Galley Guys - Cobourg Harbour Panorama

Verb: walk in a leisurely or idle manner

Noun: a short leisurely walk

Some veteran boaters may remember the song: The Stroll by the Diamonds

 

Galley Guys - Cobourg's Millstone BakeryBy Galley Guys Greg Nicoll, John Armstrong and Andy Adams

 

Oh sure…boaters love to go boating, but some also like to, you guessed it: stroll. One of the great things about boating the north shore of Lake Ontario is pulling into Cobourg Harbour to tie up for a visit and walk about town in a leisurely or idle manner. Boat strollers are easily picked out around town, sporting Sperry Top-Siders that are a little worn out, sunglasses held on by a Croakie or duct tape,  burgee embroidered canvas tote bags, clothes that are a little crumpled and a displaying a few days’ worth of facial hair.

On many occasions in the past, Galley Guy John Armstrong and crew have cruised out of the greater Toronto area heading east to the County, Gananoque and the Thousand Islands, and en route, they always spend time enjoying all that Cobourg, Ontario has to offer.

“The best thing about Cobourg is that you can stroll to virtually everything you need or want”, says Armstrong. In minutes from your slip in the Cobourg Marina, you're on the main street, admiring the historic architecture and finding everything you could possibly want in a stopover.

Galley Guys - Cobourg's Street viewAll the major banks have branches nearby, there's a liquor store (which also sells beer - one stop shopping) and a wonderful bakery right by the marina, then on the main street two blocks away, you will find a wide selection of boutique shopping, entertainment and a simply amazing selection of restaurants.

It's about 60 miles east of Toronto and most large powerboats could make the trip in a couple of hours. With favourable wind and weather, it would be a delightful sail.

Although this is getting ahead of the story a bit, as the Galley Guys arrived in town, we were asking each other what might have prompted the initial founding of the town of Cobourg. Looking around, there's farmland, but then there's farmland all the way. There's bound to be fishing but again, it didn't particularly look like a fishing area.

Later, when we were at the restaurant that has become something of a destination unto itself, The Oasis, we asked owner Don Owen the question. “I know who can answer that”, he said and he called over Colin, the town historian who happened to be in the restaurant at that moment. We asked Colin, “What activity or industry was responsible for the founding of the town of Cobourg?”

Galley Guys - a toast!“Lawyers” he replied matter-of-factly. (Insert your best lawyer joke here). With great knowledge and attention to local detail, he explained to us that Cobourg was the right location for a courthouse and as soon as that was built in the early 1800s, lawyers moved into the area and valuable economic activity began!

At one time in the late 1800s, there were as many as 20 different hotels along the main street near the courthouse. With this kind of economic background, it's no wonder that there are still so many lovely big century homes on large downtown lots. Cobourg is a very picturesque community and that has attracted the wealthy and successful to locate there over the years. The fact that it's right on Lake Ontario and has a lovely big sand beach is a great bonus.

The courthouse is not so much needed anymore and the town has embraced tourism and retirement living as mainstream economic activity, so it's no wonder that everyone you meet is so friendly and welcoming. This is a delightful place to visit and for cruising yachtsmen and their families, it's a very handy place as well.

To be able to conveniently stroll to all the amenities a cruiser would need is very appealing and we learned from Paul Gauthier, who manages the Cobourg Marina that among the many amenities they offer transient boaters are loaner bicycles.

Galley Guys - Cobourg's OasisIn total, 70 of the 218 slips in the Cobourg Marina are available for transient boaters and the staff keep a book of information on their visitors to make their stay even more comfortable and convenient. When guests arrive, they offer them a ‘Welcome Tote’ which is a reusable shopping bag containing coupons and special offers from many of the downtown merchants and restauranteurs, a book of local information and more.

Another great feature of Cobourg as a destination is the Via Rail service. The station on Division Street is just a short cab ride from the marina so friends and visitors can either join you, or depart, (hopefully voluntary) during your cruise. 

The marina itself has new and improved free Wi-Fi, clean and well-appointed shower and washroom facilities and well-maintained docks with services including fuel and pump out. Just up the street from the marina is Dean Marine, the smallest but amazingly well stocked chandlery to keep you on your way should you need a part, or small fix.

Although there is a wide selection of restaurants to choose from, many within a short walk of the marina, a particular favourite for the Galley Guys is Oasis Bar & Grill with Crabby Carol's Raw Bar upstairs. Owner Don Owen describes Oasis as Cobourg's live music emporium and things really get going on the weekends!

While in town, fellow Galley Guys Greg Nicoll and Andy Adams joined John Armstrong at Buttermilk Restaurant for breakfast and the guys couldn’t resist sampling the butter tarts at MillStone Bread. Everywhere we looked there seemed to be home baked cakes, pastries and other delightful items to tempt us.

But with the collective Galley Guy waistlines in mind, we were just forced to keep-on strolling.

The Galley Guys invite all transients venturing along the North Shore of Lake Ontario to make a Stopover in the Cobourg Marina and then do a Strollover in Cobourg’s beautiful downtown. 

 

Photo captions (above)

Photo 1 - Panoramic shot of Cobourg Harbour with a rainbow. Credit: Chris Barnes. 

Photo 2 - The MillStone Bakery butter tarts easily passed the Galley Guys’ drip test. The bakery is right beside the marina. Credit: Andy Adams

Photo 3 - Just a perfect day for a stroll…this is what all of the waterfront area of Cobourg looks like.

Photo 4 - The Galley Guys raise a glass to good times, good food and good friends! Credit: Don Owen

Photo 5 - A particular favourite for the Galley Guys is Oasis Bar & Grill with Crabby Carol's Raw Bar upstairs. It’s Cobourg's live music emporium. Credit: Andy Adams

Galley Guys - Cobourg Bakery Galley Guys - a Cobourg Bank Galley Guys - Cobourg Chocolates Galley Guys - Cobourg's Dean Marine Galley Guys - Cobourg Desserts Galley Guys - Cobourg Farmers Market Galley Guys - Cobourg Harbour Moon Galley Guys - Cobourg's Millstone Bakery Galley Guys - Cobourg Tavern Galley Guys - Cobourg's Victoria Hall

 

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