A Rest Day for Deckhands

This morning (unfortunately) was the mid-stay mark. We needed a reward: a quiet rest day. VACATIONS, FINALLY! We woke up at anchor close to Ile aux Pommes, where we arrived the day before under a shy sun hidden behind clouds (it is important to specify that we could wake up at 9). Our three “cooks” made us breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, toasts, crepes, fruit and – obviously – coffee! We weighed anchor under the bright sun, still partly hidden by a few rebellious clouds.

We set sail again to reach the river’s northern coast, passing close to Cap-du-Bon-Désir for a second time, hoping to see one or two whales in the early season. During the crossing, Simon allowed us to better understand tide calculations and their importance for navigation.

Later, Alexis used figurines to introduce marine species of the St. Lawrence, specifically mysticetes and odontocetes. After about two hours of navigation, we reached the opposite coast of the river, right on time for lunch. Two banana breads were devoured in three minutes – no joke. Three sails out of four were raised, much to our delight!

The afternoon was very chill. Reading, learning, cooking, tasting, napping or tanning: to each their moment of happiness during such a magnificent day. We (almost) saw a whale, but 40 curious eyes probably intimidated it a bit. Thanks to Elizabeth, we broke a sailing speed record of 1.4 knots! The calm waters of the St. Lawrence took us to port, slowly but surely. We anchored close to Forestville at about 9 o’clock at night.

We had a chance to lower the sails in front of a breathtaking sunset. Our big coats spent the day on our berths and our faces are still marked with the trace of a beaming sun. At the end of the day, so many smiles expressed the happiness it had brought upon us, along with the beautiful St. Lawrence. The night is ending in the square for some, and on the bridge for others, as we enjoy some fresh air without shivering and observe the river. We’re thinking of watching a movie and eating some popcorn (never a bad idea) but in any case, we’ll all sleep well. The expedition still has lots of surprises in store for us, and we frankly can’t wait to keep on learning. Vacations are not quite over yet…

This text was written by Lisandre Guertin in 2018, for the Défi environnement du Cégep Édouard Montpetit. It was later translated by our team.

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