The man who saw the whale

L'homme qui a vu la baleine

Pilot of the vessel in the waterway of the St. Lawrence river for the past thirteen years, Simon Lebrun was the first to photograph the unusual sight of a humpback whale snorting assertion in the waters of Montreal, and at the end of last month. Ten days later, by a sad coincidence, it was he who reported the first images of its carcass beached near Varennes.

His initial encounter with the calf took place near the island of Sainte-Thérèse vis-à-vis the Pointe-aux-Trembles, in the morning of 30 may. “I was the first ship to reach the metropolis, and the sun was rising when I saw it, says Mr. Lebrun. I am eager to spread the news of his arrival.”

Almost at the same place in the river on Tuesday morning, he found the beast, which is dead this time. “I left at 5 am from Three Rivers, and, an hour and a half later, I saw her, stranded on the side, perfectly still. It is only later in the day that his carcass started to drift…”


Despite the ending, heart-breaking, Mr. Lebrun believes that the “visit” of the whale was good. “For ten days, it was mind blowing. People came to see her with the children who dreamed suddenly of whales in their back yard. In this context, it has brought a lot of happiness and perhaps pique a lot of curiosity.”

The instigator of the Challenge of Paddling the ice in Montreal and organizer of the dozens of cultural events in connection with the port and the river, the pilot Simon Lebrun hopes that the authorities will be able to use the remains of the deceased whale to be used for educational purposes. “What will they do with the carcass? It would be nice to make it interesting for the children she has a dream. We could stuff it or present his skeleton for scientific popularization or find another way for him to honor in the duration instead of just putting it in the garbage…”

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