20080723 Anticosti Island

Scott slept very well in the cabin last night. I slept OK. In the morning, I found it very difficult not knowing what the weather was like outside and whether or not I should be getting up. Eventually I gave up, got out of bed and walked upstairs. The sun was shining and the temperature had warmed considerably over yesterday. It is a beautiful day and almost a shame to be on a boat rather than on a bikes.

Our first stop today was at Port Menier on Anticosti Island. The boat stopped for 2 hours, so we had an hour and half to ride around and check out the sites. The village is rather small. I did not expect to see modern and rather large houses. Scott pointed out that a house that large at home would have multiple garages, but here it only made sense to have one.

We rode our bikes out to the site of the Chateau Menier. We expected to see a large building of some kind. The Chateau turned out to be an archeological site, where a large building once was. From what we were able to understand, this was the site of the home of a French multi-millionaire, who bought L’Isle d’Anticosti with profits from the Nicaraguan Cacao trade. We took photos of the various explanatory
plaques, but haven’t had time to translate them yet.

At dinner last night, Roselyne mentioned that the deer on Anticosti were so tame that you could feed them from your hand in the town site. While we were riding, we saw a small child (maybe 4 years old) feeding a deer. Unfortunately, we didn’t stop, since neither of us verbalized the desire to take a picture, so we don’t have a picture. I did manage to get a few good photos of a deer walking in the woods near the Chateau site.

Scott says:

Our cabin was on A-deck, in the bowels of the ship, and at the rear of the passenger cabin, so we were pretty insulated from the outside world. I put in ear plugs to block some of the engine noise, so I completely missed our docking at midnight and our 6 am departure.

I slept from 11pm until 8am when Becky finally woke me up, after going in and out of the cabin several times. For me, a cabin on a ship with no windows appears to be a good cure for any sleep deprivation!

We have continued to chat with Dave, Paula, Irene and Owen. Dave has become something of a solar power expert at home, since he wrote a couple of successful grant proposals, and has overseen installation of 5 (soon to be 12) panels on the roof of their local food co-op. In Michigan, as with Ottawa, local conditions don’t make solar economical given current equipment and installation costs, but I think it’s good to spread the expertise around as panel costs decrease. He loaned me a solar magazine, and I’m looking forward to chatting more with him about

Anticosti Island looks like a neat place to explore. It really is a huge island, with over 300 km of roads, although not much in the way of services. Lots of opportunities for hiking, wildlife and exploration, without much human presence.

It’s nearing sunset now, and we’re passing the Mingan Archipelago, a National Wildlife Preserve. It looks like a very neat place to kayak or hike.

We got off the boat at Havre-Saint-Pierre for a short walk to the Depanneur. On the way back, Paula invited us to join her for a beer – which we gladly accepted. We enjoyed some Quebec micro-brews and watched the boat crew unloading and re-loading containers. It was a pleasant way to end the evening.

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