Quebec City, A new journey begins
29 July 2009 | Marina Port Quebec
Bob/ Thunder Shower Just as We Entered The Lock
Montreal to Quebec is a downhill run, nice favorable current in some places as much as 4 -5 knots. We powered through the Richeleau Rapids with a boat speed of just over six knots and a speed over the ground of over eleven. It's called rapids because the water is boiling around you as if you were in rapids but it's 35 feet deep with ships going by us both ways.
After Montreal the size of the ships in the seaway changes dramatically. The six to seven hundred foot lake ships are now thousand foot world travelling mega ships. We can see them coming on our AIS, automatic identification system, and can tell their size, speed and destination far before they appear on radar or sight. It kind of gets you prepared for thier passing.
Most of our readers know that Alice's family has roots in the Quebec area. Alice is reflective of her parents who met here and moved to Vermont to start their lives together and build the fabulous Renaud family. We talked about her trips here to find her father's home and about the "blue roofs" of Quebec. Yes along the St. Lawerence there are lots of blue roofs.
Around Pontneuf the favorable current stopped and we slowed to regular hull speed at 2200 rpm. The tide backs up the river to stop the flow of water, wow!!. We still had some 30 miles to Quebec and I was wondering how we could make it before dark. I checked the tide tables for Quebec City and discovered high tide was around 13:00, just about the time we were at Pontneuf, so I figured the current would start back in our favor for the rest of the trip and give us the boost we needed to get there, and so it did, back up to 8 - 9 to even 11 knots over the bottom. Along this area there are numerous waterfalls down the cliffs as we are now into the base of the Laurentian Mountains. Houses perched on what appeared to be 100 foot drops. The terrane has changed dramatically from the Thousand Islands.
For those who have checked our current position and with Google Earth zoomed in we are actually in the slip only the Google picture was taken when a power boat was docked. This GPS technology is amazing. You will also see the lock we had to go through to get into this marina. With an 18 foot tide here in Quebec City, this marina sits in a tidal free basin accessible only through a lock that brings you up when you arrive and lowers you down when it's time to go. No current to deal with, no tide just safe and sound sitting under the Chateau Frontenac which we intend to visit tomorrow.
When we leave Quebec our journey changes considerably. Up to know I've felt very secure with lake passages, with river currents and locks. Now we are heading out into unfamiliar territory and the St. Lawrence widens dramatically. Hopefully we will be able to sail more now and time our passages to find those favorable tides. The Gaspe is now on the horizon and Prince Edward Island, who'd ever thought we'd be journing to these places in a little 42 footer? It is exciting for us, we are keeping in contact by email and phone with family. We are in great shape and feeling much like we did way back when we were young, in love,niave and left Vermont to sail the world. Now hopefully everything is the same except the niave part. Internet access may be spotty from here on, who knows?