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Old 13-04-2018, 15:51   #1
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Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

We will be leaving the Great Lakes this June and will transit the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic. We would greatly appreciate any first-hand information on anchorages that you have personally used along the river. Also, any guidebooks that you found useful and accurate for trip planning. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rognvald
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Old 17-04-2018, 04:58   #2
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Do get a copy of this guide
NautiGuide 2018

I do not know if they have an english version.

I would also suggest you get the following

SHC - Instructions nautiques

SHC - Atlas des courants de marée

And if you are not familiar with tides and current do freshen up on these skills as the tides on the St-Laurence river can give you some headaches.

Enjoy.
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Old 17-04-2018, 06:13   #3
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Get a copy of the Tidal Atlas for the River. around $50.00 but well worth it. The tides and currents are at their worst between Quebec and Rimouski. With the atlas you can see the back Eddies. I brought our boat home to Toronto in 2001 with an engine running on 3 cylinders. figured the closer I got to Toronto the cheaper the truck! made it all the way. We were anchored at Tadoussac having a rum after crossing from Rimouski,when we checked the atlas for the next bit. It showed us an eddy so we left against the ebb and went up stream at 10.2 knots we actually flew past some big racing boats who were bucking the tide getting to Quebec for the Quebec St Malo race. I'll dig out my logs and foreward some anchorages for you later today.
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Old 17-04-2018, 09:11   #4
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

We did the Down East Loop in 2016. I did a bit of a blog on it, if you're interested. The St. Lawrence part starts here.

For the St. Lawrence leg, probably the best single book is Capt. Cheryl Barr's Down East Circle Route. It gives you tables for "Playing the Current" which we found very accurate. The Tidal Atlas book mentioned above is also helpful.

There's a book called A Cruising Guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence available at Pilot Press that's also pretty good, if a little dated.

As for anchorages, there are some, but for long stretches your only options will be the small, man-made harbors. The facilities are nice, the people friendly and the prices are usually pretty reasonable.
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Old 17-04-2018, 10:00   #5
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Active Captain was what I used for the St Lawrence, but I think they have just sold out.
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Old 17-04-2018, 10:12   #6
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Hi rognvald, we went out the St. Lawrence to Newfoundland last season. We anchored nearly all the way; only stopping at marinas twice; Port Neuf and then at Baie Comeau. All other nights we anchored out. I did keep a blog starting here, although it is not very nautically focused: Warp Speed Scottie! | CLAFC – Creativity, Learning, Adventure, Freedom & Cessation

I could give you a list of the places we stopped if you like. Not all were what I’d call 'ideal anchorages’, but we did pretty good most of the time.

We did follow the north shore, which I think is less travelled than the south. We did this b/c there seemed to be more anchorages

I think everyone has already mentioned the guides we found most useful:
  • NautiGuide 2018 (probably the best, but bone up on your French)
  • The Pilot Press guide (somewhat useful)
  • Sailing Directions (Federal gvt pubs, quite useful)
  • Tide tables (essential)
  • Active Captain (somewhat useful, good as a cross-reference to Nautiguide)

I wish we had bought the Tidal Atlas for the River (https://www.nauticalmind.com/66390/a...rence-estuary/), but we managed with tides and current info on the charts and in Sailing Directions.

Another great resource when in digital data range (which was almost all the time … surprisingly) is this website: https://slgo.ca/en/navigation/ocean-forecasts/app. It was disturbingly accurate down to a very fine level. We were able to use it to find small eddies and counter-currents that made the journey a lot more enjoyable.

I’m sure you know this, but as has been said, the large tides and very strong currents are hugely significant, especially from above Quebec City, through to Sept. Iles. Even along the north coast through to Mingan, the currents can still be significant.
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Old 17-04-2018, 13:32   #7
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

I'm back.
Don't know where your coming from. So will start from Lake Ontario.Coming out of the Welland Canal You can turn right and go up into the Niagara River to Niagara on the lake. 5 free or very cheap mooring balls.
2. Cross the lake to Toronto, You can anchor in Toronto Islands South of Long Pond enter Tor. harbour through the West Gap keep right around the airport exclusion zone proceed in towards Hanlands point then left beyond Island YC Once in long pond turn right into 1st cut anchor up near the school.
3, Anchor off Wards Island Beach if weather is settled or across in Aquatic Park.
4. East End of the lake Main Duck Island on Canadian side.
5, If staying on South side. Wilson NY, Fair Haven, Sodus Bay, Little Sodus Sacketts Harbour.
6. Cape St Vincent.
East of Montreal. Contrecoeur Good holding in Mud.
7 Outside the entrance to the East of Sorrel.
8 Batiscan River.
9 Mooring field outside Quebec YC at Sillery. Tadousacc outside the Marina.
Running with the tide you can make Cap a laigle. On the next tide either Tadoussac or futher to Rimouski on the S side of the river ( An Oberon class Submarine and a Museum cenred around the sinking of the Empress of Ireland)
After this your on your own unless Mike gives you some more ideas. Enjoy the trip it's a blast. Everyone is friendly it's in Canadian dollars. From just upstream of Taddoussac Whales! Belugas, the odd Sperm whale, Humpty back, Pilot, and the very odd Blue whale or with your name Hval
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Old 18-04-2018, 11:05   #8
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Wow,
Thanks, everyone for the great info/advice! I'm going to digest this first and will undoubtedly have questions based on the information you've provided. My current shock is that the cost of paper charts for the route from Chicago to Florida is =/- $1900. US and I already have complete charts for Lake Michigan. Thanks, again . . . any additional ideas/thoughts are greatly appreciated. Rognvald
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Old 18-04-2018, 11:07   #9
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Do get a copy of this guide
NautiGuide 2018

