Michel Lapointe – owner of Dauphin Blanc (Monte Carlo 5)
In mid-November in Québec, Canada is already covered in snow and the boats have left for their wintering sites in the last few weeks. Yet, images of the large animals Michel and Aline Lapointe met on their annual trip to the Saguenay fiord are still imprinted on their minds.Every summer, the couple travel up and down the lakes, rivers and canals of North America on their Monte Carlo 5 and end the season in the Tadoussac marine reserve.This is more than just tradition, it is a pilgrimage to the heart of one of the most protected bays in the world.
Why choose and Monte Carlo to navigate in the cold waters of the St Lawrence River?
Before buying our MC5, Dauphin Blanc we had a succession of four Sea Ray motor cruisers ranging from 32 to 47 feet. We caught the “extra foot bug” when we got our first boat. The main symptom of this is to always want a few extra feet for greater comfort! When we saw the Monte Carlo line at the Montréal in-water boat show, we fell in love with it straight away. Apart from her distinctive look, seamless living quarters, and a huge flybridge, her brightness and the 21-knot cruising speed won us over. The fact that our BENETEAU dealer, Boisvert Marine, was located in the vicinity of where we live and that they have an excellent reputation for maintenance was also important. The season is short in Québec and it is essential to be able to count on a top quality service. Our fourth summer on Dauphin Blanc has just come to an end and our experience confirms that we made the right choice. We use her from May to September as you would use a summer holiday resort. Even though you meet more Monte Carlos in Florida or in the Mediterranean, I feel it is perfectly suited to our region. It is very seaworthy and we feel very safe.
We caught the “extra foot bug”. The main symptom of this is to always want a few extra feet for greater comfort!
Do you often welcome guests aboard your holiday home ?
Our boat was the first Monte Carlo delivered to Canada and it still continues to arouse interest and catch the eye. There hasn’t been a single stopover without people talking about its style, beauty and design. Our friends, children and grandchildren are also very enthusiastic about her. Again, we are very happy with our choice. The living quarters are fantastic and the flybridge can take up to 12 guests! Outside of our guests, the boat has helped us make lots of new friends with other owners, who share the same passion for cruising, and we often set off together as a fleet.
Our boat was the first Monte Carlo delivered to Canada and it still continues to arouse interest and catch the eye.
Tell us about your favourite destinations
Travelling by inland waterways from Québec to the north of the United States is an open-air dream, ideally suited to motor cruising. Punctuated with rainbows and magnificent sunsets, the untamed landscapes of the St Lawrence and the Great Lakes are utterly breathtaking. Unspoiled nature takes over between the large cities of Montréal, Detroit and Chicago, and the places to go boating seem endless. However, OUR destination, the one we keep coming back to year after year, along with the whales, is Tadoussac Bay. It’s like a pilgrimage that ends our season. While the whales are filling up on food before heading to less nourishing waters, where they will spend the winter, we are filling up on energy on this last cruise of the season and it keeps us going until the following spring. It’s easy to understand where we found the name for our Monte Carlo (Dauphin Blanc or White Dolphin in English).
Our destination, the one we keep coming back to year after year, along with the whales, is Tadoussac Bay.
Lives in Québec
Goes boating on the inland waterways of North America
Music: a song by Enya
A marine mammal : a dolphin
An island: Hawaii
A place to live: a house by the sea in the British Virgin Islands
A value: friendship
Colour: aqua blue
A feeling: pleasure
The saltwater of the North Atlantic and the freshwater of the St Lawrence River and the Saguenay fiord flow together at Tadoussac, a unique site for whale watching, along with other cetaceans. They gather here, where food is abundant, to replenish their fat reserves before winter. It is an amazing experience to watch these large mammals from mid-May to October, with a particularly good period in September.
The “white dolphin” or white whale, most often referred to as the Beluga whale, is larger than most dolphins but smaller than whales. However, it can reach a length of 6 m and has the most developed sonar of all cetaceans. Recognizable by its white colour, its atrophied dorsal fin and the bump on its head, it lives in the cold Arctic and subarctic waters as well as in the St Lawrence estuary.
To protect these species, the following boating rules apply:
Stay at least 200 m away from any cetacean and at least 400 m from endangered mammals such as the Beluga and the finback while (common rorqual).
Do not remain stationary within a radius of ½ mile around a Beluga. Drive at a speed of between 5 and 10 knots, without constantly changing direction.