It’s not as though we meant to race pell-mell up the St. Lawrence against tide, current and ever-shorter days. The plan had been to mosey slowly upstream, choosing only the best days and most helpful currents. That hope was dashed, though, when we arrived in Havre-St.-Pierre, Quebec, two days after sailing from Natashquan, Quebec, under storm trysail and reefed staysail. There we were told to our great dismay that a canal crucial to the scheme, one that we’d been counting on arriving at in five or six weeks, would be closing in exactly 14 days. Two weeks! Even if good weather and fair currents could be guaranteed, that was hardly enough time to sail the several hundred miles from the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, higher than 52 degrees N, to Sorel-Tracy, at the western end of Lac St.-Pierre, where the St.-Ours Canal begins. The canal links the waterways that lead to Lake Champlain.