Field Journal: Churchill – Cape Merry

Sitting on the opposite side of the mouth of the Churchill River from the Prince of Wales Fort is Cape Merry. Our Churchill Northern Studies Centre group stopped here twice and we were able to get out and explore the rocky landscape, while staying close together in case of polar bears. The short boardwalk leads up to a stone battery which overlooks Prince of Wales Fort and the water between the two landmarks were full of beluga whales. Standing at the stone wall and looking through the lower levels in the wall, I could see regular white mounds continually breaching out of the water. As I noticed earlier, at a quick glance they could be mistaken for whitecaps on the rough river, but a longer look easily revealed them to be the small, white whales. They were often accompanied, side-by-side, with smaller whales of varying…

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Field Journal: Following Gray Whales

During spring break earlier in April I booked an excursion on a whale watching boat with my daughter to see if we could find some whales. I waited until the week before to consult the forecast before making our reservations as our Seattle weather has been quite a roller-coaster. Fortunately the day turned out to be just as nice as the forecast promised with some sun and only light wind.

Puget Sound was relatively calm and when we arrived we were glad to hear they had spotted Gray Whales on their morning tour. As we left the harbor in Edmonds, we spotted our first wildlife, a harbor seal basking on a dock while a few cormorants perched on posts. We rounded the jetty and set off north towards Whidbey Island where they had seen the whales a few hours earlier.

The tour company claimed the boat we…

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