Last night we listed the Canadian destinations we want to visit in our last 6 months here; it’s time to apply for leave dates Jan to Jun 2015. I checked our bank balance and credit card balance (and gasped) and started to consider how we could possibly afford our planned travels, especially after Dan’s extended leave becomes leave without pay. This morning when Dan decided to go snorkelling in Hudson Bay again, in the hopes of getting a better visibility underwater experience of beluga whales I didn’t take the risk. I stayed in our hotel room. It’s not a cheap experience. It wasn’t on my bucket list. I’d already glimpsed a shadowy beluga whale form swim past me as I struggled to coordinate kicking legs that wouldn’t stay underwater. I was quite content reading Radiographics review articles on organ transplant arterial complications and ultrasound diagnosis of retained products of conception. I even downloaded a new book and started to read it. I was having a relaxing holiday!
At 15:20 I began to worry that Dan’s boat had sunk and I was going to have to go identify his body. He was due back at 15:00. There was a knock on the door. It was Dan but Dan was behaving funny. “How was it?” I asked, expecting slight disappointment that the ongoing poor visibility only marginally improved on yesterday’s experience. Dan looked shifty. He was trying to conceal something. “Just tell me what happened,” I instructed. After almost ten years together neither of us need to even talk for the other to know when we are trying to hide something. “We saw a polar bear SWIMMING! And a SEAL! And a POD OF WHALES! THIS IS THE BEST HOLIDAY EVER!” My lower lip quivered. I tried to not look disappointed but I was kicking myself. I had given up an amazing opportunity! My heart felt heavy and, for the next few hours, I struggled to smile. Dan was beaming.
We ate a quick lunch and Dan recharged his GoPro before our booked evening kayak on the Churchill River with beluga whales. The weather was perfect; it was neither hot nor cold. Only a few bugs were about. Lots of curious whales popped out of the water, some followed other’s kayaks. One woman had two whales playfully bump hers. I kept getting whales dive under my boat, release bubbles that would paroxysmally burst next to me, or behind me, which absolutely terrified me. Siting in the middle of the river I recognised a scene of my nightmares: surrounded by water. Once I got jumpy I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t get scenes from Jaws out of my mind. Dan was having a ball. A whale of a time. This made me happy, but I was still glad when it was time to head back in, and I paddled my heart out to get back to shore.
We’re going to stay up late tonight, hope to catch glimpse of Northern Lights.