Adventures on the Water in PEI
You can’t visit PEI without spending time on one of Prince Edward Island’s famous beaches. But to experience fully the Atlantic Ocean you must get out on the water. There are several ways you can do this.
A favourite excursion for vacationers is to go on a seal watching expedition. One of the best of the best seal watching tours is run out of Murray Harbour, located just south of Montague on the east of the island. On the well equipped boats that sail down the Murray River to a protected ocean bay you are brought to PEI’s largest seal colony. At low tide about a hundred grey and harbour seals haul themselves up on a sandbar to bask in the sun. They seem to be continuously barking at each other so if you are attentive you can hear them from a long way off. On the way to the seal covered sandbar, the guide aboard will explain the operation of the many mussel farms that dot the bay. Young children can take the wheel and earn a captain’s certificate! The two hour tour on calm water will not disappoint.
The Murray River seal expeditions are operated by Cruise Manada which also offers professionally guided tours of the Charlottetown harbour. You can board one of these harbour excursions at Peake’s Quay where there are plenty of choices for shopping and eating when you disembark from your ocean adventure.
For the fishermen there are plenty of PEI deep sea fishing charters offering a variety of experiences from gentle inshore angling for mackerel to the more challenging lure of giant bluefin tuna and sharks. If you go after mackerel you will return from the three and a half hour trip with an exceptionally fresh ingredient for a meal. The bluefin expeditions last longer because if you are lucky and hook one of these monsters you are in for fight that could last a few hours.
Paddling and kayaking along the coast and rivers of Prince Edward Island allows boaters to come close to nature. Whether you chance upon basking seals or a congregation of fishing heron your gentle water expedition will be memorable. There are several operators on PEI who rent canoes and kayaks. Some offer guided tours that include instructions for the novice.
If you are a more ambitious adventurer and enjoy challenging day trips or longer expeditions you are advised to have a look at the book Paddling Prince Edward Island by Bob Gillette. Based on his many years of experience exploring the waters of PEI, Bob considers the bucolic and mystical island one of the best locations for canoeing in North America.
A much less sedate adventure than paddling the sea and rivers of PEI is offered by PEI Kiteboarding, the island’s largest school and outfitter for this growing sport. The north shore with its shallow beaches and on-shore winds are ideal for the kiteboarding. So, whether you bring your own or rent equipment on the island you will discover that PEI offers just the right mixture of wind, warm water and accessible beaches for a perfect day of kiteboarding.
The water sports on Prince Edward Island are so enjoyable that vacationers return every year to the island to get their fill of activities on the ocean.