Monday, July 27, 2009

Whale Watching in Canada-July 27

The sun shone briefly today,but it soon became overcast and by the time we were in line to board our cruise boat it was raining steadily. John and I felt certain that this was another whale watching event that would be a bust. The captain kept reassuring us that when we would get further out on the St.Lawrence River it would be clear,and he was right. I don't think they have the strict Coast Guard rules as we have in the US. When we boarded the whale watching boat in Maine the captain gave us a long set of rules in case the boat went under or if a person should go over board. Today the captain,in very broken English, only said not to go into the water or it might not be too good and you may die.Perhaps he just could not come up with the right words in English! We cruised along at a pretty fast clip for about an hour,after which our boat slowed and then drifted for awhile. Initially we were disappointed because we just saw seals and porpoises. Then the naturalist on board shouted that he saw a mother whale and her six month old baby. Soon after that about 20 minke whales surrounded us diving and blowing. We were told there were also finback whale. One whale got very close to a raft of people which was floating near us, and nearly tipped them. I was a bit slow in getting that picture and snapped it when the whale had gotten a distance away. As we were returning into the harbor I stood on deck questioning the naturalist about the different kinds of whale which he usually sees. He said that the two we saw today were the only two usually seen on the river. He added that he use to see beluga feeding in the harbor. Casually he added: I am seeing one now, then he started shouting into his microphone about his finding and counting in French. He counted ten;I did not see that many. What few I saw was impressive enough for me! One other picture I have shown here is of a sculpture called "Solstice". We found it in the Parc Des Chutes. We had driven to this park today before our boat trip to see the falls and hydroelectric dam located there. The sculpture is made of cedar logs and steel cables. It is shaped like a lotus flower and motorized to have cycles of opening and closing. Quite unusual!

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