Great Sodus Bay

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As Kathleen wrote in the last post, we spent a lovely thanksgiving weekend in Sodus Point.  In many ways this was a peek into the future;  a long sail to a new port in a foreign land, a tour of the town by bike.

Our sail from Kingston was a little over 61 NM as the crow flies, we left at first light, picking our way out of the marina and motoring up Kingston harbour shadowed by S/V St Laurence II   With a north wind we sailed south for Sodus Bay, as the day passed, the wind eased and we motor-sailed.  We wanted to arrive in daylight so we had to maintain a reasonable average speed.

Arriving at the entrance to the entrance to Sodus Bay we radioed to the Sodus Bay Yacht Club and got our assigned slip.  Motoring through the bay we were impressed with the pretty houses and the protected waters of a sizeable bay. As we approached our slip a group of members appeared on the dock to grab our lines and welcome us to the club.  This is not the norm as they do have dock hands during the summer, but if you arrive at beer o’clock on a Friday night, volunteers from the club are happy to come out from the bar to help.  The Club is small but has great facilities and they could not be more welcoming.  Our dock mate was this 8 Meter racing boat, a great example of a meter boat.

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This is our first trip to Great Sodus Bay, it is on the edge of the Rochester Area and was served by a passenger rail line from 1900 until 1929.  Sodus Point, the village at the entrance to the bay has served as a port on Lake Ontario with both ferry service to Coburg Ontario and a coal trestle  connected to the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Coal was shipped from Sodus Point to Canadian and US ports on Lake Ontario.  The coal trestle operated from 1896 until 1967 and it was destroyed in a fire in 1971.



The silos in the background of the postcard above are the Genensee Malt House that supplied malt grains to many brewers on Lake Ontario.  The Malt House is still standing and I am sure someone will eventually redevelop the site to include the main buildings.  Sodus Bay’s role as a port declined in the 60s and 70s and with the loss of the trestle, dredging stopped and the bay has entrance silted quite a bit.  We had no issues with our draft, but it is a long way from the depth it would have been in its heyday.

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