Boating in Mount Vernon is as popular as ever and the Belle Haven Marina is the boating Mecca for many in this part of Alexandria. With Labor Day approaching, it’s a busy place during the good weather, and a windy day is good for the sailing community.
“Go down river, don’t go up because the way the tide is,” said dockmaster Chip Johnston to a group of teenagers getting on a “Flying Scot,” the model of beginner sailboats available for rental at the marina. Johnston is a veteran of the facility where he has been giving sailing lessons for over 20 years, and knows everyone there. “Boating here is fantastic through the fall,” he said, “lots of bass boats.”
Belle Haven Marina is a spot just south of Old Town Alexandria, off the George Washington Parkway. The main office is in a trailer on the premises, spots for about 100 boats, and 35 more that are kept in moorings off shore in the cove. The fishing for catfish and bass is good there in the cove, and it’s tidal waters, so anyone launching a boat, or keeping one on the docks should know their way around the waters.
Alexandria resident Alison Sigethy is a kayaker at the Marina and has been coming for years. “I love the connection with the water, feels very free,”
BELLE HAVEN MARINA
she said. Sigethy had lessons in Maryland years ago, right across the river, and has met many people at the marina since she’s had her boat there. “It’s a very friendly marina,” she said.
There are sailboat rentals for the Flying Scots or Sunfish, and canoe, kayak and Jon Boat rentals as well, with a minimum of two hours.