Today’s post is brought to you by laundry, washing up and magnificent scenery.
As we were leaving Tadoussac Harbour there was the sound of ‘whoosh’ and a lone whale breached to bid us goodbye.
Tadoussac Ferry (one of three)
Mouth of the Saguenay
…with La Boule, the formation on the right. François says that in Lac Saint-Jean area, women’s breasts are referred to as Les Boules.
…To give you a perspective of height, the boat at the base of the rock face (if you can see it) is about 20′ long.
R.E.D. at the base of a 920′ cliff
…close enough to touch the rock face, in water in excess of 100′ depth.
Nature’s Rock Climbers
Sailing to Anchorage
Fishing for Supper
…? Ribs on the barbie tonight…
…and with the magnificent must come the mundane…
Good night all from the well-fed crew of R.E.D. at Anse aux Petits Îles
Years ago Francois promised that someday he would take me to visit Tadoussac, a place where he spent some time when he was younger (and more foolish). This was a long time before R.E.D. entered our lives. So here we are, anchored in Tadoussac Harbour on our summer 2016 adventures, promise fulfilled.
We walked around the village then stopped off for a pint and what better way to get in the spirit of the community than a big plate of Bistro Poutine.
Poutine and Pints
And it just happens to be the day before Saint-Jean-Baptiste, la Fête Nationale des Canadiens Français. So to celebrate, we brought with us a fine bourbon which we purchased during our Adventure 2015 to be enjoyed just for this occasion.
Hudson Double Charred Whiskey
We will have front row ‘seats’ (anchorage) for the big celebrations tomorrow.
Fire Wood Prepared
The day started very well yesterday. Early morning departure from Berthier-sur-Mer. Winds were strong but manageable so we set sail with full Genoa. Not too much later the winds increased so Genny was furled to 3/4’s…then to1/2…then barely a triangle of a storm sail. Even at that with the wind strength and force of the retreating tide waters we were flying at 9 knots. Because of the speed we reached our day-end waypoint shortly after noon, found what seemed like a protected spot well out of the channel and dropped the anchor. Super rolling water so Francois decided to place the second anchor at 60 ° just in case. We don’t know why, but the boat turned and that perfect ‘v’ completely reversed bringing wave after wave into our back. And as you MacGregor sailors know, the engine well is probably one of this fine boat’s biggest design flaws. Water started gushing into the engine well and of course into the bilge below. With pure brute strength in those 30-40 knots winds and 1-2 metre waves, Francois dragged in the second anchor. His description, like weight lifting for a whole week.
So with everything apparently secure, bucket after bucket of water was emptied from the bilge…from port side then when the boat shifted…from starboard. A little supper straight out of the can. I tried my best to ‘class it up’…grape leaves, camembert, smoked oysters and crackers with a good stiff tot of rum. Only one of those to warm our insides because we knew the storm wasn’t over yet. Even with the anchor digging in we heeled 30 ° port then 30 ° starboard for several hours.
This kind of situation really does dig into a person’s self-confidence. We started doubting that maybe this trip was too ambitious. Could we or would we want to spend many more days like this at anchor? The whole point of equipping R.E.D. the way we did this year was so we could be more autonomous. Up to Berthier-sur-Mer we had been off-grid for 6 days at anchor. We were really proud of ourselves and it was fun…rocky at times…but fun. Now we have been forced to rethink our plans. We talked over supper-from-the-cans then went to bed hoping the weather would calm down during the night.
Sunset and Aproaching Storm
We were so tired and things seemed secure so decided not to do a 2-hour on, 2-off anchor watch. Instead, we put the chart plotter’s visual on the iPad and put the plotter on sleep mode. This way we could view the anchor radius in the relative comfort of the cabin or even in bed.
Well, things got worse…much worse. Just before midnight we were hit with the first storm, a really severe squall. It lasted only a few minutes but it was fierce. Within a half hour the second round hit. More fierce winds, this time with pelting rain. Then another, this time with thunder and lightning. We watched from our berth the visual of poor R.E.D. circling her mighty Bruce anchor, thinking that any minute the line would surely break. But she held fast. At one point, I heard Francois say: “You’re a brave little boat, R.E.D.” I didn’t feel so brave at that point though. Francois being the calm one, put together our contingency plan should the anchor break. We prepared ourselves, got dressed and waited. Another storm hit us. I’m no longer allowed to say: ‘well it’s calm now’ because every time I did another storm would hit us. And it did, one more time. Around 04hr00 things seemed to slow down. I kept my mouth shut. We slept. We got about an hour of sleep before the alarm woke us at 05hr00. Time to grab a coffee and take advantage of the high tide.
So there you have it! Still uncertain how far we will go on this trip but reaching Tadoussac is on the horizon, meeting up with friends, then possibly crossing over to the south shore and home. We’ll see. Today was an amazing beginning after last night. So much beauty from so much hell. Confidence is bolstered…for now.
Sunrise over Baie Saint-Paul
Morning Fog Bank Lifting
…and the one thing that erased all the hell from last night. Francois found me a pod of Balugas romping on the shoreline. We respected the 400 metres distance but there they were, little mounds of white in the cold blue water.
Much more to come from our brave little R.E.D., her trusty companion Ballon de Rouge, the mighty Bruce and her crew.