The deep inlets of Eclipse Sound on the north end of Baffin Island, are the end of the migration and the summer feeding grounds of the mystical tusked Narwhal. Come spend a week on an intimate discovery of the Arctic summer amongst stunning fiords, ice berg speckled waters and search for the most elusive and rarely seen whale species – the narwhal.
For a brief period during the summer weeks, the sea waters around the picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet are free of ice. The sea ice has melted, leaving behind icebergs dotting the waters. This is the perfect time to view the the narwhal –the ‘unicorn of the sea’ — in their summer feeding grounds. This is a boat-based trip. We leave from Pond Inlet, traveling past the the glaciers feeding into Eclipse Sound from Bylot Island, along into Milne Inlet, past Robertson River — which should be full of arctic char — and on to our base camp in Koluktoo Bay. At this time of year, the sun sets at 10 PM and rises at 4 AM. We call it the ‘exotic Arctic,’ where exquisite wildflowers bloom defiantly beside broad glaciers and fast flowing melt water rivers. Although many activities can be done on this trip, from hiking along the coast to fishing for arctic char, our primary focus is to enjoy the narwhal in their natural environment. A sight that only a privileged few have beheld.
Who best to locate pods of narwhal in the steeply lined fiords than by local Inuit guides. Using their exceptional tracking skills passed on from generations of living on these lands, you will watch the narwhal swim close to the boats, or even rest on the surface, the mist emanating from their blow holes in a singular ‘whhooosh’ sound as they prepare to dive under again to continue their feeding routine. One of the most spectacular sights to see are two male narwhal ‘jousting’ with their tusks before sinking back down into the crystal clear waters. Narwhals can be seen in groups ranging from very small all the way up to the hundreds – a truly memorable sight! Watch them swim through they crystal clear waters as they swim directly beneath the boats and come to rest only meters away. Accommodations during your stay will be in an eco-friendly, ‘leave no trace’ base camp consisting of a large 2 person sleeping tents tall enough to stand in, dining/lounge tent and washroom tent.
- Experience the warm high arctic in summer when the waters are ice free with the occasional ice berg dot the numerous inlets
- Narwhal’s feeding in their summer habitat in numbers upwards of 100 at a time in a pod
- Base camp close to arctic char infused rivers
- Have an open air dinner on the beaches after a day of narwhal viewing
- Hike along the wildflowers to nearby glaciers
Day 1 – Arrival in high arctic gateway community of Pond Inlet
Day 2 – From Pond Inlet – Take a cruiser boat or zodiac out to our Milne Inlet / Koluktoo Bay and set up our land based camp.
Day 3-7 – Daily sorties in search of the Narwhal
optional: Diving or Snorkeling
Day 8 – Travel back to gateway community and depart for Ottawa
Day 9 – Flight back to home destination