Covid is over. Engine is repaired. Weˋre leaving Quebec City. I never thought Iˋd be excited to leave this city. Itˋs beautiful; thereˋs lots to do; and it has all the things a cherish most:
family and delicious food.
Weˋre now entering a challenging stretch of our journey: Quebec City to Gaspe. It is challenging because the tides are high (10-15 feet); the currents are strong (2-5 knots); the anchorages are limited; and this year the South-West winds are very strong (20-35 knots). To give you an example of a challenge: arriving at our second anchorage option yesterday (first one had no protection from the strong winds), we had to turn towards wind and current. We couldnˋt move forward to the anchorage site; we didnˋt want to rev up the engine more than necessary; we turned around before our boat wouldˋve been going backwards.
By the time we arrived at Option 3 anchorage, we were happy. The winds were still strong but they were in the same direction as the current. So the boat was staying in place, just a bit of up and down with the 1-metre waves. We then questioned ourselves: what will happen when the current change direction 180 degrees and the winds go against the current? We figured it's going to be another first experience for us. What happens is the boat moves 90 degrees because both forces (winds and currents) play against each other; and the boat has no clue who's going to win. Now, that's not comfortable for us having 1-metre waves on our side. The boat rocks from left to right for hours. We couldn't leave because the current was now against us. We had to wait until the tide was almost ready to turn. So after 4 hours, we left for Cap-a-l'Aigle. We arrived at midnight: Frank following his chartplotter to the letter (or to the line) and me at the bow with a strong flashlight. With our Senna headsets, we could talk to each other constantly without waking up everyone around us.
Cap-a-l'Aigle is known as a refuge. It is so true. It is well designed: easy to sail in at night, protected from waves and currents, friendly/helpful neighboring boat owners. We decided to stay 2 nights to give us a day to recover and enjoy ourselves.
After talking with our helpful neighbor, Ghislain, we decided to sail to Anse Saint-Jean on the Saguenay River tomorrow. The window of opportunity to enter the Saguenay River is only 2-3 hours. So we have to time our departure from Cap-a-l'Aigle perfectly to enter the river about 2 hours after low tide, which will give us the current to push North towards Anse Saint-Jean. We'll start meeting belugas and whales at the entrance of the river, at Tadoussac.
There are strict and specific instructions about sailing in this marine park: stay 400 metres from belugas and whales, no more than 5-10 knots. We intend on following these rules, as these marine lives are precious to us.