Expect the Unexpected
Weather conditions in the St. Lawrence Estuary can change within hours, which is an impressive experience by itself. Conditions at sea might change for the better or get worse. And back again. This makes it difficult to give you an outline of a typical day but generally we will head out to sea whenever sea conditions allow.
After dinner on the first day we will welcome you to the station, introduce you to the place, the program, your role and tasks, the instruments used, give you a personal floatation suit, and give you some time to get to know the other participants.
Meet your first whales
The next day we will head out to sea, meet the whales and all you will have to say is “Oohhh…, Ahhhh…, Wow…!” as we will do the recording. Nevertheless, it is the time when we familiarize you with the boat,spotting the whales, and your tasks on board. You won’t be fully involved in data collection that first day, which will give you plenty of time to enjoy your first experience among the whales.
All outings might last anywhere from two to six hours, as long as weather conditions allow safe and meaningful data collection. During long outings a lunch is planned and a bathroom break (on land) is arranged.
After the first whale sightings, when field characteristics of the species are explained, volunteers are taught how to announce a whale, determine the species and to estimate distances and directions.
From then on everything depends on the weather conditions and the accuracy of the weather forecast. When not at sea there is plenty of time to spend for yourself, go for a walk or bike ride or we will give a lecture.
Throughout the course, you will work independently on your data transcription, which we will have taught you step by step. During a bad weather day, a trip to Tadoussac is organized to visit the whale museum, to shop and to eat out. We might enjoy live music, play pool and meet friendly Quebecers.
The night before your departure we will organize a 'last night' party. It will be up to all of us how the evening is spent after the gourmet dinner and the reciept of your completion certificate. It might end with dancing, playing games, or sitting under the stars around the campfire reminiscing about our experiences.
You will never be the same again after you have visited the fascinating world of the whales!
Heading back into your world