A large bald eagle took off from a tree just above to fly across the river. Another followed it. They settled high up on the tallest tree. Strangely, the second eagle wasn’t bald.
At the bottom of the Richelieu, we paddled through Sorrel. A sign at the bottom of a boat ramp advertised Sorrel Marina. The road from the ramp led to a drydock area in the distance; boats in their cradles spread across a field.
Sorell is an industrial port town on the Saint Lawrence. We passed a number of freight yards, ships, and shipping docks during the final stretch and as we turned onto the Saint Lawrence, with celebratory mutual congratulations for the new phase of our journey.
The wind and the river’s current moved us along. Our map said Ile Di’Grace, four miles ahead, had camping, but we didn’t know if we’d find drinking water, so we stopped at a marina.
We couldn’t stay there; they had no room for our kayaks on the dock. In fact, we’d have to be on our way immediately because they had reserved the spot where we parked our boats for someone else. The man in charge begrudgingly said we could fill our water bottles in the bathroom, but then we’d really have to go.
We did and we went.
The spot marked on our map as camping seemed to be a summer cottage’s front lawn. We pulled up to the dock and knocked on the door. Nobody answered.
We made camp, swatted black flies, and sheltered from them in our tent as quickly as possible.
A drunk French Canadian pulled up to our dock on his motorboat. He offered us beer, French conversation, and a bed for the night in his house across the channel.
His shower was warm and his house smelled like cigaret smoke. He left a bucket in our room in case we had to pee. We opened the sliding door to our room to let some air in, and mosquitoes shared our soft bed for the night.