Sailing Program Eyes Mo. Beach As New Home
By: Diana T. Barth
Bourne Community Boating will be back sailing off Mashnee Island this season…it just will not be using the beach as its home.
Instead, the group came before selectmen on Tuesday and received permission to launch from Monument Beach, ferrying young sailors across some choppy waters to the calmer area that they have used in past seasons.
Director of Natural Resources Timothy W. Mullen told selectmen he saw no problem with the use of either the beach or a portion of the small concession and storage building on the site.
The boating group will be making formal, written arrangements for the use of that property to store the tanks they use for biology lessons and for other equipment.
Mr. Mullen said that he and boating group president Kenneth D. Legg had toured the Monument Beach area and the building together and that he thought that the program could use that location as a home base without causing a problem to beachgoers, boaters, or shellfishermen.
The group’s first sailing session begins June 28 and the last session’s graduation is on August 20, for a total of eight weeks.
The children participating in the program will be dropped off and picked up at the site during the season, Mr. Legg said, and then would be taken across Phinney’s Harbor on a 19-foot skiff to the floats from which they will launch their small Vanguard prams.
That means, he said, the group would be using between six to eight Monument Beach parking spaces.
Mr. Legg told selectmen that the group planned to use the northern end of the beach, away from where beachgoers usually sit, for its every-other-Tuesday evening parent gatherings and for graduation.
The boating group also asked permission to put up a tent on a grassy area toward the railroad tracks in case of inclement weather.
The only issue raised by Mr. Mullen was the group’s need for one or two moorings. Mr. Mullen was clear that he would honor the waiting list, but said he thought the group might be able to make arrangement to use the DNR’s or one that is legally issued to someone else.
Mr. Legg told selectmen that the group has taught sailing to 110 children in each of its two season in operation. It has also taught adults and started a sailing program for the handicapped that is expected to expand this year.
He said that registration has just started for this year, and the group has already filled 70 of its 110 open slots.
Mr. Legg began his request of selectmen by saying that he had asked about using the Mashnee location again this year, but had not had a substantive answer from that property’s new owners in time for the program’s start.
Mr. Mullen told selectmen that, given the popularity of the program, he felt the town could accommodate its use of the beach, at least for this season, even if the decision needed to be made quickly.
Selectman Chairman John A. Ford, Jr., suggested that the town consider removing some of the “sticker parking only” signs along the road, as those spots were not often used and parents and grandparents might use them when they come to watch or for graduations.
For more information on that program, go online to www.bournecommunityboating.org. The Bourne Community Boating group showed selectmen a video of its program, which won an award as the best new community boating program in the nation during its first year in operation.
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