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A CRUISING GUIDE TO THE GULF OF SAINT LAWRENCE

By Ralph Sullivan,2014-07-06 13:07
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THIS GUIDE DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO REPLACE THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN SAILING DIRECTIONS OR NAUTICAL CHARTS, BUT TRIES TO FILL IN WITH PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF SAILORS WHO ...

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    A Cruising Guide to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence

    Edited by Jim Evans

    This guide covers the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence divided, somewhat arbitrarily, into the following regions:

    1. La Côte du Nord - the Quèbec shore from Sept-Iles to Blanc Sablon, including the Ile

    d'Anticosti

    2. Les Iles de la Madeleine

    3. Prince Edward Island, including the Northumberland Strait

    4. Miramichi Bay to Baie des Chaleurs and Cap de Gaspé

    5. The St. Lawrence below Quèbec City to Sept-Iles and Cap de Gaspé

    Published by members of the Cruising Club of America

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    We are constantly looking for updates on ports and anchorages. If you have cruised any of these areas in the past few years we would be grateful for your observations, particularly on off lying dangers, cautions on entry, quality and availability of shelter and remarks on shore side facilities and attractions (or otherwise). You get your name in print! Please send information to:

    Jim Evans,

    134 Machon Point Road,

    Murray Harbour, PE

    Canada

    C0A 1V0

    or, preferably, by e-mail to: james.evans@pei.sympatico.ca

    Where place names appear in French on the charts I have not tried to translate them (as above). However, the most important descriptors are:

    anse cove île island

    archipel archipelago îlet - islet

    baie bay passage or passe - pass

    banc bank pèninsule peninsula

    battures flats rivière - river

    brisants breakers rocher - rock

    chenal channel récif reef

    dètroit strait traverse crossing

    haut-fond - shoal traversier - ferry

    havre - harbour

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

    We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of Small Craft Harbours Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in allowing us to use aerial photos of harbour installations from their website. And, of course, thanks to all the sailors whose sharing of their experiences made this volume possible.

    Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Jim Evans, Editor

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Table of Contents

    How to use the Guide ..................................................................................................................6 Getting to the Gulf ......................................................................................................................6 Cruising in the Gulf .....................................................................................................................8 Charts and Stuff ..........................................................................................................................9 La Côte du Nord - from Sept-Iles to Blanc Sablon, including the Ile d'Anticosti ........................ 11

    Sept-Iles ................................................................................................................................ 11 Anse à la Marmite ................................................................................................................. 12 Ile du Corossol ...................................................................................................................... 13 Ile Grande Basque ................................................................................................................. 13 La Grosse Boule .................................................................................................................... 14 Rivière Moisie ....................................................................................................................... 14 Havre à la Goèlette ................................................................................................................ 15 Rivière aux Loups Marins ..................................................................................................... 16 Rivière au Tonnerre ............................................................................................................... 16 Anticosti Island, Port Menier ................................................................................................. 17 Anticosti Island, Baie Sainte-Claire ....................................................................................... 18 Mingan .................................................................................................................................. 18 Havre St.-Pierre ..................................................................................................................... 20 Archipelago de Mingan ......................................................................................................... 21 Ile à la Proie .......................................................................................................................... 22 Ile à Samuel .......................................................................................................................... 22 Havre St. Charles .................................................................................................................. 22 Baie des Grès and Havre de Betchouane ................................................................................ 23

    Baie Johan-Beetz ................................................................................................................... 23 Natashquan ........................................................................................................................... 25 Baie Coacoachou ................................................................................................................... 26 Cape Whittle ......................................................................................................................... 26 Harrington Harbour ............................................................................................................... 26 Passe Aylmer ........................................................................................................................ 28 Havre de la Croix .................................................................................................................. 28 Anse du Petit Mécatina .......................................................................................................... 29 Baie de la Tabatière ............................................................................................................... 29 Havre Boulet ......................................................................................................................... 30 Havre Du Gros Mécatina ....................................................................................................... 30 Baie du Portage du Canot ...................................................................................................... 31 Rivière Kécarpoui ................................................................................................................. 31 Petit Rigolet .......................................................................................................................... 31 Saint Augustin ....................................................................................................................... 32 Grand Rigolet ........................................................................................................................ 32 Bayfield Harbour to Cumberland Harbour ............................................................................. 33

