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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Captain, Mike Macri is also an amazing photographer. Check out his website by copying and pasting the following into your web browser: http://www.macriphoto.ca/
Filed under: Local lore, Museum/Archive, Tour Tagged: | 1782, Beluga Calves, Beluga Whales, Canadian History, canon spiking, canons, Churchill Canada, Churchill River, English, French, HBC, Hudson Bay, Hudson's Bay Company, Mike Macri, Polar Bears, Prince of Wales Fort, Samuel Hearne, video