Saturday morning, and I was back at Cap Jaseux. This time, it was not for ziplining, but rather for kayaking. I was part of a group of Explore students who felt adventurous today. It was a beautiful day and everyone was perfectly warm in our kayak wetsuits.
Why would we need wetsuits on the water? In case we fell in! Wetsuits are extremely important on the Saguenay River – the water has a surface temperature of only 4 degrees Celsius. The fjord is fed by arctic melt water year round. I dipped my hand in for a few seconds, and it was so cold that my fingers were tingling. The cold makes sense, once you learn that belugas and seals live here too. The guides told us that the belugas were farther up stream, and probably the seals as well. Apparently the water isn’t deep enough for a profound food supply. But I suppose that one seal was curious anyhow, since he popped up and followed some of our kayaks for a few minutes.
Seals are silent as the night and the same colour as the water. I’m just glad I wasn’t in the water with him! (I hear that they can be ferociously vicious.) This one was not scared of us at all though and swam up really close. Almost a little too close though – we were worried about him popping out of the water and rolling a kayak over. But he was gone shortly after, and we continued on.
The Saguenay River is beautiful from any viewpoint, but from on the water may be the most stunning view of them all. The huge fjords pierce through the water like giants. Beneath the dark, cold water lies a huge ecosystem that even includes the occasional Greenland Shark. Nothing about Saguenay is truly “refined”. When the glaciers carved out the river’s pathway thousands of years ago, they left it jagged and rugged and absolutely beautiful.
Overall, it was a wonderful lazy Saturday. I didn’t get burnt (always half the battle!), saw a seal not ten feet away, enjoyed some beautiful scenery and had a picnic lunch. I’m not so sure I’ll ever want to leave here!