Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rolling on the Tundra

Another fantastic day in the Churchill area. After the Tundra Connections panelists did some interviews and a bit of a media blitz, we congregated at 'Launch' - the place where all of the Tundra Buggy vehicles are parked a few kilometres to the east of town. After loading up Buggy One with all of our gear, we wound our way slowly along the tundra toward Tundra Buggy Lodge.

The first thing I noticed was that there were bear tracks - everywhere. Even along the Tundra Buggy tracks there were polar bears tracks.

We saw as many polar bears as we saw Tundra Buggy's - which was quite a few. But we weren't trying to get up close and personal with the bears. We kept our distance and simply observed their actions from afar.

We spent a couple hours sitting at 'halfway point' along the Hudson Bay shoreline - note the complete absence of sea ice.

Base camp contacted us on the radio and said that they wanted us to hang tight so that Henry (PBI's videographer, who was on Buggy One with us) could be airlifted out. Manitoba Conservation had discovered a dead polar bear and were taking Dr. Steven Amstrup (who I met last night) out by helicopter to collect some samples. We got another call about an hour later letting us know that the plans had changed so we pushed on...

The sun sure does sink early in these parts. We saw this bear going for a mid-afternoon stroll in the dying light of the day.

Not only did we see a bunch of polar bears, but we also saw a bunch of other animals out here on the tundra. An arctic hare, a red fox and a whole bunch of ptarmigan.

As the light was going out of the day (about 4pm) we made our final approach to Tundra Buggy Lodge where we'll be staying for the next few nights.

Days aboard Buggy One and nights aboard Tundra Buggy Lodge - I could get used to this :-)

For the next three days we'll be conducting a broad assortment of video conferences and webcasts aboard Buggy One. I'm really looking forward to helping facilitate the Tundra Connections webcasts this week as a representative of Edmodo. Those of you that are following the blog are more than welcome to post your questions here as comments...

Thanks for reading ;-)
Andy

6 comments:

  1. These blog posts read like a photostory. It's a very powerful style of writing. I find myself completely drawn into the experience want to see and know more. Thanks Andy!

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  2. @dkuropatwa - Thanks, Darren :-) The best stories are yet to come now that we're out here on the open tundra... stay tuned!

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  3. Is the "complete absence of sea ice" at this time out of the ordinary or has it been getting later every year? Is this a direct result of global warming?

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  4. @Ryan - great question, and one that will certainly be addressed in great detail during Wednesday's webcast... In short, Hudson Bay is generally freezing up later in the fall and the ice is breaking up earlier in the spring... Not a good combination for the polar bears :-(

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  5. Andy

    Can you post your latitude and longitude or can you post your google map location.

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  6. That's a great idea :-)

    Check out the next post for an interactive map showing the exact location of Tundra Buggy Lodge...

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