Category Archives: The Arctic

Polar Bear Blog – About a Beluga

Churchill is just recovering from a heat wave this week and quickly running out of beer while they wait for news of the train.  Omnitrax is now issuing updates that seem to just be the same four paragraphs repeated everyday but they say the line should be open to freight in the first week of July.  After that, VIA will send its own people up to inspect the track - that would take a minimum of five days - but in my opinion, its probably another two weeks after the track opens before any passenger … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Climate, Bears, Whales and Roads

I know that often it seems that the Polar Bear Blog is kind of skeptical about climate change - its not my fault, there is a lot of ice on Hudson Bay this year... - but for the moss-huggers out there, here is a climate change update. Word on the street is that a black bear was spotted on the ice behind the Town Complex hunting seals.  This sounds a bit Churchill rumourish but black bears have actually been venturing out on the sea ice off the coast of Labrador … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Different Worlds

Featured photograph, Polar Bear at Cape Churchill, courtesy of CanUK Images - Simon Gee Photography     Polar bears have been spotted from Churchill this morning.  A mother with two cubs (probably the same one that got the bearded seal) were seen near Cape Merry (the mouth of the river) and a couple more adults were spotted out on the ice.  With the floe edge this close and this consistent, its no surprise that bears are very close to town.  Given their current … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Breaking Up is Hard to Do

The Churchill River is getting close to breaking this year, probably a bit early although mid-June seems to be fairly normal but nothing earth shattering.  The river upstream from the weir is pretty open now with a lot of water pouring over the weir and, of course, rolling more boulders into the river estuary.  No one will say that the Churchill weir was a really effective engineering plan but it does keep rock truck drivers in business and Mike Lawson, Churchill's explosives expert, occasionally entertained. As for Hudson Bay itself, well, looking out from the Town … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Camp Nanuq Meltdown

The wind has circled yet again, starting from the east a couple days go, drifting to the south and now coming straight off the bay to the northwest. It is a familiar pattern now. The east wind brings fog and cool, moist days (nothing good comes from an east wind). Soon, this broken by a south wind pushing heat from the land and the hardy few break out their shorts for a one day reprieve from a sub-arctic winter. The warm air has a price, however. As it hits the bay, it cools and clouds form. … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Fred Bruemmer’s Arctic

Fairly often, I find myself picking up one of Fred Bruemmer’s books and scanning through them again, even though I have read all of them over and over and over. Bruemmer was one of the first modern arctic explorers, environmentalists and writers, travelling the arctic in the 1960s and 1970s as well as one of the first polar bear photographers at Cape Churchill. An amazing life and an amazing writer. His work also puts some perspective on the current polar bear hysteria raging. Here is some of what he had learned about polar bears and seal … Continue Reading ››