Saturday, November 03, 2012

Face to Face with a Wild Polar Bear‏

Greetings All,
We were picked up at 7:25 AM and we drove in darkness to the Polar Rover docking station. We drove right up to the Rover and entered through the back. They are old school buses on 5 foot monster tires. Everyone sat in the back so Marc and I grabbed the front seats with plenty of leg room and a great view out the front windshield.

We traveled on established routes and did not follow the other rovers but headed out on our own. Brad our guide spotted the first bears curled up on some rocks. One got up and moved around to the other bear

but for the most part they chose to sleep and not approach our vehicle. We saw a couple of other bears in the distance. One bear headed for us but the bear cam vehicle pulled up and she chose to visit that vehicle. One guy leaned out the window and lost his hat. The bear snatched it up and chewed on it before tossing it into the air.

Two more Tundra Buggies pulled up and the bear went to visit them. The other Tundra Buggies didn't stick around long. Finally, the curious bear visited us. She walked under the back observation deck and peered up thought the grated floor. This is about how close you'd want to get to a wild polar bear! She entertained us by rolling in the snow

and pouncing on make believe seals and pulling out grass instead. We finally left her and went to have lunch by the Tundra Lodge.

We pulled up past the lodge next to some willows to have lunch. There were two males play fighting and two more lying around.

They were inactive while we ate lunch but their curiosity got the better of them and they approached the rover. One jumped up against the rover and I could have touched him if I had a death wish.

He went under the observation deck and peered through the floor with his beady eyes.

At one time there were 6 bears around us, play fighting and posturing with one another. Churchill is one of the few places in the world polar bears congregate. They are waiting for Hudson Bay to freeze so they can go out on the ice to hunt seals. They haven't eaten for months so are eagerly waiting for freeze up. We were seeing so much bear activity that the day flew by. It was already time to return to the Polar Rover docking station. We saw some snow buntings on the way. We drove back to Churchill to watch the sun set.

Time for bed. We hope for another exciting day but, today will be hard to beat!

We hope all is well back home.

Peggy and Marc

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