Sunday, August 20, 2017

If You're Going To The North Country

Back Bay, Great Slave Lake
This summer I had the pleasure of visiting two of Canada's northern territories; North West Territories and Nunavut. Both contain vast areas of land and water but NWT is primarily in the boreal forest zone while Nunavut is in the treeless tundra. The water bodies in NWT are mostly fresh but in Nunavut it's salt water.

Great Slave Lake

Both are good for swimming, though of course the water can be quite cold if you aren't wearing the right gear. In NWT I had the pleasure of swimming in the beautifully clear waters of Great Slave Lake every morning while staying in Yellowknife and Little Doc lake in the Nahanni National Park. I didn't swim in Nunavut per se but I did get to swim in the waters of Hudson's Bay which borders Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut.

Little Doc Lake
There weren't any creatures joining me for a swim in any of the lakes in NWT but in Hudson's Bay I was surrounded by beluga whales, the gentlest companions anyone could ask for. I've swam with seals, sea lions, and dolphins but nothing could have prepared me for an encounter like this. Out of the hundreds of belugas in the area at the time I don't know how many came by to check me out but they kept coming in groups of 5 or so, with their babies in tow, clicking and beeping away as they used their echolocation to size me up.

Swimming with belugas in Hudson's Bay

  


It was a beautiful experience that gave me a whole new perspective on marine mammals, the north country, and swimming in the wild. So glad the government has long ago put a stop to capturing these magnificent creatures for the sake of aquariums. Nothing beats seeing animals in their own natural habitat so, if you're going to the north country, make sure you have a thick wetsuit.

Little Doc Lake

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