Whitby to Frenchman's Bay
CAUTION: April 4, 2004
Frenchmans Bay Entrance Shifts !
Unlucky sailor stuck in channel for 3 days in 4' of water !
From Whitby west to Frenchman's Bay is a distance of 4.5 miles.
Leaving Whitby as you travel west along the shore you will see the arched roofs of the Ontario Mental Health center with the abandoned old complex immediately inland.
West of Whitby the coastline is low clay banks rising to a height of 50 feet, 4 miles WSW of Whitby. 2.8 miles west of Whitby is Richardson Point (43 &° ; 50' N, 78 &° ; 59' W) which is only 16 feet high and wooded. Pickering Beach is just west of Richardson Point with summer cottages along the shoreline.
NE of Richardson Point 0.6 miles there are seven conspicuous radio towers with air obstruction lights. Moore Point lies 1.8 miles WSW of Richardson Point, then Duffins Creek enters the lake followed by and Simcoe Point 3.2 miles WSW of Richardson Point.
Obstructions between the points. Caution is advised in this area as shoal water extends offshore 0.4 miles between the points of land. A submerged water intake extending 0.4 miles offshore is found 1 mile WSW of Richardson Point with at a depth of 30 feet. 2.7 miles WSW of Richardson point is a submerged sewer out fall marked with a privately maintained buoy.
Please remember to remain a respectful distance from the facility as it is a 2004 CAUTION NATIONAL SECURITY ZONE that has tightened up security considerably since 911.
There are two stone Crones, part of the Generating Station Complex 10.5 miles long and 250 feet apart extending offshore to the East of Frenchman's Bay 0.7 miles, . Anchorage or entry in this area is PROHIBITED. There area privately maintained lights on 33 foot high skeleton masts on the outer ends of the 1.4 while the gro1.4e flood lit.
Approaching Frenchman's Bay from the east you can not miss the huge wind generator that now dwarfs the 8 containment domes of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station complex are easily visible to the east at Moore Point.
If you are making landfall at night you should be note that the strobe and warning light may be difficult to distinguish form the lake at night, and the containment domes are no longer lit at night, the entire place was dark October 2003.
The complex is conspicuous with it's 285 foot tall cylindrical vacuum tower with a radio tower mounted atop with air obstruction lights. There is a microwave tower located 0.2 miles north of the plant also with air obstruction lights.
This picture from mid bay slightly north of Warf Street shows Pickering Harbour Company Docks and Swans in the background.
April 2004 CAUTION
The entrance has silted up badly over the winter and boats with more than 5 feet of draft are having trouble making it in the entrance chacnnel. You do not have chart depth even within the markers.Frenchman's Bay is located 16 miles NE of Toronto and 1.3 miles WNW of Moore Point. The bay is well sheltered, though shallow and is protected from the lake by Fairport Beach which is a low sand bar lying across the western portion of the bay on the south side. The entrance channel to Frenchman's Bay is roughly 100 feet wide and is dredged periodically to maintain a depth of 8 feet.
The GTA now stretches unbroken to Pickering and as a result or urbanization the harbour has gone through many changes over that last few years. Frenchmans Bay is about to reinvent itself with the plant back on line and the new townhouse development. The bay itself is fairly shallow and water levels are tricky at best. You will probably run aground if you draw over 5 feet the first time in, we did. Fortunate other than old equipment the bay has a mucky soft bottom. A bird sanctuary now occupies the northern portion of the bay.
Frenchman's Bay Lights.
Caution is advised !If approaching water levels are high or when there are storm waves since the boulder break walls my be underwater or obscured. There can also be a considerable current at the entrance from the wash around the rocks. At high water times privately maintained buoys are deployed to mark the entrance.
A submerged power cable crosses the entrance of the bay. In the extreme SE corner of the bay you find Swans Marina (4) who stock a complete line of Catalan yachts that are afloat year round.
You have already been warned that this is a shallow bay. Equally, there is little you are likely to hit that will do more than leave you trying to get unstuck from the layers of goose gung. There has been further dredging and bulk heading so your older chart may not exactly depict the entrance elevations.
