What to expect during your research adventure
The decision to go on the water or to stay on shore is made by the captains depending on the weather conditions observed in the morning and announced by Environment Canada. When permitted, we leave from the dock at Mingan at 7.30am on a 22 ft. rigid-hulled inflatable boat spending 6 to 10 hours searching for the whales, perharps even 12 hours if permitted by the animal distributions. Participants will have the opportunity to observe photo-identification and biopsies of whales while also assisting in the collection of data at sea. Researchers on board the boats will provide information about the biology and ecology of the whales and how to identify species and individuals based on their characteristic markings.
During your stay, you will listen to an interpretation at the Museum and be introduced to the research being done at the station and see the work behind the field trips at sea. It will include a learning process to identify individual whales based on photos, through a technique called 'matching'. It will help you understand the different steps from transmitting the data collected on logbooks to filtering and importing the photos into the MICS database. You will have access to our library and our researchers will always be at your dispersal to answers any questions you may have.
When the conditions do not allow us to go on the water, activities are being organized on land for you to discover the Mingan/Anticosti region with visits and walks along the shore (e.g. Magpie waterfalls, BBR, Grande Pointe, Havre-St-Pierre) and cultural immersion into the Innus lives.
On the North Shore, participants stay at a local cottage ('gîte') « La Chicoutée » located in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan where they have private rooms with shared bathrooms. You will be picked up every morning and dropped off every evening. For more information about the cottage, please check the website: http://www.chicoutee.com/hebergement/
All Meals are Included!
Every morning, the cottage offers an excellent breakfast prepared by Pauline and Sylvain, owners of the gîte. Lunch is prepared by MICS either packed on the water or consumed at the team's house. Dinner is in charge of a very good local restaurant called « Le Macareux Dodu ».
Gaspé (Blue whales)
Breakfasts are eaten at the motel or B&B, while lunches are prepared by the combined field team and are eaten on the water. Dinners are enjoyed in local restaurants.
Meals are spent with the team in a restaurant.
While the air temperature may be warm, the water temperature is much cooler even during summer months. MICS will provide participants with thermal flotation suits for safety. Participants should bring warm and comfortable clothing for long days at sea. We recommend wearing layers, including thermal underwear, wool sweaters, pile/fleece and shell jackets, gloves, warm socks, a scarf and hat, and warm footwear. Sun protection for the face, lips, and eyes is also essential. Do not forget to bring binoculars, a camera, and plenty of batteries!
How to get here!
MICS takes care of transportation to and from the airport, as well as any other travel plans throughout the week. Arrivals and departures occur on Saturdays. You can, however, arrive with your own transportation if you desire.
Meeting point: Sept-Iles (airport or other)
Personal transportation: via 138 highway
Gaspé (Blue whale)
Meeting point: Gaspé (airport or other)
Personal transportation: via 132 highway
Meeting point: Lajes of Pico airport (PIX)