I do not know if they have an english version.

I would also suggest you get the following

SHC - Instructions nautiques

SHC - Atlas des courants de marée

And if you are not familiar with tides and current do freshen up on these skills as the tides on the St-Laurence river can give you some headaches.

Enjoy.
Flagman,
Are these also available in English? Thanks, Rognvald
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Old 18-04-2018, 11:25   #10
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Is there any advantage to transiting the North or South side of the river? I'll be getting the Coast Pilot and Tides Soon. Also, with the prevailing winds in Summer, how much sailing is possible? Thanks, Rognvald
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Old 18-04-2018, 11:49   #11
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Quote:
Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Flagman,
Are these also available in English? Thanks, Rognvald
The "Instructions nautiques” come in English. They are called Sailing Directions. I bought mine here:

https://ca.binnacle.com/Charts-and-B...313/index.html

I’m pretty sure NautiGuide is only available in French. Google Translate does a pretty good job, and you can download it for offline use.

The cost of paper charts is significant. We were lucky enough to inherit a set from a friend. Didn’t cover everything, but close enough. We had a full set of digital (a few copies) which got us through just fine.

Tides and currents are a significant new challenge for us Great Lakes sailors. Tides reach up to about 25 feet in places, and currents in excess of 8 knots. A couple of places we anchored felt like were were in the midst of roaring river rapid … which I guess we were.

One thing which I hadn’t thought of was the fact that most marinas through the high-tidal area actually dry out during low tide. We have never dealt with this, and I didn’t (don’t) know how my boat would perform with the keel sinking in the mud. In the end, we never tried to enter a marina that dried out, but if you’re not committed to anchoring out, you will have to do this through some stretches.

North vs south; the best choice might depend on where you’re headed once you hit the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I could have gone either way, but decided on the north shore b/c the anchorages looked slightly more plentiful. There are more marinas on the south shore.
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Old 18-04-2018, 12:03   #12
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Paper charts are going the way of the Dodo bird. Look at Navionics offerings for US and Canada for laptops, tablets, smart phones and chart plotters.
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Old 18-04-2018, 13:08   #13
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
One thing which I hadn’t thought of was the fact that most marinas through the high-tidal area actually dry out during low tide.
That's the first I've heard. We only did Trois-Rivières through the Gaspé, and only once, but we never ran into a marina or anchorage like that. Never even saw a mention of it in any guide or on Active Captain. Maybe farther upriver?

Admittedly, some of the marinas didn't offer much more than 6' in spots, so if you need more than that, be sure to ask. But there was always someplace available that was deep enough for all the sailboats we encountered along the trip. Never saw anybody in the mud, like you see in the Bay of Fundy.
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Old 18-04-2018, 13:32   #14
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

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That's the first I've heard. We only did Trois-Rivières through the Gaspé, and only once, but we never ran into a marina or anchorage like that. Never even saw a mention of it in any guide or on Active Captain. Maybe farther upriver?

Admittedly, some of the marinas didn't offer much more than 6' in spots, so if you need more than that, be sure to ask. But there was always someplace available that was deep enough for all the sailboats we encountered along the trip. Never saw anybody in the mud, like you see in the Bay of Fundy.
Maybe a north shore thing??? Definitely some (most?) marinas dried out or got very shallow during low tide from below Quebec City through past Ille aux Coudres. I watched a group of local boaters purposely dry out on a sand bar Ille aux Oise south of QC. Pretty interesting… Seems like a common thing for local boaters. I never had the guts to try it though.
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Old 18-04-2018, 14:14   #15
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Re: Suitable Anchorages in the St. Lawrence River

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Paper charts are going the way of the Dodo bird. Look at Navionics offerings for US and Canada for laptops, tablets, smart phones and chart plotters.
Except that in Canada you are required to carry them.

To help make navigation safer, the law requires you to carry the following
for each area you plan to boat in:
• the latest edition of the largest scale chart (when available);


Chart books or chart kits, like Maptech and others can save a lot of money.
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