Prince of Wales fort excursion


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July 16th 2017
Published: July 16th 2017
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Today Canada celebrated 150 years (edited for accuracy! woops) and as such we went over the bay to visit the Prince of Wales Fort. This fort was originally built by the Hudson Bay Company as a means to protect their fur trade interests. Sometime around the late 1700s the French took possession of the fort, but with few resources to man the fort they quickly returned it back to the English. Not before trashing the place of course. Today there is quite a bit of reconstruction work going on as the building is crumbling in this harsh atmosphere.

While on the island we tasted Inuit bread bannock (sp), which is basically an unleavened, flour-based, bread. It was very good. We also learned more about some of the research being done in the area - apparently the snow geese are a huge issue here as their populations have skyrocketed in recent years. Research related to the imbalance of these geese reminded me of the imbalance of ravens in the West, and how both ecology and politics are ultimately heavily affected by human interference.

After crossing the bay we made our way to Cape Merry, a munitions site meant to assist the Fort in reaching targets beyond their reach. All during this time belugas could be sited throughout the area as apparently some fish have been spawning over the summer in the area.

Just a quick note about the learning center where I am staying. This place is LEED certified and is actually housed on an old rocket test site. OK - now during the Cold War this area was apparently listening in on their Russian neighbors and testing atmospheric rockets (hopefully I'm saying that right). We are right in the Mid-Canada line as far as I can tell - this is a line of radar stations across Canada that was supposed to act as a line of defense in the case of a Soviet launch. I 100% recommend reading the Wikipedia on the line, fascinating stuff.

Yesterday I saw a solitary caribou out the window and tonight we are hoping to catch the Northern Lights. We've had very long days due to the latitude but apparently the forecast calls for some good viewing tonight. Tomorrow we are off on a bigger boat to see the belugas again and we'll also have a couple more information sessions, which have been incredibly interesting so far.

P.s. Fort pics can't upload right now, will have to do that in the future

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