Towards Pontiac Bay
The Chats Falls Dam and power generating station can be seen in the distance from
the Quyon Dock. Although this stretch of water was largely ignored by sailors for many years, it is one of the more interesting and challenging parts of the Ottawa River.
Power generating station at the Chats Falls Dam.|
It should be noted that versions of chart #1550 dated before 1996 show that the waters between Quyon and the dam are dotted with cribs that were left over from the days when the Ottawa River served as a logging river. In reality, these cribs are no longer there. The Coast Guard had them removed during the summer of
1993. Apparently, they have been cleared to a depth of approximately two meters from
chart datum, but some people with deep keels remain nervous when crossing the former location of these
cribs. It is interesting to note that the Coast Guard crews created a new island with all the residual material from the dismantled cribs (in a shallow area very close to the Quebec shoreline).
A new island - a pile of rocks from dismantled cribs.|
Pontiac Bay will be the destination for most of the boats heading into this section of the river. The entrance to the bay is located on the Quebec side of the river just before the dam. When boats get
close enough to see the entrance to the bay in the distance, they will start to head for
the point of land immediately to the west (the right hand side) of the generating station. They will stay on this heading until they are even with the northern tip of Alexandra Island, and then turn to starboard and head to the approximate centre of Pontiac Bay. People should ready to spot the buoys which mark the entrance to the bay and should proceed with caution - dead slow. Note that these headings are approximate, and they should be confirmed with the nautical chart. Moreover, sailors should be keep an eye out for currents which may develop if the dam is spilling large amounts of water.
Text & Photo by Michael McGoldrick.
Rock pile photo by Bernie Coyne
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