Just north of Gimli MB, on Hwy 8, along the shores of Lake Winnipeg sits a very small & quiet fishing village, called Helca. Actually, everything around here is named “Hecla”…. there’s Hecla Island, Hecla Provincial Park, Hecla Village.
Like most small communities in this area, it was a settlement of Icelandic immigrants who first established this area in 1876.
Currently, there are 9 families living in the village, with a few more families in the nearby areas.
The original Lighthouse was built in 1898, but was reconstructed 1926
At the crack of dawn when the sun is rising and shining on Port Hardy, its an enjoyable and tranquil time to be walking around exploring. It’s the peacefulness along the water’s edge with sights of landscapes, ocean, low or high tide and frozen mountain tops in the distance. Very visually pleasing during this time of the day.
Almost every morning (and evenings) you’ll see at least one or two bald eagles soaring.
One particular bald eagle has claimed the tree top over looking Hardy Bay. His tree is actually right along the water’s edge, beside the Pier Side Landing Hotel, and visible from the windows of the North Coast Trail Hostel. He’s there every morning and returns in the evening.
As you walk along the path, following the water’s edge, there are several information plaques about the northern island’s wildlife. A couple interesting facts that caught my attention…
First – Black Bears. The Black Bear can weigh anywhere from 200 – 600 pounds. Huh? You mean there is no average? Just seems odd that there is 400 pound adjustment.
Second – Steller Lion Seals. This was really odd when it came to Life Span. The Females – 30yrs. The Males – 18yrs. That’s almost 1/2! Huge difference. Not sure why that is, but it was interesting none-the-less.
Other informational plaques included the Orcas (Killer Whale), Birds, Wolves, and few more for you to read about. All very interesting stuff!