For the Lake Ontario sailor running east can be interesting as well as a adventure. You get to pay in our loonies and experience as many different palces as you will incounter running south. without the price tag. Now not to say I do still not occasionaly dream of warm tropical nights, I simply reached the stage where I like having our medicare and pension without pirates and the drama.
We wish we had more pictures of the Brock group but both times we have gotten this far the weather was outright ugly and non photographic. You can keep those open boats and hardships. Now I begrudge having to outside to set an anchor. Yet still enjoy what we Canadian's have and am addicted to exploring our coastlines.
The Brock Islands are very much a part of Brockville and worth a visit since in the intervening sixty odd years since the federal government gave them to Brockville they have experienced considerible and careful development.
A full twelve of the islands have city maintained docks for transient boats. Some of the docks on Sheaffe Sparrow, McCoy and De Rottenburg have seasonal use docks which are rented along with campsites to locals. Other than this it is first come first moored basis.
Thre is no charge for day use, but overnight mooring does require a fee. Most of the docks are short and will not provide a full length mooring so you will need to spring you craft carefully.
The river bottom varies greatly here, which combined with the current it is a good idea to have someone on the bow to watch for sudden rocks.
The Brock Islands lie west of Brockville and are made up of 30 islands of which twelve have docks for visiting boats. Approaching from the west the islands are strung out along the north shore beginning south of Hillcrest Point. The docakge is "kinda a local run house lottery" with those who have rented a campsite for the season having priority at the dock. So dont be amazed if a local gets in your face claiming it is "their" docs, but still ask to see the contract just for the heck of it. The main channel runs off the north shore making it fairly busy with commercial traffic.
We will break the islands into two groups for net-ease. The southern portion (S) which includes DeRottenburg, Sheffe, Meyers, Battersby, Sparrow and Stovin Islands. While the Norther group closest to Brockville shown as (N) include Harvey, Royal, Refugee, Smith, Oriental, Mile, and Skeleton Islands.
The southernmost of the group start with (1) Meyers Island off Hillcrest Point seperated by a narrow strech of river from the (2) Twin Sister Islands, of which the eastmost has a dock in a small cove on the north side this has fair depth for a cruising sailboat. Closest to the center of the river is (8) American Island. The next east islands are (3) De Rottenburg and (4) Sheaffe (also called Black Charlie) which have a total of six docks on their inward faces and an reasonable anchorage between them.
East of (3) De Rottenburg's and ever so slightly to the north is (5) Battersby Island which has a dock on its SE downstream face. Approaching McDonalds Point on the mainland just south of the narrows channel is (6) Sparrow Island with a dock on its S face.
(7) Stovin Island
South of McDonalds Point at the center of the group is (7) Stovin Island which is the only national park of them all. On the eastern end is a longer float that will permit a medium sized sailboat. Located just off the shipping channel the depth is very deep on the north side making it well suited to cruising sail boats. can use the floating docks in the small bay to the south. A shallow water dock with 3 feet of water is found in the sheltered bay in mid island. While yet a third extends from the shore east of the bay on the south shore, this one accomodating moderate draft keelboats in its outer section.
The anchorage ares for both groups are marked with a red spot on the maps above and below.
|Sheaffe (Black Charlie) Isl.||Between islands east end (watch for rocks to west)|
|De Rottenburg's Isl.||Between islands east end (watch for rocks to west)|
|Harvey Isl.||North side|
|Smith Isl.||Off North East End|
|Skeleton Isl.||off north east shore|
The northern group of the Brock Island group lies within sight of the marina entrance and offshore of the souther suburbs od Brockville city. Although muchof the shoreline is lined with trees the urban nature of the shoreline become more evident as you near Brockville.