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Jul 09

To the Gaspe

It is 4:30am on Wednesday and I am doing a quick update before we leave.  We have made it to Gaspe in what can only be described as two huge days.  Monday we made 90 miles into a 6 foot swell and made it to St Anne du Monts.  Took about 14 hours.  The country here is incredible and getting more remote by the mile.  Boat handled awesome and has given us much confidence in her ability.  Barely any places to hole up here, so you have to plan carefully or spend a night at sea. 

Left at 4am again on Tuesday.  Forecast looks good although there are alot of storm cells around and we are going to try or 123 miles to Gaspe through some of the most remote boating area any of us has ever seen.  We had a day of everything, NE swells, a westerly following sea and fog, lots of fog.  Barely saw anyone or anything on this leg.  Few sailboats headed in the other direction.  The appalachians come right out o the ocean here and the little towns are beautiful, it is like going back in time.  Fog stuck with us on and off for most of the day giving the trip a surreal feel.  We approached the Cap de Gaspe at 6pm and as we rounded it the fog dissipated and we had one of the greatest views of our life.  Flat calm now and after 16 hours of intense navigation and concentration, one had to sit back as we set our course straight into the setting sun, and reflect on what we had just done.  The final 2 hours up the bay to Gaspe were nothing short of spectacular, sun shining great panoramas and even whales(we thought we might have a day without a whale, but they came through).  

Must be going now , even after 213 miles in 2 days we have to keep going while the weather lets us.  Some big water to cross in Bay de Chaleur, but we expect next to no winds and a beautiful day.  Feel like a true sea dog now, salty and wearing same clothes or 3 days, tired and windblown but as usual, feeling more alive than ever.  Miss all y’all……………..Dave

Jul 09

Sittin’ in Rimouski

Well, we are having our first Sit-Around….After we left Jay in Tadoussac, we crossed from the north shore to the south as we headed towards Isle du Bic and onwards to Rimouski.We had a flat calm crossing, which I assume is rare as the river is over 12 miles wide at this point, saw a few whales and arrived in good time.  With a blow coming in from the northeast we assumed we would be staying a couple of days.

We miss Jay, for a prairie boy he was great on a boat..come back to us you little scum, I have to mix my own rum now.  Although, after our lovely steakhouse supper in Rimouski, we found out it was $1.50 Jagermeister shots, and we felt lucky that we did not have the JAGERMONSTER on our hands.  Back to back to back bombs started the night off and after taking in some live music, we got home at 2 am.  Good night except Blair noticed in the morning he had forgotten his sweater in town.  Blowin and rainin next day so we slept in and made huge brunch.  Quiet day o reading and sleeping. 

We didn’t even have our first beer till 6 pm, a first on this trip as we usually start before noon.  The crew is maturing we think? Well, after a lovely shrimp curry, which we needed a few bottles o wine to finish (spicy), we got into some story and joketelling and #1’s flask of liquer.  I quote Blairs first words the next morning “This trip is turning into one big F#@*ing hangover”.  Bad weather again keeps us stranded.

It is Sunday and we are getting restless.  Well I am anyway.  Weather window coming tomorrow so we will be up at 4am.  Glad to be moving on. We met a really nice couple here Louis and Clemence, and they took us to get groceries and propane over the weekend and also gave us some advice on the trip to Gaspe from his 50 years of boating knowledge in the area.  Great people.

The next leg to Gaspe is the most exposed and remote part of our trip and is over 200 miles.  Wish us good sailing. This is the ocean now. 

Have ye ever been to sea Ricky?  Aye, and I’ve been Blown ashore………

Jul 09

Some Videos

Jul 09


Jay here. Chevy spent two hours doing up a post and lost the internet connection at the marina and lost all his work so I’m just making a quick update for everyone. They were held up in Rimouski for the past two days waiting for better conditions. Leaving tomorrow morning for the Gaspe. I’ve also posted a whack of photos on here as well.