    Baie de Jacques Cartier ......................................................................................................... 34 Baie de Brador ...................................................................................................................... 35 Baie de Blanc Sablon .......................................................................................................... 36 L‟Anse au Clair ..................................................................................................................... 37

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    Les Iles de la Madeleine ............................................................................................................ 38 Millerand (Anse à la Cabane) ................................................................................................ 39 L‟Etang du Nord ................................................................................................................... 40

    Pointe du Cap ........................................................................................................................ 41 Cap du Dauphin .................................................................................................................... 41 Old Harry .............................................................................................................................. 42 Grande Entrée ....................................................................................................................... 42 Havre aux Maisons ................................................................................................................ 43 Cap-aux-Meules .................................................................................................................... 43 Havre Aubert ......................................................................................................................... 44 Ile d‟Entrée ........................................................................................................................... 45 Prince Edward Island, including the Northumberland Strait....................................................... 47 Northumberland Strait Ports of P.E.I. ........................................................................................ 48 Wood Islands ........................................................................................................................ 48 Pinette River ......................................................................................................................... 50 Hillsborough Bay .................................................................................................................. 51 Charlottetown ........................................................................................................................ 52 Victoria ................................................................................................................................. 53 Borden .................................................................................................................................. 55 Summerside .......................................................................................................................... 56 West Point ............................................................................................................................. 57 West Coast of PEI ..................................................................................................................... 58 Howard's Cove (Seal Point) ................................................................................................... 58 Miminegash .......................................................................................................................... 58 Skinners Pond ....................................................................................................................... 58 North Shore of PEI .................................................................................................................... 58 Alberton (Northport) ............................................................................................................. 59 MalpequeBay ........................................................................................................................ 60 New London Bay .................................................................................................................. 61 St. Peter‟s Bay ....................................................................................................................... 61

    East Shore of PEI ...................................................................................................................... 62 Souris .................................................................................................................................... 62 Fortune Bay .......................................................................................................................... 63 Annandale ............................................................................................................................. 64 Launching Bay ...................................................................................................................... 65 Georgetown ........................................................................................................................... 66 Cardigan River ...................................................................................................................... 67 Brudenell River ..................................................................................................................... 67 Montague .............................................................................................................................. 68 Graham‟s Pond ...................................................................................................................... 69

    Murray Harbour .................................................................................................................... 70 Beach Point ........................................................................................................................... 72 Murray Harbour Village ........................................................................................................ 73 Murray River......................................................................................................................... 74 Greek River and Mink River ................................................................................................. 74 Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Sides of Northumberland Strait ............................................. 76

    Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Jim Evans, Editor

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    Havre Boucher ...................................................................................................................... 76

    Bayfield Wharf/ Pomquet Road ............................................................................................. 77

    Cribbon‟s Point (Cribbean Head) .......................................................................................... 77 Ballantyne‟s Cove ................................................................................................................. 78

    Livingstone Cove .................................................................................................................. 79

    Arisaig .................................................................................................................................. 79

    Lismore Wharf (Baillie Brook) .............................................................................................. 80

    Pictou Island ......................................................................................................................... 82

    Pictou .................................................................................................................................... 82

    Caribou ................................................................................................................................. 84

    Brulé Harbour ....................................................................................................................... 84

    Tatamagouche Bay ................................................................................................................ 85

    Directions .............................................................................................................................. 85

    Richibucto ............................................................................................................................. 89

    Miramichi Bay to Baie des Chaleurs and Cap de Gaspé............................................................. 90 Miramichi ............................................................................................................................. 90

    Shippagan ............................................................................................................................. 91

    The St. Lawrence below Québec City to Sept-Iles and Cap de Gaspé ........................................ 92 Quèbec City .......................................................................................................................... 92

    Quèbec City Yacht Club ........................................................................................................ 92

    Marina du Vieux Port, Bassin Louise .................................................................................... 93 Routes below Québec City .................................................................................................... 94

    North Shore ........................................................................................................................... 95

    Mouillage à la Prairie/St. Bernard de l‟Ile aux Coudres ......................................................... 95

    Cap à l‟Aigle ......................................................................................................................... 96

    Godbout ................................................................................................................................ 97

