Polar Princess Return From James Bay, Canada

By: Lloyd Mize

The hospital is on the Moose Factory Island causing transportation difficulties during the warmer season. Rachel*, our guide, told us when her mother was pregnant with her older sister during spring break up a helicopter was also in service. With no lighting for the helicopter, for two weeks before her due date she was flown to the hospital on the island for the night and returned during the morning. This went on for two weeks after her due date. Her sister was born during the day at home. Gives us a different perspective, doesn't it?

Back to the ride up the river. We had seen a few other people out in their boats at this hour and one on a beach. Early Hudson Bay Company ships had to load sand from "Ships Sand Island" to balance the ship for the return trip to England. The furs must have been too light.

Our ride took about an hour from Moosonee before we reached the mouth of the river. Having seen the salt water of James Bay the Polar Princess began to turn around. I would like to know your guess for the movie title, so take a minute to think about it. I will reveal it soon. We were now headed for Moose Island Factory

One more fact about the spring break up. Remember I said the river had four feet of ice during the winter. The width of the river must be at least a half mile at places. One channel was man made at a width of 50 feet. During spring break up the ice erodes the banks of the river dragging dirt and trees with it. Over the years the 50 feet has expanded to over 200 feet!

The movie has started. It was a national documentary (sorry) about the Cree making their fall and spring hunting trips. Children today are losing their hunting skills and knowledge. This story was about an elder, his wife and their family as they teach adult children and grandchildren how to hunt. Another question, "What do you think they are hunting?" This is moose country, with moose, black bear, foxes, and wolves could be their prey.. Their target is the Canadian Goose! Yes, as many as have migrated to the States, some are being harvested for the food they provide. We saw how they plucked and cooked the goose, giving new meaning to having your goose cooked! It was an interesting documentary.

This morning at breakfast, one of the couples told us about being asked to attend a wedding where the feast included 15 geese being roasted. Imagine someone in the states or any larger city for that matter, asking a tourist to come to a local wedding. I know it was fascinating to visit with the local residents and to be watching the geese being cooked. Lunch was served, a ham sandwich with carrots on the side. Still on the river we were served a cake with a maple leaf drawn on it for Canada Day. I kept trying to get Rachel* to sing "Oh Canada," the national anthem. Oh well. It had been a great ride up and we are approaching the island. I will describe that excursion on another article.

*Name changed

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. ? Lloyd Mize 2007

Canada Destination
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Canada Destination