Jul 09

Chevy and Blair’s Synopsis

  • Since our comminications officer..Jay(also known as scum) has left it is now up to us to update for you.  After his eloquent renditions we feel that we can only add and clarify a few things.
  • Quebec City was a bigger pissup than he let on
  • “les tres Belle Femmes” …AKA strippers
  • The night in Isle aux Coudres was a complete lesson for Jay in how NOT to boat. We got hammered for 9 straight hours and Captain Rick was the only one sober enough to right the ship.  We slept in an anchorage with a 20 foot tide and a 3+foot beam swell. Complete gong show…worst night on anchor ever.period.  Jay slept through it thinking “if this is what we do every night I am fucked”, I believe he was happy in the morning to find out it was not the norm.
  • First day we all saw Belugas we were amazed…..and now we see so many we call them “River Rats”, tough life
  • The Charlevoix Region..just beautiful and the homemade organic cheese, baguette, duck pate and chorizo…..mmmmmmm….more red wine anyone? Great jam session attracted a couple cougars…Happy hunting Blair!
  • The coast between Malbaie and the mouth of the Saguenay was littered with whales, and I think we got closer than the 200m limit…oops!
  • The 50 mile side trip up the Saguenay was worth it…argueably the nicest place I have ever seen…truly indescribable
  • Jay, for a prarie boy, is AWESOME on a boat, we all need crew like him…come back to us my little scum, I have to mix my own Rum now!
  • PS Didn’t miss Jay last night as it was $1.50 jager night…those who know him know why…….JAGERMONSTER
  • Question: Are there any hot girls in Quebec?  Blair and Chevy: We are looking into it, sometimes?………mostly….
  • All in All, we have developed new friendships and a new saying for when we all look around in awe of our situation, and look into our captains eyes with our own(mostly bloodshot) eyes……New Crew …….Different Trip………….

Jul 09

Overcoming on the Entertainer

For some reason, “what day is it?” seems to be commonly heard, so I think it was Wednesday when we were at Cap du L’aigle and had my last blog post.

After the crew’s afternoon nap, we had dinner and drinks and a little jam session on the boat in the marina. Making some good tunes with Rick on bongos, Dave on the big drum, myself on the harp, and Blair on guitar and blasting out Robert Plant. Must’ve sounded good since we had some visitors stop by later in the evening to enjoy Chevy and Blair putting together some good harmonies. Good stuff.

Next morning, out at 5am and up the coast in beautiful conditions, watching Belugas all the way up. Dave put out the lines to see what we could get, but no luck that time.

Pulled into the Saguenay river just as the tide changed, chased a Minke whale into the river and up we went to Le Baie Eternite which Rick had heard about the night before.

Thousand foot cliff faces directly going into the water and down another 900ft. Just unbelievable. Quebec is just out of this world. I’ll post pics soon.

Got into that bay at 4:20 just as the tide changed again. Another perfect timing. Had a couple drinks and a dip, Chevy demonstrated the showering system in the back sans suit, and even gave us a little extra rotation on his dive to add to the show.

Back down the Saguenay, running a little slower than predicted, 7 knots instead of 10. So we were a little late getting back to the anchorage next to Tadoussac. Rick took us in no problem and shared his hilarious sense of humour with us. Amazing joke telling ability for sure. With all this going on, we were in the back dealing with our “overcoming”, which is the point when a person accepts the surroundings and the situation and becomes one with the experience. It takes a few days because it’s overwhelmingly beautiful and just amazingly wonderful. Or whatever…(nearly a cry fest in the back sharing our feelings with one another, I think we went gay)

Actually, as soon as I was done with my overcoming, I was instantly jettisoned into Tadoussac to catch a ride to the Quebec airport, and on to Toronto. Quite the contrast.

We were up at 5am to ride the tide to Rimouski and last I heard the boys are there now, safe and sound on the south shore of the st. lawrence. I hitched a ride with a guy to try to make an early flight, but he had to do a detour to clear some land he owned along the way, so I offered to help since it would only be an hour delay. So we went up the mountain in Cap du l’aigle and cut trees and I cleared brush. One hour later we were on our way and he took me on a tour of the Charlevoix region, pointing out what he could as we drove through. Took me to a fromagerie and even stopped in on his family for a 20minute quick bite outside Quebec. I’ve decided I’m learning French, buying a Harley, and becoming a lumberjack…in my spare time.

