Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

Au Revoir Rimouski et Merci pour tout (almost!)

I’m still trying to get over my shock and disappointment to receive a big, new and extra bill from the marina in Rimouski almost two weeks after paying the bill, checking twice that everything was paid and leaving.  This extra billing has happened before at the marina (see below) but I’m trying not to let  it spoil my memories of the many months “Kuan Yin” and I stayed in the town.

I met some great people, received a lot of help, accomplished an enormous amount of projects on the boat and generally had a happy time.  Though I don’t speak more than a few words of French – but am always willing to trying to listen and to try to explain myself in French, I found people very very accommodating and more than willing to help whenever they could.

For example, within days of returning to the boat in chilly April, a driver stopped to offer me a ride and the next day returned with a bike for me to use.  Later – after meeting M. Paul’s family and talking boats for hours, he loaned me the keys to his car in exchange for the charts from Montreal down the St. Lawrence!

M. Marcel loaned me one of the steps he had designed for the mast on his boat and I was able to arrange for a local welding shop to make 30 beautiful mast steps in aluminum.  After an etch primer and three coats of paint and installing with 240 rivets, the steps up both masts are a wonder and incredibly useful.

The welding shop Les Soldures DCM proved so helpful, high quality and good value that I returned to them for about eight other jobs – lots of little tasks that together make the boat more shipshape and life easier.

Special thanks to David (transplanted many years ago from Ireland) for his welcome to join the meditation sittings at the Rimouksi Zendo.  Most Tuesday evenings, it was time to forget boats and projects and just BE.

Robert and André and their wives welcomed me to their homes with wonderful suppers.  Such hospitality at a time when “Kuan Yin” was still out of thew water and I was unable to reciprocate to them directly.  Thanks for the friendship and the help with the electronics.

And once the boat was back in the water, a man looking at the boats struck up a conversation and appeared the next day with six fresh garlic bulbs from his garden and sack of dry kindling wood for the wood stove.  What generosity of spirit!

Such a great time in Rimouski.

After being out of the water since October last year, I was looking forward to getting back in the water and living on a boat again, not a work project.  However, there’s no budget for living in a marina – which typically costs $60 a night!!!  After three days in the water checking essential items, I went to pay my bill.  There was no charge for being in the water and I double-checked that ther was no charge.  I thought the marina was giving me some slack after being there so long (it’s normal to give a boat a couple of daysd to get sorted once in the water.).  I’d make it very clear to the manager and to the staff that if I was going to be charged the full fee per night like a one-night visitor that I would leave immediately.  I’d even arranged with the Harbourmaster of Rimouski to be allowed two days on the Government Wharf if necessary.

The night before leaving I checked again that all accounts were settled – and took bottles of good wine for the manager and the staff – and was assured that everything was up to date and settled.

Now a new big bill has arrived!  This is the second time the marina has extra billed me.  Last fall after paying all the charges for the haul out and winter storage – and after I’d left Rimouski, a new bill arrived for the rental of the steel stands giving the boat extra support.  I did not mind paying for the rental, but the charge was almost the same as price to BUY the stands from a marina catalogue.  If I’d received the bill while still at the marina I would have made supports from lumber.

This new bill has certainly put a small damper on the experience; but the peple I met in Rimouski were wonderful.  Thank you to all!


3 comments on “Au Revoir Rimouski et Merci pour tout (almost!)

  1. Jeffo
    August 18, 2010

    Bon Voyage and it looks interesting..Certainly keeping you and an interesting jaunt in mind.
    So much depends etc etc.
    Lots of rain spoiling my early morning walks right —-now have to concentrate on the swimming. I expect you will be swimming with the whales before long?
    This is a low season for jewelry but by golly we have a lot going on.
    I guess I will be in and out of Chicago between 15th September and 5th October. Need to be back here in CM in action by 7/10th October.
    Go CAREFUL now.
    All’s well..Love Jeff (and Jha)


  2. Jari Lindgren
    August 19, 2010

    Nice blog! Wish you fair winds up in the chilly places of the world. Once in a lifetime I used to work on a cargo ship and we’d bring pulp from Canadian Eastern seaboard to Europe and different metal slabs to Canada. Had some rough weather at Grand Banks and Newfoundland during winter times…


  3. Brian Lumley
    October 12, 2010

    THanks for the warning about the marina’s double and hidden billing. How close did it come to Halifax prices? Good to hear you met so many good hearted locals.


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This entry was posted on August 16, 2010 by in Labrador, Sailing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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