    Ile aux Oeufs ......................................................................................................................... 98

    Ile du Grand Caouis............................................................................................................... 99

    South Shore............................................................................................................................. 100

    Baie du Ha! Ha! .................................................................................................................. 100

    Rimouski ............................................................................................................................. 101

    L‟Anse à Valleau ................................................................................................................ 103 Cap des Rosiers ................................................................................................................... 103

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    How to use the Guide

    This guide does not attempt to replace the information given in Sailing Directions or nautical charts, but tries to fill in with personal experience of sailors who have actually visited each place described. Their names are noted and the timeliness of the information may be judged from the year each visit was made. Where possible information has been listed under the following headings:

    Directions: how to enter the port in question, with warnings where appropriate

    Berths and Anchorages: Where to berth and recommended anchorages.

    Facilities: facilities available dockside and nearby

    Remarks: comments about local sights, things to do and general cautions.

Getting to the Gulf

    Like most of the best places, the Gulf is a long way away - from just about anywhere. It's over 600 miles from Lake Ontario to Sept-Iles, over 750 miles from New York to the Strait of Canso: and you've only just reached the start of it. It's a big area: over 300 miles north to south, 350 from west to east. Once there, though, you have many choices of types of cruising: open water passages, pottering around fishing villages, or exploring genuine wilderness. One thing there isn't is big

    cities - Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island is the biggest below Quèbec, but with a population of 65,000 a big city it's not!

    Coming from the south, the Strait of Canso between Nova Scotia and Cape Breton is the logical route: it is a long haul around Cape Breton and you are faced with a nasty stretch of water, the Cabot Strait, once you get to the top. If you are coming through the Strait of Canso take the time for a day or two around Ile Madame and the Lennox Passage: it's beautiful cruising and you won't regret it.

    Bound for the Gulf via Newfoundland you could choose to take the route down through the Bras d'Or Lakes and through the Strait of Canso or direct into the Gulf, perhaps via the Iles de la Madeleine. Only the adventurous and hardy will choose to go north of Newfoundland and down through the Strait of Belle Isle.

    Coming from the Great Lakes the choice is between the Gaspé and Northumberland Strait, the Côte du Nord or straight across the middle via the Iles de la Madeleine: the choice will depend on one's taste for the wilderness, for the Côte du Nord has plenty of it. Some combination of these choices will probably suit most sailors best.

    There are a number of Vessel Traffic Separation schemes in the Gulf and River. They are all very clearly shown on the charts, are rarely extremely busy, and in every case it is possible to stay out of them unless you have to cross, which must of course be done as nearly as possible at right angles to Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Jim Evans, Editor

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the traffic. If in doubt, a VHF securité call or a call to Vessel Traffic Operations (see Radio Aids to

Marine Navigation for frequencies and call signs) would be a good idea.

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    Cruising in the Gulf

    For those coming from the States or the Great Lakes the biggest shock will be the paucity of marinas and the plethora of public docks (very few of which ever charge anything for dockage). Most bigger towns will have a marina with the usual facilities, or possibly charge to lie alongside the dock, but fees are usually small: typically a dollar per foot or less, or a flat rate of $15-20. There are a few privately operated marinas or yacht clubs in the larger places or those with a substantial pleasure boating population, and these often offer haulout facilities. However, several larger fishing ports have substantial travel-lifts for hauling the fishing boats and these are available to the public.

    In the smaller ports it may be necessary to lie alongside a fishing boat. Ask around and you may find one that is not leaving at 3 in the morning. In any case use long lines and tie direct to the shore, not to the boat, and the fishermen will extricate themselves without waking you. I have never been asked to pay for anchoring off and I would ask for the credentials of anyone who asked for payment.

    As there are so many small places with wharves it is possible to cruise without a dinghy here unless you are venturing into the wilderness, but a dinghy to get to a swimming beach (the water, particularly in the Northumberland Strait, is warm and conducive to swimming even for the not-so-hardy) or ashore for a stroll is definitely a bonus.

    Many small places don't have a store, or a very marginal one at best, so it is advisable to carry plenty of provisions. If you do get stuck for something a long way from a store, ask around and you may find someone to drive you (or they may sell or give you something). You won't find a car rental except in the biggest places. If you need supplies for the boat, ask the fishermen: there may be a fishermen's co-op or something which will have at least things like rough cordage, epoxy and fibreglass and antifouling, local charts and big green rubber boots.

