Seal River, Manatoba

Named for the harbor seals that are found along the river upstream from Hudson Bay, the Seal River passes through open spruce forest, tundra, and endless rapids. Flowing virtually straight east just south of the Manitoba / Nunavut border into Hudson Bay, the river starts in the Precambrian Shield forest and changes dramatically as you approach the bay. The forest shrinks into taiga, known also as “the Land of Little Sticks,” before disappearing completely. By the time you reach Hudson Bay there isn’t a tree in sight, only Arctic tundra as far as the eye can see.The Seal River is best known for its wildlife. The river’s remote vastness is home to spectacular wildlife such as black bear, arctic fox, wolves, caribou, wolverine and wolves. As you approach Hudson Bay, polar bears are often seen. As a final reward, we may see up to 3,000 beluga whales, which congregate at the estuary on Hudson Bay.

The Seal River is also well known for its whitewater. Paddlers are treated to many sections of challenging rapids ranging from Class I – IV.

All this is waiting for you on a river seldom paddled. You are not likely see another traveler on the river.

Dates: August 10-24th, 2018 / 15 days
Activity Level: 3 out of 5
Prerequisites: Intermediate Canoeing & Camping Skills
Client to Guide Ratio: (4:2)

Price:

  • Adult: $4,300  SAVE $400 January 15th – February 15th

*Prices are given in US Dollars.

Included: Airfare from Thompson MB to the Seal River,whitewater decked tripping canoes, whitewater paddles, PFD’s, helmets, experienced & certified- ACA level 4 Instructor/Guide, B/L/D + snacks, maps, tents, large and small dry bags & barrels, all group / kitchen equipment, safety gear, emergency satellite phone, Spot-GPS, and trip photo/video DVD.
PLUS: Participate for FREE in our Wolf River Expedition Weekend, Langlade Wisconsin. Meet fellow paddlers, brush up on paddling strokes on class I-III rapids. Review and practice swiftwater safety protocols all in preparation for the summers expeditions

Not included: Hotels in Thompson & Churchill, flight back to Thompson from Churchill, personal gear, clothing, sleeping bags, ground pads, passport, fishing license, etc. [a detailed gear list is sent to all participants]

Client Safety: While paddling and camping in polar bear country, we take safety very seriously. First, we rely on a deep knowledge base and good judgment to make decisions that minimize risk. Second, we utilize the latest preventative safety equipment such as electric fencing, perimeter tripwires, bear bangers & screamers, bear spray and guides with shotguns.

Clients favorite meals: Breakfast: fried or hard boiled eggs with salsa, cloud berry pancakes, oatmeal with dried fruit, bagels, fresh oranges, coffee, tea, cappuccino or hot chocolate. Lunch: ham or sausage and cheese or peanut butter & jelly burritos, apples, fruit newtons, M&M cookies. Dinner: baked, fried or grilled fresh walleye or arctic grayling with lemon-pepper, creamy wild rice soup with pike strips, barbecue and brown sugar glazed lake trout, chicken pot pie, pan seared aged New York steak with sauteed mushrooms, corn, green beans with chive butter, three cheese biscuits, cherry cheese cake. On all of our expeditions we strive to use seek a balance between fresh, freeze dried, organic and locally source ingredients in all of our meals.

 

Itinerary

Pre-Trip
The day before our departure, August 9, 2018, arrive in Thompson Manitoba. We recommend staying at the Best Western Thompson Hotel & Suites, modern and comfortable. In the evening, you will meet and greet your group, issue any remaining gear, and enjoy an evening of relaxing conversation and light refreshments.

*If needed, we will gladly pick you up at the Thompson airport and transport you to the hotel. For those driving, we are often able to coordinate car pools.

Day 1
In the morning, we will shuttle as a group from the hotel to the airport where we will board a plane to the Sayisi Dene community of Tadoule Lake. After a brief unload of gear it’s time to load the canoes and begin our journey.

Days 1-3
Paddle our way across Tadoule, Negassa, and Shethanie Lakes and begin our descent of the Seal River. If we are lucky we may have our first encounters with seals, moose and an elusive lone wolf.

Days 4-11
Explore the Seal River and experience and adventure of a lifetime.

  • Paddle class I & II rapids along side seals
  • Fish for arctic grayling at the confluence of the Wolverine River
  • Run Nine-Bar Rapids through the “canyon”
  • Portage Bastion Rock
  • Have a great dinner of fried walleye
  • Paddle 13km of continuous class II rapids
  • Paddle 8 more kilometer of class II rapids
  • Hike a long esker ridge line
  • After counting 200 seals, stop counting
  • Fish for arctic grayling below the Great Island
  • Paddle out the Tiaga forest and onto the tundra
  • Spot our second elusive wolf
  • Sneak past class IV Deaf Rapids and onto Hudson Bay

Day 12
Arrive at the estuary of the Seal. Spend the day polar bear watching as the tide comes and goes. Weather and waves permitting we will take the canoes out into the Bay for an evening of Beluga Whale watching. We will stay overnight at the “trappers shack.”

Day 13
At high tide we’ll catch a shuttle ferry from the estuary of the Seal River to Churchill where all our gear will be shuttled to your hotel of choice. In Churchill we recommend staying at either Tundra Inn, Polar Inn and Suites or the Lazy bear Inn. All the rooms are modern, clean and within walking distance to all amenities and services in Churchill. Hot showers await!

Day 14
These two days [13 & 14], will be spent in Churchill catching all the sights and sounds. At high and/or low tide we will get one more opportunity to get the canoes out and beluga whale watch. The balance of the day is then free for browsing the shops and exhibits of Churchill. Local places such as Cape Merry, Prince of Wales Fort, Port of Churchill, the Eskimo Museum, the Polar Bear Holding Compound (otherwise known as the Polar Bear Jail), Miss piggy, SS Ithaca, as well as the Parks Canada exhibit, all are of great interest. On the afternoon of the 14th day clients are free to catch a flight back to Thompson or stay stay and continue with the sights of Churchill.

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