CAUTION: (see yellow course) Do not attempt to turn sharply east toward Swans and the Frenchmans Bay Village until you clear the inner markers which are several hundred feet inside of the inner entrance wall. There is a large shallow of 3' or less extending to from the east of the new entrance bulkhead, nearly to the docks of Pickering Harbour Company (East Shore). If you are 20 feet off the docks and wooden break wall as you swing around for this SE corner of the bay you will get stuck.Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club is on the west shore (1) on the west side or to the east shore facilities. I have watched fairly deep draft boats make their way to the club and there are no direct obstructions to BY docks.
Once you clear the markers you can proceed safely to Moore Haven Dwarf Ltd is now Wharf Street Marina (2) . It offers fuel and lift out/in and storages services, but has no slips on the east shore. You can see the mast rac and travelift to the north of the townhouse development.
Frenchmans Bay itself can pick up quite quickly for its size and although there is lots of swing room to anchor there is little shelter and it will be a muddy nasty hook that comes up from the bottom. This is NOT a bay to swim in the locals call it home of the three headed fish, but the truth is the water is pretty nasty. I have known several people who have gotten an unexpected drink of it and regretted it.
To the south east corner of the bay are two marinas. Remember to hug the wood break wall and stay close to the outer boats when entering either marina. The channel is narrow and silts.The middle marina is East Shore Marina, Pickering Harbour Company Ltd. (3) is on the SE shore. They are co-developers of Frenchmans Bay Village along with Marshall Homes. At this time there is major construction on shore which should give way to a new community by summer 2004.
To reach the main dock and traveling you will need to proceed all the way south until the end of the last long dock (D Dock) that extends furthers out. The channel rounds close off the end of the N and continues in an straight line to the traveling. Watch for the bleach bottle markers as they indicate the latest dredging.
As you round the corner of the D & E docks you will see the Pickering Harbour travelift, the marina office is beside the travelift. The docks beyond the first one adjuacent to the travelift, further east and to the south of the become Swans Marina.
It is somewhat outside of the Greater Toronto area and is one of the closest options for full time live aboards. A place you can get on with it and not be driven crazy. East Shore Marina has gone out of their way to provide facilities for live aboards with a live aboard lounge and for the buck it is well worth consideration as either a stop or a place to finish your vessel to head out.Pickering Yacht Club is very much a part of the marina
The bay has to be considered an excellent provisioning stop. Pickering has done a lot to create a hub for the residents. Perhaps a mile from the shore north along Liverpool Road is the huge Pickering Town Center which will satisfy the more ardunt mall goer. Local buses run from the harbour to Pickering or it is noit a bad half hour walk on foot. We will cover this further down on this page after you are tied up.
The waterfront has benefited from Ontario Hydro's environmental policies. There is a nice stretch of gravel beach extending towards the nuclear plant with a day par where you can admire athere is little else to do within walking distance of the harbour. It is possible, however, to enjoy the scenery of the surrounding countryside, by taking either a dinghy around the shore or by walking the trails.
An interesting place to eat is the restored Liverpool House, a 10 minute bus ride away at Liverpool and Hwy 2 ,the dining room is formal, the dress code smart casual. In the same area on Hwy 2 Kingston Rd. are several other restaurants to suit all tastes, from the usual fast-food type to those specializing in Pastas, casual Italian and salads.
Service Changes for 2004. This will be the last summer for Ian and Maggie of sail repairs by Nautically Yours by Maggie representing of USail markers. Port Pickering Marine no longer exists as the land is now owned by the City of Pickering and is slated to be a park. Winston's Mobile Marine Service who was located here is now is now four kilometers away at Bayley and Brock.
Pickering Yacht Club is located at East Shore Marina, and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. We understand that there are approximately 20 berths some of which are available to reciprocating clubs. Facilities will be the same as East Shore Marina, you would check in at the main office or travel lift.
Gen co Marine Chancellery located in East Shore Marina. All Ontario Marine Services located in East Shore Marina Nautically Yours, Maggie offers sail and canvas repair service. Located at Liverpool Road and Old Orchard, a six minute walk north of East Shore Marina.
For those needing to get ashore and relax there is Waterfront Restaurant located at Swans Marina, offering fine dining,or a few blocks away Bravehearts Tavern and Masseys Restaurant are also located at Liverpool Road and Old Orchard.
The Pickering Ajax Rescue Unit had a rescue launch located at Frenchman's Bay and monitor the radio.
Wharf Street Marina
Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club
East Shore Marina