We left our dock in Shippegan at 7:15 on August 4 and entered what is called the Shippegan Gully. We did not expect to encounter such rough seas! The waves were four feet plus and close together making for a very difficult cruise. It got so rough that the waves actually came up and over our bow - a first for us! They were so strong that they washed our heavy power cable from the bow to the side of the boat (but fortunately not overboard)! Even Diva Di said these were the worst seas they’ve ever encountered and they have been cruising extensively for years.
Lynn was down below when the the biggest waves hit. It was scary but Jon stayed steady at the helm and we just kept plowing through them. The aft deck was littered with the chairs and ladder that had been secured but still fell over and blocked the doorway. Fortunately things down below were better secured and there was no breakage.
After awhile the waves settled down a little and as the day wore on, the seas calmed even more. We have left the mountainous drama of Quebec and the Gaspesie for the low-lying flatlands of New Brunswick. The area continues to be sparsely populated with villages occasionally popping up along the shoreline.
We decided that due to the tides, the current on the Miramichi River would be against us that afternoon and it made more sense to anchor at the start of the river in the Bay Du Vin. We arrived there at 3:30 and had a relaxing afternoon reading and doing chores and paperwork. Someone at the last marina had given us some freshly caught mackerel so Jonny made a delicious dinner for the two of us.
We went to bed early and it started to storm – thunder, lightening, heavy rains and strong winds. Jonny was asleep but Lynn became uneasy and got up to look around. We had noticed earlier that in addition to Diva Di, a very large boat (60+ feet) had anchored even closer to us. Lynn woke Jonny to see if he had put on our Drag Queen, an electronic device that sets off an alarm if your anchor starts to drag. He hadn’t, so he got up and turned it on. However, Drag Queen doesn’t tell you when another boat is dragging its anchor. Lynn was still uneasy and kept looking out the window at the large boat that seemed to be getting closer. It’s hard to see through the pouring rain at night so Jonny got the spot light on them and confirmed that they were indeed getting closer! We tried to contact them by radio but with no success. So we sounded the horn and started the engine hoping upon hope that that they would realize what was happening and move – FAST!! Finally, with our spot light on them they started moving away from us but they were probably 20-30 feet away before they did so. It was much too close for comfort!!
They tried to set their anchor in a different spot but we felt that they were still too close. Jonny was able to call across to them and eventually they moved further away and anchored for the night in a more secure manner.
So much for an early night! I don’t know how many times each of us woke up afterwards to check on whether they had dragged again. We finally fell asleep only to wake up early for our planned journey up the Miramichi River. The first thing we did was look out the window to see where they were but they must have skulked out of their anchorage before sunrise!
But all’s well that ends well – everyone was safe and could live to tell the tale.