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Category Archives: Sailing in the St. Lawrence

More from Quebec City – using the WordPress app for the blog

I am just experimenting with the WordPress app on the iPad to see if it works well for writing on the blog. If it does, that will make updating much more simple, so we shall see.
In other news, Dennis is still cleaning the boat – apparently we has gone through all the cupboards and done a massive pitch of all the stuff we don’t really need. Hmm… I wonder what I will have left on the boat when I arrive?
He’s also been riding my bike around and has discovered some excellent stores for provisioning the boat (you know – normal priced groceries…)
I am including some pictures that he has taken. It looks like we are tied stern in. I would imagine that since he had to dock the boat by himself, that he did this later with a bunch of lines and turned the boat in the slip but I am not sure.
I am looking forward to getting to Quebec – it is too hot in Ontario!

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

Summer 2013 – Preparations begin for our trip from Quebec to Nova Scotia

Quebec City - June 2013

Quebec City – June 2013

We (as in Dennis) are making preparations to start our trip from Quebec to Nova Scotia. He arrived in Quebec City last Friday (June 15th) and started working on the boat. He said that it was very dirty but that Global Marine did a pretty good job of cleaning it. However, there are several factories and mills right in the area so the debris from that makes things really dirty.

Boat being launched in Quebec

Boat being launched in Quebec

The boat went into the water on Wednesday – there weren’t too many glitches apparently except that Dennis had to dock it by himself. I can’t imagine! When did successfully dock, there were no services (electricity and water) so he was quite disappointed about that and tried to bargain a better deal. No go – I guess his charms don’t work in Quebec – he couldn’t even get a bag of ice! I said that he should be wearing his beret!

Boat being launched in Quebec

Boat being launched in Quebec

So, now that boat is launched and Dennis waiting for me (I will arrive on the 29th and my parents are staying at the house for a couple of weeks and then Phil will stay for the rest of the summer), he is actually POLISHING THE TEAK! I bet it looks nice! I wish we had thought of this before – sending him out as the advance party several weeks before school is out!)

He also installed cockpit doors. Last year in Picton when we met the couple who had the exact boat as us, they had cockpit doors whereas we had nothing on the cockpit entrance except for the original boards. This is fine except when you want to actually go in and out of the boat – you either have to remove them or hoist yourself over them and climb in and out the boat. So, what everyone usually does, is leave the boards off until nighttime when the mosquitoes come out and then once they’re inside, you put the boards in. So, I am very hopeful that this new system will be better!

Cockpit doors installed

Cockpit doors installed

So, this week, Dennis is getting the boat stocked and will ride around on my bicycle. He may celebrate St. Jean de Baptiste day today and tomorrow. He is basically going to wait around though for me to arrive on Saturday. I am sure he will be well amused, especially now that he has half of the teak polished! He may as well finish the rest!

View from the cockpit

View from the cockpit

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

August 19 – Cirque du Soleil

On our last night of the trip, we went to see Cirque du Soleil. It was right next to the marina, so we walked over and enjoyed a very spectacular show for two hours. It was memorizing! The talent that the performers have is unbelievable!
Here are a few pictures of the show.

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So, if you ever get a chance to see the Cirque du Soleil, please do so. It was a great way to end an already good trip!

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 18 – Quebec City

If you ever get the chance to go to Quebec City in the summer, you should go! There are so many things going on! Of course, if you want peace and quiet, I would not recommend the Port of Quebec marina but it is certainly right downtown and in the hub of everything. It is hard to believe that in two days, we will be back at home surrounded by trees, rocks and water – no people. I think I will enjoy the quiet but this has definitely been fun!
So, last night we could have gone to the marina karoke from 5 to 7 – don’t worry! We didn’t go but it sounded interesting, especially when someone was singing the Love Boat song – yikes!
We also could have gone to the Fesitbiere – the beer festival. It is right across from the harbour as you can see in the picture below.

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Or we could have gone to Cirque de Soleil which is in the parking lot where the boat will be stored for the winter. We are going there tomorrow night with Nick.
What we did do was row out into the marina’s harbour and watched the giant movie on the grain mill. The following picture was taken from the boat and it was taken to give you an idea of how massive the screen is – 600 metres wide by 30 metres high.

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The next picture is of the mill lit up before the show – that was pretty cool already! The show though, was out of this world – an excellent way of presenting the history of Quebec.

