Pilot Change at Quebec City

August 13, 2009

Cloudless sky, light winds, warming temperatures, Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Plains of Abraham where the French and British armies fought…oh yeah..and a change of pilots.

We carried the first two pilots from Escomins (near the Saguenay River) to Quebec City. At 0930 hours the exchange by small boat was made and while our first two pilots, David and Silva, got off (they boarded the ship yesterday at 1530 hours and have been aboard 18 hours) two more pilots have come aboard. They will likely be aboard about 12 hours…or until PRIDE reaches Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers).

Motor, motor, motor…since 1100 hours yesterday. This will continue till tomorrow in Montreal…till maybe around mid day. With pilots aboard my own focus changes from acute oversight of navigation and recreational & commercial traffic to a more relaxed oversight.  To have the pilots aboard is a great expense…for me this is an unnecessary service as until 1999 PRIDE’s size did not require a pilot.  I made this trip up and down this river almost two dozen times in a mixture of vessels of similar size to PRIDE on my own without pilot.  But the regulations are the regulations and in 1999 a change was made and it has been required since then that PRIDE take pilots between Escumins and Montreal.

Meanwhile with such good weather and smooth conditions it is possible for PRIDE’s crew to get some significant cosmetic maintenance done. Not only for preparation of being in Montreal, but for catching up with the wear and tear that has accumulated since PRIDE departed from the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of May.

Arrival in Montreal will be tomorrow.  We’re running a little ahead of schedule so have to work out logistics with the port organizers in Montreal.  Ideally, we’ll be able to time it so that we get the largest audience possible so we can make a real show of it! 

Cheers,
Jane C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II


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