With the temperatures rising across Canada, this video footage of a swimming polar bear inspires us all want to hit the water and take a dip in the cool ocean. The Hudson Bay and mouth of the Churchill River are a little too “cool” for extended swimming -around 42 F- unless you have some thick white fur on your body. Encountering a frisky polar bear in the water is always an incredible thrill…much better if you’re in a boat.
I recall one time guiding for a Natural Habitat Adventures Churchill Arctic Summer trip when we came upon a polar bear swimming in the Churchill River. I was driving the zodiac with seven travelers eagerly urging me to ease closer to the bear. As we slowly motored toward the animal he suddenly disappeared under the slightly choppy surface. This action revved my engine into high gear and I promptly did the same to the outboard and jammed it into reverse. I quickly turned the craft and swung it out about 50 feet to what I felt was a safe distance. All I could picture in my mind was the rubber boat becoming a polar bear pinata and all of us in the water bobbing like polar bear candy. Not a pretty visual by any means.
Summertime in Churchill is a magical time when you never know what the new day will bring. There’s always a treasure and something new to be discovered in every endeavor!
Thousands of beluga whales are gradually appearing in the Hudson Bay and Churchill River around the Churchill area. After leaving late last fall, early October, these magnificent milky colored whales are resurfacing for another fantastic Churchill Arctic summer season. We can’t wait to bring you all the photos and news from the water as the whales congregate, tend to young and feed on capelin in the cold water. There will surely be surprises each week as we follow Natural Habitat groups of travelers on their northern adventures!
Beluga whale underwater in the Churchill River last season. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
the Hudson Bay on the Churchill coast is nearly ice – free, signaling the start of summer. Erika Isle photo.
With the last of the winter ice melting and flowing north into the Hudson Bay, Churchill Arctic summer is officially here. The magnificent treasures of wildlife and tundra flora never stops captivating all the travelers that venture to the northern frontier town. We are looking forward to seeing what spectacular surprises emerge this summer!
Last chance to enter Natural Habitat Adventures’ Wildlife Photo Contest, the deadline is Tuesday! Submit your best shots for the chance to win one of two epic photography expeditions—a Churchill polar bear adventure or a Yellowstone wildlife safari!
Kugluktuk, Nunavut is experiencing ice break – up season. This video footage from Alison Harper submitted to the CBC just a couple of days ago illustrates the magnificence of the spring ice – flow process as the warmer weather ushers the floes out of the Coppermine River in the Nunavut community. The Churchill River broke up recently but this Coppermine ice is much more crystalized and faster flowing than the Churchill. There’s something very soothing and medatative about watching ice flow out as spring sets in.