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So, there is a lot to do here. We could have partaken in the Pride Parade today but instead, I dragged Dennis up the hill once again to see the Plains of Abraham. They haven’t changed since 1976 (the last time I saw them). We enjoyed walking on the Promenade and walking through the city.

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We are just waiting for Nick to arrive. Tomorrow, we are packing the car and on Monday morning, we are leaving at the crack of dawn. It will be a quick ride home (as compared to the trip here!).

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 17 – Quebec City

I mentioned that I would add more to the blog about Quebec City, so here is the latest news. First of all, I am afraid that I cannot recommend Marina Trois Rivieres to anyone who has a boat unless you need fuel which is why we stopped.
When you enter the marina channel, there is a yellow marker way over to the side, almost beside the channel marker and we were supposed to go to the right of it because of the “hump” in the channel. Dennis changed his mind at the last minute because it did not seem right and although we had only 5 feet of water under the keel, we made it.
Then, when we called on the radio, there was a huge language barrier and even though I repeated everything in French, the lady still could not understand me (I thought I was speaking well!). When we arrived at the fuel dock, we waited around and finally a boy came cycling down and filled the tank. After that we went to our assigned dock and enjoyed the view and smell of the pulp and paper mill. It was just like being back in Fort Frances!
Anyway, the next morning, we had to leave early and on the way out, we hit bottom right near the yellow marker. We kept going though and we will see in the spring if there was any damage done.

Our trip down the St. Lawrence was fine. We saw a very interesting boat. Here is a shot of it.

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We had the current going with us (low tide) but the wind was against us so we weren’t sure if we would make Quebec City at the right time. Apparently, if you try to go during the high tide, the current is really strong because the water is rushing into the river and if you have winds coming from the wrong direction, you won’t make any progress at all. For us though, it all worked out and we made it into the basin. Then Dennis called the lockmaster and he opened the bridge for us and we tied up into the lock to get into the marina.

After a few calls to the marina, we were tied up! Finally, after seven weeks of travel, we made it all the way!

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We have been wandering all over the city. It is very beautiful and we are glad that we came a day early. I went biking (the trails are awesome!) and when I stopped for a rest along the St. Lawrence, a whole bunch of steam came out of the vents below me. I am not sure why this happened – it wasn’t hot, just water vapour.

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Dennis sorted out the boat – we are leaving it here for the winter so he had to talk to a variety of people and organize everything.

Here are some pictures of the city.

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Tonight, we are going to see a film on the history of Quebec. I know that doesn’t sound exciting but it is going to be shown right on the flour mill behind the marina. Here is the website: http://lacaserne.net/index2.php/other_projects/

That is all the news for today!

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 16 – Quebec City

We are here!

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More details tomorrow. All is good!

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 15 – Trois Rivieres

We have withdrawal symptoms – no poutine, crepes, street performers or shopping. We are at the Trois Rivieres Marina and although it is a typical marina, we miss being right in the heart of a big city. Oh well, tomorrow we should be in Quebec. We have to leave very early – 8 hours before low tide otherwise we will be going against the current and it will take us forever to get there. We should arrive in Quebec at around 1:30 in the afternoon.

So, today was uneventful. We left at 7:30 and raced down the river for the first few kilometres. The other day, when we were going against the current, our speed was down to 2 knots. This morning’s speed was 11 knots!

We saw many beautiful villages along the river – the church steeples are visible from the water. Before everyone had GPS, the boats would count the church steeples along the way as a point of navigation.

We saw a very interesting ocean boat. Dennis thought that it was from France, carrying windmill blades.

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We didn’t see much else – it was quite a nice, lazy day. (We needed time to recover from the Bixi bike Mount Royal expedition!).

Here is a shot of what this afternoon looked like.

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When we arrived at Trois Rivieres, we walked around and ended up in the boater’s “bone yard”. Needless to say, Dennis was quite happy with his find!

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It is on a trailer, so maybe he can pick it up when he gets the other boat that he bought (the one with moss growing in it in Kingston).

Anyway, that is all the news for today. One more day and we will reach our destination!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 14 – Montreal

OK – we are leaving tomorrow and should arrive in Trois Rivieres sometime in the afternoon. I need a day of rest! Montreal is exhausting, especially after the great Bixi biki experiment!

