A learning week

It has been an interesting week, with lots learned (I once heard that an experience is taking the test without advance studying). I am getting lots of experience.

Highlights for this week include the weather (wet, and COLD), Matane, a visit with Genevieve from the Santa Maria 1, and learning the St. Lawrence River (and the big ships).

After sitting out high winds in Matane for a couple days, we decided to venture out the third day into high winds (25 knot) on our nose, but we were starting to think the wind always blows here, thus the windmills. After beating into the wind for several hours, our engine overheated, so I went below to fix it, and very quickly broke a stud off the thermostat housing, quickly removing our motor from service. Back to Matane and a trip to the welders, all fixed and ready to try again, the next day.

HA, we left Matane and had a nice trip to Rimouski, we did not need the motor, but I left it run anyway, making sure it really was fixed!

A couple of years ago, we met a really nice French couple from Quebec in Ballantyne’s cove NS, and we met them again in Rimouski, Genevieve and Marcel from the Santa Maria 1. We had dinner aboard their boat, unfortunately Marcel couldn’t make it, but it was a fascinating evening. Genevieve is an author, with three books to her credit, and a forth just being finished. It sounds like an interesting read, but her books are only published in French. It is a biography on the family that started and operates , GP supermarket, Germain and Rolande Pelletier, they have 15 supermarkets and own several shopping malls. Genevieve had a lot of fun explaining all this as she speaks mostly French, although her English was great. My limited French (bonjour) didn’t help matters much.

She cooked shrimp (my first time eating real shrimp, I thought they were all raised in little frozen rings), and the dinner was good, the wine was good, and the conversation was incredible, thank you Genevieve and Santa Maria 1 (which Marcel keeps in Bristol fashion with a lot of work).

The weather is still cold (we are anchoring a fair amount, but tonight came into Port Joli to plug our heater in, we’re frozen, but not wet, thanks to MB making sure we had real waterproof clothing, even if it doesn’t look cool). Surely the weather will warm after Quebec City, one day away.

The St. Lawrence River has so far been a great learning experience, and there is far more to come. When we started the River, I found it similar to sailing on the Northumberland Strait, weather can change suddenly, 1 – 2 knot currents that need to be tended to, but won’t make or break a trip. As we get further upstream, the tide is less important, but the currents allow the trip to happen, and they change hourly. Thank goodness for our current atlas (that’s a book with the currents listed every hour, in every place on the river), which we need to be able to move. We move when the current allows us, not when we want to go. For the most part so far, they have been the same, we just have to move into different sections of the river at different times of the day. This will change in the next day or two as the river narrows. Travelling under Pierre LaPorte bridge in Quebec City has a 2 hour window that will allow us to travel, otherwise the current is so strong against us we would be moving backwards. And there will be a lot of boats, all shooting for that 2 hour window. And these are BIG boats.

More experiences.

Joe & MaryBeth Amelia

S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

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