Finally! Here they are the Beluga Whales! They travel in pods of 6 to 20 on average and they don’t stay in the same pod, they mingle and go from pod to pod as they are very social. There are in total about 800 to 1000 in the Churchill River this time of year. They are so graceful to watch and very curious to see us too! As you can see in the top photo the rain finally moved off and we had clearer skies for the rest of the boat tour.
Here is a mom with a young grey calf. The calves lose their grey colour by age 7.
I was very curious about this boat and the guide told us it was from a website called explore.org. They have a live camera underwater and above where you can watch and listen to the whales. Here is a link.
Here is a shot with the Port of Churchill in the background. Very sad to hear it was closed this season and many laid off. Politics at it finest! Just hope to hear it is up and running next summer.
When the whales breach the water to breath they rarely show their tail so I was happy to get a few pictures of that.
Now they are coming right up to our boat!
Then they start to swim under the boat. It is very cool to watch them turn upside down as they go under as they want to watch us too!
Our guide was having fun talking/calling to them and they really responded to the sounds she was making. Tim was taking underwater video as they went under the boat, he was just able to reach over the side of the boat and get our camera in the water but as soon as the boat swayed to the other side his hand came out of the water. So the video is very choppy but you get the idea of how they turn upside down and how close they swim together. I can’t seem to add the video to this post so I’ll add a separate one next with all our videos.
Later that day Tim and I signed up for a kayaking adventure with the whales. It started out with no rain and within 10 minutes of our paddle it started to pour! And it poured all evening and the rest of the night. But the rain didn’t bother us, as a friend said we are geos and have both worked in worse conditions! So true!
Now here is a piece of vital information if you go kayaking with whales…don’t pick the yellow kayak! They were very drawn to orange kayaks. Tim and the one other person in our group both had an orange kayak and I would watch the whales follow them! I still had an amazing time it was just an observation I made.
And here comes the rain! I had one whale breach right beside me and created quite the wave. Good thing I have kayaking experience or that would have created more than just an adrenaline rush!
Our guide finally called us in after an hour and 20 minutes as the lightening and thunder were concerning him! I hardly noticed! He said most tourist would not have stayed out in those conditions so he was very impressed. I guess us Northern Manitobans are a hardy bunch!
So that was the beluga adventure part of my trip! I would love to go back and kayak on a clear day and really get some time out on the Churchill River with the whales.