Friday, 31 July 2015

Bits and Bights

It's a two long day hike (sail) from Montreal to Quebec City, 137 nm in total and now we have to start considering the tides.   Trois-Rivieres is our half way mark and we have calculated an 11 o'clock departure from Montreal based on current and tide and a speed of 6 knots.  This suits us fine as we finalized the provisioning for the next leg.   This is were it gets interesting - we did not anticipate the amount of seaweed in the water and the amount of fouling going on as we motorsail to maintain the required speed.   Our ETA was suppose to be around 7:30 pm but on the first day we had to stop twice and dive under the boat in the freighter lanes to release our vessel from the tangled mess.  Now with the delays our new ETA is 9:30 pm and the sun sets at 8:30 pm. No problem right... as we navigate through Lac Saint-Pierre all the while staying in the channel because the lake is an average 8 feet deep with rocks everywhere - the sun light is dwindling.  It is now a race to the bridge as a freighter is bearing down on us doing 14.3 knots (we know this because of the on-board AIS system) and we are doing 5.6.  It's getting darker as the moonlight is shaded by cloud cover. This is causing some stress for Ms. Joann, to say the least!   We know though that every mile done today will benefit tomorrow and we have picked out the perfect anchorage in Trois Rivieres - the mouth of a river in downtown that was used as a log pond in days gone by. All has turned out well once again as we beat the freighter to the bridge and the anchoring was perfect as we listened to the concert playing at the outdoor amphitheater "Cogeco".

The next day, seaweed dives and bigger tides are included in the plan. We have 3 feet of tide now and by end of Quebec it will be18 feet.   The day was early with a 5:30 alarm followed by a seaweed dive (a very refreshing start to the day) and we are off at 6:00 am - we need to be in Quebec by low tide which is 2:00 pm.  On this day we have to navigate the Richeleau Rapids, weather the periodic squall followed by sudden heavy wind gusts. That's ok what's a little "round up" between friends after all.  The day finished with another picturesque sail by of the Chateau Frontenac and then into the Port of Quebec where we have to pass a draw bridge and lock that protects the inner harbour from the pending tides.  This harbour has 415 slips of which 100 are dedicated to visitors.  Once we find our slip, it's not long before we are off to old Quebec just steps away.  We were once again totally impressed by the hospitality of all we meet,the historic sites and the shops woven into the hillside. 

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