Waiting out the Wind
12 July 2007 | Riviere-au-Renard
Waiting out the Wind, Riviere-au-Renard, July 12,2007
July 11th - Wednesday - turned out to be what Blair says his daughter would call an "It Day".
We had a series of, "That's it for the water", "That's it for the propane" statements happening. It was coldish. We knew already that we had run through all the water in our tank (neither Jim nor I had been keeping track of the days since we last topped it up - another lesson learned) and had brought back a big jug the night before. We had had the wonderful little propane fireplace on for a while to take off the morning chill, made a hot breakfast, and were doing some of the endless boat jobs when I decided to heat another pot of water for tea. Oops - no fire. I tried the fireplace again. Oops -no fire.
The upshot of all this was that we dinghied over to the marina and, with only a little coaxing, altered our "anchor whenever we have the opportunity" strategy. We docked along the long wharf since all the slips were occupied. A kind woman from the marina drove Jim in her cute yellow Mustang to get propane, and then another kind woman drove Blair and Jim to get jugs of diesel to replace what we had burned getting here. The propane system seems to have healed itself (there was still propane left in the tank) and Blair and Jim went to work on the job list while I went to practice my French as I procured a length of steel tubing "la meme que ca) to fix the davit. Showers and laundry and a visit to the poissonerie and the market filled the rest of the afternoon.
This is a very busy working harbour with ships arriving in laden with fish, and a coast guard station just beside the marina office. It is quite an education to see the fishing industry up close. Have a look at www.strathspey.ca for Mary's excellent description and pictures.
Both boat crews dined today on delectable bouillabaisse with freshly caught fletan and mussels and crevettes, and then in the evening Jim and I hiked up the road to the auberge where we linked ourselves with the rest of the world via wifi.
The wind howled all night and we were supremely grateful to be snug in this harbour.
The forecast for today - the 12th was for strong wind again so we opted to stay put for another night, and do our exploring by car. In conversation with the boat next door, Mary gleaned the name of a local man who has a car he rents out. Jim made the call; by 0930 and for the reasonable cost of $30.00, we had a Hyundai Elantra at our disposal for the day. We drove over to Perce, with the intent of admiring the rock and visiting Ile Bonaventure - home of huge colonies of gannets, basking seals and a guide to explain the history to us. Unfortunately, it never occurred to us that high winds and reduced visibility might affect not only our travel on the water, but also that of the tour boats! The island was closed; the boats weren't running.
Never ones to just cry in our beer, we betook ourselves to a local diner for a fish lunch - much better this time - and wandered around the beach and the interpretive centre. As we lounged on a bench, gazing at the waves washing over the beautiful pebbly beach, the sky started to clear, the rock emerged from the mist, and along with it, a sailboat! We hustled down on the wharf for some picture taking and discovered that the boat was Zero Gravity - which we had seen in various places along our route, ever since we came through the Iroquois lock together. Small world!
It was a fine day of sightseeing, and as we drove home along the coast that we will - hopefully - see from the water tomorrow, we all commented that although we have been here longer than intended, it has been a very good place to do this stopover.
Tomorrow if the forecast remains good, we'll depart at 0630 for L'Anse-a-Beaufils.