We had a bit of a time leaving early yesterday morning. As usual, we set out at 6:00 and I was on the wheel while Dennis pushed the boat off the dock. As I was going backwards, the boat stopped moving and it appeared that the rudder was stuck on the bottom. A variety of people offered their opinions and it was agreed that we couldn’t leave until the tide came in a little more. So, we went for a walk while we waited.
Dennis, being cautious, decided to wait until 7:30 and even then, we still had a bit of trouble leaving. Luckily though, the people on the boat beside us were very helpful and got us off safely – somehow, they swung us around with the lines, and we crept out of the harbour.
We actually sailed the boat with both sails for most of the day. The wind was perfect. (Of course, if we had been going in the other direction, it would have been horrible with lots of smashing around). So, we tacked back and forth a few times. Here’s our track:
At around 11:30, while I was staring vacantly out to sea, (this seems to occur fairly often), I suddenly spotted a pretty big whale off to the side of the boat swimming east to west. It surfaced three times and then blew. It had a fin on its back, so we figured it was a minke whale. This is a good website that we are using for identifying whales.
A little while later, another whale surfaced off of the side of the boat, going in the same direction as us. It surfaced a few times but then we lost sight of it.
We arrived at Rivière-au-Renard uneventfully at around 3:15 and had no problems docking. We spoke with another boater (the guy who helped us at Rivière-Madelaine) and he saw a whale without a fin, so he thought it might have been a blue whale.
Riviève-au-Renard is one of the largest fishing ports on the Gaspé. It has many large fishing boats in the harbour which is a commercial and pleasure craft harbour. Here is a picture of the boats:
Rivière-au-Renard was originally populated by immigrants from Ireland, mostly those who remained in the area following the sinking of the Carrick in 1847. There is an interesting article on the CBC (with an audio interview).
Here is another website about the Carrick Shipwreck Monument.
Here is another article on the Carrick: http://www.independent.ie/regionals/sligochampion/lifestyle/remains-of-sligos-forgotten-famine-ship-emerge-from-canadas-icy-waters-27564386.html
We are staying here for the day and will probably leave for Gaspe tomorrow.