Où Est Le Bic
September 13, 2022
Just off Kai Nani’s bow, some 70 meters or so, is an island. A rather large island in fact. More than 100 feet high and about 1/4 mile long, it is completely invisible. As was all of Parc National le Bic.
The Park is famous. Or rather the mountains and cliffs towering over the south shore of the St Lawrence just a few kilometers downstream from Rimouski are famous. I saw not a rock. Not only was the Park shrouded in fog, the entire south shore was bathed in it.
With the weather turning foul, I had one last chance to paddle before portaging. There was no way I could make Rimouski in one tidal cycle, but the Park entrance was possible. I left before sunrise while it was still dark. The picture below is the most land I saw for 6 hours.
I missed the last of the ebb by 20 minutes. When I say missed, I mean the receding tide left me stranded in a no-man’s land of mud and rock more than 800m from shore and an unseen island between.
It took 16 trips to get to shore. There and back to actually figure out where I was, and 2 sets of 7 round trips as I could not risk the packs left unattended at the Park boat launch. So, one set of 7 trips to the island, and a second set of 7 from the island to the shore. Not counting the times I couldn’t find the canoe and had to retrace my steps in the ooze and muck.
Ignominious as it was, it was still my last day on the St Lawrence River. And I was glad of it. The tides, the mud, the ships, and the fog had pretty much taken all the fun out of paddling for all your worth for 5 or 6 hours straight hoping against hope that you’ll make landfall at a place where you can portage less leas than 400 meters over something other than ankle deep muck. You know, if that sort of thing is how you define fun.
Here’s what I missed…
The mountains in the distance border the river directly. And the tide, in case your interested, is just about all the way in. Which should give you some idea of what all the way out is.
This was all I ever saw of Le Bic. I turned away, shaking my head at missing it all. Ahead and next lay 11 or 12 kilometers of highway and Rimouski. Next. Always what’s next.
But I was glad to be on solid ground. No more tides and mud and wondering if I can find a campsite. And if asked what about Le Bic? Did you paddle Le Bic?, I could point over my shoulder and behind me and answer, Oui. Le Bic est la bas, en derrière.