Thanks to Rick, Chevy, and Blair for making this trip happen. Trip of a lifetime for me, wish I could’ve stayed on longer, but that was amazing after the first day really.

I’m out now, so Rick, Chevy and Blair will be taking over and sharing their stories on the blog.


Jul 09

Am I rough enough for ya?

Jay here. Still alive and well. So what started out to be a booze cruise from Quebec – perfect conditions for hours and hours… turned into the back and forth- anxious-for-a-marina tour around Iles Aux Coudre.

We had started out from Quebec on a glorious morning, and headed up the St. Lawrence into glass conditions. Water skiers, wakeboarders beside us. Drinks began to flow like the river because it was so pleasant and enjoyable, and we expected perfect conditions upon the arrival of The Entertainer’s new crew of course.

We set a course for the Charlevoix region, with three possible docking possibilities. We arrived early evening off the coast of Iles aux Coudre, across from Baie St. Paul and witnessed several Beluga whale pods in the area. So because we were making good time at about 9-10 knots, it was early and we decided to spend some time whale watching. The day was without  flaw at that point and seemed to always be getting better. Of course the cocktails were still flowing as scheduled.

We took a peek at the first marina/wharf and it didn’t look optimal. Followed the ferry to the mainland and that wharf wasn’t great either. Anchoring looked like an option but was very unfavorable. So we headed back around to the previous area and looked at pulling into Baie St. Paul across from the island. Nothing but rocks and low water, as it was just an estuary.

So long story short… we had gone back and forth there for  quite a while, going from 12 knots to .2 in under a minute because we were turning around in the strong tide current at that point. Weather turned around completely, strong wind warning in effect with rain just in our little section of the st. lawrence. Blair and Rick were on watch, and watching the same set of lights in the horizon for about 2hrs because of our lack of headway. We ended up anchoring at around 1am at that unfavourable wharf and Dave and Rick monitored the line, repositioning it within 30 minutes because the current had swung us around 180 degrees.

Everything (aside from lack of rest) turned out fine though, thanks to the captain and his crew’s experience. Wish I could’ve helped out more, but I know nothing compared to these professionals, and I was asleep under the deck bouncing around in what Rick says were his worst overnight conditions he’d ever experienced.

What a start to this trip…

We’ve docked at the preferred/only marina between Quebec and Tadoussac now – arrived at 8:30 am. Yes, in the morning. We’re at cap l’aigle next to La Malbaie which, as Rick pointed out means “Bad Bay” in English. The crew needed rest to continue and we wanted to gather ourselves before continuing. Quick tour of the town and back to the boat for a delightful snack designed by Chevy after a visit to the local bakery/cheese shop, and now everyone is out like a light for a mid day siesta.

It’s been an amazing trip so far, beautiful scenery I didn’t expect, great food, and experienced and knowledgeable sea mates. I couldn’t imagine a better inaugural boat trip (I’m from the prairies..)

We’re heading out tomorrow morning around 4:30am to Tadoussac and up the Saugenay River to find more whales. All is well, talk soon


Jul 09

Captain’s Comments

I haven’t had a chance to tell you all how great of a first mate Dennis was. He definitely made the trip easier for me and very enjoyable, and he’ll be missed, but has been replaced by an unbelievable bunch of scum.

We spent our first sleepless night, anchored in four foot waves and now we are in a marina and going to bed after jay’s first full specialty breakfast.

-Captain Rick

Jul 09

About to set sail…

After a load of poutine and les tres belles femmes, we’re about to head out of Quebec on an easy journey to Charlavois about 50 miles up the St. lawrence.

Blair, Dave and I arrived Sunday at 6pm and took a tour around downtown Quebec with Rick and Dennis and found ourselves in the middle of a giant festival. It turned out to be the last night of the Festivale d’ete. So there was concert after concert and buskers and people everywhere. Just an amazing place. We had dinner and drinks and toured around practicing our French, following Rick’s lead.

We ended up at a nice French watering hole and enjoyed about seven songs before Rick decided he had enough and wanted to head out for a poutine run.
Monday morning came and went with us preparing for the next leg and saying goodbye to Dennis.  Sounded like he had a great time aboard the Entertainer for the past two weeks.

