Last night was cool enough to skip AC, so we slept with the windows and hatch open. When it wasn’t drowned out by the clanking burgees we forgot to tie up, we could hear either the wonderful sound of a mountain stream or the terrifying sound of water bubbling into the engine room. This morning we found the source of good news some 50 yards from our cabin.
Which set the stage for a heck of a day. We’ve read horror stories about the Saint Lawrence River being rough and nasty. Knock on wood, based on our experience it’s a piece of cake. Albeit a really fast piece of cake.
Today was no different. Smooth. Fast. The scenery just gets better and better. The Cap au Saumon Lighthouse, for example, is one of the coolest we’ve seen.
There are houses on hills with views, and then there’s this house on a hill with a view. Probably sucks to shovel the driveway in the winter, but in the summer it’s got to be pretty awesome.
At one point the rain came and chased us down to the pilothouse, which was fine because we were cold anyway. Plus it gave us yet another palette of most excellent scenery. Eat your heart out Ed Mell.
But who are we kidding here? Today was all about whales. Most of the trip to Tadoussac was through a marine sanctuary. The plankton grow on proverbial trees at the point where the Saguenay River meets the Saint Lawrence, and where plankton grow on trees, supposedly whales gather. Because whales eat plankton. Which is weird by itself but that’s another topic.
Our first whale was a beluga, off the port side. These guys don’t really jump so they’re hard to pin down from a photo perspective. But Dana still got a tail.
When we got to the Saguenay, however, we found ourselves in the middle of Minkes. We stopped the engine and just watched them splash around us. One of the coolest half-hours we’ve had so far.
Dana took a bunch of pictures but since we’ll probably see and photograph whales until about Connecticut we aren’t going to overdo it now. Like some would say we did with rivers. And dolphins. And old trees. Etc.
Usually—unless the marina has a map on its website—we check out Google Maps as we start getting close. That gives us the approach direction, landmarks, and the dock layout. Sometimes we even can see the fuel pumps, which marinas frequently use to guide us in. This was a first. The dot is us on Maps after getting tied up at the end of A-Dock. In the ice field. Thanks for nothing Google. In real life the good folks at Marina de Tadoussac put us down at the end of A-Dock after the guy who spoke mostly French realized at the last minute that in fact Misty Pearl is too wide for the opening at A-13.
By the time we tied up, got power, and Oscar completed his post-travel poop and pee routine, the sun was out. So we hiked the Park of Ancestors Trail through Tadoussac. Then we visited the Whale Interpretive Center, which—given our nonexistent ability to read French—required two distinct levels of interpretation.
Tadoussac sits at the mouth of the Saguenay fjord, which we’ll be exploring tomorrow if the fog clears out.
So yeah, basically it was a great day. Would’ve been a perfect day if Doug hadn’t lost his last pair of prescription sunglasses and Dana hadn’t lost several hours of work she thought was saved on her computer.