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Monday, July 20, 2009

In St Pierre et Miquelon

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
This is from 12 PM last night, I guess 12 midnight. We're on the edges of St Pierre et Miquelon and we've been driving around for a while trying to find the entrance to the harbor, the chart we have doesn't have chips for this area and we found out it’s not available, anyway we have a regular chart map to go by…... We are actually looking for the entrance to the harbor.Fog is everywhere, I think it’s here, we see lights and believe it's less than 100' away and we're going very, very, very slow. The fog is so heavy and there is almost no wind, which is scary because the waves splash water on the locks to make sure you see the locks. We don’t want to end our 6000 mile journey at 3000 miles on the Rocks, of St Pierre et Miquelon. So we go slow…
We see flashes of lights and we thought it was water breaking on locks, we are in 75 feet of water….. but it was instead lights from the harbor and looks like it's only 100' away. We're slowly creeping up to it and trying to find an opening. We're going slower and slower and slower to see the entrance to the harbor. Should we come in to the left or to the right? We decide to go right. The fog is thick…can’t see a whole lot….There is a statue, light house but it’s not working. Look there is an opening halfway down the jetty, we go there and it is, then further along another jetty. There is an opening, we go through it, and there is a space, we pull in and anchor. We made it safe and secure.
In the morning, Manuel from the local Sail School came over to check on us. Customs is waiting, some radio stations are waiting and a TV station is waiting for us this morning. We went to the Sail School and met with customs and then people from immigration, they are the most wonderful people you want to know.
The fog has lifted, it’s clear, this is the most beautiful island you've ever seen, St Pierre et Miquelon, and the nicest people we've ever met, specially Pasqual in the tourism department…. (To be continued)
God Bless,

4 comments:

  1. Yippee,
    You made it to St Pierre et Miquelon.
    Dale

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  2. We arrive here last night around 1:00 am after arriving at the island around 9:30. Because of the thick fog and no Gps detailed map and of course no radar. We spent hours going back and forth looking for channel markers. but since we were in 175 foot of water there was no need for markers. we did eventually decide that either we kept freezing (we were soaked underneath our survivor suits) and drive around until we run out of gas; anchor and wait to get run over in the fog while sleeping; or drive slowly toward shore in the most logically spont on the small island for a harbor to be located. Our rough GPS map let us view a blurry island. The back side away from the atlantic and where there was a large C in the coastline was the most logically spot. Well-Ah!! As we approached we could not see any lights from the city, because the fog reflecks the light back. As we drove through the fog, in about 50 foot of water, we eventually were able to see some colored lights in the foot above the water line and below the fog. We positioned ourselves perfectly and drove right toward an un-lit light house and found a burm (wave break) we knew from Ralph's conversation with Bruce (our savior or the telephone with great internet savy) had told us earlier that there were two wave breaks in the harbor. We anchored behing the second and slept in our soaking wet close. I was in the hammock with a t-shirt, fleece jacket, windbreaker, survivor jacket, and a raincoat and my legs shook from cold all night long, but I did get some good sleep.

    In the morning I was awaken by a guy in a red zodia and he wanted us to follow him to customs. They had already heard our story and there were several reporters their to photograph our arrival.

    the customs and immagration went through like clockwork while I sipped on my first cup of coffee in my whole life. I love the smell of coffee, but hate the taste. I managed to sip half the cup before I gave the rest to ralph. My knees stopped shaking. The sun was out and was able to take a warm shower. Boy did I need that.

    We were taken to breakfast by Jean-
    Claude Fouchard(Mini Van Tours) and Pasca P daireaux (Director Tourism Department) and later they treated us to a hotel room for the night. (making this internet access possible for me). We were also taken on a tour around the Island. Beautiful!!! Rock hills, views from high up looking down at the city and waters, horses, seals, through the city and around the docks where the fish is processed.

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  3. The ocean ride from Halifax started in a white out fog of about 50 foot that would sometimes open up to 100 foot. We eventually after playing the honking game, every three minutes a long blast on the horn or after someone else honks, that you need to give a sponce long blast so that they know where you are. We left without a radar or a radar reflector (so others can see you. we have been looking for one at every marina along our trip since in the Keys. A capt paid us $20 to put toward the purchase. After driving in the fog for about an hour or so up the river to get fuel. We had to drive back since there wasn't a ship store at the dock station. We eventually made it to another yacht dockage, where we had to leave the boat tied up and walk about a mile to a store. We found a $70 tube style radar deflector. We bought it and mounted on one of the fishing rod holders on the t-top. (At least the other boat with the radar might be able to see us, even though we won't be able to see them.)

    Tomorrow we head for St Paul, one of the foggest places on earth. But they say that tomorrow the weather is supposed to be beautiful.

    We still are preciding forward without enought funding to finish the trip. Please feel free to tell someone who can afford to be some type of sponsor. We would really love for someone to purchase gas for a leg of the trip or even a partial leg. We only get about 3 miles per gallon and gas is close to $5 per gallon. We still have about 3,000 miles to go to get to Europe.

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  4. The big shark deal. I was sleep when Ralph called for me to get up quick as he was making a sharp U-turn. He had just passed a shark about the size of our boat. As I was getting up, I caught a glimse of the large dorsal fin as I scanned in the direction that Ralph was pointing.

    Suddenly I heard a blumph and turned around to see our solf banner effectionately called Suzuki, since it was a banner with the Suzuki engine all over it, sinking slowly about twenty feet behind us. Ralph was so intense on getting back to the shark that I had to hit him with my interstate ball cap across his back. The BLANKET IS SINKING, he quickly realized what had happened. We made another quick u-turn and in our excitement, we were just out of reach of Suzuki. I almost feel in as I reached for the blanket and a wave hit the boat. We were now past the blanket and it was sinking fast. We make another U-turn as ralph shouted or me to grab a pole. The fastest thing I could grab was a wooded flag pole, since it wantn't fastened down. On this pass, the blanket was too deep, but the water was clear and we could see it about 10 feet under. It was Blue and white and going fast. I jumped up and grabbed a fishing pole, the only one with a hook on it. Remember that I wasn't tied on to the boat since I had to unhook earlier and we were in fairly rough seas 2 to 4 with a slight chop. The boat is small and moves up and down really easy over the swells, so the boat was rocking. Anyway, the hook was in a tangle mess because of all the bouncing the boat was taking since the last time we fished. It was the only rod of three that still had it's lur still attached to the line. the other two are somewhere on the bottom of the ocean. By the time the rod was untangled, the blanket was long out of sight. The shark was also nowhere to be seen. Bob

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