Another tour of the beautiful city in the afternoon and back to the boat for an amazing Trout dinner provided by Rick. 10pm and the light show comes on the kilometer long grain elevator building. We were blown away by the hour long video presentation that was projected along the building. Nothing like it in the world. Back deck of the Entertainer with beers and friends, good times.

Tuesday morning and we’ve enjoyed maple buttered bagels, and are setting off. Beautiful weather, summer has finally arrived.


Jul 09

Last Blog by Dennis

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We weren’t passing St. Catherines when I was last able to get internet, we were passing trois-riviere. Rick has just gotten up from a nap and taken the wheel as I was trying to lay down and read. We have now hit 10.5kts a new record and if we keep this up we could be downtown Quebec by 8pm. This could be my last day on the water, probably going to need a few hours tomorrow and than we will have time to refill the propane and gas for the generator and give the boat a good clean for its next leg. Dave, Jay and Blair plan to leave at 7am and meet us in quebec city, it will more than likely end in a good night out before I head home.


We are at marina Portneuf. Our neighbours are a young couple Gilles and Nancy, this is their home marina and they gave us lots of advice. We have prebooked our slip for the night in quebec at basin d’louise and apparently we have a large projection show that is put on every night downtown and we will be able to see it from our boat. They also helped us with the tides, we are now into 10 – 12ft tides. We ordered and had pizza delivered to the boat that was an excellent suggestion from them. Gilles has built his own boat, all steel with a volkswagon engine and their plan is to train it to vancouver and do the coast there. We also had a funny experience with the boat between our boat and theirs. The old guy has had his 27.7ft bayliner for two years, he only used it twice last year and he hit 13 boats (we thought this was exageration, until we witnessed him in action). His daughter had told rick to not touch the bow line, so he left it, and the father reversed with it tied panicked jammed it in forward and ran the boat right up onto the dock and swung the stern in Gilles boat almost running right over Rick. Knowing this would happen Gilles and Nancy were on their boat and managed to prevent any damage. Later on a crowd of people gathered on the dock in fromt of the entertainer and we realized they were there to help him dock. Including rick and i there were 9 people on the docks to help including the marina manager and 4 people gathered on a near by catamaran to watch the event. They had 4 people on the bow with two lines attached, he came in way to fast almost put two people in the water and with all that help still hit the dock, almost hit us and luckily Nancy and one other person were on their boat and if you can believe they didn’t have a stern line ready, the old lady handed me a coiled rope not attached to anything as I was stretched across the water trying to pull them in, thankfully Nancy was kicking their stern towards me. Later on Gilles informed us this guy had to be informed that he had to use his holding tank and couldn’t pump straight into the marina, aparantly he thought because he had an older boat the rules didn’t apply to him, two years of owning the boat and he still doesn’t even know if he even has a tank. Rick and I laughed about the event for hours as I took a 5-0 win in our final crib match.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rick has now been aboard for a month and it has been two weeks for me, we will reach my goal of making to quebec city before I have to return home. It has been a short, but great adventure, a true trip of a lifetime. I enjoyed my time getting to know Ray (who graciously handed over the title of #1 to me) and I enjoyed or nightly ritual of sipping sambuca and eating pie. Rick has been an excellent captain, never making me feel uncomfortable, monitoring his weather and he has prepared the boat to perfection for this trip. We have spent time learning all the ins and outs of the gps and radar systems and have become quit comfortable with their operations just in case.

We have reached the downtown quebec marina. We had one last lock to go through to end my trip, the marina is well protected and is the only thing on the other side. It is with out doubt the biggest marina I have ever been in. The boats are huge.

Rick and I have cleaned the boat, done a oil change and cleaned the racors, she is now ready for the next leg.

Dave, Jay and Blair arrived at 5:45pm, we will reprovision in the morning before I leave.

This trip has given me the full mix of feelings, the excitment of being on the water and the challenge of doing it day after day, missing my family (Julie and Dylan I love you both, see you soon and thanks), the joy of the birth of my niece, and sadly I don’t think this trip will end without the passing of my grandma.

I look forward to returning home where I will post my final blog of this trip and update all the photos. From here on out the posting will be from Dave or RIck. I hope you have enjoyed our trip to this point and thank you all for following along.

Dennis Bedford