Canadian Hydrographic Charts 1438, 1439
Approximately a mile east of the bridge on the mainland is Rockport with three shore side options. Arriving from the bridge you will notice the white St Brendann's church with the promenint breakwall and grey building of the Boathouse Restaurant close behind.
The next most noticable landmark in Rockport is the tour boats tied up in front of the single story restaurant and gift shop which is set back on a low hill. close to the east of the tour boat operation is a large dock which protects a artificial basin which has the now closed customs house at its north end.
The east side of this basin is formed by the Andress Boatworks breakwall. They maintain approximately transient slips within the breakwall with deep draft. Andress Boatworks still maintains and repairs wooden vessels.
The Customs and Immigration House at Rockport is open daily from the Victoria Day Weekend until Labour Day, with temporary dockage available at their slip to transient boaters returning from the United States.
Finally the largest and most easterly marina in Rockport Ed Huck Marine occupies a point across a small bay. The marina has two rows of covered slips set in a L shape with the breakwall parallel to shore. There is a shoal off the end of the breakwall which you must avoid when entering the marina for fuel or transient docking, it is marked with a privately maintained buoy.
Tar Island stretches eastward from Rockport parallel with the mainland with a shallow passage, not recommended for most cruising boats, separating it from the mainland. If you do have a power boat and wish to explore you would be well advised to converse with someone in Rockport before you venture.
Tar Island remains to us an imigma, although the channel between Grenadier and Tar Islands had adequate depth there was nothing to attract us to that passage when returning from the east. So for the purposes f this guide we will have to hold comment unless there is forthcoming local knowledge. I am quite certain that there are some excellent fishing grounds that are accessible by smaller craft.
Moving east from Hill Island and south from Rockport we will stop by Grenadier Island. The island itself is far less craggy and rough than many others but it is large with some interesting spots which make it well worth a visit.
North of Grenadier Island Small Craft Passage
The channel is well marked and well protected. Providing you watch the markers, especially near the east end of Tar Island between it and Duck Island, where Van Buren Shoal awaits you, is usually smooth sailing even on rough days.
On the north side there are the park docks in Senical Bay located approximately midway along Grenadier's length. The water is shallow and tends to be a powerboat favorite with 3 or 4 feet of depth. For those having more draft the old township dock located on the west side provides 4 to 5 feet of water on a first come first served.
Grenadier Islands Park is divided between the east and west ends of the island. On the western end tucked behind the small Doctor Island and the larger Little Grenadier Island is the first and one of the oldest places to visit. Now, with the exception of summer us, there is no full time community here in spite of its size. All that remains are abandoned farmsteads and equipment which never made the transition to summer vacation homes.
When we approached Grenadier Island from upstream it was getting late in the day with a strong wind from the south east which unfortunately made the pictures of the west parks docks unusable. The overwhelming feeling that I was left with that there would be many days that the docks would be uncomfortably open to prevailing winds.
The west park docks may be approached from two direction, either by following the small craft route east, which lies between Tar Island and the western end of Grenadier island, until you pass Buck Island where you turn south to the park docks on the west side of a narrow bay. Or your other option is from the south passing between Little Grenadier and Grenadier to reach the park docks.
The west park has a large dock floating parallel to the shoreline that is connected by a ramp. The outside holds good depth while the inside might be best left to power vessels. Somewhat further towards the islands tip to the south there is another crib dock providing 2 to 5 feet of depth.
Ashore, on this long developed island, is another of the original parks octagional picnic shelters dating from 1905. There are the normal park facilities nearby which are well marked.
The park itself is hemmed in by a public 9 hole golf course to the east, leaving very little space for shore side exploring. Located east along the north small craft channel the golf course has docks in the next small bay east of the park. There is not for overnight use, but anchoring is permitted. If you have brought your clubs, here's your chance.
Proceeding along the south side of the island, approximately 0.75 miles from the tip is Hooper Island which provides a comfortable and sheltered anchorage in the bay between it and Shanty Island. Approach from the deep water to the south and make your way in, but no further than the northern points of Hooper and Shanty as the water shoals quickly from there on.
This anchorage although sheltered from the east and north is exposed to the south west and with a strong chop we chose to continue rather than drop a hook.
Heading east from Hooper do not hug the shoreline as there is a wreck between Bloomfield Island and Grenadier. Check your chart and note the rocks and shoals if you wish to make use of the next developed area east. Pitch Pine point has private docks located in the bay.
The entire area is somewhat protected from the open St Lawrence by a string of small island and shoals. Slim Island is the most westerly followed by Round Island which is shown here. If you choose to use the enhanced version of this guide you can see the exposed rocks which lie like a string of pearls along the islands.
Hidden behind these islands east of Pitch Pine Point is a large and well developed summer campgrounds with docks. Proceeding east from Rockport and the west, a note of CAUTION for landing here. If you wish to pass between Pitch Pine Point. be aware of the nasty rockpile which is usually awash at summer levels. The other approach is to pass close to Slim Islands western end, staying well clear of the just underwater shoal to the southwest of Slims point. THIS SHOAL IS NOT MARKED so beware.
The recreation area on shore is extensive and the dock is comprised of a large floating dock with fingers. Here is a place for you to catch a hot shower and plug in with a few more amenities than most islands. There is lots of ground for a good hike, but the mosquitos are plentiful and hungry. If you follow the path from the campgrounds it will lead you to the old township road where you can explore a bit of what was.
There are two possible routes east in the St Lawrence to the south of Grenadier. Once you make up your mind stay with it as there is yet another string of shoals running west from the lighthouse located almost south of Long Schooner Island which is in fact an isthmus.
The next anchorage to the east is found behind Long Schooner Island, where there is adequate depth for sailboats providing you have a good weed anchor. If you do not wish to anchor there are two floating docks on the western side of the bay with sufficient sailboat depth at the outside ends. You can anchor further toward the tip of the island but beware of the three large rocks to the north of Long Schooner Island and south of Harrowsmith Island, they were fairly visible from the foredeck and require a daylight approach for safety.
Long Schooner seen from the channel look very little like an island and at least on our visit seemed set in marshland. The anchorage is close off the channel and well sheltered from the prevailing south west wind. It was pretty weedy when we arrived so we opted to anchor inside the point where we fround good holding and shelter. Given a delivery east I would probably opt for this as a nights stop as it is beyond the "parks green meanies" and not out of the way.
The shore side facilities are called Little Grenadier Park and provide trash bins, a picnic shelter, BBQ's and toilets. For adventure you can follow the path past the old farm to the township road which stretches the islands length.
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