This post is quite photo-heavy, because this corner of Canada is quite photo-worthy. As we noted earlier, Jacques Cartier landed in Gaspé nearly 500 years ago. Supposedly he erected a cross but nobody knows exactly where. The huge granite one placed in town to solidify Gaspé’s claim as “The Birthplace of Canada” obviously isn’t the real one but maybe it’s close to the right spot. Maybe not.
One of the iconic sights in Canada is Rocher Percé, i.e., Pierced Rock. We knew we’d be cruising past it later but the weather is fickle and we wanted to see it on a clear-ish day. Doug found a secluded spot from which to chuck up the drone for a few shots.
Dana took the opportunity to bust out the big lens for Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé. Boneventure Island is home to the largest colony of Northern Gannets in the world. There are hundreds of them. Actually there are thousands of them. Actually there are some 116,000 of them, according to people who presumably wouldn’t just toss out numbers without counting them one by one.
Now that’s damn cool. The island also sported purple something or others.
Yesterday we headed out to Forillon National Park. The idea was to all hike up to that scenic lighthouse on the cliff and get some epic—albeit perhaps slightly illegal— drone video. About 200 yards into the steep four mile path, however, one of us decided he’d much rather nap in the car.
Dana lugged him a bit further and then gave in. Doug went on up to drone, only to find drone-killing winds that forced the judicious decision to stand down. So we settled for the same photos that every other schlub up there has on his or her phone.
We did, however, possibly, if not probably get to the bottom of those fields of yellow something or others. Brenda’s Goldenrod.
Then time for chores.
When we were in Quebec City a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that sometime prior someone snuck onto the boat, went down into the engine room, found where Doug keeps the fresh oil, and stole one of the gallons we needed for an oil change. That may sound improbable, but it happened just that way. One of us thinks maybe Doug miscalculated how many gallons he had on board last time he purchased some, but the other one of us is pretty confident we were burgled. Time to beef up security. Maybe replace our sleep dog with a guard dog or something. The point is that there wasn’t a drop of synthetic oil to be found in Quebec City, but the Canadian Tire in Gaspé hooked us up. So yesterday we changed the oil and cleaned the boat. We finished up just in time to welcome No Drama—Jeff, Ann, and their lutefisk-eating Minnesota friends Mike and Stacy—to our dock.
Big fun aboard their boat, but we stayed up way too late for the early departure we needed this morning.
Off at six for the ten-hour trip down to Shippagan. As we sort of expected, it mostly was a hazy day unfit for scenic photos. Dana perfectly framed a tour boat as we passed by Pierced Rock, but the haze made our decision to drive down look pretty brilliant.
Loopers—including us—have a healthy respect bordering on fear about cruising the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay in sketchy weather. Toss in the Albermarle Sound as well. Plenty of spots to die or throw up. The Bay of Chaleur is bigger and arguably more treacherous than all three of those. Combined. The books warn that the water can be glassy one minute, then the winds whip up from crazy directions. Impossible to predict. But we had no choice other than turn back and run away, which isn’t much of a choice. Fortunately except for a couple of pitchy hours in the middle, things were pretty calm.
Still a long day though, and on long days we tend to watch the clock. In the middle of the Bay, Navionics abruptly changed our ETA from 3:37 to 4:47. What the hell? Is there a road block or something? Oh yeah, Atlantic Time now. That means no phone calls from Arizona after about noon back there.
So now we’ve left Quebec, which is kind of sad. We loved Quebec. New Brunswick welcomed us into Shippagan with a white lighthouse like it was our marina in Marathon. How do you say Faro Blanco in French?
Tomorrow the weather sucks so we’re staying put.