National Geographic : 1970 Jul
But Anne, as I mentioned earlier, changed my mind with a quotation from Champlain. Morning found us headed for our second encounter with the Saguenay. Whales Play in the River Deeps Angling southeastward in a canyon, the Saguenay slices the Quebec hinterland for 95 miles from its rising in Lac St. Jean (map, page 4). For steamers, it is navigable as far up as Chicoutimi, port for an area producing much paper and aluminum. For sailing vessels big or small, as the explorers quickly learned, this is not a hos pitable river. Winds and waves ricochet from its sheer cliffs and bounce off in all directions. Ebb tides to seven knots have been recorded. And should a sailor seek anchorage, he might find 600 feet of water close to shore and oc casionally more than 900 feet in midstream. The norther still howled full strength as we cleared Tadoussac at dawn. We set only tiny mizzen and boom jib. With lee rail down and icy spray driving across the decks, White Mist roared across the river mouth. "Breaking rocks close to those cliffs," warned Tom Beers. "No!" he corrected him self quickly. "It's a school of belugas." Known in French Canada as marsouins blancs-white porpoises-these small white whales show up at Tadoussac every summer. Both Cartier and Champlain mentioned them.