15 min to write before diner time.
It’s been 2 hours now since I got to Le Havre harbour with my parents. After hesitating a bit on the direction to take in this huge hectic and crazy area - an international shipping harbour is an impressive place - we finally found the ‘Atlantic Terminal’ and Canada Maritime offices. We got then escorted to the ship. It’s usually forbidden to public but when confronted to the task of unloading my father’s Xzara Picasso full of luggage to a little company Clio, the guy decided that, after all, nothing bad could really happen to us if careful to drive clear of everything moving fast on the docks.
Then... How do you actually get onboard a cargo ship? There doesn't seem to be any bell, nor any door for that matter. Good thing the Canmar guy was with us and led us up the gangway (really weird with big bumps, not fun to lift all my 130 kilos of luggage up there - I'm emigrating don't forget).
So, after climbing up the 7 floors of the tower, we finally manage to find and be introduced to the Captain of the Canmar Honour, a Scott, and my parents were able, all excited as they were, to visit the bridge and witness some of the unloading of the containers with the impressive “cavaliers”, these tall cranes/carriers on 8 wheels looking like long-legged spiders and which run full speed to bring the containers some other place.
For now, my impressions? : Fascinating!
People are really nice and relaxed and I’m all smile : at last, the big departure!
Even the workers standing on top of containers in front of my cabin window and assisting the unloading are mimicking how cold they are while I seem to have the nice life here.
Indeed, the officer cabin put at my disposal for 7 days in exchange of some uk£760 (which is FF7600 or can$1500, I’ll let you calculate in Euros all-right?) is as comfortable as a 3 star hotel, perhaps even a 4 star hotel if considering the big bed, the 3 seat sofa, the desk and its big rotating armchair, the fridge, the bathroom with shower and toilets, and lots of cabinets and drawers. My dad helps to stick all my luggage safely around so they don't move... in case (daddy always has a knack for knowing what should be done even in environment he's completely not familiar with... he hates the sea :))
Also on the 4th floor with the passenger's cabins, there's a living room with several sofas and armchairs, TV and VCR, a stereo, books and videos are at the unique disposal of the passengers, namely : me, a middle aged Swiss man who seems to have travelled a lot by cargo ship already and who only wishes that the sea will be bad, Daniel, and a Canadian military man, whom I haven’t seen yet, just back from Bosnia.
A pantry with some food and microwave oven, fridge, kettle, toaster, etc. is also at our disposal in case we need a snack. Indeed, it is said that one should eat well at sea. As for me, I have rillettes, my favorite French cheese and some apple compote in my fridge, just in case I can’t cope with the Indian cuisine all the way. I know I'm being finicky but I have a terribly bad stomach for my age, so I know.
The unloading operations are impressive. Huge crane with rails and cables that can be moved laterally but also back and forth unload the containers which are then taken by the « cavaliers » some other place, no doubt to stock them before trucks come to pick them up.
The ‘tower’ where the cabins and all the rest are, is located towards the back of the cargo ship of this new type. There are around 10 rows of containers in front and 2 to 3 at the back. My cabin window opens towards the front, which means on the containers that are loaded as high as 5 stories. Which means that I won’t be able to see much from here except looking towards the sides. But well, the lounge as a slightly better view and we are allowed to go on the bridge as long as it’s not dark or the weather bad. We can also go out freely on the back decks at the diverse levels of cabins. As far as the main deck is concerned, the one that go around the ship, we have to ask to authorization to go there because of the risks involved : wind, waves, slippery surface, dangerous object falling, etc. That's the main disappointment.
The first diner (I'm a bit worried since we are to eat Indian food all week since the crew is Indian) went very well, even if I was absolutely not hungry. Since the captain is Scottish, maybe the cook has been asked not to spice up the food too much : chicken and noodle soup which was a real surprise, pork and mutton with chick peas (I hate these, Ger - my ex, vegetarian, crazy about Indian food - would laugh) and cauliflower, all this with curry sauce of course, but not spicy at all ; Indian bread and a really good desert : vanilla flavoured semolina I think with pistachios and hazelnuts. I should have taken some more for later!
After the meal, we went up the bridge to see but there was nobody there. When at port, they usually are in the command office downstairs. It’s not really allowed to be up here non-authorized if there is no crew around but let's say we were not really sure of the rules onboard yet ;-)
There is an hurricane on the Atlantic and the Channel should be a bit rough… I should stick my patch against sea-sickness…just in case. I'm not being very brave, I admit, but I have a problem accepting to risk to be sick 3 days out of my maybe only 7 days across the Atlantic.
