Anchored at Ile du Bic

Soon we pick up a St. Lawrence River Pilot.

The weather is windless and clear. We can see both sides of the 10 miles wide St. Lawrence River…high topography on both sides.  A little bit like A good day to be motoring…if one must motor a distance with a sail vessel.

We anchored for the night at Ile du Bic. It is a small uninhabited island/bird sanctuary located about 30 miles east of the Saguenay River.  We arrived in dungeon fog at 2245 hours and did not see anything of the island until 1000 hours this morning when the fog lifted. The coast line is similar to that of Maine and Nova Scotia.  Although inhabited, there are plenty of seals.  We could hear them last night – all night, and finally got to see them today.

After we pick up a pilot we will motor past the entrance of the Saguenay River.  The confluence of the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence is a popular area for the Beluga Whale. Maybe we will see some this trip. I have seen them on several previous trips back in the 1980s and the 1990s, but not in the 21st Century.  This trip of the St. Lawrence past the Saguenay will be the 4th one this decade, with no whales sighted during any of them.  So, what has happened to the Beluga Whale?

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II

Position Report August 11 – St. Lawrence River

Favorable winds for a change! But now we are looking to be early to the pilot station in the St. Lawrence River and may need to absorb 18 hours or so before we start the pilot-run up the river past Quebec City and on into Montreal.

Currently PRIDE is just inside the first of the narrowing part of the river as one moves from the gulf portion to the estuary portion. PRIDE is a little west of the Gaspe Peninsula with an easterly wind of about 10-15 knots letting PRIDE glide along on a smooth sea heading on a port jibe towards the southern shore. Just 16 nautical miles east of us is Matane, Quebec…a small port town with cross-river ferry service to the north shore.

Tomorrow, sometime in the afternoon, we will pick up a St. Lawrence River pilot (or two) at Escoumins, Quebec, located on the north shore just east of the Saguenay River. From there it is about 270 odd nautical miles to Montreal. It is likely to take 44 hours to motor to Montreal. This will require three different pilot boarding’s with the likelihood of two pilots coming aboard to start and again at Quebec City as the original two get off.  Last there will be a pilot exchange at Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers) about half way up to Montreal from Quebec City that will guide us into Old Port Montreal.