It is in the -2°C water, at Cap-des-Rosiers in Gaspésie, that I joined Antoine Nicolas in his first seaweed harvest of the year. The start give us a taste of what follows... We carry our equipment in more than 1m30 of snow... which cracks under our weight. We decide to equip ourselves with snowshoes in order to have a chance to reach the pack ice! In a wetsuit, snowshoes on, with more than 30 pounds of weight on his belt, Antoine wears his algae harvesting board. As for me, I have my scuba tank on my back and my underwater camera with my two lights. We carry no less than 60kg each, with a winds giving us a feeling of -18°C. The operation becomes more complex when we reach the last part of the pack ice, composed of slush ice, we have to work our way through it... 50 minutes after getting out of the car, here we are, finally! I've never been so happy to dive into icy water!
The landscapes are finally worth it! The melting pack ice creates a layer of fresh water. Lighter than salt water, it doesn't mix easily, it creates a kind of magnificent steam, a kind of monochromatic aurora borealis that I admire underwater. Antoine begins his harvest, fresh seaweed that he will ship to Montreal restaurants, owned by the most prestigious chefs in Quebec. I find the situation rather amusing, Antoine from Brittany who arrived in Gaspésie more than 15 years ago and I, Normand who arrived in Quebec about ten years ago... Two Frenchmen, in icy water, in wetsuit, under the ice pack at the end of the world. We stayed about 3 hours diving, with a big smile, living at that moment, fully our passion for the sea and the wild environments. We got out of the water, the pack ice drifting dangerously close to the sea forces us to return to land.
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