Polar Bear Blog – Stars Are Born

Driving around filming today, chasing Polar Bear Alert as usual. This morning turned out great, we drove through back alleys and side roads full of snow, checked polar bear traps and finally found a bear in one trap by L5 our recycling centre. This was a bonus because Manitoba Conservation has only handled 22 or 23 bears this year, only 12 are in the jail right now, usually the jail would be full and bears would be flown out every few days. This is only about a quarter of the usual encounters, could be that the bears are further south or just fat and happy this year.

We did what all good film crews do and interviewed Andrew, the conservation officer, too long until his nose and ears turned red from the cold and then we interviewed him a little longer. Then we set up the camera and just the wrong spot so that the Conservation truck couldn’t quite get out of the Polar Bear Jail after unloading the bear and, then, realized we were running out of gas and coasted back into town, likely pulling into the gas station on fumes. Perfect!

Of course, everything is perfect now that our camera gear is finally in town – not to mention, the locations manager slash translator. That helps considering my Japanese is just a tad ‘rusty’. Right now, they are interviewing a polar bear researcher studying bear behaviour. I got to play the guide, walking the host into the CNSC and introducing her to the researcher – pretty much ready for the big time now, probably put the call out for an agent tomorrow, maybe pectoral implants in December.

The Roots on Rails tour arrived in Churchill this week and both Fred Eaglesmith and Washboard Hank played a show at the Churchill gymnasium. It was pretty good, would have probably been better in the Royal Canadian Legion, since they are kind of more redneck roots country bluegrass something (incidentally roots music has a whole different meaning when you mention it to Aussies and Kiwis… just keep that in mind). Nonetheless, a pretty great night.

Of course, it just sort of continued my non-bear season season – I think all of my best days in Churchill this fall have been at Camp Nanuq or on Greg’s bus at The Flats, with my two buggy days being the longest… Not to say that there are not good bears this year, there are – its just I might be beared out right now.

This could change, only the first waves of grease ice are sticking to the shore and while there is a bunch of new pan ice floating around, it still should be a while before the bay freezes – yay, for late season tourists… It still relatively mild for this time of year and we just keep getting more and more snow, more snow than technically we should have all winter.

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