Ok, tomorrow, up at 4 or 5 am if I want to witness the departure, then breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30. This will be a small night but I’ll have the rest of the trip to rest… and lets not worry while the sea is not too rough yet J
Thursday 29th November 2001
(clocks were retarded by one hour this morning)
Containers were being loaded until late in the night. I obviously haven’t slept much, even if the cabin is really comfortable.
The ship started to manoeuvre to leave the harbor at 6am precisely as planned. A tugboat guided her along the channel. It was pitch dark but the weather was good. I was watching all this from the bridge. The man in charge of guiding the ship outside of the harbour, the pilot (a ship must always be guided in and out of a harbour by a pilot assigned to that harbour) has then left the ship to get back to the coast.
So I watched Le Havre then the French coast disappear into the night. It was very beautiful. All these little colourful dots of light receding into the dark night. We (this will for now on be Daniel and I as we spent most of our time on the bridge) stayed on the bridge until breakfast at 8am (cereals, whole-wheat toasts with salted butter, fried eggs with mushrooms and mango juice) then I went back to sleep a little.
I can feel the side effect of the patch against sea-sickness already, but well I still like that better than stay in bed several day if I’m not well. On the other hand, this would have been a great test to find out if I’m sick or not in high sea, but well, I’ll find out another time.
It’s raining and everything is grey around us. The sea is not too rough for now but we’re still on the Channel, and the captain tells us that things should become worse around midnight tonight.
I’m going outside now before getting back to my book. Then we’ll go lunch at noon. Daniel, the other passenger, who’s used to this, confessed that on a cargo trip, it very quickly feels as if we spend the whole time eating.
It’s almost night on the ocean already. The ship was wrapped with fog and rain all day on the Channel that we are bound to leave behind now. According to the navigation maps, only Cornwall coasts are left to pass a bit north before we find ourselves on the open sea. I went out after lunch. It was raining a bit and it was very windy.
I then read for several hours, comfortably settled down in my sofa.
The bridge is really a very pleasant place. At night, it’s always very dark up there so that light doesn’t prevent the officers to see something outside in the dark (usually there is not much happening out there). The purring of the engines, of the sea and of the wind makes us speak in a hush. It’s warm here and the various displays and dials of the equipment cast fluorescent lights here and there. I love it.
My state of mind, right now?: a feeling of snug, warm and lazy comfort. The rare discordant sounds that could be heard on a ship like this carrying its containers and it’s meagre crew (around 20 people) are covered by the navigation soothing humming.
In an hour the next meal.
Some hundreds of pages read comfortably curled up on the pillows of the sofa, rocked by the slightly rougher swell, now that we are in high sea. As soon as tomorrow morning, things will be more serious. I don’t feel sea-sick at all even if the roll is quite pronounced now. A bit more than an hour ago, I went to the bridge. The immensity of the ocean can be guessed despite the complete darkness outside. Not a single light on the horizon except the little light above the ship prow in front of us. It’s a incredible and fascinating feeling to think how alone we are on such an empty immensity in the middle of the night.
The hurricane is going to be avoided but the ocean should still be a bit rough because of it in the next few days. The waves breaking against the containers start to be quite impressive tonight. The white foam stands out in the dark on each side of the ship.
This morning I missed the change of time; I was an hour late for breakfast. We change time on board every day at midnight but I hadn’t realized that the cabin clocks changed automatically. Don't laugh!
I then went up to the bridge to admire the rough ocean. So far they say that the worse was last night around 4am. I know it was pretty rough since I got up several time to look through my window and I had trouble standing. It was pitch dark outside, couldn't see much.
The captain says that it’s not the season to see whales, that they are already down across the Brazilian coasts; but we could see dolphins or killer whales who like to play and be carried by the waves created alongside the ship.
The high chairs on the bridge are really cool and comfortable to read at the same time as keeping an eye on the ocean so vast in front and all around us.
I’ve just gone out to take a picture of my first brief sun ray since we left. The sky is brighter far ahead of us but, after a brief attempt to go out, I confirm that the wind is very strong due to the high sea but also our speed. We don’t feel like we’re going fast, seen from high above, but if closer to sea level and looking at the water on both side of the ship, one can realize that the feeling of slowness in only due to the immensity that surrounds us.
