Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Polar Bear Sow & 2 cubs walking across a frozen lake.
“Leave only footprints, take only memories” (…and maybe some pictures)

Day 6

October 28, 2016 6:40am Sitting in the lounge with the rest of the early morning people enjoying our first cup of coffee while waiting for breakfast. 8:00am Photos of the Lodge from the Rover as we maneuvered to pick up our food and drinks for the day’s outing. 8:05am Everyone is on the Rover today.  It seems my group saw the most bears, and I wouldn’t say our viewing was phenomenal, but apparently we had better sightings than the other half of the guests.  There is food on board for lunch and drinks.  We are ready to go.  We are searching near the Wapusk National Park. 8:18am Photos of Willow Ptarmigan in the willows. 9:00am A Raven poses on top of a small tree. 9:15am We just backtracked to Halfway Point.  We were here, but didn’t see anything, then as we were leaving another driver informed us that it was worthwhile to return.  Area does have some nice scenery. 9:35am We are back at Halfway Point.  We found the bear but it is very far away and really was not worth the return trip.  We left as soon as we got here and Bonnie seems pretty upset with the other driver for the bad lead. 10:21am We spot a Polar Bear that is almost hiding in the brush. 10:34am Photos of Polar Bear walking along on of the rover trails and another Polar Bear near one of the many lakes.  He really didn’t seem to like all the attention.  He acted a little nervous. 10:57am We left the area of the nervous Polar Bear to look for other bears only to have him (the nervous Polar Bear) leave also and our paths crossed again.  We parked to see what he would do and he seemed to be trying to hide in the grass/scrub. 11:02am Another Polar Bear and a Tundra Buggy fitted out with camera and antennas.  Apparently it transmits what it’s cameras see to the internet.  Got some scenery shots in the area. 11:20am We have stopped and are having lunch.  We stopped at a spot with a nice view.  A lone Polar Bear is resting next to a frozen  lake.  Every now and then she raises her head to look around.  About halfway thru my soup (very good soup) she got up and looked around.  She started rolling around in the snow.  We have been informed that it is a sow. 11:55am Lunch is on hold due to the Polar Bear putting on a show for us.  After a little rolling in the snow she got and walked slowly across the ice right towards us.  We were wondering if she could smell the soup we were eating.  I hope not.  That would be cruel if she could… she hasn’t eaten in weeks, or months, and we are sitting here enjoying lunch.  She came very close and then kept on walking disappearing into the willows.  Very nice! 12:30pm Lunch is done.  We had root vegetable soup, chicken salad sandwiches and dessert was homemade banana bread with chocolate chips.  We are on the move again looking for more bears. 12:34pm Someone with good eyes spotted an Artic Hare hiding in the willow as we were driving past in the Rover.  Very hard to see, even when you know where to look. 12:45pm We found another Polar Bear, this one by a small lake and also some tracks in the snow. 1:10pm Another Polar Bear. 1:35pm A Polar Bear hiding in the scrub willow. 1:50pm More tracks in the snow.  This time Polar Bear, Artic Fox (closest we came to seeing one) and the tire marks from other Polar Rovers (or Tundra Buggys). 1:55pm We took a series of photos showing a Polar Rover crossing a small, shallow lake. 2:00pm Some nice Snow Bunting pics by Barbara.  Also pictures showing how far the bay recedes from high to low tides. 2:10pm We are stopped, looking at a mother and cub.  They are both resting and not active except for an occasional look around.  The cub kept an eye on us and the sow didn’t really seem to care about our presence.  Some more pics of Snow Buntings.  I wonder what they were finding in the mud mixed up by the Rover tires? 3:30pm We are heading back to the Lodge, and stopped for some photos of ‘flag trees’.  Flag trees are created by the constant, strong wind blowing from the west.  All branches, except those shielded from the wind by the trunk, are stripped clean off.  The trees do have some branches all around near the base where the ground and scrub block some of the wind. 3:46pm We are back in the Lodge.  As we returned we could see that ‘Scar’ is laying under the grating between the Kitchen and Crew Cars. 4:00pm Almost everyone is headed there to try and get some photos. 4:10pm Went and took photos with my still cameras.  Hope I got a few good ones.  Being that close to him his size becomes all too obvious.  He is huge.  I find it hard to believe that I was standing just 5’ from such a powerful wild Polar Bear. 4:35pm I went back for some video and photos on my GoPro.  While taking photos and talking with Shane (the cook) Scar stood up and walked over by the propane tanks and laid back down. It was intense.  While talking with Shane I pretty much kept watching Scar.  Outwardly he appeared to be sleeping.  Watching closely, however, it was obvious that he was very attentive.  Nothing moved but his eyes and he would look at which ever of us was speaking at that moment.  His gaze just kept going from one to the other and back. Also took pics of “Please Disturb” signs.  The signs are on the door to each sleeping compartment.  The intent is that if you have the “Please Disturb” sign showing on your door you are claiming that you want to be woken up if someone spots the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the middle of the night. Some photos of a pretty sunset. 4:45pm Drinks in the Lounge. 6:00pm Another delicious dinner by Shane and Shelley. 7:10pm After dinner we all gathered in the lounge car for a briefing pertaining to our departure.  They had the whole affair scheduled and it did go smoothly.  There were two busses, one for people doing helicopter or dog sled rides and one for us ‘others’ (not doing any of the extras). 7:20pm Towards the end of the briefing Justin kept pushing for her to get done and when she finished he said the Northern Lights were visible.  Everybody ran outside to look.  We did see them and got some photos.  Sadly they were obscured by clouds all too quickly. 7:50pm Our evening presentation.  This time it was Bonnie talking about her life in Churchill and the beginning of the Polar Bear Tourism business here. 8:30pm We are now in our rooms.  We have to get our tips figured out and in envelopes and then pack to prepare for departure.
Polar Bear Adventure, October 23 - 31, 2016
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