Moving to Tadoussac & Whale Cruise

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60℉ at 4:00am

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We decided to move to Tadoussac to take the whale cruise while we had some good weather. It is supposed to rain pretty hard Thursday. We love this campground and this area, so we hate to leave. The termite farm helped make the decision. It’s only an hour from Petit Saguenay to Tadoussac, but I drove slower to be more comfortable with the Airstream. Rolling hills is an inadequate description. All of these ancient mountains are straight up and straight down, so it’s tough on the truck’s engine going up and it’s brakes going down. 

All traffic going north and south travel 138, and there is no bridge over the Saguenay, so everyone takes the ferry. Two of them work day and night, and it’s free. Everything gets on – RV’s, motorcycles and tractor-trailers, and it only takes 10 minutes to cross. Beluga whales swam all over the river as we waited to cross. I almost took out a truck’s mirror as we pulled up in our lane on the ferry. A man guides you, and he really wants you to pay attention to him. Unloading two one lane from each side of the ferry, it goes pretty quick. OK, now where is that campground? Martha wasn’t paying full attention as she was looking at all the shops and restaurants. I had to bring her back into the moment. 

We found Camping Des Dunes, and they had a site. I had figured we didn’t need reservations as we headed north after Labor Day, but Tadoussac looked like a tourist beach town in summer. It was hopping! Martha told the lady we wanted to take a whale tour and they offered a 5% discount if they booked it. There was nothing open at 4:30, but we could get on at 1:00. It was 12:30. While Martha paid the bills, I went to park the trailer. I missed the spot and had to back up. By the time I got to it, Martha was there to direct me. We quickly unhooked, grabbed a few things and headed back to town, which is only 5 blocks away. The main attraction here is whale-watching, so the street was busy, and the dock was crowded. One man was directing traffic on the dock- tour busses, tractor trailers either delivering or picking up goods, and lots of touristas. We showed him our 1:00 ticket and he guided us into a parking spot, moving a traffic cone. The lady at the campground said they would hold us a spot. I tried to tip this nice man, but he would have nothing of it.

It was a 3-hour cruise, and once we got into the St. Lawrence it was chilly. We put on what clothes we had grabbed. In our haste I did not bring a camera strap, so I tied a strap to my backpack, which carried another lens. Our wildlife viewing luck hasn’t been too good and it continued. We didn’t see anything but seagulls and hundreds of Cormorants for an hour. All the boats talk to each other, and they are on the water all day, so they usually know where the whales are. We had to go all the way across the St. Lawrence to find them. The lady on the loud speaker of course spoke French mostly, but said a few things in English. We didn’t understand a lot. We ended up seeing maybe 5 different kinds of whales. All I could tell was the white ones were Belugas. Some others were big while others were medium-sized. They were feeding so hard, all you really saw was their backs as they came up for air and went right back down. It was fun and the scenery is pretty, but standing on the rail gets pretty cold. As the boat turned around and headed back to port, we went inside to warm up. Martha was enjoying people-watching and the fashion statements, mostly the men who mixed plaids with stripes.

Getting back to camp, we leveled the trailer and started a fire, cooking sweet potatoes, sausages and onions. Oh yea, and beets.


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