Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
9Trip End Jul 10, 2010
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Of course, we tried to trust the GPS with directions, and we were pretty good until the thing suggested we drive off into a small neighborhood on our way to a "shorter" route. During that part of the trip we encountered a one-way street that we could not navigate, and we also were blocked by an 18-wheeler that was stuck trying to make a turn in this small neighborhood and was hitting other vehicles as he attempted to get out of the jam. (In retrospect - seeing an 18-wheeler in this neighborhood should have given me some confidence that the route was valid - but it didn't seem that way at the time...)
We persevered, and eventually made it to the whale watching site in San Simeon. After further confusion on where to park and get oriented for the trip, we discovered that the trip had been cancelled due to some rough-ish seas at the dock that made it hard to get in or out of the boat. At least, that's what we think it was. This far up the river, the English language is not understood or spoken by everyone, and we had quite some fun trying to explain things or understand issues when unexpected events took place. For us, it was part of the fun.
Anyway, we came to learn that we could be scheduled on another trip that launched out of a site another 30 minutes up the road, at Baie-Sainte-Catherine, across the fjord from Tadoussac (see Tadoussac Wiki). What the heck, we thought – hoping that for all of this trouble we would at least be able to see one whale through the fog – which seemed to get more dense every hour. Would this stuff ever burn off? It didn’t seem so.
Up we went to the next whale watching site. We had some time to kill, so we did our best to soak up the atmosphere in the small town
Finally we were on our boat, and to our surprise the visibility was fine. Almost immediately after leaving the dock, we ran into a pod of beluga whales (yes, it’s a “pod”. For other animal group names, see http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Pointless/AnimalGroups.html). We continued to see belugas, fin whales, and a minky whale (insert Inspector Clouseau joke here) the entire 3-hour trip. It was fantastic, and by the time we started to head back, the fog actually started lifting, and we could finally get a sense of the beauty around us. Fantastic!
After driving back to Quebec (staying on the main road all the way this time, just to anger the GPS) we walked up into town again for some good eats. What a day…