In 20 min, another meal.
I spend all this sunny afternoon on the bridge observing the ocean undulating and changing colors. The weather change so incredibly fast that hours go by without one noticing it. The sky brightens and darkens at the rhythm of the clouds race. After a few sun rays, the ship goes through a quick shower as if it were a thin and fragile curtain. The western tip of Ireland, north, was passed and we saw 3 fishing boats (our last boats before reaching Québec) appearing and disappearing behind the waves. This is just the kind of things that shows us the misinterpretation of things seen from high above like us and by taking wrong point of reference. From where we stand on the bridge, at least 15m above sea level, and if we don’t take into account the size of the ship [lets give some figures here, if I trust the few notes I wrote one day the captain was in good mood : the ship is 32m wide, 245m long and weighs 45000 tons with her 2800 containers], the waves look ‘reasonable’. However, when seen braking against these courageous fishing boats, it become obvious that these waves are much higher and menacing than we take them for, from our ‘invincible’ high position (wasn’t there something like that the Titanic crew was boasting about?). In fact, these ‘ridiculous tiny waves’ which seem hardly to bother our course are 5 meters high…For now the wind is force 7-8. It is rough enough but I’m not sick at all. We are told that some crew members are not well. It’s true that it’s better to watch the horizon to avoid sea-sickness. They are lower, inside, closer to the engines, where however the ship is the most stable.
After diner, I went back to the bridge to check what was the mood of the ocean. Still the same, even a bit quieter. But the highlight of the evening was to understand what felt different. It was slightly less dark than the other nights. Of course! The pale silver light of the full moon was illuminating the white wake behind the ship! There was only missing a little dolphin jumping in the moonlight to make the picture more perfect. But well, lets not dream, we’ve been observing the huge expanse of the ocean enough to realize that it would require lots of luck to see anything at all.
The captain tells us that in 36 hours, an unavoidable storm will be hitting us full in the face. And my patch against sea-sickness that will be expired!.. I’ll have to take a decision : put a new one or try and take only homeopathy tablets in case I don’t feel well…
Saturday 1st December
Yesterday night, the 3rd Officer, Rahul, called me in my cabin from the bridge because it was snowing and thought I might want to see that. I hurried up, stumbled against the high steps of the steep stairs, but I got there too late. It was already finished. Like a white curtain, the flurry of snow fell on the ship but lasted only a few seconds. I wasn’t fast enough.
Everything's fine. I’m thrilled and proud to live all this. It’s fascinating to think that I’m in the middle of the ocean towards Montréal, my new home that I’ve waited for all this time, as our ancestors did.
Great, marvellous news! We got lucky! During breakfast, I saw my first dolphins! They looked all small due to the deceptive lack of reference, but the captain says that they are between 1,5m and 2m long. They are black and white and they’re trying to follow us. I would have loved to keep on this fascinating observation all day, but the ship is going way too fast for the poor dolphins whom we lost sight of very quickly. I say that we should have stopped all the same! ;-)
We then were allowed to go on the roof of the bridge outside, the last possible floor on the ship. It was obviously extremely windy and very cold and it was a good idea to hold on anything and not to cross too quickly so as not to stumble pushed around by the gusts of wind; but it was exhilarating to be able to feel so closed to nature and its strength like that. I caught sight of another dolphin from there, but we are going too fast for me to have time and get my camera or the binoculars and I watched it get distanced.
Later the day was beautiful, sunny spells gave way, now and then, to hail and rain
: the beginning of the big storm
We’ve been in the middle of a great Atlantic storm for more than an hour now. TERRIFYING. I’m all shaken up and it was almost the death knell of my dear laptop…
Last night, I got rid of my expired patch against sea-sickness, but since I wasn’t feeling great all morning (maybe it was just my stomach that is starting to reject this new exotic diet) and that the day was grey and the sea rather rough with a force 8 wind, I decided to put a new one so that my last days in high sea wouldn’t be spoiled. I know, I'm still not being brave. In a way, as the side effects of those patches are not nice anyway. I can't read late at night, I see all blurred!
