We left St. John to head toward Quebec. Oh my. My six years of French is not adequate for this. Once we got to Quebec, all the signs were in French. In the other provinces, the signs are in both languages so I was practicing by reading French first and then reading the English if I couldn’t understand it. Now, I have no English translation to fall back on.
I feel a little isolated. Everyone around us is speaking fluent French. (One exception I will describe later.) I think most folks know we speak English and avoid us. The professional tourist people are very kind, but everyone else ignores us. It’s a weird feeling. Dart is wearing his USA bandana, but I suspect people know we are from the US without us understanding why.
This turns out to be a decent campsite that is a short walk away from the coast. It is an amazing view. We can watch Beluga whales from the beach.
I immediately took a whale watch tour leaving at 9:30 am the day after we arrived. While I was doing that Regis set about fixing our newly broken table. This is another one of those situations where there was a lack of quality in manufacturing. Our dining table collapsed and was no longer usable. While fixing it, Regis determined it was not adequately glued in the first place. Apparently, someone noticed that in manufacturing and caulked it which was a temporary solution. This is our second season in the motor home and it was time for the caulking to fail.
While he was working, I was enjoying a 3 ½ hour boat tour on the St. Lawrence River. The guide spoke fluent French and then gave us an English translation. His French accent was strong enough, along with the wind, sound of the motor, and other people talking, that I had a hard time understanding what he was saying even when he spoke English. Nevertheless, I understood some of it.
Not long after leaving the dock, we saw Beluga whales. Click here for a short video. (It’s not great but look for the white whales. Belugas are white. We continued to see them. We arrived at the whale hot spot, which I think is where the water from the Gulf of St. Lawrence meets the freshwater of the St. Lawrence River. We saw LOTS of seabirds. So far, on this trip, we haven’t seen that many seabirds. I think that’s because they are all here. My goodness. I saw thousands of cormorants. It was amazing. We saw several Minke whales where the water mixes.
On the way back, we encountered a gazillion seals. Okay, I don’t know how many seals there were but I have never seen that many seals swimming in the water at the same time. The amount of sea mammals and birds is astonishing.
On the way back, I felt my fingers getting numb. I was cold. As I was trying to get circulation back in my fingers, I saw a young boy and girl come up on the top deck with me. The young boy was wearing a short-sleeved Toronto Blue Jays shirt. The young girl was wearing a sun dress. They showed no indication that the cold breeze on the top deck was anything more than lovely. I was wearing five layers – a shirt, a polartech top, a wool sweater, a sweatshirt, and a gore-tex rain jacket. And, I was cold. Jeez.
There were lots of people on our whale tour that probably spoke neither French or English. When they gave the safety instructions, they gave them in French, English, and another language. After that, it was all French and English with an accent. I am exhausted trying to figure out what the guide was saying!!!
I have to tell you what happened after we arrived at our campsite. After setting up, the skies opened up and it poured. After it stopped, Regis decided to do a bike ride through town to check things out. Dart and I stayed behind keeping each other company. About 45 minutes after Regis left, it started pouring again. Dart and I looked at each other. Should we try to rescue Regis? We don’t know where he is. Dart and I decided to give it a try. We took off trying to figure out where Regis might have gone. Miracle of miracles!!!! We found him. He was wet and bedraggled, but we picked him up and brought him home. Dart was happy to get everyone back together again.