Churchill Video of the Week – Macri’s Whales

This throwback video features the original Sea North Tours founder MIke Macri and his thoughts on the majestic beluga whales of the Churchill estuaries. Mike has since sold Sea North and is “gone fishin” after decades of running the best beluga whale watching outfit in Churchill. I’ve spent many summers with Mike and his family and they are truly missed in the Churchill community. However, thousands of belugas are still returning to Churchill every summer and after interpreting their sounds via a hydrophone, they all miss Mike and the family as well!

Churchill Photo of the Week – Belugas

Beluga Whales in Churchill

Beluga whales in the Churchill River . Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.

There’s nothing quite like being out on the Churchill River or Hudson Bay with the beluga whales on a cool, calm and sunny afternoon. The harmony with the water, sky and whales is transcendent. Having spent 10 seasons guiding travelers in Churchill interacting with the belugas, I can tell you without a doubt there are few places that bond humans with nature. Enjoy!

Sea North Tours – Beluga Whale Watch

Sea North Tours operates fantastic beluga whale watching trips on the Churchill River and Hudson Bay for groups like Natural Habitat Adventures. Their small group format allows travelers to get up close and personal with the belugas and other wildlife. The Sea North 2 carries 30 or so passengers and gives photographers a different vantage point from above the water while the Italian – made zodiacs can approach the whales within touching distance. Belugas enjoy following the slipstream from the zodiac’s outboard motor and sometimes three or four at a time troll behind in the bubbly wake. Every day on the water in Churchill is a different experience. Stay tuned for more unique wildlife photos from Sea North Tours!

Beluga in Churchill

Beluga underwater in the Churchill River. Sea North Tours photo.

 

Beluga whales in Churchill

Beluga whales at the bow in Churchill on the water. Sea North Tours photo.

 

Belugas on the Hudson Bay

The Sea North 2 watching a pod of beluga whales on the Hudson Bay. Sea North Tours photo.

 

 

Sea North Tours zodiac trip

Sea North Tours zodiac on the Churchill River by the Port of Churchill. Sea North Tours photo.

Churchill Summer Notes From the Field

We hope you all enjoy our first guest blog report from Churchill and Natural Habitat Adventures guide Moira Le Patourel. Her group of travelers experienced a classic and exciting week in Churchill and the photos and report below give a feel of the adventure experienced!
“The first trip of the summer is always an exciting one in Churchill. Vast Ice floes are visible out in the bay, seemingly close to shore, but just slightly too far away to use the spotting scope to search for polar bears still out on the ice. Bears had already been spotted close to town and our first group of the summer was lucky enough to spot a resting polar bear on the beach, while out on the tundra on their first evening in Churchill.
Things were in full bloom on the tundra in a spectacular array of colours; snow-white from the White Mountain Avens, with their buttercup-yellow center, a carpet of brilliant green from the Sea Purslane, and a vibrant mat of magenta from the Purple Hedysarum. It was certainly a feast for the eyes!
Sea pursalane in churchill

Sea pursalane inhabits the beach areas in Churchill. Moira Le Patourel photo.

Beluga sightings were excellent throughout the trip, with several young calves spotted swimming with their mothers. During our final morning on the zodiacs, the river was all a-splash with beluga activity – pods of feeding-frenzied belugas, young and old, cavorted around the boats in pursuit of their fast-moving prey – capelin. Arctic terns plummeted into the water from the surface, with the white whales pushing the capelin up from below. Quite the sight to behold!
beluga whales in Churchill

Beluga whales in the Churchill River with excited Nat Hab travelers. Moira Le Patourel photo.

A visit with local sled dogs and their owner was an interesting way for our visitors to learn about what life is like for a musher and his team in the remote sub-Arctic town of Churchill. With the train to Churchill not running at the moment, the logistics have become more complicated over the past month, and the cost of living has significantly gone up for the residents of Churchill. Our group learned about what those changes meant for mushers and dog teams in the area.
Churchill sled dogs

Churchill sled dogs are alaways a popular attraction. Moira Le Patourel photo.

Walks in both tundra and taiga habitat allowed us to spot many different bird species; some of the favourites were nesting/dive-bombing Arctic terns, red-necked phalaropes, lesser yellowlegs, Pacific loons and tundra swans with young. Churchill certainly is the place to be in the summer, especially for those visitors in search of feathered friends. Many guests on this trip were able to add several species to their life lists.
Many laughs, smiles, hugs and songs (you can’t leave without singing Baby Beluga at least once!) were shared by all for our first adventure in Churchill this summer. Looking forward to what the coming days will bring!”

Churchill Video of the Week – Beluga Whales

A short video clip by National Geographic documenting springtime for beluga whales in the north. Belugas migrate south in the spring from the Hudson Straits to the estuaries of the Hudson Bay. Thousands of belugas make the trip to the warmer waters and shallow, gravelly rivers to give birth, nurture young and gorge on capelin and other plentiful marine organisms. There’s no other time like spring and summer in the Churchill region. Life is bursting from the tundra and the sea and rivers. What an amazing time to experience the northern web of life…Arctic style!

 

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