Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cap a l'Aigle to Tadoussac

On departing Cap a l'Aigle, it quickly became apparent that the Raymarine Autopilot control head was Tango Uniform: it powered up but there was no display and it was unresponsive to button pushes or verbal abuse. I made a couple of cell calls to Raymarine without any real help, and finally called the service people at CMC in Toronto who had helped with the autopilot problems last year. They suggested I express post it to them as soon as possible and they would see what they could do. In the mean time, I was able to engage the pilot with the remote control, which was kept electrically isolated  from the rest of the system for just this reason. However I was able to construct a replacement out of materials and tools on board, that worked just as good as the one removed.

Made of masking tape, plastic sheet, and Sharpie pen, works as good as the Raymarine version

With a forecast of 15-25, we motored and motorsailed, occasionally and momentarily with wind as high as 14 knots. Approaching Tadoussac a squall went over, and we beat into Tadoussac with 20-30 knots and rain for a few minutes. Again a call to the marina, again some language difficulties but the message was clear: No room at the inn tonight. You can however, anchor in Tadoussac Bay. It shelves rapidly from too deep to too shallow but we found a place in 65 ft (deeper than ideal)  with enough room to anchor, launched the dingy and went ashore for dinner. 

Tadoussac Bay, click on photo an expand to see us anchored middle-left frame

The next morning the first order of business was to discover the post office and communicate through no common language whatsoever that this part had to be express posted to Toronto. That done we explored the town a bit, sampled some of their espresso cafes, and headed up the Saguany River toward Baie Eternity.

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