05 September 2013 | Pauline Cove, Herschel Island, Yukon
Today we stopped at Herschel Island (Yukon) for a few hours. Pauline Cove used to be the biggest whaling station on the Beaufort Sea back 100-150 years ago. There were up to 500 people living here and many whaling boats from the US spending their winter in the sheltered cove. There are only two types of whales in the Beaufort Sea, the beluga and the bowhead whale (also called Greenland whale). They whalers were hunting the bowhead for its baleens which were used back then mainly for ladies corsets. They hunted the whales almost to extinction, before fortunately corsets got out of fashion again.
The friendly rangers showed us the museum with lots of whaling artifacts,animal bones, and tools from the local Inuvialuit and Gwichin hunting in the area back then. A very interesting and worthwile stop over indeed. The cherry on the icecream was of course the sauna, very nice after a long day out on the sea (followed by an obligatory jump into the seawater 4.5 C...)