Expédition Manicouagan

A major global event occurred here in Manicouagan, 214 million years ago. A similar hard-hitting human event happened in the same area last night.

A meteorite of about 5 km in diameter from the far ends of the galaxy headed at 60 km/sec in the direction of Quebec, north of what became Baie-Comeau. Fourteen adventurers from across the country, including myself, took the same direction at 0.03 km/sec a week ago.

The celestial object struck the planet with the energy of 40 million Hiroshima’s “Little Boy and sank 10 km under the earth’s crust. The pressure was such that it generated around 1400®C in heat. The rocks liquefied to form magma that took 1,600 years to harden. More resistant fragments fell into this boiling paste.

We created links quickly between us, exchanging on what we are passionate about and the trying moments that we went through in our illness. But there was something that did not match. I realized it and we all felt it to some extent, I guess, but we kept it to ourselves.

Like a drop seen under a magnifying glass that falls slowly in the water, the meteorite carved a huge bowl. In the centre of this bowl, a titanic clump of raw material appeared to form the island at the heart of the crater dominated by Mount Babel.

Last night, sitting in a circle around the campfire, like titans around the Manicouagan, we cleared the air. Madeline began: ‘I wish we could mix together French and English’. Then, several others wished for a convergence of the two solitudes.

This discussion galvanized us. Immediately after, I could see the effect: we began to mix more, and I decided to go for it and try hard to speak English. Then, new friendships emerged. Reaching out was really worth it, despite the language barrier. We discovered exceptional people. Already that I loved my experience, now I’m thrilled! ”

This morning, we had to make a fire on a raft that we had to keep lit on a distance of about tens metres. Yan and Zach’s effectiveness and collaboration impressed me. And you should have seen the pride in Blake, Lucas and Sarah’s eyes when, in turn, they met the challenge!

I picked up an impactite on the beach. It’s a unique stone that results from the melting of the rock at the dawn of time, the time of the great meteorite. Several pebbles are pierced like Gruyere cheese. The holes keep the memory of the fragments that resisted the heat of the impact. The one I kept still proudly bears a stone set like a polar star. I will always keep it in memory of the chemistry that operated between us last night. Now, more than ever, we are a united group in the adventure!

You would understand better what I mean if you could have heard us singing the Foundation Anthem in the evening. Magical moment.