The day opens sunny calm and cool with a promise of 17 degrees later. Our watch is the afternoon watch, 12.30 – 4pm but it is not going to happen as we are GOING ASHORE. On the North side of the Gulf of St Lawrence at the start of the St Lawrence river is a collection of islands now part of a national park. Richard intends sailing through these and anchoring at one of them so that we can go ashore for a picnic lunch.
At noon we dropped anchor in a lovely bay of the uninhabited Ile Niapiskau. Some of us boarded the “rib” for the run ashore. ‘Wait’ came the cry from Richard ‘we don’t yet have permission, I’ve been on the phone and they say ‘give us ten minutes’’. Twenty minutes later bosun Dave who was acting as bowman on the “rib” asked to be handed some metal bright and a brush so that he could clean some rust marks off the side of the ship while we were waiting. From Richard we learnt that our request to land was being referred higher and higher! Eventually (it was an hour of waiting) permission was granted. It was not a wasted hour as the stern of the ship was now clean of rust stains. Off we now went the 300 yards or so to the beach.
The beach was formed mostly of a grey sedementary rock which split easily into squares and rectangles , some being ground down to a fairly fine sand. The island itself was perhaps no more than 30 metres high and covered with short to medium height firs of some sort. Most of us ate our lunch without further ado. Some then just sat to enjoy the heat of the sun whilst others walked along the beach or into the island. It was all too soon a return to the ship. It had been a most welcome and enjoyable break for us all.
All back on board and anchor aweigh at 4.30pm, we continue steaming south west in calm water with clear skies.
Bryan et al of the Aft Stbd watch