All posts by Kels

Polar Bear Blog – Northwinds

North winds have finally hit after a month of south and west winds. Ice built up in late October but was all dispersed by wind and warm temperatures of November. There is some ice build up around Seal River, Arviat and Button Bay but its still a tough year for most bears. The last wave of mothers and cubs have arrived and are trying to lay low waiting for the ice. It’s a tall order though, these last family groups have spent most of the season hiding out in the willows and at the treeline, preferring … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Bears Ready, Ice Not So Much

On this day last year, bear season was over.  Enough ice had packed onto shore that most of Churchill's bears left en masse, heading back out to try their luck at early season seal hunting.  Other than a stressed out reality film crew, everyone was pretty excited about yet another early freeze. This year holds a much different story.  El Nino has finally arrived and its really almost t-shirt weather in Churchill, possibly even naked sun bathing.  The Churchill River is still open and south winds have washed the shore ice back into the bay.  Early … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Arctic Oil Spill

On August 10th, a suspected arctic oil spill off the east coast of Greenland was identified from satellite imagery.  It was 'suspected' because nothing had been reported in that area and no one was around to confirm.  The reported slick was 200 nautical miles from the town of Tasiilaq  It would take five days to mobilize an airplane to survey the site and longer for a ship to reach the spill.  By August 17th,the MV Knud Rasmussen reached the site but storms and pack ice prevented the ship from finding the slick. So, yeah, … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – The Northwest Passage Lost

In the race of northern shipping routes, its becoming pretty clear that the Northwest Passage has lost.  Still clogged with ice, we are entering yet another year of poor navigation across the Canadian Arctic.  Hudson Strait has had heavier ice than normal, Iqaluit's breakup was weeks later than normal and, well, its just not a great season for commercial shipping in northern Canada. The Northeast Passage, on the other hand, has been open for some time and traffic just seems to be gathering steam over there.  This is a bit of a mixed bag in terms … Continue Reading ››