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Quebec Bulletin
August-September 2016/Volume 19/Number 4

In the ootsteps of Champlain: Hydrographer for a Day

The group looking at a computer screen
Maëly Fradette, along with members of her family

Not everybody has the chance to navigate the St. Lawrence, much less discover its bed in detail. The Canadian Hydrographic Service provided this experience of a lifetime to two girls in Secondary I and II who had received a Jury's Choice award from Fisheries and Oceans Canada as part of the provincial Wanted: Young Cartographers contest.

It was early morning on July 6, 2016, when our first winner, Maëly Fradette, along with members of her family, came to the Sorel base to take part in a hydrographic mission aboard the CCGS F.C.G. Smith at the head of Lake Saint-Pierre, specifically in the navigation channel. After familiarizing themselves with safety procedures and conducting a safety visit with the First Officer, our visitors were able to observe the manoeuvres used to deploy the booms containing the echo sounders.

The hydrographer in charge of the mission explained its purpose and showed them images generated in real time from the acoustic data collected.

Marjorie Laliberté, along with her mother
Marjorie Laliberté, along with her mother

After lunching on board with the crew, the visitors boarded a search and rescue vessel, also based in Sorel.Our second winner, Marjorie Laliberté, along with her mother, were quickly taken to the F.C.G. Smith for the rest of the day's mission, and came back to shore aboard the hydrographic vessel. They enjoyed their time on board learning about the dynamics of the river and its different uses for commercial and recreational navigation.

The Canadian Hydrographic Service has been involved in the Wanted: Young Cartographers contest for six years. It is a school contest organized by the Champlain Branch of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics and the geomatics department of CEGEP Limoilou. The contest will be in its 10th year in 2017

Robert Dorais

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