Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Sunday AM we set off for Rimouski, with Ke'Ola Kai and Adirondack getting a jump start on us.  But all of us were a bit puzzled by a boat that arrived in the Tadoussac bay under sail at 6:00am bearing a striking resemblance to Tai Chi.  My first thought was "wow, they left Baie d'Eternitee early.  They must be planning to make the hop to Rimouski today as well."  But things didn't seem right when they left a sail up and seemed to be swinging around a lot on their anchor.  Then Laurie heard the call to the coast guard.  Oh crap, that's not good.  And apparently they had radio trouble too because the Coast Guard couldn't raise them on the radio and didn't even know where they were.  We tried unsuccessfully as well, then radioed the CG to tell them where Tai Chi was and what appeared to be going on.  Over the previous days they had been experiencing engine trouble, so we presumed that was the primary problem.  Well, it was only the tip of the iceberg.  You can read their whole account here Trouble Aboard Tai Chi.  I don't think I'd be dealing with the situation nearly as well as they are.

We decided to head over to see if we could help, and at least relay messages to the CG.  We were able to make one pass by them close enough to confirm that their engine had died and the CG was on the way.  Their anchor was out but not holding, and to add yet another insult to injury, their windless failed and they couldn't get the anchor pulled up either.  As a result they were swerving and turning wildly and we were unable to come along side without fear of doing even more damage.  But just then we saw the CG come out of port to the rescue.  We all have our fingers crossed that repairs will be speedy and seas smooth from here on out for Tai Chi.

Coast Guard to the Rescue
Oh, yes, I almost forgot about Rimouski.  Once leaving Tadoussac we spent the first hour or so chasing whales and are pretty sure we spotted another blue whale, then on we went for the 40nm or so trek to Rimouski which is our first stop on the south shore of the St Lawrence.  The first 2/3 of the trip we maintained our economically preferred cruise speed of about 8-9kts, but decided to speed up for the last 1/3 to put it behind us.  We arrived in Rimouski which is yet another artificial harbor providing much needed protection along an otherwise unaccommodating coast line.  As you might expect, it's a town geared towards marine activity and I gather is a great place to get work done on your boat, but thankfully we aren't in the market right now.

But there is big news in Rimouski.  A few days earlier I was listening to the Coast Guard notices to mariners and heard a report of a car that sank in the approach channel to Rimouski.  Wait a minute, did you say a CAR sank?  In the MIDDLE of the channel?  There MUST be a good story behind that!  Well, indeed there is.  Apparently someone forgot to set the brakes on a car on the ferry, and when it got out in rougher water, the car fell off the back of the ferry.  I though that only happened in movies.

It's been interesting to see that most of the marina staff throughout Canada have been women, and Rimouski was no exception.  The two gals were quick and efficient, fully bilingual, and friendly to boot.  And the Marina Restaurant - what a great surprise that was.  We pulled together everyone from Adirondack and Ke'Ola Kai for a delicious party-of-eight dinner which was a perfect conclusion to the day.

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