Montreal is an island. Oftentimes, people forget what that really means: that there is water surrounding this fair city. Which means there is a whole other medium to enjoy. Yes, people know of the Bateau-Mouche or one of a dozen other cruises available at a premium price. But what about just taking a boat out on the water and enjoying the sun, the water, and some company? On a particularly sunny summer day, the lovely people at Discoverboating.ca showed us that Montreal’s boating scene is alive and ready to be discovered.
Departing from the Montreal Yacht Club, we were divided into two medium deck boats. For those of you (like us) who have no idea what a deck boat is, it’s the kind of boat you typically see on lakes. It is not a yacht with 2 floors and an indoor space, just an open air boat with space to do things like enjoying high speeds on a bumpy St-Lawrence. Being on a boat with an experienced captain can either feel like you are flying with wind blowing in your hair and sun darkening your skin, or like a rollercoaster ride, with ups and downs to make you involuntarily grab onto the rail as you laugh.
We were lucky enough to be on the ‘fast boat’ while the other larger boat trudged along behind us. The smaller boat was able to sprint from the port along the south shore towards Boucherville in 20ish minutes of spray and fun. The ice cold beer certainly helped to relax given the choppy water and fearless Captain Jonathan. Once we reached the calm waters of the national park Les Isles de Boucherville, the two boats floated lazily into a side river full of kayakers, ducks, and other boats.
Hidden in the tributary is a boating haven, where people come to set anchor, blare music, eat, drink, swim, and party. It was a shocking revelation that the boat parties one sees in American movies are both real and actually happen in Montreal. Many boats were strapped to each other, others were floating alone, but all were enjoying the beautiful day. And what is even more surprising is that the boats ranged from those two story yachts to small aluminum dinghies, but being part of boat culture made whatever divisions exist on land disappear. The people at Discoverboating.ca certainly opened our eyes to new possibilities!
Boat culture is alive and well in Montreal. This little peek into one of their hotspots made us curious to see what else is out there. Unfortunately, upon researching, there doesn’t seem to be a good reference on these spots. Where are they? Who goes there? It must be that we need to get ourselves a boat and go out and discover. The license isn’t a problem, only 50$ and a 3 hour online class. Furthermore, many marina’s have boats to rent for the day. As summer is coming to a close, we will be getting out there ASAP. Let us know where we should visit to find great boat hangouts.
Photos courtesy of Montreall.com’s Jonathan Brouillette @darksteelangel, unless otherwise indicated.