Well we said goodbye to the St. Lawrence River pilots at 2300 on the 23rd and we were off towards Cornerbrook. Staying within the restrictions of the traffic separation schemes, coupled with unhelpful wind conditions restricted the setting of the sails, but we did manage to set a few stay sails and the fore Topsail for a while.
The morning of the 24th heralded the first happy hour with lots of enthusiastic cleaning and scrubbing- will it last! We also carried out a fire and evacuation drill it was so good we did it twice.
Days 4 and 5 saw the continuation of the fantastic weather and calm seas, conducive to whale watching and numerous sightings of various species of whale including Beluga, Humpback, Minkie etc., and dolphins.
The good weather also allowed assisted climbs to be done whilst we were motoring; this included Marc going up in his wheelchair. We were motoring along the North side of Anticosti Island. The views were fantastic and many braved the cold and stayed on the platform for some time. The climbs took most of the morning so it meant cancelling happy hour.
Captain Richards’s daily sailing plans were subject to Chief Mate Lesley’s ‘fluid and dynamic’ policy and had to be revised several times due to the changing wind conditions. The chosen option was to motor along the north coast off Anticosti Island, and anchor for a few hours to admire the view of the limestone cliffs. The island is apparently populated by introduced deer.
Drinks in the bar were enjoyed in the evening to celebrate Alistair’s 60th birthday, he spent the morning on mess duty and then had the joy of after his birthday, having a midnight to 04.00 watch. This was the second birthday of the voyage and an excuse for another one of cookies fantastic cakes.
We weighed anchor at 20.00 in advance of a forecasted wind, to get in a good sailing position. The continuing brilliant and clear skies enabled a second night of star gazing for the night watches who were entertained by shooting stars and the clear transit of the international space station.
A birthday one person won’t forget. Cheers everyone.
Forward Port Watch