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Published: November 14th 2008
Hi everyone (report from Dave).
Up here on the Manitoba coast, 30 miles east of Churchill, I've been witnessing day by day, one of the worlds great migrations. Hundreds of polar bears congregate on this point of land during late October and mid-November as this is where southern Hudson Bay freezes first. Every day more and more bears are coming by the lodge as they wait impatiently for the bay to freeze.
It's an incredible sight! The bears are naturally curious and many of them come right up to the lodge to check us out. At the minute we have a mother and 2 cubs, 3 big males, and a few smaller bears in the distance. During the last few weeks I have watched in awe as big males fight with each other to show their dominance. It was totally awesome to see and hear them whacking each other. I've had a very devious bear trying to break into the side of the bunk car!! He was trying to separate the two cars with his strength, and he was determined to get in, but the cars were way too heavy for him.
Most nights i wake up to bears
banging on the side of the staff bedroom wall, it's very exciting when that happens. The northern lights continue to dance every clear night and arctic foxes and lemmings go about their nocturnal routines. And then something breaks!!!
As the cold weather has set in, things on the lodge are starting to fall to bits.. Burst water pipes, twisted door frames and windows, blocked toilets etc. The generators are getting harder and harder to start, and of course, those furry white creatures are tearing the outside to bits. They bite at the panels and chew on the plywood. They are so curious and smart that they investigate everything only to destroy it (very human-like hmmm?).
On a more personal note, I am starting to get cabin fever from being on a lodge on the tundra for so long.. Myself, Bree and Julie (the other two lodge staff) are having fun but at the same time we are all getting over-worked and tired as we have a linear existence on a lodge thats 10ft wide by 320ft long. Getting on the ground is rare for the three of us, but we do go down there now and again (when there
are no bears around). I go on the ground to fix stuff that the bears have wrecked, or to start a broken down buggy, but I never go alone and I always take a pump-action shot gun.
And so, the bay is freezing over. There is sea-ice as far as the eye can see. It's amazing out there.....
Mean while in Sioux lookout.....(report by Theresa)...thanks Dave!
Altho, nothing can ever come close to the thrill of being amongst such amazing creatures as the great white polar bear, I will attempt to amuse you with my uninteresting banter of "normal" life .....
And please note: All photos are from Dave out on the Tundra Buggy Lodge in Churchill. There are no polar bears in Sioux Lookout.
In Sioux Lookout, we are finally getting a touch of winter, which is still much much warmer than in Churchill!
I am getting the new apartment sorted and still getting rid of stuff! Feels good to let go of unwanted/unused things. The "oh, I'll probably use this one day" train of thought is now passe in my brain! Took a lot of years, but I finally got it, partly thanks
to Dave. If it hasn't been used in the last 6 months-1 year, then Bu-bye! And once and for all, my TV, VCR, and DVD player will find a new home. It's so amazing what a small little laptop can do! And yes, it is true, less is more! (more room and better Feng Shui).
I've just completed a little separate adventure on my own to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Here I am spoiling myself with hotel comfort, a pool, a hot tub, (sorry Dave, hope this doesn't worsen the cabin fever) and getting my orthotics worked on by a Thunder Bay Orthotist so I can walk again! Yeah! And success is here! In addition to my feet, I saw some friends, ate some sushi, did some shopping at a second hand store (hey, reuse, recycle, I'm all over that!), and picked up a cell phone for a friend back in Sioux. That's what it's all about when you live in a little town far away from the bigger cities. You pool your efforts.
I can't say I have seen much wildlife, apart from the taxi drivers. I swear, one taxi ride brought me to G-Force 2! Felt like
Some bears will stretch as high as 11-12 feet with their heads reaching the windows. That is why you are warned not to dangle anything out the window (scarves, camera lenses) or they can pull you right out! (lunch time!)
I was taking off in a jet plane every time he stepped on the accelerator.
I head back to Sioux tomorrow, looking forward to the workforce life again on Monday!
signing off for now....back to these wonderful photos by Dave! Amazing!
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