There has been a few really big ships get very close to us, in some areas of the river there is no place to get away from them, so we get as far over as possible, and although their wake does not look that big, it is HUGE. It certainly sent Otto (that would be our incredible auto pilot) into a tailspin the first time, and we realized it would be a manual helm after that when close to big ships. I tried to count the containers on one, and it looks like about 200 -250 containers above deck they carry. They must all be connected together for when they run into a storm so they don’t fall off, I should think.
We are in Trois Riviere now, and out of the tides, but the river current will be affecting us the rest of the way. It runs from 1.5 – 2.5 knots against us everywhere now without any tide to help, so traveling will be a little slower, and sailing will be over, we think. All motor from here on until Midland, Ont, where we will re-step the mast. The current (together with the right tide) certainly helped us through Quebec City, we got up to 11.1 knots speed over ground. That’s moving for a boat with a hull speed of 6 knots.
“Pot ‘O’ Gold” usually runs with a very dry bilge, so you can imagine my surprise after going under the Pierre LaPorte bridge in Quebec City when I went below, and noticed the bilge pump on for an extended period, so I checked the bilge, and it was half full and rising (full would mean we sink)! I had to shut the motor down, and the water stopped rising but wouldn’t go down, so I turned control over to MB, and went below with my trusty toolbox. I replaced the bilge pump to no avail, the new one did no better, so I was sure it was pumping, and I connected a line from the new bilge pump to the cockpit so I could watch the water pump out. It did, and we limped to the first marina we could find where I took all the lines out and fixed the problem. We now run with a dry bilge again.
We expect to be in Montreal on Tuesday to meet up with Lee and take the mast down, so this should be an interesting week as well.
Love to all
Joe & MaryBeth
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”