Baie Éternité

We arrived in Baie Éternité Sunday afternoon after a short cruise from Anse Saint-Jean. Eternity Bay is part of Parcs Québec, and encompasses a large section of the Saguenay River, or more accurately, Fjord.

The Fjord was formed during the last ice age, carved out by glaciers. The actual fjord depth in some areas is up to 2000 meters ( ft) , but millions of years have filled the fjord with silt as much as 1400 meters (4600 ft) deep. There are three main basins, the deepest of which is 278 meters. Steep walls rise nearly vertically from the water, some as high as 400 meters (1300 ft) at Cap Trinité and water depths of nearly 300 meters (985 ft.)

One of the park’s best know features is the statue of the Virgin, placed there in 1880. The statue is about 80 ft tall, made of pine and covered in lead. The original statue was barged up the river in one piece, but was determined to be impossible to transport to the site, so it was cut up into pieces, hauled up the mountain, and re-assembled in place. Quite a feat for that day in age. We started the 3.3 km climb to the statue, but at the halfway point, and at an elevation of about 280 meters, decided our time was too short to complete the trek. I can only imagine the effort involved in carting those pieces of statue up over the mountain, it was quite a climb even on a trail that was provided with steps on much of the steep sections. Very rugged terrain! But the reward at (well, near) the top made the climb worthwhile. There are more photos in the gallery, be sure to view them in a slideshow or full-screen format; even then, the camera simply doesn’t come close to conveying the awe-inspiring vistas of the fjord.

The bay is too deep (200-300 ft) for anchoring although some of the locals at Anse Ste-Jean told us there are places where anchoring is feasible. We tied to a mooring ball provided by the park, and stayed overnight. We were told there were at one time 20 moorings, 7 of which remain in service. A modest $15 fee for the use of the ball, and $3.50 for park admission for adults. The park was very nice, there’s an interesting interpretation center with snack bar & gift shop a short walk from the wharf. Such quiet the likes of which we’ve not experienced for some time! Very serene!

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