Call it a really good idea! From 2-3pm we got into a big storm that couldn’t be avoided with a force 10 wind! Given the bad weather, some crew members had to go out and tightened the containers cables that might have gotten a bit loose with the navigation vibration. For this, given the risks of being thrown overboard by a 10m-high wave (6 crew members were drowned this way last year), once the containers checked on the sheltered side of the ship, le captain slightly slows down the ship to change the direction of the ship and shelter the other side to have it checked. But the strength of the wind and of the swell are then not compensated anymore by the inertia and speed of the ship, and the strength of the elements takes over. The ship and its 2800 tons got then shoved by the waves breaking on its side and changed its angle to end up parallel to the swell. The result of all this? : A terrifying roll ; the ship swaying from right to left, or rather starboard to port as they would say, and not only from front to bottom. I was witnessing this impressive sight from the bridge when the pitch reached 35 degrees and the wind force 11 with enormous waves breaking against the containers. The amplitude of the roll was 15 m, as I could calculate later (not then you guess) since the prow of the ship was in turn at around 2 containers’ height below the horizon, then at 1 container height above. Everything was starting to be falling and caught by gravity on the bridge and I had to sit on a low furniture and grasp its 2 edges so as not to fall. Every body seemed to remain calm though. Worrying for my laptop that I had left open on my desk in my cabin, I decided to get down and check the state of things there. (who says I’m a materialist girl?…) But, by the time I got there, the things had gotten worse and the roll had reached 45 degrees (45 being logically the maximum angle beyond which a boat would turn over, right?, and given the weight carrying by such a cargo, probably sink right away, dragged by the 2800 containers.) Personally I was striving not to think of all this and, lying on the floor struggling against one or the other side of the cabin, I finally managed to gather all the fallen things and force them into all the drawers and cabinets I could find. This is when I understood why the fridge door had a little hook to prevent it from opening by itself. This time the armchair, however very heavy, taking my laptop with it which had fallen on it, but had fortunately closed in the process. The battery had been forced out of its compartment and lied on the ground while my 25kg suitcase, open on the sofa, was sliding back and forth at each new roll. I hoped it would stay up there and not fall on top of me. I was then so sincerely terrified that I was shaking all over and was starting to cry out of powerlessness. What was so alarming too was to hear all the things and furniture of the whole floor going back and forth from one side to the other continually. How lucky was I that my father took care of jamming the bags and suitcases so that they wouldn’t move, in case; or else I would have been crushed by all my luggage against the bed. Sad and ironical accident for a traveller!
It seemed that the whole crew got caught off-guard since lots of things got broken in the ship : chairs and tables that were not properly stowed, etc. and the evening diner that the cook had just finished when the ship started strongly rolling. The captain’s laptop wasn’t as lucky as mine and snapped in two and, on the bridge if I had stayed, I would have seen a really crazy scene. Reaching 42 degrees roll, the bridge, which is the highest floor of the ship and which is the full width of the ship, seemed to be ready to touch the water on each side, in turn. Everything started to get dislodged and fall and get hurled from one side to the other; even the content of the fridge since its door opened (no little hook there! ;-)). Everybody there had to try and dodge what was flying at the same time as striving to hold on tight. Some equipment (printer, binoculars, coffee maker, etc.) got smashed after crashing several times against one wall then the other during all that time or at least until someone managed to stop them. A pair of binocular ended up with an unnatural angle.
Impressing! Fascinating! This strong roll, even if its intensity decreased rapidly (the duration of time seem very relative during such an event) lasted more than an hour and I was starting to find it really long, lying down on my bed holding my laptop wrapped in my bathrobe to lessen the impacts, holding with one outstretched arm against the wall. But what was making me panic the most was actually the noises. The roar of the furious wind, and the crash of the huge waves hitting the bottom of the ship each time she fell back down, the creaking of the containers, the whine of the ship structure struggling against the pressure of the water and of the wind, it was terrifying. What an emotion! I can still taste it.
The kitchen and the dining room were devastated. The oil and all the sauces and liquids imaginable were spilled all over the ground and had covered everything spread by the incessant movements. It was so slippery there that it was impossible to stand. In any case the meal was gone and the kitchen not usable for a while.
It’s now 9:15pm, things are much quieter now, but the storm is still raging. I think I’ll have some trouble sleeping tonight. What an adventure!
After yesterday’s emotions, everything seems to be back in order. Some details (broken chairs and the smudged dining room walls. etc.) reveal that the storm did not only happen in my imagination. None of the crew members had gone trough such a roll before on board such a big ship. I really wonder how our ancestors could get to the New World through such storms in their wooden ships much smaller and much less powerful than this one. The captain says that he goes through such storms 2 or 3 times each winter. But what the crew (which doesn’t seem to like the captain much like most crews it is said) seems to be hinting at is that in such storms, it’s very dangerous to slow down the ship since in this case it’s almost impossible not to lose control of her. But well, maybe the captain would rather risk a few containers than the life of his crew outside.
