Whale Watching Around the Maritime Coastline of Canada
Nature enthusiasts and photographers will be thrilled to watch everything from seals and dolphins, to belugas, baleens, blue whales and humpbacks, play and burst out of the water. This usually happens quite close to the waterside camping areas too. If you ask at the campsite offices, they will provide you with an illustrated chart of the various species of marine mammals to look out for based on the time of year. Dying for a closer look? A number of companies at the campsites also operate guided boating excursions along the St. Lawrence River (row boats, kayaks and zodiacs also available), which will take you mere metres away from the whales. I would highly advise this since the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the whales, the local ecosystem, migratory patterns, and so on.
If you choose not to get into the water, don't feel left out. Quite often the whales come close to the cliffs, where some camping sites are situated. Imagine seeing a blue whale breach out of the water right in front of you as you prepare supper over the campfire! If you opt for this route, keep a camera on hand and wait for the whales. There is no warning when they leap out of the water; but when they do—it is quick and magnificent.
Bird watchers will have a field day spotting various marine birds, including razorbill penguins perched on the cliff walls. If you do happen to be visiting in early spring (although I must warn that it will still be rather cold at this time), you'll be lucky enough to see mass amounts of seals coming back for their birthing season.
When to Go to Gaspe Whale
If you do decide to embark on a camping road trip, make sure to be properly prepared with all the necessary supplies. Most of the New Brunswick camping grounds are well maintained and family-oriented, as well as pet-friendly. If you plan on swimming a lot, aim to be there later in the summer when the water warms up a little more.
Odds n' Ends
The weather can be unpredictable, with thunderstorms breaking out at a moment's notice, so bring an extra ground tarp and an overhead tarp to keep your tent dry, as well as extra clothes. The nights (especially by the water) get quite cold too, even as late as August, so you will find extra sleeping bags and blankets quite welcome.
Most of the Maritimes camping grounds DO NOT allow external firewood to be brought into their sites (for fear of introducing external species of bugs that may endanger their ecosystems). In lieu of this, they do sell bundles of firewood at the campsites. You can usually purchase these at the registration cabin.
If you decide to go swimming or boating, check the tide timetables. At night, the tides can come in dangerously high, so you don't want to be trapped on what used to be the shore!
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