Prince Edward Island
10 August 2009 | Silver Fox yacht Club
Bob, cloudy, raining a good day for a car touring trip
Today was a layover day so we rented a car and headed toward the north end of PEI. Along the way we found Seacow Pond, a lobster fishing harbor. We stopped and ended up meeting some of the nicest guys. The picture is of Alice with the crew of Island Prince, captain Paul, with crewmates Randall and Scott. Alice is hugging Scott, Paul is in the middle and Randall is set to go with his Ranpro suspenders and foulies. They had just finished loading their 42 foot lobster boat with some 180 plus pots. Each pot has to be baited then loaded very carefully such that when they start dropping them seven to a string everythings runs smoothly. The Northumberland Strait season opens at 06:00 tomorrow and they are ready and eager to get their gear in the water and working.
We talked about the TV show, Deadliest Catch. It's a popular show with these guys and they have a special affinity with the Bering Sea crews earning their livings from the sea. These were really nice people who took time to joke around with two sailors from Chicago.
After Seacow Pond the tour continued to the lighthouse and Inn at West Cape where a half-lire of red wine and two 2-pound lobsters topped off a great day on PEI.
We've decided to stay another day in PEI before heading south to Canso and then the Atlantic.
Gaspe' to Sainte-Marie-Sur-Mer
Today was another fairly long day, we pulled out of Gaspe' around 06:00 with a building westerly. The town of Gaspe is 15 miles up the bay so we had to sail back down the bay before turning south. Once around the southern point of Gaspe Bay we could immediately see Roche Perce' one of Canada's most famous landmarks and it is stunning; not only the rock but the incredible cliffs of the main land. We could see them 20 miles away and only grew in amazement as we sailed closer. How did this happen? What geological event created this wonder? As we grew closer we could see the tourist boats and people in kayaks. Quite a photo op; I took lots of shots I hope some do the vista justice.
After passing the rock it was time to cross Chaleur Bay. This is the largest bay in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the water is supposed to start getting warmer, from 54 degrees F to 64. Some improvement but sailing across the bay was still cold; gloves, ski-caps and jackets. I took a nap while Alice steered a course for Shippagan some 25 miles south across the bay. When I went down we were sailing about 7 knots with the wind behind us, but that changed. The wind changed from the balmy 15 knots from the NW to 20 and then 25 with gusts to 30 from the west. Time to reef and settle in to the next several hours of close reaching.
Unlike the shores of the southern St. Lawrence were there are harbors every 60 miles or so, now the topography changes and tonight we are anchored off Sainte-Marie-Sur-Mer in about 15 feet of water totally exposed to the Gulf. We couldn't identify a harbor so we just stopped, dropped the hook and here we sit. Fortunately the wind forecast is westerly then south westerly which is off shore so the only thing we have to contend with is the surge from the gulf; a little rolly polly for tonight, with anchor watches for me and Alice just in case there is an unforeseen wind change. Tomorrow we plan on leaving around 04:00 and try to make it to Prince Edward Island.
One last thought, as we approached our anchorage, men driving six jet boats came out to meet us. We were about 3 miles out and to see them coming was quite a sight. I guess to see us coming was enough of a sight from them to head out to meet us. They came within inches of the boat but spoke only French so they left us as quickly as they appeared. We were sailing a 8 knots they left us doing probably 20 - 30, fun .