In June 2017, I took the Cirrus on a solo trip to the Hudson’s Bay. I initially wanted to go to Churchill, Manitoba but the weather was really cooperating…
For the first leg, I wanted to go to Moosonee directly but the clouds were getting lower and lower and I had to divert to Rouyn-Noranda.
The next day, the weather was much better but I played it safe and went for a stop in Cochrane, Ontario before going to Moosonee.
In Cochrane, I checked one last time the ever-changing weather in Moosonee.
Moosonee is a very special place. It’s only reachable by plane or train. There’s no roads over the wetlands south of the town.
The next day I did my longest and most exciting flight. I went north to Polar Bear Provincial park following James Bay and back after I reached the Hudson Bay.
All the islands in James Bay and Hudson Bay are part of the Nunavut province.
As I approached the Hudson Bay, the cloud layer got lower and the winds got stronger.
When the cloud layer got too thick, I had to go below it. The wind got up to 40 kts from the East as I approached the Bay and the layer was going down.
After briefly going into IMC, I did a U-turn with the auto-pilot and started to head back. I had been flying for more than 2 hours over that desolate land.
It was June and there was still a lot of ice on the water.
I didn’t see a living soul during this 4.5hr flight… After landing in Moosonee, I went back to the guest house and zoned out pretty quickly.
The next day, the weather wasn’t nice enough to continue to Churchill so I decided to go back to Toronto, knowing it would take me more time than planned as the weather was shitty in the south too. The plan was to go to Sudbury, refuel and continue south.
But going passed Sudbury was impossible and I had to turn back after trying a few times to find an opening.
I stayed for the night in Sudbury (not recommended) and the next day, the weather being bad in the south, I went east to wait it out in North Bay as I was keen to avoid another night in Sudbury.
I spent the morning in North Bay waiting for the weather to improve and left as soon as there was a reasonable opening.
Approaching lake Simcoe, it was definitely not a time to take pictures anymore…
After passing quite low over lake Simcoe, I had to zig-zag between storms to get to Buttonville. The controller got surprised when I asked for a landing clearance and sure enough a very heavy rain poured minutes after I reached the main apron.
All in all, such a nice trip and I learned so much navigating under sketchy stormy weather.