In any case, everybody is safe. The cook got a bit burned but that’s all and I don’t even have a bruise.
We’ll all remember the storm, it was a rare moment, daunting and terrifying that I might never live again. Good thing I came on board.
Today that the weather is much better, the captain accepted to take us around the main deck to look at the containers (we’re not allowed to go there by ourselves.) It’s indeed very different to see the ocean from closer. The height of the waves can be assessed much more realistically than from the bridge. We could therefore check the damage caused by the storm on the containers. Some had bumps on the side caused by the crashing of the waves; others by their content badly stowed; some containers inside the hull (the ship carries 7 levels of containers inside the hull (or whatever you call this part) and 5 levels on surface) were torn open by some badly fastened content. But, given the intensity and the duration of the adventure, no containers fell off which is a true achievement. That’s all that matters to the captain.
Today nothing to report. It’s dark at 3:30pm and pitch dark at 4pm! We’re getting nearer to the Saint-Lawrence gulf. What a joy! I can’t wait.
I gave some news to my parents thanks to the satellite phone connection of the boat. It must have felt weird to them to imagine me in the middle of the ocean. I didn’t mention the storm by the way ;-)
I’m starting to get really tired of Indian cuisine. It’s good, but the smell and the look of curry are becoming difficult to bear. Good thing there is soup at night and that we can choose not to take sauce. I know this is being fussy but believe me curry smell at 7am is a bit hard for me.
First glance through the window as soon as I’m awake to see that we are surrounded by fog. Before the breakfast of 7:30, I go up to the bridge to see the fog and even some snow falls. Not a chance to see Newfoundland to the South. The ship is going full speed to try and catch the 8 hours lost because of the storm 2 days ago.
As soon as breakfast is over, all of a sudden, the sun appears. At starboard (right) I start to see white cliffs here and there. They look like islands off the north-east coast of Québec! Then I understand (helped by the captain) that I’m witnessing an fascinating phenomenon that I wasn’t not expecting : cliffs I wasn’t seeing a few seconds ago suddenly appear to my sight, but then disappear gradually as we go on, as if melting. This is due to the curvature of the earth that doesn’t allow to see things that are so far that they fall below the horizon line. Yes! The Saint-Lawrence gulf is that big! It’s difficult to take my eyes off these land covered in snow. The captain says that some French speaking people do live there in the middle of this white immensity. I definitely feel the attraction of these uninhabited lands, hardly touched by men.
The captain accepts that we go out on the main deck all around the ship with the cadet (future 3rd officer). The captain doesn’t want to come with us : thermometers show –8 degrees, but with the wind factor it means –35 degrees today. The weather is beautiful but night will come once again very early, 3:30pm, and still no land to be seen at port (left). Tomorrow morning at 8am, we’ll truly enter the Saint-Lawrence river. We should be able to see both banks this time and a Canadian pilot will come on board since only Canadian officers are certified to pilot ships down the Saint-Lawrence.
My impressions on this trip so far : FABULOUS! Not to be missed. It’s so incredible and rare to be able to cross the Atlantic this way. Only Andrew, the other passenger, is bored to death and can’t wait to get to Montréal. Daniel and I feel quite different and Daniel even starts to feel quite depressed thinking of the arrival. Even if I’m looking forward to see Montréal again at last - I’ve been waiting for this for 5 years - I’m enjoying incredibly much this maritime transition, this feeling of being outside of time and civilization and I’d love to go around the world like this. I’m looking forward to see the Saint-Lawrence tomorrow. I hope it’ll be very sunny. We should unfortunately get to Montréal by night and we’ll see Québec at dusk. Never mind, I’ll probably find opportunity to sail up the Saint-Lawrence from Montréal one way or another if I want to.
It’s only 4:50 pm but it seems to me that several days went by since I got up this morning. I saw so many beautiful and impressive landscapes today.
Up at 6:30am to have enough time to get ready and go up to the bridge before breakfast and see the arrival of the pilot. What a cool instinct! At first nothing to report except the immensity of the majestic Saint-Lawrence in front of us. Still only one bank can be really seen. The weather is beautiful. We hope to be able to see some animals but we don’t really count on it. So far, we haven’t seen any living creatures except our few dolphins the other day. It’s a pity. But well it’s not the right season for this.
