Our trip down Placentia Bay was great, and we were treated to warm weather and sunny skies. The winds however were not in our favour so it was largely a motor sail which made for a longer trip to St. Lawrence, just 70 nautical miles south. It took us about 14 hours. We seemed to be headed against a tide and consequently we had a wee bit of slamming and spray.
We were surprised with the lack of seabirds in the bay, by far the quietest we’ve seen so far. Its surprising that a bay as large as this one was so devoid of any signs of wildlife.
We tied up to fishing boats at the dock in St Lawrence before sunset. There is still an active fishery here and the processing plant is busy with processing of sea cucumber. One local told me the crew who work with the sea cucumber are not very fussy about it because ‘they’re right slimey’.
The forecast for the next couple of days were high winds, so we expected to be in St Lawrence for a stay.
The dock was a little difficult to maneuver because the boat we tied to was much higher than Ingomar and stayed pretty far off the wharf. I’ve come to realize that there is definitely a degree of fitness and flexibility required for this lifestyle. I cannot tell you how much jumping, leaping and stretching we’ve done since we started this trip just getting on and off our boat.
The Port Authority is run by volunteers and for $20 a day you get a place to tie up, showers, laundry and wifi. Not bad!
St. Lawrence is a vibrant place, with a beautiful backdrop of craggy hills. The town was celebrating St Lawrence Day on Saturday with a parade and other festivities and the sense of community spirit was very apparent. Lots of flags and it seemed like everyone turned out.
Al and I planned a hike out to Chambers Cove where the Truxtun and Pollux disaster had taken place. We only got so far and were diverted to a beautiful beach and also saw some beautiful native flowers along the way.
After 2 days we were getting antsy to move on and decided to try a run for St. Pierre on Sunday morning.
We left the dock around 6 am under foggy conditions and seas 2-3 meters. Thirty minutes out, after slamming and rolling incessantly, we turned around and put the anchor down in a cove outside St Lawrence to see if it would calm a little. We tried again at 10:30 and decided it was a little better, so we headed south west.
The run to St Pierre was 36 nm and we covered it in 7 hours. The fog was close so we didn’t get to see much, including the Lawn Ecological Reserve which I had been anticipating. My sister, Chantelle who is a bird biologist, told me about it. But there were shearwaters around and they flew with us for most of the trip. These little guys are amazing acrobats. The sea state was still significant so there was a lot of motion during the trip. (I have video which I’ll post later).
We tied up at the St. Pierre Yacht Club wharf, next to the trimaran, the Sultanate of Oman. This ship looks like a spaceship but at this point was pretty broken up after she had flipped in a transatlantic race the week before. Thankfully, All her crew were OK.
Immigration came aboard, followed by Customs; the two offices are separate in St. Pierre as they operate under the government of France. After clearing customs, we secured Ingomar, popped a nice Pinot and settled in for the night dreaming of fresh croissants.