We departed Matane on Thursday 0740 hrs, bound for Sainte-Anne des Monts, some 46 miles east. We arrived 1410, making fairly decent headway. There is a current that flows around the Gaspe peninsula that can help with a bit of a boost in speed over ground by a knot or two. We called the dockmaster for Sainte-Anne and after some back & forth, my bad french, the dockmaster’s bad english, we had an idea of what to expect, and Sylvain & crew were on the dock to help with our lines and welcome us to Saint-Anne des Monts. Sylvain complimented me on my french, I returned the compliment, thanking him for rescuing us from having to do the whole transaction in french!

The marina is set up as a polyvalent, or multi-use facility, with a public wharf that’s used by fishing vessels, a fish house for unloading catch, and a boat ramp for hauling boats both small and large. The large ones are floated onto a sort of trailer, and wheeled up the ramp with a tractor or other rig with adequate pulling power. The wharves are typically maintained by Canada Transport with marinas for recreational vessels situated either behind the high wharves or inside huge rock breakwaters. They are generally geared toward smaller craft, so power is usually limited to 20 amp household receptacles. Occasionally we’ll find a facility that has 30 amp power that we can use, but we generally don’t worry with power for our overnight stays since we arrive with batteries charged from the day’s run, and are able to fully replace the power we use overnight on the following day.
Sainte-Anne’s is a popular vacation spot for Quebecois as it marks the beginning of the Gaspe Peninsula blue corridor, something or other (look up). It’s a bit tourist-y, but a quiet town with friendly folks. We’ll be stopping off on many of the towns for overnights. Maerin typically attracts a bit of attention at these stopovers, since US-flagged pleasure craft are somewhat uncommon, and especially one with a hailing port of Pennsylvania!

There is an epicerie (local grocery) located in a former manor house, quite an interesting setting for what is actually a gourmet boutique. The french heritage in cooking is evident all over Quebec with its abundance of small restaurants, cafes and boulangeries. One of our stops was at the SAQ- Societe du Alcohol de Quebec – the provincial liquor store, where we re-stocked our rum with some Havana Dark aged rhum. Gosling’s is unheard of, and we’ve determined that every SAQ store from Montreal to Gaspe stocks the identical inventory, or so it seems. The larger stores have a huge variety of wine, since that seems to be the drink of choice here. Reds prevailing. Thanks, I’ll stick to my rhum and Stella. Which, by the way isn’t cheap. A 12-pack of Stella Artois, $18,68 CAN. We produce our own primary beverage on board – good old H2O. Despite the availability of municipal water at most marinas, we still make a lot of our own after having loaded up on some pretty bad-tasting city water! If it doesn’t pass the no-smell test, it doesn’t go in the tank! Washdown only!

There is also an aquarium and cruise tour facility next to the marina with a nice park on the grounds. There other parks along the shore line, and a short boardwalk that ends at a canteen where hungry tourists can find soft-serve ice cream, and poutine. Poutine is a Quebecois staple, consisting of french fries, slathered in gravy with cheese curds on the top. We haven’t had the guts to try it yet, but it reminds us of the Hawaiian fixation with spam- you can get McPoutine in Quebec just like you can get McSpam in Hawaii at the local Mickey D’s. Now that Mickey D’s McPoutine has GOTTA be something we must have before we leave Quebec. I still regret not getting a McSpam & rice breakfast at the Waikiki McDonald’s. (OK, I’m lying!) And I digress. Of particular interest was the presence of many driftwood carvings around the town, also a sort of driftwood tower fashioned from long pieces of driftwood painted white, and lashed together with cables in the fashion of a section of pilings you’d see around a wharf that serves large commercial vessels. Interesting! Some of the carved figures were wonderfully expressive! Also located on the waterfront is the huge Saint-Anne-des-Monts church. Bells pealed from the tower to signal evening Mass, which appeared to be very well attended. Apparently atheism in Quebec is not as widespread as we’re led to believe!

After walking and biking around the town, we settled in early in anticipation of an early morning departure, hoping to cover an ambitious 92 miles to Riviere de Renaud in favorable weather on Friday.

One Response to “Sainte-Anne-des-Montes”

  1. Myla and Dan on 24 Jul 2010 at 1:27 PM #

    Poutine! Our favorite gut-buster. You really do have to try it – on a cold, rainy day, there’s nothing like it. We’re having such a good time reliving our trip through you. We’re leaving for Hawaii this week and never even thought of McSpam. Hmm, we’ll consider it, not sure we’ll be brave enough to try it.