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Hayley Shephard pilots the Beluga Boat

This Labor Day, Bid Goodbye to Belugas

After a season full of beauty, natural wonder, and heart-stopping thrills, Beluga Boat Captain Hayley Shephard reflect on her weeks whale watching aboard her vessel.

“Fall arrives quickly in the Churchill region. During the month of September, the wind becomes a constant companion, bringing a cold breeze from the north, and the Beluga whales start their migration across Hudson Bay and in to Hudson Strait. Tourists are no longer seen wandering the streets, and the town winds down after a busy summer, soon to begin the preparation for Polar Bear season.

On the Beluga boat, we are experiencing an extraordinary completion to our Beluga Boat Live Cam season. The water is unbelievably clear, and the whales continue to surround us with their generous company and curiosity. We received unusually warm and calm conditions and so we seized this opportunity and invited Rob, our local cello player back onboard for a third Churchill Estuary symphony. As he performed, the whales performed, spiraling in the aqua-green waters below and following us, belly up, as we cruised to the cello melodies.

The live, open-air cello concerts have definitely been a highlight for me as I reflect on my season as Beluga Boat Captain. Another high point are the many conversations I have had with local ‘Churchillians’ who joined me for a tour and shared their experiences growing up in the unique, friendly northern town of Churchill. Their stories resonate; particularly those that spoke of the times where Beluga whales were looked upon differently…the excitement during a Beluga hunt, or the cowboy riders who were tasked to capture whales for sea aquariums. How relieved I am to be living in these modern times, where we can simply drift beside these majestic cetaceans and listen in to their abundant world of sound and social custom. Their trust moves me. But the history is part of the story and the Beluga Boat has become just another chapter.”

Join the Beluga Boat for the last tour of the season on September 7th at 1:30pm PT. Don’t forget to share your pics on Facebook!

EXPLORE The Complete – Beluga Live Camera Experience