Debra C. Argen aka The Adventure Kid is off on another exciting adventure, this time with Teen Adventurer Steven M. Argen. Join us as we relate the excitement of jet boating the Lachine Rapids with Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours in Montréal, Canada. This is one adventure where staying dry was not an option.
Always on the lookout for excitement, when we heard about the possibility of jet boating the Lachine Rapids on the Saint-Lawrence River in Montréal, we readily signed up for an early morning ride with Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours.
Founder Jack Kowalski explained that the Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours has been in operation since 1983, and that the name translates from French to English as "saute" to jump, and "moutons" as sheep, which the Québeçois, (people of the province of Québec) call the white caps of the rapids.
Founder Jack Kowalski
In preparation for our adventure, he explained in detail what we would be experiencing, as well as had us watch an informative video to let our excitement build. Next, there was the demonstration of the "fashionable attire" that we would wear to keep us safe and warm. Although the air temperature in mid-July 2010 was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), the river was still cool and the protective clothing would help keep us warm throughout our trip.
Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours
First, we donned heavy wool sweaters over our bathing suits, Steven's somewhat fit, alas Debra's was hanging at mid-thigh level with sleeves that had to be rolled up several times and although certainly not a fashion statement, the sweaters would provide us with a layer of warmth.
Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Riding the Rapids
The next layer was a jumpsuit that came in a bright array of colors of aqua, yellow, purple, blue, grey, and black. Steven, like most of the men on the boat trip opted out of wearing the hooded jumpsuit, Debra, however, like the other women on the trip, wanted every layer of warmth that was provided. We laughed hysterically as (Debra) put on a bright yellow jumpsuit that was just a tad too long and had a crotch that hung so low that (Debra) looked more hip-hop than white water rapids adventurer. So what, at least one of us would be warm!
Saute Mouton Lachine Colorful Jumpsuits
Life jackets were the next essential item, and these fit us perfectly, followed by one additional layer, a hooded yellow poncho, which we both wore, along with wet suit boots. Suitably attired, we were ready to begin our white water rapids adventure.
Steven and Debra "Fashionably" Ready to Jump the Rapids
If you stand on the Jacques-Cartier Pier and look at the calm waters of the Saint-Lawrence River, you might find it hard to believe that the Lachine Rapids are a mere 15-minute boat ride from the Clock Tower, which was our first thought as we boarded the bright orange Saute Mouton jet boat. Forewarned that the closer you are to the bow, the wetter the ride, we decided that this was definitely one time when we did not want to be the "lead dogs" or in this instance, act as the break walls for the other passengers. Second row for Steven, and third row for Debra, would provide us with more than enough wave action, yet also allow us to take photographs throughout the ride through the security of a specially designed waterproof camera bag.
Harbor View During Tour
Our thrilling adventure began with a bit of a sightseeing tour as our jet boat guide told us about the history of the Saint-Lawrence River and about the historic Clock Tower built in 1922 as a memorial lighthouse for the sailors who died, and is a replica of Big Ben in London. She continued to point out sights of interest that we passed along the way including the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, which has miniature Eiffel towers on each of its points, an icebreaker bridge, and the La Ronde amusement park as we made our way towards the rapids.
1922 Montreal Clock Tower
Although the trip started out calmly, our anticipation continued to build so that when we finally had our first glimpse of the white caps that lie ahead, we were more than ready for some white water action. Captain Jack positioned the jet boat and approached the rapids where the water was swirling and churning and spouting white foam, and with our guide calling out "hang on tight to the railing" followed by "un, deux, trois" our flat-bottomed boat headed directly into the rapids.
Approaching the Rapids
Hearts pounding, we braced ourselves for action and when the first wave crashed over the bow and soaked the first row, we were more than pleased with our seat selection as the cool river water found its way down the necks of our ponchos. It was at this point that Steven, along with the other men who had refused to wear the jumpsuits, wished that perhaps they had not been so hasty in their decisions, as the waves continued to pummel us and soak us from every angle.
Hitting the Rapids
For the next 30 minutes, Captain Jack played the rapids like a master violinist plays a Stradivarius, eliciting the best possible experience for his passengers. Each time that we exited the rapids elicited cries of "we want more" from the passengers, and more is exactly what Captain Jack delivered. He spun the boat in circles, and we were tossed on the waves as if we were riding a bucking bronco in a storm hanging on tight to the rail, as the boat jumped the rapids.
Saute Moutons - Captain Jack and Guide
Our adrenaline was flying high as we rode the 15-minutes back to the pier. We disembarked the boat with wet hair streaming down our faces, soaked but happy, wanting to do it all over again!
Steven Giving the Thumbs Up for Saute Moutons Lachine
Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours operate from June through September from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Departures are from the Jacques-Cartier Pier in the Old Port of Montréal. 2010 Pricing: Adults: $65.00, Youth (13 to18): $55.00, and Children (6 to 12) $45.00. Check the website for additional information and programs.
Debra Reflecting on Jumping the Rapids
Saute Moutons Lachine Rapids Jet Boat Tours
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