20-Sep-2003 -- At 06:30 AM on September 20, 2003 we departed Bathurst, boat in tow, coffee in hand, song in hearts. It was a beautiful calm and clear morning, but a red sunrise portended bad weather ahead (sailors take warning!). The weatherman was calling for clouds and rain for the afternoon - a vestige of hurricane Isabel, the dregs of which were passing to our west. This was part of the reason for our early start. We were hoping that the calm before the storm would make for a smooth "sail" out to the confluence point. Any kind of choppy water and our 9 kilometre trip in Jeff's 12 foot open craft would be slow and rough, not to mention a little risky. We certainly didn't want to be bailed out (pun intended) by Search & Rescue!
The weather remained calm and warm until we reached our launch site at the mouth of Jacquet River (Dunham Wharf) around 07:30. As we unloaded the boat and assembled our gear, the clouds began to move in. Gloomy grey clouds and an offshore fog bank had us thinking that we'd have some pretty boring photo scenes at the confluence, i.e., 4 pics of fog, north, south, east and west!
Well, we hit the water just before 08:00 and headed north at a steady 34 km/h, jouncing over the small swells and using the GPS to track towards our destination. Jeff's 1976 vintage 15 hp Johnson never missed a beat and we neared the confluence in about 20 minutes. It took about 5 minutes of shimmying to zero in on 48/66. It's a little tricky - you have no points of reference at hand so you can't even tell if you're moving, let alone which way you might be moving. Anyway, we got as close as we could a few times and took pictures of the GPS each time. Unfortunately, an autofocus camera doesn't always behave the way one wants it to. Our best in-focus shot shows us 40 metres off the confluence, but we did get closer. A very blurry GPS photo shows us at 47-59-59.8 / 66-00-00.1, a mere 6 metres off, but unless you knew that the reading was near 48 / 66 you wouldn't be able to tell from that photo, so we used a better one. As you can see from our cardinal compass point photos, the fog lifted enough for us to see a bit of the shorelines to the north (Gaspé Peninsula) and south (mainland New Brunswick).
Not wanting to push our luck with the weather, we didn't linger at the site. A smattering of rain began as we neared shore but the heavy stuff held off as we unloaded our gear and manoeuvred the boat back onto the trailer for the drive back to Bathurst, during which it did start to pour rain, so I guess our early start was well advised. All in all, a great adventure.