Yesterday was the scheduled trip up du Fjord-du-Saguenay. That would be the fjord cut by the glacial ancestors of the Saguenay River. We got up fairly early, and after hours of dithering about (1) whether the wind and tides would allow travel up the river and, if so, (2) when a departure would be safe, we settled for 12:30. Which would’ve been quite reasonable if we’d been sleeping instead of dithering.
Unfortunately, the sun peeked out only sporadically, which meant a lot of grayish photos. But the scenery from the water still was spectacular.
Back in the days of early exploration, sailors ventured out past the borders of nautical charts to what they understood might be the place where sea monsters guarded the edge of the world. They must’ve been terrified heading into the gray abyss. We know exactly how they felt. Because we were in their exact situation.
We were sort of surprised to learn that we hadn’t paid for electronic charts to get us deep into the Canadian frontier. As if that wasn’t enough to scare all but the foolhardiest into turning back, our depth gauge decided to show 16 feet when the last charted depth we could see was 863 feet.
The good news is that the edge of the world is at least out past Baie-Éternité. Eternity Bay. Our destination yesterday. We have proof, because here’s Misty Pearl in the middle of it.
Bay Eternity is guarded on one side by Cape Trinity, so named because it has three steps.
The story is that some dude fell through the ice here in about 1881. He prayed to the Virgin Mary to save him. There’s no way for us to know whether it actually was intercession by a woman in a sexless marriage who gave birth some 2000 years ago or just luck that saved him, but he attributed his survival to the former. As thanks, he commissioned a huge lead-coated statue. The dude then paid some slob to lug the statue part way up the mountain. A lot of people hike up there to see her, but we found a zoom lens and a drone to be much more efficient.
Supposedly there’s also a giant cross up there somewhere but we didn’t spot it.
Rather than return to Tadoussac yesterday, we stopped off at Anse-Saint-Jean, a tiny village some twenty-five miles into the fjord. Very cool little place. The fantastic restaurant part way up the hill had a balcony from which we could see both Misty Pearl and the storm clouds bringing the rain and thunder that slammed us moments after we got back to her.
Somehow we’ve got to figure out this whole foreign exchange-rate thing. Or maybe it’s because Canada uses the metric system. Either way, up here zero percent chance of rain clearly means 100%.
Today we traveled back down the fjord to Tadoussac. We read somewhere that the name “Tadoussac” comes from the native word for breasts, because of the hills around here. We wouldn’t make that up. However, if the hills around here looked substantially more boob-like than, say, every other hill in the world, we’d have pictures. We don’t have pictures. We figure either the story isn’t true, or they gave naming rights to a preteen boy whose mother had taken away the magazines he thought were well-hidden under his mattress.
The marina promised us our old spot on the T-head but when we pulled in today, they instead jammed us up in a corner by the fuel dock. We do get a good look at all the people who pay upwards of a hundred dollars each to go out and look for whales, however, so there’s that.
Tadoussac and Anse-Saint-Jean are two of the most beautiful villages in Quebec. We know this because both of them are in the Association of The Most Beautiful Villages in Quebec. If they’re beautiful enough to be two of the thirty-eight members in the Association, they’re beautiful enough for us. Anyway, we had time this afternoon to see more of the local sights.
For example, the Oldest Wooden Church in Canada—Petite Chapelle de Tadoussac built circa 1747—is in Tadoussac. After the debacles with old trees in South Carolina and boat speed records we’re kind of leery about even mentioning claims like this, but the church is pretty cool. We also popped in to the historic Hotel Tadoussac.
The Hotel Tadoussac was the main location used in the The Hotel New Hampshire, starring Rob Lowe. Apparently it was way less costly to shoot in Canada rather than New Hampshire. The movie wasn’t a huge hit—quite possibly because it starred Rob Lowe—but we plan to watch it tonight anyway.
Tomorrow we’re crossing the Saint Lawrence to Rimouski. Maybe see some more whales. However, there’s a zero percent chance of rain tomorrow, which probably means we’ll be unable to travel because of rain.