Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Montague Marina

Michelle and I live in St Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. This is a beautiful part of the province, with our house looking out over the bay. The sun sets over the water during the summer, and the sight is unforgettable. Unfortunately, keeping our boat here is not an option. The entrance to the bay is quite shallow, and the near-six-foot keel on Obsession would not appreciate the sand bar that lies across the mouth.

When we bought our boat, we had to decide where to keep her, and we had four main options we considered. Souris is about a 20 minute drive to the east of here, and has a relatively new marina and facilities. Cardigan is about 15 minutes south, with Montague about 5 minutes past that. The final option was Charlottetown, a 35 minute drive west, but home to the largest yacht club and community.

In the end, we decided to go to Montague. We almost went for Charlottetown despite the added driving time. We thought that, being new boat owners, having a large community to draw on would be a benefit. However, Montague was a lot less expensive. Also, we knew a couple of people already who berthed there, so Montague won out for us.

Montague is a very informal group. There is no official yacht club. The marina is operated by the Waterfront Development Corporation, who hires one or two people for the summer. There are washroom and shower facilities, which, as of this summer, are exclusively for the boaters. There is a seal boat tour that operates out of the marina, as well as Waveskills sailing school. There is a small restaurant, and gift shop on site. We can get our diesel at the dock, although there is no pump out facility. The biggest down side of Montague is that it is a bit up the river. We usually have to motor for about 45 minutes before we can raise the sails. However, we tend not to take too many day trips, but instead concentrate on overnight or longer cruising, so it's not much of a penalty.

We’ve been quite happy with the decision, mostly because of the other sailors that are in the area. There is a mixture of people who are just starting their sailing journey, as well as the old sea dogs who have been at it for a while (yes, I’m talking about you, Mel). It is never difficult to find someone to supply advice or assistance when needed.

Last year, at the end of the season, a five-boat convoy made the journey from Montague to Souris for an overnight trip. Although we were partly becalmed on the way there, it was a beautiful day. And the trip back was perfect sailing weather. I know there were a couple of other boats that wanted to join in as well, but the timing did not work for them, so we’ll be sure to organize a couple more joint trips next year.

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