24 Jul, 2009 Belugas

Headed back to the community of Resolute today for a little visit. On our way through weeks before I had seen an old beached boat that caught my eye. I wanted to see if it might again, and maybe I could turn it into a small painting. We signed out the “red van” from Polar Shelf, and drove down there. Along with us were Tony Gaston and his assistants Rob and Kevin, researchers who were looking for permits to bring back eggs they’d collected in the field. We dropped them off at the wildlife office and then headed toward my target with anticipation. I saw the old boat from a distance and as I got closer, nothing happened. No spark. No inspiration. It’s funny how sometimes our memory of things is better than the real thing. I had not invested much time in it the first time through, it was more of a drive by sighting, but somehow it seemed better at the time. Oh well.

This little drive did prove to be productive though. As a result of it, Tony had informed us that he had seen Belugas and Narwals earlier in the day feeding close to shore only a couple kilometers from the Polar Shelf. And they had been in tight to shore, only 15 meters away! We carried on right past the “Shelf” to go check it out. It was afternoon by now, so we had no idea if they would still be there, but it would be worth a try. We approached and saw nothing near the shore. But as we looked up, our eyes caught the glistening white backs of Belugas breaking the surface further out. One here. Another there. Amazing. Carl and I cracked out the video and still cameras and began shooting. Before long, they began to move in a little closer by a nearby point. A frantic run brought us within reach of some decent footage, and though the Narwals were no where to be found, the sight and sounds of these beautiful creatures kept us mesmerized. At last, a quick check of the watch told us it was time to go. Supper was about to be served at the Shelf. Another not-to-miss event.

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