Churchill, Canada & Beluga whales

1:30 am at the Churchill River

This morning we woke up in Churchill, Manitoba, a small vibrant town on the banks of the Hudson Bay.  Churchill is famous for viewing polar bears and beluga whales.

Our first stop after leaving the Tundra Inn was the shore of the Hudson Bay.  We got on a small boat, actually an inflatable raft and boated out to visit the Prince of Wales Fort.

Prince of Wales Fort

The fort was built of stone starting in 1731 and took 40 years to complete.  They must have used the same contractor who built my house. The fort is located at the mouth of the Churchill River and was used to help prevent competing countries and companies from being able to enter the interior.

In 2010, they stand watch for polar bears (really), in 1782 they stood watch for the French

Jack and me in front of the fort entrance

The fort was lost to the French in 1782.  It was surrendered by Samuel Hearne without a fight.  Apparently Hearne was outnumbered almost 10 to 1.  I can imagine that if he had had internet access, he would have emailed corporate who would have told him to fight to the end…in spite of the fact that they had left him undermanned and totally unprepared for the onslaught.  Some things never change…

After leaving the fort we boated out into the bay and saw the route that ships used to take as they traveled through the bay.  It was only possible for the ships from England to enter the Hudson Bay between July and mid-October.

While in the bay with waves lapping over the edge of our raft something so Hudson’s Bay Company happened….we ran out of gas….I am not joking.  Apparently  “the new guy” forgot to fill up the tank.  I began picturing the morning headline of the third section of the Winnipeg Free Press “Governor of Hudson’s Bay Company LOST in Hudson Bay”

Fortunately Mike, our fearless captain, was very well prepared and reinforcements brought us fuel quickly.

Our Captain, Mike Macri is also an amazing photographer. Check out his site

As we left the Bay and entered Churchill River we were surrounded by magnificent beluga whales. Check out the pictures. But you MUST watch the video where we were able to tape the whales talking to each other and to us.

The calves ride on the mothers' backs and sometimes break the surface

Surrounded by about 70 beluga whales

Our Captain, Mike Macri is also an amazing photographer. Check out his website by copying and pasting the following into your web browser:


5 Responses

  1. Richard and Jack, I continue to read your blog with great interest and am finding myself very entertained by your adventures. I am so happy to be along with you on your trip! and enjoying every read. What a terrific idea – for the Governor of our great Company of Adventurers to take us with him – THANK YOU for sharing!

  2. What have you two been eating? How is the food?

    • Hi Marcia-
      Unfortunately we haven’t been eating as healthy as we like but we highly recommend The Gypsy Restaurant & Bakery in Churchill…we ate there 3 times in a row. The Caribou & Poutine was good.

  3. Wow, what an incredible day you had in the bay! Did you know that the man who discovered Hudson Bay, Henry Hudson is the same man who discovered the Hudson River in New York?

  4. To the Governor and Jack,
    Thank you for this very entertaining and informative blog, and the message from the Belugas! Bon! Merci!

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