Bodacious Dream arrived in Quebec City on Sunday morning after 11 days of traveling from Newport, Rhode Island around Nova Scotia and up the St. Lawrence Seaway. We are now in a full press to prepare Bodacious Dream for the Quebec to St. Malo Race which will start on Sunday. The Race is almost 3000 miles long sailing the first 400 miles out the St. Lawrence Seaway and then across the North Atlantic finishing in St. Malo, France. (Follow it live here.)
I was fortunate to have good friend and fellow sailor, Kevin Finnegan along on the tripâ€”not only helping out with the work of sailing the boat, but manning the binoculars keeping a watch out for whales, boats and other interesting events along the way.
We left Newport on July 4th in the afternoon, a few hours later than weâ€™d planned, but if I were smart, Iâ€™d have waited a few more hours and it would have been a convincing argument that the July 4th celebration and fireworks were a sendoff for us!! Very gentle breezes gave us a chance to catch our breath as we motor/sailed to Halifax where we cleared customs, refueled the boat and spent a night.
From Halifax, you continue east for a hundred miles and then transit the Canso Cut which saves quite a trip around the eastern tip of Nova Scotia. We made a stop there for just a few hours before heading thru the locks and into the outer reaches of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With Kevin on the binoculars, we spotted our first whale!! Locals told us to keep a close eye out for Whales as we entered the Gulf and we werenâ€™tâ€™ disappointed!!
A great night and following day of sailing got us up around the tip of Gaspe and into Riviera du Renard where we met up with fellow Class 40, Red. We stayed in R du R for a couple of days to wait out bad weather and winds before making the last 350 mile trip to Quebec City.
The trip to Quebec City brought us all sorts of sighting of wildlife, many birds, seals, whales and most exciting was the pod of Beluga Whales that seemed to swim around us as we passed thru their territory off Touldasac. Quite a thrill!!
Itâ€™s very busy in Quebec City these days. Kevin left for home yesterday as Emma Creighton arrived. Matt Scharl and Mark Zaranski arrived today and weâ€™ll be a full, four crew strong as we continue to prepare and set up the boat for the race. There seems to be a constant stream of papers and forms to fill out, a list of safety items to locate and purchase, boat repairs and maintenance to do all while meeting and greeting old friends, new friends and the many press people around.
When you get the chance, check out the website www.transatquebecstmalo.com for the race and get your pointers set to the race tracking. This promises to be an interesting and exciting event to follow. There are 21 Class 40 boats in the race, all of which are crewed by top level, international sailors so weâ€™re expecting the competition to be very close and with the currents, winds and interesting navigation challenges of the St. Lawrence, youâ€™re likely to see the lead change many times before we even get to the Atlantic and the crossing to France.
Stay tuned, weâ€™ll have more updates as the start gets closer and we are planning on sending along updates from out on the race course. This will be our first attempt at bringing you right onboard the boat as we are racing.
Dave, Matt, Emma and Mark