2012 Polar Bear Trip Day 6 & 7

Posted on by Steve

Well, here we are, day 6 – we leave after lunch for Winnipeg.

But, you know, a half-day in Churchill can still be pretty cool!

We start our day with breakfast and head out to the shuttle. Sure, it’s no Polar Rover, but we’re going to drive around and try to catch a glimpse (or photo) of a fox – and who knows, maybe we’ll see a bear too!

Couple of cool signs you just don’t see anywhere else…

Love this sign:

And this one:

We drive to Cape Merry, rolling slowly along searching for any leftover Polar Bears or maybe a fox. No luck, but our shuttle driver is full of engaging historical information and makes the drive interesting.

We pull up to the little park at Cape Merry and are treated to a brief history lesson by one of the guides. From there, it’s back to searching for fox and bear – no luck so far.

We drop by the Churchill visitor center for a quick break and to stretch our legs. Lots of great history up there!

Next, we jump back into the shuttle and soon get word of a couple bears nearby via the radio. We zip over to the location and sure enough, we find one meandering along the coast.

There’s another van nearby and we’re all trying to snap photos as he wanders along. He stops to investigate some old buildings, then heads our way to investigate a backhoe that was left from the summer. He even stands on his hind legs at one point as he sniffs around – these bears are amazingly inquisitive.

Oh, and yes, there ARE people in the van during the part of the video when he’s only inches from the door!

I tried some shots but the temperature differential between the frigid outside air and the warm shuttle causes too many heat waves and I just can’t get a sharp image – oh well. Was still cool to have one last bear for final day.

We stopped by the Polar Bear jail too – it’s where they put the problem bears before they transport them out of the area. They tranquilize them, put ’em in jail for a few days or weeks (depends on the circumstances), then fly ’em 20+ miles up the coast. An experience they DON’T want to repeat!

Polar Bear Jail:

A trap for problem bears and annoying kids:

From there, it was off to lunch then to the airport. Sadly, our adventure was quickly coming to an end – seems like we just got started.

We had one final get-together with the group for some dinner. We said our farewells and it was off to bed, still dreaming of Polar Bears.

Day 7 was simply flying back home.


This was a fantastic trip. It certainly wasn’t my “normal” photo trip experience – not used to doing all the “tourist” stuff, but it was a nice change from my typical shoot – scout – shoot routine.

Grant had a fantastic time as well – he says it’s his favorite trip ever and I think I have to agree. I have a feeling this isn’t our last trip to the arctic. So much more to see, so much more to photograph.

I hope you enjoyed our little journey :)

Also, we’d love your feedback, so feel free to comment below.

~Steve & Grant


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8 Responses to 2012 Polar Bear Trip Day 6 & 7

  1. Annette says:

    I have really enjoyed following along on your trip. Both of you do a terrific job of showcasing your travels. Thank you. Annette

  2. Jane says:

    Watching the video I too noticed the heat waves. Very interesting to see. Thanks for taking us along on another of your memorable trips. Appreciate it.

  3. Patricia says:

    It’s great to be able to “go” on your trips with you, Steve, and so good to see Grant along with you. You are doing well with your videos, Grant. And what wonderful opportunities your dad is giving you.
    Thanks to both of you for so much enjoyment.

  4. Gloria says:

    Steve, thank you once again for taking me on an interesting trip. Loved all the photos of the polar bears. Of course I like the videos, too.You and Grant make a great team.

  5. Linda says:

    Maybe the bear was looking for a job. Send him to PA if he wants to run heavy equipment. He could work for Penndot! Sure couldn’t hurt. :-)
    Great video, I really liked it.
    Thank you

  6. Antoinette says:

    **thumbs up**

  7. Nance says:

    Certainly enjoyed “traveling” along with you and Grant. Have always wanted to see the polar bears up close even though a cold weather person I’m not.I hope that those wonderful bears are around for many years. Thanks for the pictures and the follow along.

  8. Nana-Karen Haggard says:

    Again, I have enjoyed ‘traveling’ with you. – Once in a while being a “tourist” has clear advantages! I know you are used to making the decisions, but on a trip like this, a location that turns out to be a dud isn’t your fault, any more than bad weather is. I imagine being on a guided tour WAS a bit new (strange & inhibiting) for you… Letting THEM do the scouting for you (with the help of their radios, which you wouldn’t have had on your own).
    Then having to shoot through the windows, & over other people’s shoulders (or having others shoot over your shoulders). Did Grant get to wiggle to the front at the windows because of his age & size?
    However, your usual routine of getting out of your vehicle, & working your way around the animal to get to where you think it’s GOING, so you can get your shoot of the animal coming toward you… would NOT be wise, with polar bears, would it? But I was glad & relieved, when I knew that you were NOT going to be able to go off & ‘cowboy’ on your own. (From what I’ve read in the past, the polar bears tend to be THE MOST unpredictable of the wild bears.). Remember, you & Grant are both “crunchy & tasty”!
    And Grant, If you keep improving with your videos, as you have in the past year or so since that first video I saw, by the time you’re old enough to vote, you will be a world-class video-grapher!
    ((hugs – to you both))

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