Kayak past beluga whales in the Saguenay Fjord, and minke, finback and great blue whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. To sea kayak among these leviathans is truly an experience of a lifetime. Our paddling area, the Saguenay - St. Lawrence National Marine Park in Quebec in eastern Canada, is a marine paradise of huge tidal flats, marine mammals, and birds.
We return each day to our base at Les Escoumins. Various accommodation options are available: camping, bed and breakfast, condos (a limited number of two-bedroom seaside condos are held in reserve). Two-way shuttle from Quebec City airport (300 km) is also available.
|Trip at a Glance :|
|Dates:||2014: Aug. 11-16|
|Departure:||Les Escoumins, Quebec, at 9:00 a.m.|
CDN (taxes included)
|Distance:||95 km at 10-18 km/day|
|Duration:||6 days, 6 nights|
|Included:||includes kayaks, guides, shuttles, group outfitting, permits|
|Not Included:||Accommodation and meals. We have a limited number of two bedroom condominiums ($1178/condominium, tax included) with cooking facilities; grocery stores and restaurants in area. Other local accommodation, including camping, is available.|
|Note:||For all skill levels - tandems recommended for novice paddlers.|
The day prior to the tour (Sunday) meet at the guides chalet/condo, after 4:00 p.m. at Essipit. Directions are as follows: drive east from Tadoussac on Hwy 138 (north shore of St. Lawrence) for approximately 40 km (24 miles) to the village of Essipit, on the west end of Les Escoumins. Turn right into the village of Essipit (there are several road signs to Essipit) which lead to the main street, Rue De la Reserve, and follow this street until you see the red roofed chalets overlooking the St. Lawrence on Rue Anse a Jos. The condos Natakan are 500 meters further along. We will give you your key to your chalet/condo.
We begin each morning at 8:30 a.m. in front of the chalets/condos and return by 5:00 p.m. As well, each evening a 9:00 p.m. meeting will be held in the guides' chalet to plan the trip for the following day. Departure times may vary with tides and winds. In addition to the outlined itinerary, there will be opportunities to paddle in the early morning or evening.
- Day 1: Morning: orientation paddle and sea kayak instruction on inland lake near Grande Bergeronnes. Afternoon: We return to Essipit to pick up groceries/or lunch at a restaurant. We will paddle from the cove in front of the chalets - Minke, Finback and Great Blue whales frequent this area.
- Day 2: We drive to Bay St. Marguerite. We paddle with the tides on Saguenay Fjord From Baie Sainte Marguerite to Anse de Roche (12 km, 7.2 mi). Beluga whales are common in this section. We will kayak with the current, which can be several knots, in places. Remember to pack a lunch. We may in Tadoussac, as there are many good restaurants here.
- Day 3: St. Lawrence River: Chalets to Bergeronnes (20 km, 12 mi). Wear a wet suit on this section as the water is very cold. We plan this one-way sea kayak trip with the wind and tides, so direction may vary. Whales are common in this section (Minke, Finback, Beluga, Great Blue and possibly Sperm whales). We stop for lunch along the coast, so bring a lunch.
- Day 4: St. Lawrence River, from Grandes Bergeronnes (11 km, 7 mi). We will paddle in a large arc and return to the harbour. Minke and Finback whales are common within a few kilometers of shore. We have also seen the odd Humpback whale here in the last few years. The area has very large tidal flats. The harbour has a large viewing station with restaurant, showers, viewing platform and archaeological museum.
- Day 5: Grandes Bergeronnes to Tadoussac (18 km, 11 mi). There are strong tidal currents as we pass Pointe au Vaches, so we stay close to shore here.We can stop at La Grande Anse for Lunch. There is a 5.5 km stretch of very steep coast. If the weather is good, we can venture off-shore several kilometers, where Finback whales frequently congregate.
- Day 6: Chalets to Camp Bon Desir and Vicinity. Pre-trip briefing at 8:30 am.