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Madcap Sailing
30/06/2007/10:00 pm, Tadoussac,PQ


The weather report was favourable and we headed out in the wee small hours of the morning for another day. This business of getting weather data is a little different from the way it happens in the area of Prescott Coast Guard Radio. The reports are updated twice a day on VHF - at 1330 and 1530 hours. It is given only in plain language; the Mayfor code is available on request. We learned to like the Mayfor code a couple of years ago because it breaks the forecast down into chunks for the 24 hour time period. The first number is for the area - always #1 for us, the second number indicates the number of hours covered by this forecast, third number is wind direction, fourth number the wind speed in knots, and the fifth number gives the weather conditions - fair, cloudy, rain etc.

I called Coast Guard Radio to ask for more details and the fellow who took my call, while pleasant enough, just kept telling me to listen to the radio! The next time I called, I asked for the Mayfor code and got it.

We arrived off the Prince Bank Shoal lighthouse in good time - an hour and a half before the current would allow us an easy entrance into Tadoussac so we drifted around a bit enjoying the company of the amazing belugas, minke and fin whales that were feeding and playing all around us. My photos do not do them justice, but I was too busy just watching to be framing perfect pictures, and whenever I had the camera aimed in one direction, the blow would be in another. Mary has a couple of amazing shots so check out

There are rules about how close boats can come to these marine mammals - 400 metres from the belugas and 200 metres from the others. That's pretty hard to do sometimes since the whales don't necessarily estimate the distance as they dive and swim. Nonetheless, we cut our engines and spent a very enjoyable hour hopping from one side of our boats to the other, calling out, "Oh! Did you see that one? Over there! Over there!"

Our lines were handily caught by Alex on the dock, and after we registered and made sure we were fast, we all tumbled into our bunks for a nap. The Epicerie Cote is well stocked with most everything we need so I made a little grocery-shopping trip up there. Blair discovered that the good folks at the Tadoussac Hotel wouldn't mind if we sat in their beautiful lobby and connected with the Internet, and the Whale Interpretation centre was across the road from the waterfront so the rest of the day was filled with education and connection!

In the evening, we trooped along to a little café where Barry Dawe, a very good guitarist was performing. I was embarrassed that I could hardly keep my eyes open and Mary had to poke me a couple of times. We were at a table right in front of him and he was most gracious. It was a fine evening and a good ending to the day.

We decided to stay put on Saturday because the wind was sur le nez yet again. I don't really understand how it can be that whatever direction we need to go, the wind comes from exactly that place. We enjoyed good conversations with other cruisers, glorious walks around the little boardwalk that circles the point, and ended the day back in the hotel lobby connecting with the wider world.

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