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Down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay Rivers (Part II)

Posted by on July 17, 2012

This post covers our week spent cruising the Saguenay River, which at about 70 miles in length and with depths greater than 500 feet is also the third longest fiord in the world, after another in Labrador and the longest in Norway. Much of the fiord and the land surrounding it has now been preserved as a marine park. Although it ends in the large regional centre of Chicoutimi/Lac Saint Jean, it has a very remote feel that reminded us of our cruises to Desolation Sound, on the coast of B.C.

In addition to being delighted by the scenery and marine life, we also learned about the history of the region, which has seen European settlement since the 1600’s (Jacques Cartier first dropped anchor here in 1535), and native habitation for much longer. Many of the communities we visited, such as Anse-Saint-Jean and Tadoussac, have been in existence for over 300 years. ¬†After spending our entire lives in a ‘young’ city like Vancouver (which was incorporated in 1886), it is thought provoking to wander small Canadian villages that have been in existence for such a long period of time.

The view near the entrance – we started our day with calm waters and finished with 25 + knots of wind and 4′ seas on the nose, but the views were spectacular all the way to Anse-Saint-Jean.

 

View of Anse-Saint-Jean marina and public wharf, which is set in a broad and beautiful bay.

 

The cliffs of Cap Trinite, at the mouth of Baie Eternite.

 

A view of our anchorage at Baie Eternite – the bay extends for about a mile from the fiord; from this lookout we spotted a moose down in the river delta.

 

The outboard decided to get cranky when we needed it most, and it was a long row to the dinghy dock; a fellow boater gives us a tow back.

 

A view of the fiord from Cap Trinite.

 

Ria enjoying a mid-hike rest at the well furnished refuge cabin.

 

This is the statue of the Madonna of Saguenay, which overlooks the river from high on Cap Trinite – this monument, hauled up the cliff by hand in 14 large pieces, was erected in 1881.

 

A view of the statue from the water.

 

Approaching the marina in downtown Chicoutimi, about 5 miles upriver from open water.

 

Hot weather brings an evening thunderstorm to Chicoutimi – this one created a very unique cloud formation, and a lot of rain.

 

We were fortunate to see many more beluga and some minke whales in the Saguenay on our return trip to the St. Lawrence River.

 

Canada’s first official trading post was established in Tadoussac, where the Saguenay meets the St. Lawrence River, in 1600.

 

Farewell to Tadoussac; the red roofed building is the Hotel Tadoussac, in operation since 1864.

Our next stops will be along the St. Lawrence, where we hope to visit some quiet anchorages as well as Quebec City and Montreal.

4 Responses to Down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay Rivers (Part II)

  1. Doug

    Hey guys,

    Great pictures and commentary of the St.Lawrence and Saguenay trip. It is great to see some scenes of Quebec, from your trip, that I have seen from the land. I assume you will be through Montreal soon. Rich will be disappointed as he was hoping to be there when you were as he thought it would be cool to visit you on the boat. He doesn’t go back until the 1st of September. How did “His Idea” like the 4′ seas coming at her? I imagine that gave you an indication of she woud like the west coast.

    Take care,

    Doug

    • john-and-ria

      Hi Doug,

      I was wondering if the Quebec pictures would bring back some old memories for you. Likely the view of Old Quebec has changed a bit, but thankfully not too much.

      Sorry too that we’re going to miss Rich. It would have been great to meet up with him in Montreal. We’ll likely be on the Rideau Canal, or somewhere close to Ottawa, by the beginning of September.

      His Idea can certainly manage the rough stuff, but ultimately it comes down to a matter of comfort. We throttled back to a slow cruise (about 8 to 9 mph) and navigated from inside for the last 8 miles or so to avoid the spray on the bridge when the wind really picked up. It thumps a bit when larger waves come at you head on, but even in 25 knots of wind the boat feels stable and safe.

      Hope you and Roslyn are enjoying the summer. Are you up at Cowichan Lake now?

      Cheers,

      John & Ria

  2. Janice

    Wow! It’s hard to believe you are half way or more than half way through your trip. The pictures continue to be spectacular and I am enjoying the commentary as to what you are doing & where you are. Glad to hear that things are going well and it does look like you are having such a great time. Enjoy!

    • john-and-ria

      Thanks Janice. We hope you’re enjoying the summer too, and that your vacation plans worked out well.

      See you in the fall….

      Cheers,

      John & Ria

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