Leek Island or Thawartway I
Canadian Hydrographic Charts 1438, 1439
Laying close to Gananoque McDonald was a farmed until not so long ago. There are no granite cliffs but a low flat island with good soil and plentiful maple, pine and oak tree along with scrubby thickets. Because of its proximity to shore and its forgiving topography wildlife abounds depending on what comes over on the winter ice.
To approach McDonald from the western passage keep your eyes open for the large rock which ( usually) has a one of the volunteer shoal markers with its white spar and orange band. Approaching from the east and Wanderers Channel keep your distance from the A frame cottage and the rocks to its west.
McDonalds docks are on the south face with reasonable shelter for boats having up to 4.5 feet of draft. three are several floating docks to choose from, but all having limited draft. On shore you will find the picnic shelter and washrooms.
The second way south from Gananaque takes you between White Calf and Tremount, then Forsyth and Hay. You will need to pay attention to your heading and relative position as the proliferation of islands and houses south of Gananoque can be confusing.
The passage between Tremont Park and Hay Islands is most easily recognized ny the small green cottage that sits mid channel on a small islet midway between Tremount Park and Hay Islands.
The channel runs somewhat east of center, following the red spars along Hay Islands west shore. Hay Island has some interesting cottages and an abandoned YMCA camp before you reach your green spar marking an awash rock which is just north of a large mid channel house. The channel is deceptive and smaller boats pass either side of the house.
You can pick your way through the narrow channel separating Huckelberry and Little Huckelberry Islands is you stay centered midway. Notice the conical white shoal markers and any new Volunteer marks as there is good reason for them.
Once you clear the narrows the channel opens into a wide body of watter with Little Huckelberry & Kalaria to your east. to the west are a gaggle of smaller islands which lie north of Bostwick and Hemlock Islands.
Assuming that you are making for the Canadian middle channel and proceeding southwards to the Lake Fleet and Leek Island the most important landmark is Juniper Island which has a largish white house on its north shore and a baren rock west face. This is the north most shore reference point for Fourty Acre Shoal.
Thwartway or Leek Island
Ensuring that you leave Fourth Acre Shoal to the east. We will continue south to the southernmost of the Admiralty Islands. It is the furthest from civilization and possesses no facilities but is fabulous for self sufficient vessels seeking solitude. There are no docks except for park service use but you can find a ramp to pull a dinghy up easily on the south bay. It does make a parks concession to providing waste facilities for garbage and toilets ashore.
Bass Rock sticks its nose just above the water as you proceed eastward down the middle channel.
The Canadian middle Channel passes the south shore of the island if you are approaching from the open river. If you approach from the rest of the Admiralty group between Seven Pines and Mermaid Island tips. Check your chart and pay attention to Fourth Acre Shoal as it is an ugly collection of insurance collectors if there ever was one. Once you anchor the area is historic for fisherman with several prize catches coming from the waters.
Thawartway has two favored anchorages. The large bay to the south has three permanent moorings which are firs come first keeps. ALthough the bottom is weedy the clay bottom does provide good holding. On the north east side is another anchorage which the offers less weeds. A note of caution allow yourself adequate swing room as you will swing and show an anchor light.
Instead of the rocky outcrops which are the norm ashore here you can find a beach in the bay on the west side which gets quite busy on nice days. Crossing the islands you will probably find some of the remains W farm building in the thickets used to rehabilitate WW II R & battle fatigue victims.
Half Moon Bay
Situated on the private Boswick Island in a quiet bay on the south east shore is a traditional part of Island summer life. During July and August on sundays there is a rotating denominational sunday service held in the bay where your boat becomes your pew. Being a good boater a truth as rafting is the norm.
In the practical side you find the bay bt approaching from the deep water east and watch for the crescent moon marker as you enter on the west of the bays entrance. There is 4 to 5 feet of water in the bay and mooring points are provided on the rock to secure the end of the raft. It will all make sense when you arrive.
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