We left at 8:00 this morning and collected a couple of Bixi bikes. Dennis drove off at great speed (why?) and I struggled behind, thinking that I must be very tired. I finally realized that my bike had a flat tire (no wonder I had to push so hard) so at the next station, I switched bikes for a better one.

We drove on the bike path towards Mount Royal and were in good company. There were hundreds of people riding their bikes, so it was a good thing that we had our own safe bike lane. Most people were dressed in business clothes.

We eventually got to the bottom of Mount Royal and were going to turn our bikes in and walk up to the top but the station was full of bikes. This was a good thing because it is a long way up! We drove and drove up the mountain (hill?) and it just about did us in as the Bixi bikes only have three gears and probably aren’t made for hills! We finally reached the top of Mount Royal and were glad that we got to the top as the view is spectacular. I am including a picture of the Bixi bike just to prove that we did this.

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Our way down the hill was pretty fun until I took a wrong turn so we lost the path and ended up in a residential area that was very steep. I started going down the hill and my brakes kept making this horrendous noise. I decided to walk for a while because I was worried that the brakes would give out! Dennis volunteered to switch bikes (we were very hungry by then as we had not had breakfast) so he was motivated to finish the ride. So, when he went down the hill, the brakes screeched too but he continued on. Meanwhile, I was braking as hard as I could with his bike and got down the hill in one piece.

We eventually found a station and turned in the bikes and went to Paris Crepes for breakfast. It was delicious! We walked the rest of the way back to the boat, along Rue Saint Catherine.

That was the end of the Bixi bike experiment. I think I would recommend the bike for riding along the canal but not for Mount Royal!

I have included a couple of pictures – one is of the boat from the quay beside it.

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I also had to include the picture of the boat that the local ducks have adopted. I don’t think the owner is very happy with them!

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 13 – Montreal

Well, we are still in Montreal and have decided to stay one more day so we will be leaving Wednesday morning for Trois Rivieres. Montreal is a lot of fun – there is so much to do!

We started off by bike riding – Dennis rented a Bixi bike – that is the famous bike rental program that Montreal has. Here is their website. https://montreal.bixi.com/

We rode over to the site of Expo 67. I was there in 1967 but none of it looked familiar!

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After bike riding, we took the metro up to the Jean Talon market. If you ever go to Montreal, you need to go there for the fruit and vegetables! What a great selection – everything was so fresh and they had all sorts of samples of fruit to try – nectarines, peaches, cantalope…
We bought supper for tonight and also bought some dark chocolate with blueberries. This was recommended by one the of workers at the marina – it was very good.

I had to include this picture today – I think that this would be the perfect occupation. You get lots of exercise and enjoy the company of dogs without having to be responsible for them all the time.

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I also took some pictures of old Montreal last night. The first picture is of the Maisoneuve statue.

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The second picture is of Cathedral Notre Dame. If you look closely at a speck of green, you will notice who it is!

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That is all the news to report today. Tomorrow, we are going to bike to Mont Royal and also will look for authentic bagels.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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August 12 – Montreal

Our second day of visiting Montreal has been excellent. We took the metro to the Atwater Market. Of course I figured I knew better and got us off at the wrong stop so we walked for quite a distance, actually passing the metro station that we were supposed to get off at. Oh well, we needed the exercise – we had to wear off yesterday’s poutine!

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We wandered around and eventually bought some bread (excellent!), lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sausage. We will have this for supper tonight. (We have had enough poutine!)

Our marina, Port d’Escale, is right downtown old Montreal, so all we have to do is get off the boat and walk up the ramp. Here are a couple of pictures. The first one is of a mime – he had a sign out and it said, “Coin Operated”. He stood on his little stage until someone dropped some money into the container. I gave him a toonie and he played a song with his accordion. It was fun to watch!

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The next pictures are of old Montreal. Very pretty city!

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This afternoon, I went biking. According to the Montreal cycling map, there are over 350 km of trails. I cycled down along the old canal. The path was paved and once I got out of the congested area of downtown, it was easy riding. Now, there were some cyclists who rode like they were in the Tour de France, but the majority of riders rode at a normal speed. Here is a link to the cycling paths.

If you want to rent a bike, there is the Bixi bike program running in the city. Dennis might do that tomorrow.

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We are having a lot of fun here – I would definitely recommend Montreal as a stop for anyone!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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