And then, all of a sudden, a dolphin like the other day… no… a group of 5 or 6 dolphins in fact… then other similar groups that swim pass us up the Saint-Lawrence to reach the ocean. On both side of the ship in fact, a hundred of such dolphins appears and disappears jumping out of the water. Only Daniel and I seem interested. Nobody else is paying attention. The captain even says that it’s not possible and later the pilot tells us the same thing saying that it must have been seals. Seals! Black and white seals with fins on theirs backs!! Seals which would be swimming on the side with one of their fins in the air just for fun! We even saw one of the dolphin leap completely out of the water so we saw it pretty well. Thank you. Nobody wants to believe us but never mind. WE saw them. I even refused to go have my breakfast to keep enjoying this unexpected sight. But they swim so fast up the river and we go so fast the other direction that it’s hard to keep track of them with the binocular. I was so busy looking for other groups each time I would lose sight of one that I didn’t even think of taking pictures. Well, since I haven’t got a zoom on my camera, it wouldn’t have shown anything anyway.
The Saint-Lawrence gets slowly slightly tighter and at the level of the Saguenay fjord, le captain shows us a little white circle at the surface of the water, this is the sign of a Beluga whale. That's all we’ll see of it… The sun reflects its light on the cliffs of the snow-white bank of Québec at starboard. It’s so huge! There is still 5 hours before Québec. The pilot who got on board to guide the ship on the Saint-Lawrence is very nice and surprised to find 2 French speakers on board. The fog falls all of a sudden and quickly we can’t see anything anymore. It’s time to go for lunch then. At 3:30pm, 2 other pilots from Québec city will replace this one. In the meantime we cannot make out anything outside but the captain says it won’t last. It’s true that there is a thin line of shiny light right ahead of us on the horizon. (that's the first picture on top of this page)
The sun reappears indeed to let us admire the 2 banks and all the islands : l’île rouge, l’île d’Orléans, etc. Villages are more and more numerous on the river banks. The sky darkens again. No! We have to be able to see Québec city!
Here is it, the city in the distance. I’ve been to Québec city only once in my life by land from Montréal, but I can’t be mistaken, this is it. I can see the green roof of Frontenac between some high buildings. The approach seems so slow. On the right hand, the captain tells us to be ready, there will be the Montmorency falls, but not for long. Then here it is, Québec city is fully ahead of us with Frontenac all lit up. Night is falling already. It’s beautiful to rediscover Québec this way, from the Saint-Lawrence, 5 years after my first visit. We take on board the 2 new pilots who are going to pilot us for 7 hours. The arrival in Montréal will be by night, around 6am. I won’t see the arrival in Montréal. One cannot have everything. Never mind. Every minute of the trip was worth it and I’ll have plenty of time to discover Montréal in lots of different ways.
The end of the voyage is near. We’re getting a bit depressed. This adventure was magnificent. It’s going to be weird to find myself all of a sudden back into the urban life and the human world. Custom officers will come on board around 8am. Then I’ll have to contact Pascal and the studio I’ve rented for a month. I’m almost worried to arrive. The worry one could feel the day before going back to school. It’s exciting but also worrying. I’m going to have to take care of so many things…Oh well, I’ll be able to do it all without rushing. One just has to be a bit organized after all. See I'm already psyching myself up to face civilization again. Sad.
After the last diner on board, I go back up to the bridge for the last time at night. Everything is in the dark as usual. The 2 pilots, chatting together are not really interested in us yet, then we start to talk to them. Boy, Québec men are talkative indeed! They are really nice, both from Québec city. The captain doesn’t like them much, but it’s normal, captains and pilots don’t like each other much I’ve heard. With 4 French speakers on board, the conversation is lively, which is not to please the captain who asks us if we think we are having tea or what. Everybody shuts up. It’s a pity to break the atmosphere for our last night on board. But well, never mind, tomorrow I’ll be in Montréal, at home and my boat adventure will soon seem so far away as if belonging to another me, when I’ll be part of the city agitation and hubbub again.
But one day I’ll do it again. In January/February to see the Saint-Lawrence frozen? In February/March to see icebergs and the thawing of the Saint-Lawrence ice? Or in June to see whales?