    Climate: is typically maritime, but with much less fog than the Atlantic coast. Ice persists later in the spring, however, usually disappearing by the end of April but making early-season (May) cruising somewhat rugged. A document that deals with winds and waves in detail may be viewed at ttp://www.meds-sdmm.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/meds/Databases/WAVE/TDC_e.htm, but it only deals

    with Anticosti and the Northern Gulf and is highly technical.

    Text forecasts, synoptic charts and marine weather forecasts may be viewed at

    http://weather.ec.gc.ca/index.html

Where I am aware of specific dangers I have indicated them with a red CAUTION.

    Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Jim Evans, Editor

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    Charts and Stuff

CAUTION

    NONE of the chartlets, drawings or photographs in this Guide is intended for navigation. Channels change, harbours are rebuilt, and the chartlets themselves are liable to distortions in preparation.

    The Canadian Hydrographic Service maintains an excellent interactive website which has all the information about charts that you could possibly want, including dealers in Canada and other countries and how to order direct (usually the best option, as charts will be assured to be the latest updated version). The web address is:

    http://www.chs-shc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/en/

If you prefer to order by snail mail the addresses are:

Central and Eastern Canada Pacific Coast

    CHS Chart Distribution Office CHS Chart Distribution Office

    P.O. Box 8080 9860 W. Saanich Rd.

    830 Industrial Ave, unit 19 Sidney, BC

    Ottawa, ON V8L 4B2

    K1G 3H6 Ph: (250) 363-6358

    Ph: (613) 998-4931 Fax: (250) 363-6841

    Fax: (613) 998-1217 E-mail:chartsales@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.c

    E-mail: a

    chs_sales@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

    I will not suggest which charts you should have as this will depend on your chosen route, depth of pockets, availability or type of electronic charting and comfort level with poking into tight spots with minimal information. (Poking into major ports with minimal information is much easier

    they have a lot more aids to navigation!). If you need to update your charts the current Notices to Mariners are available on line at:

    http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/T34-14-1-27-4E.pdf

As a starter you will need, for the Gulf:

Catalogue of Nautical Charts and Related Publications #1 Atlantic Coast

    Tide and Current Tables Vol. 2 - Gulf of St. Lawrence

    Tidal predictions for individual locations can be obtained via:

    http://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/cgi-bin/tide-shc.cgi?queryType=showRegion&language=english&region=4

    Sailing Directions, Gulf of St. Lawrence

    Sailing Directions St. Lawrence River ATL 110 Cap Whittle/Cap Gaspé to Les Escoumins You can buy the List of Lights, but a current, updated List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals can be downloaded free in PDF form from:

    http://www.notmar.gc.ca/go.document?doc=eng/services/list/atlantic_coast_2004_e

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Radio Aids to Marine Navigation is a useful publication that gives details of marine

    communications frequencies, Vessel Traffic Systems, weather forecast channels and times, canal and lock operations etc. It is available from the Canadian Hydrographic Service at the address above or on-line at:

    http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/mcts-sctm/ramn/docs/index_e.htm

    A very useful publication regarding weather and its effects on sea conditions in the Gulf and River is Secrets of the Saint Lawrence Marine Weather Guide, which can be downloaded free from the

    following site:

    http://www.qc.ec.gc.ca/meteo/secrets_stlaurent/index_e.htm

    It includes an exhaustive list of reference works for those who really want to do their homework before a visit to the Gulf.

    For those planning to visit the northernmost stretches of the Gulf the companion volume to this one, the Cruising Guide to Newfoundland and Labrador, is strongly recommended, as is the Cruising

    Guide to Nova Scotia for the Nova Scotia shores of the Gulf.

For the St. Lawrence River to Quèbec you will also need:

    Sailing Directions St. Lawrence River ATL 111 Ile Verte to Quèbec

    Tidal Atlas of the St. Lawrence this quasi-essential publication gives hour-by-hour graphics of the complicated and powerful current flows in the River and estuary.

    Canadian Tide and Current Tables Vol. 3 - St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers this is a necessary

    accompaniment to the Tidal Atlas giving times of high and low and peak currents.

Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence Jim Evans, Editor

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