Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's for supper tonight?

Food. Glorious Food. Wonderful Food.

Obsession, like any other cruising boat her size, has a relatively small galley for cooking. We have a 2-burner propane stove, an icebox, a double (but quite small) sink, a bit of storage, and the luxury of a propane oven. We also have a barbecue that attaches to the outside railing. The only problem with this set-up is that the barbecue leans out over the water, so you have to be careful. We discovered this the hard way one day by donating our supper to the fishes in Charlottetown Harbour.

Many of the cruising adventure books that are out there love to talk about food. They give recipes for the fabulous creations that they make, the local ingredients that they find and turn into complex, gourmet meals, all within a galley just slightly larger than a phone booth. In this picture, you can see the sink and top of the ice box, while the stove and oven are next to the ice box. There is just enough room for one person to fit into the galley area.

Generally, during the summer months, we tend to take a much simpler approach to cooking. When it is hot outside, the last place you want to be is down below, preparing a meal with the propane stove and oven blasting away in a small area with poor ventilation. We make much more use of the barbecue whenever possible.

Common meals for us include any kind of barbecued meat. Potatoes are simply sliced, put in foil with onion and carrot, and cooked on the barbecue. All the grocery stores these days carry pre-marinated packages of meat. These are great to keep around since they last quite some time in the icebox. Another favourite for breakfast is muffin mixes. These can be whipped up and put in the oven while we spend time above deck.

Since we rely on an ice box, our ability to carry fresh food is limited. The ice has to be replenished each day (although we can stretch it for two days if we plan properly), so unless we are at a dock, we have to be careful about what we bring on board. Once the fresh food goes, dried pasta becomes a popular meal.

I'm interested in other people's favourite meals while out cruising. Add a comment, letting us know what you like to take along when you head out for a few days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Three Rivers

Sunset at anchor in the Brudenell River

In his last blog posting, Jay described how we often sail from our home port of the Montague Marina to Souris.  It is a 45 minute sail up the Montague River to Georgetown, then across Cardigan Bay, around Boughton Island and north to Souris, a trip of about 5-6 hours in all.  But a closer cruising ground which we enjoy sailing if we have less time is the Three Rivers area. The Montague River, Brudenell River and Cardigan River empty into Cardigan Bay, all near Georgetown - hence the name The Three Rivers.

View Cardigan Bay in a larger map

There are nice anchorages off Boughton Island for day stops, though watch the tides and currents if you are swimming south of Boughton Island as they can be strong. Panmure Island and St. Mary's Bay also offer nice anchorages during the day. Another popular swimming spot is off the east side of Panmure Island and boats often anchor there on warm sunny days. St. Mary's Bay can be more challenging for a sailboat, as depths can be shallow and the Bay has many mussel buoys. 

Like in Montague, there is a marina with some services at the head of the Cardigan River in the village of Cardigan. Cardigan also offers a liquor store, some shops, gas stations and convenience store.

You can anchor just south east of Georgetown Wharf, or tie up to the wharf for a trip into town. Georgetown offers restaurants, shops and a theatre. Watch the tides near the wharf as at low tide you can go aground if you are not careful where you tie up.

My personal favourite though is to sail up the Brudenell River. Although there lost of mussel beds, if you stay in the channel there is lots of  water. Pass Brudenell Island, and then the river widens to offer a great overnight protected anchorage, or you can tie up to the docks.  If you draw over 5 and half feet, stick to the outer docks on the end; any closer to shore you may ground at low tide. These docks are maintained by the Brudenell River Provincial Park. Ice is available at the campground office.  There are some shower facilities in the day use section of the park, which can be used by marina guests. The maina is also located beside the Brudenell Rodd River Resort and three golf courses, including the famous Dundrave and Brudenell River courses.  We have golfed both courses and they are beautiful. You can also explore the pioneer cemetary on Brudenell Island. There is good swimming here too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Michelle and I will often make overnight trips in Obsession. We would like to make more extended trips more often, but, alas, our landborne responsibilities often keep us from making as many trips as we would like.

Once we leave the marina in Montague, and make it out to Cardigan Bay, we are fortunate to have a number of possible destinations. One of our regular trips is to Souris. From Cardigan Bay, we sail past Georgetown and around Boughton Island (which normally takes about 90 minutes). From there, it is a straight run north to Souris harbour, about a three hour run (depending on the winds, of course).

There are no problems navigating around Souris harbour. It is wide open, with the marina located behind a large breakwater. The marina has a new website describing the facilities. Eric is always there to welcome visitors, and is an enthusiastic promoter of the facility. It is a relatively new facility, with no shortage of visitor docks. The building has clean showers, which is always a positive. When we go to Souris, there is also the regular trip up the road to Shirley's for ice cream.

At the end of the summer last year, we organized a multi-boat trip from Montague to Souris. There were four sailboats that made the trip. I'm sure we'll have another flotilla make the trip this summer.