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.

Anchor Track

Anchor Track

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



Retreating Storm



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.


Baby Baluga

Much more to come from our brave little R.E.D., her trusty companion Ballon de Rouge, the mighty Bruce and her crew.



From our secure achorage near Newburgh,

onward and southward…

…but before leaving Captain had to clean all the parts of his new
Fortress anchor.
…we lucked in again with a frisky south-west wind.
…full sail!!!


…just before Constitution Island we passed the ruins
Can you imagine what this must have been like in its original state?
…and the very impressive campus of West Point
was just a few minutes around the bend in the river…
…where apparently rivalry is taken very seriously.

We needed to stop briefly in West Haverstraw

to get to a West Marine to fix a problem with my life vest.

We had planned on asking one of the many marinas if we could dock for a short while,

when we spotted Hudson Water Club.

They had no problem with us using their facilities,

telling us we could stay as long as we needed

and even ordered us a taxi.

Their warm hospitality was so appreciated that we stopped

on our return for the best dirty martini on the Hudson.

Way point is now in our GPS for the trip up-river for sure.

We have seen indications on our charts for ‘special anchorage’ points
so thought we would finally take advantage in Nyack.
Easy pick-up of the mooring ball,
a call in to report to ‘they who must be informed’
(US Customs & Border Protection)
and we are good for the night…
…in a not too shabby neighbourhood…

…with a little overhead entertainment while we dined…




poor visibility,
raining cat fish and dog fish
we donned our foul weather gear
sailing peeps,
we had wind at our backs…


…we kept up a respectable 4 knot pace in light winds…


…wine in my sippy wine cup helped keep the cold at bay.
Past light houses…


…and some interesting architecture…
By the end of the day,
the rain had stopped
and we found a great anchorage for the night…
All alone yet again…


Captain tried out his new Fortress anchor…


…then with his ‘sip and flip’ barbecue style,
cooked us up some yummy baby back ribs…