into Long Reach and then Picton Bay. Once in Picton there are docking options including the Prince Edward Yacht Club or the Picton Harbour Park Marina. The downtown is a walk away.
If you have made it to Picton I’d strongly encourage you to make time to explore the waters east of Picton. Adolphus Reach, Waupoos, Prince Edward Bay, Prinyer’s Cove. A region distinguished by limestone cliffs, fresh, clear water, gravelly beaches and good anchorages.
A great feature of cruising these waters is flexibility due to changes in weather. Protected waters can be found easily, no matter the wind direction.
A word of caution. No doubt, you done a proper study of the charts as you sailed or motored to this point. In these waters, safe, damage-free passage making requires vigilant navigating. Use the guides. Use your mobile Navionics app, use your eyes and binoculars but know where you are and where you are going. As they say, the water can get hard fast if one is not paying attention.
Set sail for the Bay of Quinte and the waters around Prince Edward County. The sailing is excellent, with lots to see and do.
All this to say, go! Go as soon as you can.