I was joking when I said that a couple of days ago, but after the temperature went down to 10°C last night, I think I’m serious. We had to dig out clothes we haven’t seen since October, and, (*cringe*),…socks.
We had a long day on July 21st going from Sorel-Tracy to Montréal. The St. Lawrence current was against us, so about 4.5 knots was about the best we could do most of the day. The Montréal skyline finally came into view sometime after 6pm…
By the time we got to the Jaques Cartier Bridge, the current was the worst we’d ever seen. I thought the worst was with the 9 foot tides in Georgia, but no, it took a short stretch of the St. Lawrence less than 200km from home to truly educate us about strong current.
We were barely doing one knot (which is about 1.85 km/hr!) with the the engine “wide open” as they say. It was stressfull because we were making the poor Westerbeke work harder than it normally did and it felt like we were getting nowhere. We’d intended to go to a cheaper marina further west, but ended up at the Montréal Yacht Club ($2.25/foot/night) instead ’cause we were so anxious to get out of the crazy current. This was the third most expensive marina we’ve stayed at after the 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan (awful, terrible, but $2.75/foot) and Chub Cay, Bahamas (pretty awesome, and $2.75/foot). The splurge at the Montréal Yacht Club got us all the fluffy white towels we want in the clean, modern shower facilities and secure, calm, comfortable dockage in the Clock Tower Basin in the Old Port – totally worth it.
We took advantage of Montréal’s Bixi bike-sharing scheme to get around town. For $7 you get 24-hour-access to a bike – the catch is that you have to do your getting around in 30-minute (or less) trips. You pick up a bike at a station, but have to check it into the next station within half an hour, or you pay more than the seven bucks.
It worked out pretty well for us, except that a couple of the pick-up/drop-off stations shown on our Bixi map weren’t actually there (particularly near McGill University where there is a fair bit of construction going on).
We haven’t had a good bike ride since our Dahon threw in the towel in Turks & Caicos, and we discovered after biking around some of the hills of Montréal that we’re both in pretty bad shape. We were hobbling around the next day with very sore calf muscles (pathetically, they still kinda hurt).
We like the parks on Mount Royal, so like every other time we’ve visited Montréal in nice weather, we had a picnic on the mountain.
We enjoyed our stay, but got moving again yesterday, July 24th, and completed the Lechine and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue canals (six locks in total).
We bumped the bottom a few times in the Lechine canal between Locks 2 and 3, but other than that had no problems. Our keel has seen worse.
We arrived in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in the late afternoon, and got moving again this morning shortly before 9. We’re aiming for Montebello, but we’ll see how we do.