11th Sandpiper 565 Rendezvous - 2015

essentSAIL Muskoka

"Blue lakes, rocky evergreen shore.
Time to set your sails and explore.
Savour the simple joy of using the wind to travel in magnificent Canadian Shield maritime surroundings."

August 14-17, 2015
Port Carling ON

Lake Muskoka. For many Canadians, and more than a few Americans, Lake Muskoka is the quintessential, the ultimate Canadian cottage lake. Few can hear the word 'Muskoka' without immediately thinking of spectacular cottages perched on rugged treed shorelines.... diving from the dock into clear, deep, refreshing water... hammocks and muskoka chairs ... golden sunsets, campfires on the beach, the haunting sound of a loon calling in the moonlight.... I need a moment here.

Ok. All better. Beyond the clichés, this is a large, deep lake with clean clear water. The generous depth will allow us to cruise close along the shoreline, taking in the scenery - rugged, thickly-treed shore and some of the finest examples of cottage architecture anywhere. Because of the lake's size, there are decent winds most of the time - not as shifty as you would get on your average northern lake. A nice blend of open water, islands big and small, and narrow channels to test your cruising abilities.

D'Arcy (Shortwave) has once again provided the Sandpiper fleet with unparalleled access to this famous and somewhat exclusive part of Cottage country.

The Program


Boats arrive in Port Carling Friday August the 14, 2015. Strikingly beautiful, this small town is located on the Indian River that connects Lake Rosseau to Lake Muskoka. The centre of town is right at the hub of Muskoka, where the main road crosses the river with a locks on the river and a small island park.

We will rig and launch at the Bailey Street launch ramp, and then motor about half a mile upriver to the District floating dock on the south side of Dukes Boat Works. The District of Muskoka has been very accommodating, and we will be tying up at their pier Friday and Sunday night.

Try to arrive early enough on Friday that you can tour around town, visit the museum, shop and explore the lock area. From our dock you can actually walk from floating dock to dock to get to shops, restaurants and the LCBO

For Friday dinner, you can prepare your own on board or in the park, but it might be nice to have a casual group dinner at Grand Electric Muskoka restaurant/pub. It's an old converted boat shed next to Dukes and would make a perfect Friday night location as we can keep an eye on the dock to help any sailors who might arrive late. If we let the pub know in advance they will set aside a table or two for us.


On Saturday morning, after you grab breakfast on your boat (or in town), the fleet will leave Port Carling for a full day of sailing. With decent winds, we hope to take the fleet through a 20km (twelve mile) glory sail in hero conditions, skirting rocky shorelines, weaving through island groups and snaking down narrow channels. The Canadian Shield at its' absolute best, with a few spectacular examples of drop dead gorgeous cottage architecture thrown in for contrast.

Our route will be somewhat tentative, depending on wind and weather, but the plan is to head south down the Indian River then sail southeast through the Seven Sisters Islands then on to Beaumaris. After passing Beaumaris we will keep sailing south between Tondern and Squirrel Islands. From there we will make our way out into the middle of Lake Muskoka to watch the Muskoka Lakes Laser Regatta then circle Stonewall Island and head north. We may pause for lunch, or you will pull out something to eat en-route, as time allows. We'll finish the day off with some nice open-water cruising, before we nestle down in a very protected bay called Long Bay for a swim and dinner.

Once everyone's arrived in Long Bay, the idea is to raft up for a community dinner. Bring your own dinner and a few snacks to share.

After dinner and socializing, we will anchor individually for the evening. Long Bay is part of Hardy Provincial Park. Please note - there are no facilities on shore so you get to enjoy the Sandpiper's abilities as a pocket yacht. (translation - you need a working head.) Just think; two beautiful days of being totally on the water. You will need at least one GOOD ANCHOR, and two would be preferable. With two hooks you can do a Bahamian style anchor and position your boat with the cockpit facing out to the lake for a marvellous view of Lake Muskoka.


Sunday morning sees us raising anchor after breakfast, and setting sail again. We will head into East Bay then north along the east side of Acton Island. From there the fleet will head back towards Port Carling, skirting Mortimer's Point. On the way we will no doubt stop for a swim or two and a bite of lunch.

We expect to be back at the District dock late Sunday afternoon, and have arranged a private dinner at Ella's Restaurant, on the patio overlooking the Indian River, weather permitting.


After one last night on our boats, a leisurely breakfast, then presentations and finally, farewells as we load boats onto their trailers and head for home. (although I've heard a few people may stay on to cruise some more.)

Cost Summary

  • Registration - $25 per boat (includes flag)
  • Parking, Launchramp, 2 nights' mooring - $50
  • Sunday dinner - Ella's - $35 per person


Other than Friday and Sunday nights' dinners, you will bring and prepare all your own meals and snacks, as you wish. Lunches should be simple, and able to be prepared and eaten while underway, if necessary.


  • dinner - pub food at Grand Electric while you admire the fleet. Or whatever you want.


  • breakfast - as you want
  • lunch/snack - on your boat
  • dinner - raft-up, food prepared on your boat


  • breakfast - at anchor, on your boat
  • lunch/snack - on your boat
  • dinner - we've arranged a private dinner for the fleet at Ella's


  • breakfast - as you want. First up does the Timmie's run.


On the next page is the registration form. There is a $25 registration fee per boat, which includes rendezvous flag, plus $50 for parking and 2 nights at the dock, and $35 pp for Sunday dinner.

Register ->