SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
19 / 09 / 2016
The summer of 2016 – our 32nd season at sea with the belugas – was once again rich in encounters and surprises. Observations include sightings of Blanchon on at least five occasions. That’s great news! Blanchon is the oldest known living female in our family album! Our team ran into her in 2015, but for the six years before that, she had disappeared from the radar.
September 19, 2016: It’s barely 8 a.m. and already we’ve met up with Blanchon in a herd of 40 individuals at the mouth of the Saguenay. We see as many white adults as we do young grays, in addition to three newborns. The female Athéna is also there. Older females such as Blanchon and Athéna, who become less fertile over time, nevertheless retain a very important role in the community and amongst juveniles.
The hours pass and the belugas continue their journey in the Saguenay. The incoming tide “pushes” Blanchon and her companions upstream. Being as they’re not particularly strong swimmers, belugas often use the currents to their advantage, thereby reducing their energy expenditures. Occasionally, they can be observed swimming against the current, perhaps to better hunt prey arriving from the opposite direction. We reach Baie Sainte-Marguerite before wrapping up our day.
Update : November 28, 2017