July 11, Monday – St. Jean, Quebec
Our nice anchorage in Lake Champlain didn’t want us to leave. The anchor winch was unable to pull up the anchor – it had become stuck on rocks or other exciting items on the bottom. Dirk backed up to pull it even harder but the anchor chain unraveled instead (it isn’t supposed to do that!) We had a few moments of concern and creative thinking on how we were going to deal with this challenge, but then Dirk spun the boat around and pulled from the opposite direction and we were freed. Whew!
We will soon enter Canada and the Richelieu River and canals that lead us to the mighty St. Lawrence River.
We traveled north to the end of Lake Champlain, the beginning of the Richelieu River, and came to the US/Canadian border. Dirk was happy to be back in Canada – his country. The white building is the Canadian Custom Wharf. We also saw a 1812 fort just before we entered Canada – with a “for sale” sign on it!
And then a funny thing happened with our Garmin chart plotter that contains all the river and lake maps – it went blank above the border! The previous owner obviously never needed Canadian maps and it hadn’t occurred to us that they might not be there. We have chart plotter backup maps on the iPad, but we need them on our main navigation device. So instead of finding a free dock for the night we are in a marina, Le Nautique de St Jean, since we need power and internet to upgrade the Garmin before downloading Canadian charts. I ended up walking a few miles to get an SD card, called Garmin twice, and are still working on it. Ah, technology!
The town of St. Jean is lovely and larger than I expected. I saw an impressive theater and a lot of two-story homes on the 12 or so blocks I walked, some with flowers and some right next to churches. So far my lack of French isn’t an issue as I can ask in French if they speak English. Everyone has been very nice and tried to find someone else that speaks it if they don’t.
Tomorrow we’ll go through nine locks on our way to the St. Lawrence River. We are glad it is the middle of the week so we don’t need to contend with weekend traffic.