Click here! Woolsey Narrows

Photo # 1. Looking upriver towards the Woolsey Narrows.
Mohr Island is often the turn-around point for people out on a short cruise and who are anxious to return to their home base on Lake Deschenes. However, the final ten kilometres (six miles) of the river remaining before the Chats Falls Hydro Electric Dam has more to offer anyone who cares to push on.

Doing so means passing through the Woolsey Narrows and under high tension wires suspended high above the river. This is the narrowest part of the Ottawa River between Lake Deschenes and the Chats Falls Dam, and it is one area where the current may be noticed, especially in spring or when the dam is spilling large amounts of water. It is also interesting to note that this part of the river seems to be a little more remote, and it can give sailors a sense that they are getting away from cottage country.

The high tension wires which cross the Woolsey Narrows are supported by 125 foot towers, although it is obvious that the wires sag considerably lower than this at the mid-point over the river. From an onboard perspective, a lack of depth perception may give the optical illusion that the boat's mast will come close to touching these electric power lines. All of this can be quite entertaining if an
Photo # 2. Passing under the wires.
unsuspecting passenger is allowed to believe that the skipper is unsure if there is enough room for the mast to safely pass under these power lines.

Photo # 1 shows the the view when looking upriver towards the Woolsey Narrows from just west of Mohr Island. The village of Quyon is located just behind the point on the right side of photo. If the picture was extended a little more to the right, it would be possible to see the steeple of the Quyon Church above the trees. (The photo does show the vague outline of one of the towers supporting the high tension wires above the trees.)

Photo # 2 shows a boats heading upriver that has just passed under the high tension wires (the Ontario shoreline is in the background). It is likely that the skipper of this sailboat has already spotted the ferry boat which operates between Ontario and Quyon. (Note that recreational boats should give way to ferries.)

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Text and photos by Michael McGoldrick.
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