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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Quebec to Trois Riviere, anchor

Quebec marked our furthest east destination for this trip. It's not on "the loop", we had to make an out-and-back voyage to go there.

When we went to Quebec a week ago the tides made the 77-mile ride take 6 1/2 hours. Returning, however, was much longer. 8 1/2 hours. While we caught the rising tide that pushed us westward, eventually the river's current strongly affected progress. Add the immense deluge to the equation, which added a bunch of water to the river's out flow, the current was a steady 2 knots. By the time we reached TR we were going just around 6 knots.

Such a dreary ride, all day long.
It rained the entire night before we left, and the entire day. That shrouded the views in all directions. In some instances we could barely see the banks.

We did have one adventure (because, boating).

Right around Pontneuf the river narrows, and the locals call that section The Rapids. All mariners time getting to and through that optimally. Going to Quebec we got crazy speeds there, near 15 knots. Returning, it can slow you down by 6 knots if you don't time it right. We're an 8 knots boat. So timing was important. That's it why we left when we did.

When I say "all mariners" that includes container ship captains. Three of them were coming up behind us, at much faster speeds, to optimally get through the rapids.

The first passed us without incident. We tend to go wide as they approach, then cut hard behind them to minimize their wake.

The second two were passing each other, which took up a lot of space in the channel. The fastest of them was going 16 knots, the slower 12 knots. Like we do in cars, the fast ship passed the slower ship on the left, and all us little boats were on the far right, staying out of their way. (At the time there was more space outside the channel on the right than the left, and we were definitely giving them all the space we could.) 

"The pass". The fast ship just passed the slow one.
You can see the red, which marks the channel
and Highwind, for size perspective.
When the ships reached us the pass had just happened -- they weren't hugely far apart from each other, they were taking up all the channel, and they were going much faster than us.

Our strategy of going-wide-then-cutting-back wasn't going to work, since cutting back move us closer to the second ship, who also threw a wake. We decided to turn to shore and take the wake on our stern.

But 1) it's a river, and there wasn't a ton of space before you hit land. 2) Running away from a wake makes it take longer to get to you. 3) The preceding swells pushed us along faster...

You see where I'm going with this.

Russ getting ready to anchor in the rain.
Did I mention it rained all day long?
No, we did not run aground, but it got close. We had to give up the strategy and face the wake, which we did just as the 6-foot wave hit our beam. Crap flew everywhere! I swear we pitched 30 degrees at one point.

Boating. Always an adventure.

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