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July 22nd – Percé Rock, l’Île-Bonaventure, L’Anse-à-Beaufils

We are exhausted! Being a tourist is hard work! However, we did have an excellent day and saw lots of sights, so we are happy that we made the effort.
First of all, the guidebook says that there is a shuttle from our marina to Percé but that is wrong. We got a ride with the guy who runs the marina and he was nice enough to take us past the town and see Percé Rock from another viewpoint – very spectacular!
Once Jacques let us off, we went down to the tour boat. We were able to tour Percé Rock up close. Here is another shot:

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After that, the boat went over to l’Île-Bonaventure and we were able to see thousands of birds flying around and resting in the cliffs. There is a huge gannet colony but there were many other types of seabirds too. We also saw lots of grey seals lounging around on the rocks.
We docked on the island and were met by the Quebec Park people. The lady asked who wanted the introduction in English and three of us put up our hands, so she sent us over to the other park worker who gave us the spiel in English (which took about two minutes – don’t go off the trail, don’t smoke, don’t pick anything…) The other lady’s speech was apparently much better. I am not sure, but it was definitely a lot longer!
Anyway, we paid our park admission fee and headed off on the trail to see the bird colony. The hike was about 45 minutes and as we arrived, we could hear and smell the birds first! It was a sight to behold – I have never seen so many birds in one spot! Here are a few pictures:

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We headed back on a different trail which took about an hour. Dennis set a mean pace as he wanted to catch the 1:00 boat back! (We did with plenty of time to spare).

Once we got back to the mainland, we watched a guy play the accordion.

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After that, we had lunch and shopped for a bit. Jacques picked us up at the post office. Here is a picture of his and his car. It was a fun ride back!

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We then went to the museum store. This store was the general store for 150 years in the community and in 2001, the father decided to close the doors and served his last customer at 2:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, he died of a heart attack. His children decided to turn the store into a museum and it was quite interesting. Here are a few pictures:

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After the store, we walked back to the boat and we saw this in the parking lot:

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That is all the excitement for the day. There is a full moon and all the tour boats are in this harbour – they do that when bad weather is expected. However, it is quite beautiful out and Environment Canada does not have any warnings out, so we are not sure what this is about. Oh well, we will see in the morning. We will be heading towards the Baie de Chaleuar – perhaps Chandler.
Last picture – full moon.

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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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July 21st – Percé Rock, L’Anse-à-Beaufils

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Well! Percé Rock is as impressive as all the guidebooks say, so if you are in the area, you should definitely go and see it!
We set out this morning from Gaspé at 7:00 and had a very nice, lazy sail for a couple of hours. There was not nearly as much wind as predicted, so it was quite calm. We turned the corner and could soon see Percé Rock from a long way away. It took an hour or so to come up to it. Pretty cool!

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Here is a website with some excellent pictures.
http://www.travelet.com/2009/05/discovering-the-wonders-of-perce-rock-canada/

After we passed the rock, we headed toward L’Anse-à-Beaufils. Suddenly, we were in some turbulent water and had a few good smashes around, but this quickly subsided and we made it safely to the entrance of the harbour.
The marina was not answering the radio, so we weren’t sure where to go. We could see this man waving and asking us a question. We had no idea what he was saying. Dennis finally figured out that he was asking us how deep the boat was. Another man from across the harbour called back to him and said that it was probably five feet. (We learned all this later as the conversation took place in French!)
We made a very dramatic entry onto the dock – the wind had picked up considerably and Dennis had a hard time controlling the boat. We now have a lovely scratch along the left side (which matches with the scratch on the right side that I did last year). At any rate, we managed to tie the boat up without any other damage.

I rode by bike back to Percé to see the town (along the very nice paved shoulder) and the rock from up close. The town looks like a lot of fun so we are going back tomorrow to check it out. Very touristy but there looks like there is a lot to do.

Here is of picture of Percé Rock from land:

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This is a picture looking in the opposite direction of Percé Rock – it is also very beautiful.

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Here is a picture of the area right across from the marina – this is where we had supper.

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On the way back, we spotted Dennis’ dreamboat, complete with a hole… 🙂

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For those who are planning on traveling here by boat, you should bring cash to pay for many of the marinas as quite a few don’t have debit machines. Also, if you’re planning on loading up with groceries, don’t go to Percé – it is geared for tourists. Gaspé has two good grocery stores within walking distance.

More info to follow tomorrow. We are going to go to Île Bonaventure via a tour boat and check out the thousands of birds that nest there.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2013 in Sailing in the St. Lawrence

 

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