Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Batiscan – not our best day

Batiscan – not our best day
From Trois-Rivieres down the next 250 or so miles the St. Lawrence River current and tide must be taken into account when planning departures.  Since we did not want to make any crazy late or early starts, we decided to stop along the way into Quebec City.  Our first pause was in Batiscan – a small village on a river just a short distance from Trois-Rivieres.  We pulled into this notoriously reversing stream before lunch time and after Steve did his due diligence we landed near the well-marked channel entrance. Steve went off for a healthy walk and returned with news of a big antique shop just off the dinghy dock so off we went again to check that out as well.  Then the predicted rain and stormy weather blew up and unfortunately directly into the river adding to the already curious reversing current issues with wind fighting the tides and current. With all the movement our anchor slipped its snubber and we drifted close to the bank.  Alert boaters next to us sounded their horns so we could move off the danger zone and reposition our anchor.  With their kind help – did we mention that by this time it was also raining, blowing at 20 knots, -50 degrees, and getting dark?  - we lowered our second anchor into the dinghy and pulled our bow out with the windlass and the stern with the help of the hardy Canadian boaters.  A less than restful night ensued with one or the other of us checking and rechecking the anchors – by now two of them – and the depth as the tide ran its ups and downs.  The two anchor lines were twisting as our boat continued to reverse in the current, wind and tide.  Needless to say the mess on the anchors took more than a few minutes to sort out as we pulled up to head on downstream for Port Neuf.  Thankfully the winds had died overnight and Steve expertly disentangled the two anchors, plus raised the dink while Julia managed to keep the boat in deep water and on course. We were grateful that none of the BIG freighters that regularly use this transport route were around as we chugged on north – their monster wakes would have been most unwelcome. (I forgot to mention that a vicious wake took a toll on our cargo before we reached Batiscan – tossing the unsecured contents of our home with wild abandon – OK Julia was at the helm and probably did not execute the wake crossing 100% by the book – but cats, and stuff, flew.  One TV needs repairs and one pair of binocs is out of adjustment plus miscellaneous items have found new homes.  Fortunately Frank did not seem as scared by this upheaval as on previous occasions and he has quickly returned to his pilot house perches.












On a much brighter NOTE: Port Neuf, even on an overcast day, is a friendly and cheerful place.  At the marina we were met by Martin who claimed on the phone to speak almost no English, but who in fact managed much better English than our French and flawlessly guided us into a slip.  Another visitor on a sailboat jumped out to help him and we were safely tied in this protected basin before 10 AM – after an uneventful passage through the Richelieu Rapids – where current boosted our speeds to 11+ mph from our normal 7. Although the famous restaurant on the marina grounds was not open during our stay, we found a friendly lunch at the Resto Gare Port Neuf.  Steve could not resist the Poutine BBQ but was glad he had a medium order, not a large. In this friendly spot everyone wanted to know where we were from and where we were going and seemed happy to practice their English skills when they realized our French was limited. 










Working the tides once again tomorrow we will leave for the last leg into Quebec City – just in time to celebrate Canada Day.   

Monday, June 29, 2015

Oh Canada – Finally!


Oh Canada – Finally!













Although the fine folks at Gaines Marina were kind to us and very accommodating in helping Steve repair our stabilizer leak, we were eager to cross the border – which we could see from our various perches at Gaines. 


The border control officers were gracious in spite of our early morning arrival at their dock – just a few minutes after their official opening at 8 AM.  A brief 20 minutes later found us headed north to run the locks and bridges of the Chambly Canal where we lingered a week or so last fall.  With only one 15 minute wait we blew through the 9 locks and swing bridges to land below the three step locks in the lovely hamlet of Chambly. We spent the night on the canal wall and used our time in town to visit the handy Maxi grocery store and stock up on a few Canadian dollars at an ATM. 





























The next morning we left early to complete our trip on the Richelieu River through the St Ours lock and on into the St Lawrence.  Our anchorage was in the Corbeaux (Raven) Channel among the Sorel Islands dotted with cute little summer homes. It seemed that most of these homes are only accessible by boat hence the constant stream of buzzing little commuter boats until darkness settled in – they also fortunately did not resume with the sun (which comes up here about 4:30AM) so we managed a lazy start after this peaceful night.  

From Sorel we moved on to Trois-Rivieres – and a wild anchorage off a very popular beach on the St. Mauricie River.  This river joins the St Lawrence at Trois-Rivieres and at the juncture separates into three channels hence the name of the town. The notes in our guide told us a short dinghy ride up the river to the second bridge would lead to a shopping area.  We dutifully tied our dink to a tree on the bank and scampered up the boulders on the bank under the overpass and indeed found a Wal Mart, a Maxi and a full enclosed mall. From the river and our spot by the beach this hotbed of commercialism was invisible, but rarely is such mega shopping so easily accessed by cruisers. (…..that is if you discount the climb up the hill, wet feet, and the swamped dinghy. Our dinghy was about half full of river water and mud when we returned thanks to the wild wakes kicked up by the buzzing boats enjoying the sunny afternoon on the river.  Such a visit on a week day would probably be able to avoid this small inconvenience.)