Quebec City – Europe in America
03 August 2010 | Qubec City, Quebec
Sylvia - Lovely
July 31, 2010
We were up and had cast off from Port d'Escale Marina in Montreal by 0730. After a swift ride down the first 1 ½ miles with a 5-6 knot current we settled into a lovely motor with four knot current passed all of the commercial docks and their many ships loading, unloading or waiting. Montreal is a very busy harbor as we could see from all of the ships.
The weather was beautiful. Temperatures were in the mid-70s, blue sky with a few clouds, no wind and as smooth a river as one can get in these conditions. It was easy to see all of the buoys marking the ship channel and we could set the autohelm and merely make adjustments as the curves and turns occurred. Without any locks or bridges to maneuver through it was a very relaxing trip.
At 1500 we passed under the Trois Rivieres bridge, a very high suspension bridge just up river from our destination. Since all of the bridges from here on out to the Gulf of St. Lawrence are high enough for the big ships and our mast is no where near as high as they are there are no more bridges along the seaway that have to be raised for us.
We easily found the privately marked channel for the Trois Rivieres Marina but didn't so easily motor up it. When we were next to the last buoys of the channel we went gently aground in mud. We called the marina and told them we were aground in the middle of their channel. The young woman at the marina asked us to wait and then a man come on and asked if we could turn and get over near the green buoy and out of the center of the channel. Bill was able to give her enough of a boost and turn the helm to port and pretty soon we were slowly moving toward the green buoy and then we were free. Then the marina had misunderstood our length - they thought we were 44' not 54' - so the slip they gave us was a little on the short side but it would do for one night. We were all secured at 1600.
As we came in we were helped by 2 of the marina staff and Pierre and Anne. Pierre was the man who had helped us get off the mud hump and as it turned out it was his daughter who we first talked to at the marina office. They are also sailors and this is their home marina and they draw 7' so he knew exactly where we were aground and how we might get off. He was also very helpful when we discussed leaving the next day for Quebec City and how to play the tide at the marina as well as the full trip down to Quebec City. Normally, the little tide they get in Trois Rivieres doesn't affect the marina but with the river down 1 ½' it has made a difference this year. We would have to time our leaving well in order not to have to stay in Trois Rivieres another day.
Aug 1, 2010
We didn't need to leave Trois Rivieres before 0900 in order to arrive in Quebec at the best tide and current time but if we waited until then we would not get out of Trois Rivieres. So we were up early and getting things tidied up when I noticed that the depth readings weren't quite what we wanted. It was getting late. I nudged Bill and we quickly threw off the docking lines and headed out. We just made it through. Even going close to the green buoy on our way out we pushed over one hump and then another but didn't get hung up this time because Bill had Eos going faster than we had been when we went in. We both gave a sigh of relief when we were out and into the main channel again.
The day down the river was an exact repeat of the day before. As long as we had to motor and stay in the shipping channel, it couldn't have been more perfect traveling weather. We passed and were passed by several commercial ships. All totaled we have seen probably 15-18 of them the last two days. Those were the ones on the move and doesn't include those sitting at commercial wharfs along the river. Our understanding is that the river traffic is starting to pick up this year.
We arrived in Quebec City and locked through the lock that is the entry to the Port of Quebec Marina and were all tied up by 1815. We timed the entry just right for the tide and the current by slowing down a little on the way since we would have arrived too early because of our early departure from Trois Rivieres. Having our navigation software with the Canadian charts and all of the tide tables is wonderful. It makes the planning and adjusting so easy. We can measure the distances from points to points and then knowing our SOG (speed over the ground that takes into account both our speed through the water and the speed the current is pushing us) we can figure out when we will arrive somewhere. At one point we were going just fast enough in the water to keep steerage on the boat and were letting the current move us down river.
We are docked in the Mega Yacht section of the marina because of our length. It is the same price but is about a 10 min walk from the office and showers and all AND we are sitting here with true mega-yachts - as in the multi-million dollar range. Talk about feeling a little out classed but we saw they have to clean their boats off, too. Although the Farr 56 from Ireland that is next to us has crew to do that for them. It is unbelievably loaded with things. It had TWO dinghies - each with a 15 hp or more outboard attached. We haven't talked to them much although I did introduce myself to them when we came in. It was a young couple with a 1 year old but we decided later that older gray-haired man in the cockpit was probably the owner and the young man was the crew. We don't know if the 30-something woman with the baby was daughter or wife but she definitely wasn't part of the crew. I wish we could have had a chance to chat with them. It would have been interesting to know if they had come across the Atlantic this year and where they were going from here.
August 2, 2010
After a lovely, peaceful and long sleep last night we got busy this morning and did some clean up. Poor Eos hasn't had a bath for weeks so Bill spent the morning hosing and scrubbing her down on deck. I did the normal things below and got together a grocery list for later.
We decided to take another city tour. It is such a good way to get oriented and help decide what to see and do for the rest of our time here. We stopped a couple of times so we could wander into some of the old areas where the bus couldn't go. It is such a fun city and we are just blocks away from the old town section with the narrow cobblestone streets and old buildings. It will be such fun to wander back there and spend more time.
Bill is up finishing the deck wash and I will be trying to get on the net and get this posted. We are not in a good location relative to their antenna. It is pointed more to the other docks so I have only been able to get on for a few minutes before I lose the connection. We may have to look for an internet café in the old town tomorrow. Sorry no pictures with this connection.