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C A N ADA C H UR CHI LL

conditions like polar winds and flooding, is crucial for supply deliveries to Churchill and the more northern territories. Consequently, Calm Air and First Air flight tickets, which serve the northern communities of Canada, are not cheap and, as I learned, there was no way I could take my bags. I chose my underwater camera equipment, put on an extra coat, and said goodbye to the rest of my luggage. Worse case scenario I

would be reunited with it on my way home after my six day visit to Churchill. I arrived at my destination with no bags and was expected on my first Beluga snorkeling tour with Sea North Tours in the evening. All tours depend on the tides and departures vary between 8am and 6pm. Plan B allowed me to rent a wetsuit, gloves, mask and fins, and I boarded the Zodiac, missing my camera but grateful to be there.

IMAGES Above: A Beluga blows some bubbles. Below: The ‘kayak shack’ of Sea North Tours.

Leaving the Churchill estuary I got a first glimpse of the vastness of Hudson Bay. This huge body of salt water is connected with the Atlantic Ocean in the east by Hudson Strait, and with the Arctic Ocean in the north by Foxe Basin and Fury & Hecla Strait. Soon I saw some white, repetitive movement in the water and yes, these were Beluga Whales, one of the three Arctic whales, recognizable from the surface by the lack of a dorsal fin which prevents them losing heat from an exposed surface area. Instead, a tough dorsal ridge helps them to break the freezing Arctic water to reach breathing holes. But here in summer they don’t need that. Every year, between mid June and the end

SOON I SAW SOME WHITE, REPETITIVE MOVEMENT IN THE WATER AND YES, THESE WERE BELUGA WHALES... 01 4 | D I V E T R AV E L A D V E N T U R E S | S U M M E R 2 01 9

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