I did (most of) this trip in 2011. I am not looking to sell my charts (as I am doing the trip again in 2015), but I assume you have run into the same problem that I did; individual Canadian Hydrographic Charts are expensive, and there are no chart books
available (unlike NOAA, CHS data is not public domain).
Instead of spending close to $2k on all the CHS charts one would need to cover the area, I bought a set of charts from Bellingham Chart Printers for around $400. They are 2/3 sized, hi-def grey scale copies of US Defense Department charts. I found them to be perfectly serviceable. I compared them to CHS charts from the Canadian cruisers we met on the trip, and they seemed spot on. One of my new friends from Quebec
, jealous that my charts were 1/4 the cost of his (and probably because my purchase
did not contribute to the Canadian government), raised an eyebrow when he saw the US Defense Dept. copyright
and remarked "Ha!, I knew all along you guys have been planning an invasion!"
The three portfolios you'll need are:
#155 Cornwall to Gaspe (23 charts)
#153 PEI to St. Georges Bay (14 charts)
#163 Cape Breton to Yarmouth (35 charts)
There is one thing however you will need from the CHS. I would not venture into the eastern St. Lawrence River without the "Atlas of Tidal Currents". Direction and speed of the currents are shown hourly on detailed river charts. Every bend in the river is different, and knowing which bank to hug, or which way to go around certain islands is critical information in a tidal river that changes direction twice a day, at speeds up to 7 knots in either direction.
If you don't already have it, get the "Down East Circle Route" by Cheryl Barr, but don't be fooled by its optimism -this can be a challenging trip.
It is a trip worth the extra effort and planning. Bring lots of warm clothes (think of siting on a broken-down chairlift at a ski resort instead of your cockpit), learn a little french, and don't believe it when you read that Shippigan Gully, Escuminac, and Chandler all have six feet of water
at low tide (because it's really only 4.5').