Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Whale Watching at Cap-de-Bon-Désir

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On a perfect, clear, calm day, we sat on the rocks at Cap-de-Bon-Desire. They had seen a Blue and a Fin whale in the morning, so maybe that was it all we would see. I took a little nap on the warm rocks knowing everyone else was on the lookout. After about 30 minutes a whale was sighted. By the time we left for lunch, we had seen three whales. No tail wags, but seeing whales so close is very cool. Sightings are all by chance. We did catch a glimpse of a big one down toward our campground, but it never resurfaced where we could see it.

Martha read a story written by a young Innu who must have been on the river a lot fishing, and he had many stories about the whales. He got to know them well over the years and named each. Apparently their tails are like fingerprints, none being the same. Whales will lay on the surface when sleeping, and he would go up and pet them. He felt the whales could recognize his boat and they would come to him, often following him for long periods of time. Once he had people on board when two whales swimming together lifted his boat, scaring the passengers to death. He explained how man is the scary one as he had seen people shoot whales from shore. Some would harpoon them with big drums attached. The whales would swim until they tired out and they would sink to the bottom and die. It became his quest to stop these things, and through the years he was successful at stopping it.

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