Viewing spectacular island rock formations and observing a great variety of marine life are the goals of this trip. The Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada is about a two hour drive east of Sept-Illes on Highway 138 along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The 150 km of Park Reserve encompasses a string of close to a thousand limestone islands and islets. Famous for being the largest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada, our destination within the park will be a group of islands located near Havre-St. Pierre. The cold, nutrient-rich waters coupled with the unique underwater landscape bring whales close to shore; making the Mingan Archipelago the summer home for many species of whale, porpoise and seal. There are relatively easy hiking trails on several different islands, which give access to some monoliths if paddling conditions prohibit launching.
The two day drive to the Mingan Archipelago will be broken up by a two night stay in Les Bergeronnes to watch and paddle near the wales. We will continue driving to Havre-Saint-Pierre, our launch and return destination, of our seven night stay in the Mingan Archipelago.
Requirements: Paddling on the ocean is very unforgiving, especially where the tidal currents are strong, the water cold (it’s about 4 degrees) and the coast exposed. If the water is calm you can paddle safely, however conditions can deteriorate very quickly. Ocean paddling requires more from the paddler than fresh water paddling. The paddler must be prepared: with good equipment, knowledge of local conditions, willingness to paddle in fog, and with an understanding of how quickly things can go tragically wrong in a very short time. Air temperatures can vary between 6 and 26 degrees in late August and rain is possible several times each day. Participants must be capable of self-rescues, of paddling 10 to 25 km against a current, be comfortable paddling in one meter waves in moderate to strong winds and crossings of up to 3 km.
Wet or dry suits are mandatory. Participants are responsible for their own gear, drinking water, food and transportation.
Due to their popularity as tourist destinations and the limited accommodations available at Les Bergeronnes and the Mingan Archipelago, motel and camping reservations must be made by mid-March.
If you are interested in joining us on this adventure, please contact Victoria or Dave as soon as possible.