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Captain Log ID: 1059
Title: Riviere de Madeleine, Quebec
Boat Name(Id): BlueJacket ( 58)
Sailor Name(Id): Geoff Schultz ( 306)
Geo Region: Canada:Quebec
Date of Occurance: 2008-08-13
Latitude: N 49º   14.459'
Longitude: W 65º   17.4'
Sender (if email-in): wcz5101@NO_SPAM
Earlier log from "BlueJacket":  1057
Newer log from "BlueJacket":  1061
        Page visited 542 times since created         Edit This Log

Appalachian MountainsBonjour from Riviere de Madeleine, Quebec!

Life aboard a sailboat is often quite fluid and you need to go where the winds, currents, and sometime your whim, takes you. Yesterday was such as day. We had planned on going to Gran Vallee, but as we were getting ready to cast off our dock lines we struck up a conversation with a gentleman from a boat near us. We told him our plans for the day and he said that we just had to go to Riviere de Madeleine instead of Gran Vallee. In Gran Vallee we would have been anchoring in a commercial harbor and he said that Madeleine was much nicer, but there wasn't much there and it was tricky to get in to. So we headed off and decided that we'd try to get in, and if there was a problem, that we'd simply continue on to Gran Vallee.

Picturesque HousesIt's a promising day when you're thinking about putting sun screen on at 6:30 AM. That optimism was short lived as the clouds blew in and we donned rain gear again. It never really rained, but it was wet enough that you didn't want to be without rain gear. Thankfully the sun would peak out and it would become nice for a while and then we'd head back into the clouds.

There's a 1-2 kt current flowing E with us about 1-2 miles off of shore and people keep saying that we should get into it. The problem is that if you're 1-2 miles off shore, you can't see much. I keep the boat right along the shore in 50+ feet of water where we can see the houses and terrain very clearly (aside from the rain and fog). I'd rather enjoy the scenery than get to destination more quickly. Unfortunately my depth choice, which is where the river transitions from deep water to shallower water, is also where the fishermen like to place their traps, so it's often a slalom course for us.

GannetsOne of the things that I didn't realize was that the Appalachian mountain range runs all the way through Canada and terminates on the Gaspe peninsula. We have 1000+ foot mountains coming right to the river's edge, which is very beautiful. Up until yesterday they had been running parallel to the river, but yesterday they started coming in at an angle and you could look into these long valleys. It was quite stunning.

Another fun aspect of yesterday was running into a pod of Minke whale who where feeding. It was easy to find them as all that you had to do was to look for the flocks of Gannet's, which are large (31-38") birds with yellow heads, who are dive bombing the schools of fish. Invariably we'd see the tell-tail dark hump of a whale coming out of the water and sometimes they'd breach and show us their pink underbelly.

Tidal PoolsWe got to Riviere de Madeleine just as the sun was coming out and managed to pick our way into the marina without any issues. We had a group of people waiting to help us with dock lines and after we got tied up, we realized what a delightful location we had pulled in to. We wandered around the town enjoying picturesque houses with great views of the water and lighthouse. They have a wonderful beach that terminates in a very long tidal pool area and the harbor is well protected and nice to look at. What a find!

Today we're headed to Riviere au Renard which I think is about 45 miles from here...

-- Geoff & Sue

For the cruiser:

To get into the marina, go from 49-14.50N/65-17.40W and head towards the green buoy. Allign yourself with the range marker behind it and follow it to the breakwater. Go around the breakwater, keeping about 12 meters off of it. There are submerged rock shoals on both side. Come through the break wall and turn into the marina. Note that there are very few transient slips, but plenty (6.9' MLW) of water. Dockage was a deal at $0.75/ft.