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Captain Log ID: 1049
Title: Cap-a-L'aigle, Quebec Province
Boat Name(Id): BlueJacket ( 58)
Sailor Name(Id): Geoff Schultz ( 306)
Geo Region: Canada:Quebec
Date of Occurance: 2008-08-05
Latitude: N 47º   39.719'
Longitude: W 70º   5.76'
Sender (if email-in): wcz5101@NO_SPAM
Earlier log from "BlueJacket":  1048
Newer log from "BlueJacket":  1050
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Bonjour from the crew of the BlueJacket,

LighthouseIt's a beautiful day here as the sun is shining. What's even more amazing is that we had sunshine yesterday as well! This is a phenomenon that we haven't seen in a long time...Literally weeks. But it's cool. I got up at around 4 AM to turn the heat on as it was down to 57 in the boat and I could feel much cooler air coming in through a porthole. Yesterday Sue even had her long underwear on. This is August, isn't it? But it's amazing how sunshine can make colder weather seem so much more palatable.

I hadn't realized how difficult of a day yesterday was going to be. We stayed in Quebec City for an additional day due to the high winds in the area that we would be transiting. We got a call from a 65' trawler that left that day, and their comment was that we had made the correct decision as their trip was very uncomfortable with them bashing through large seas. If they had a bad trip, what would ours have been like?

Sun and MountainsWhile we were at the dock at the Port of Quebec marina, another sailboat docked next to us and we met Bob and Debbie, on Valissa, who were from Toronto and unlike everyone else there, they spoke English. Yeah, someone to hold a conversation with! They're very nice and are basically doing the same trip that we are, but have vague plans of heading to the Caribbean. As a result we more or less decided to leave together whenever the weather would cooperate.

To make the trip from Quebec City to La Malbaie you have to play the currents, which are very strong. The guidebook said that you needed to leave Quebec City 2.5 hours before high tide, which means that you're bucking the current until it switches. Interestingly, there can be several hours difference between high/low tide and the current reversing. High tide was at 09:30, so we left at 07:00. Valissa is a smaller boat and they've been having overheating problems with their engine, so they were doing 1-2 kts less than us, so they quickly disappeared behind us. The weather was less than stellar, with low clouds and 15-20 kts of wind on the nose. The tide was going with the wind, so at least the seas were relatively flat, but as soon as the tide started to turn, the waves became much larger and steeper. While we were making much better time with the current, it was a much more uncomfortable with the bow of the boat dropping off of steep wave steps and just pounding downward. The whole boat just shakes and you lose a tremendous amount of speed. You fight your way to regain speed and then you repeat the process. Yuck!

MalbaieWhat makes this trip very difficult is that there's virtually nowhere to stop in between Quebec City and La Malbaie as virtually anyplace that you could anchor dries when the 18+ foot tide disappears. We decided to take the southern channel due to spotting several places that looked like you might be able to anchor there. The major issue was that we had no idea what the bottom was like and given the strong currents and rocky coastline, there might just be rock on the bottom. We arrived at the first potential anchorage in early afternoon and after looking at the time and the lack of shelter, we decide to press on. We saw several other potential anchorages and radioed the information to Valissa, who was very appreciative. They ended up staying at one of them, and we sure hope that they held well, as the forecast was for wind increasing to 20-30 kts overnight.

MarinaThere are 2 major channels between Quebec City and Malbaie and we had taken the southern channel as it was the only one that offered any hope of finding an anchorage. However, the water in it is very muddy and you're a long way from shore. The northern channel takes you right along the shoreline and it looked like it had spectacular scenery. The north side of the St. Lawrence is lined with mountains reaching 2500' and has some spectacular waterfalls. Even from our position miles away, it was stunning.

Later in the afternoon the skies cleared, the winds dropped considerably and our ride smoothed out. We barely squeaked through some high current (7.5 kts!) areas just before the current reversed and we made it to Cap-a-l'Aigle marina at 6:30 PM. It's a beautiful marina nestled into the mountainside with a small waterfall coming down right into it! Wow, now that's something that I haven't seen before. We had a good nights sleep and today it's on to Tadousacc where hopefully we'll see lots of whales.

-- Geoff & Sue