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Archive for August, 2009

Polar Bear tries to make off with D6 Cat at Seal River Lodge on Hudson Bay

Polar Bear decides to be cat driver on Hudson Bay

Polar Bear decides to be cat driver on Hudson Bay

In late March and early April we spend two weeks working between Churchill, Dymond Lake Lodge and Seal River Lodge. A typical day during these two weeks generally begins at 5 a.m. and goes until about 10:30 p.m.

What are we doing in below zero temperatures? On the frozen Hudson Bay? With the occasional white out thrown at us just for fun?

We are the Cat Train crew.

Those of you who have spent time with us at Seal River Lodge have probably seen the photos of the D6 Caterpillar hauling freight over the sea ice during the winter for various projects that are planned in advance for the summer. We also spend what seems like endless days cutting and hauling fire wood to both Seal River Lodge and Dymond Lake Lodge.

D6 Cat towing 40,000 pounds on Hudson Bay

D6 Cat towing 40,000 pounds on Hudson Bay

We would like to introduce you to the newest member of our crew. He was a little eager and showed up about eight months early, but seems to be ready to go. This nice white bear decided he would try and take our Cat out for a spin, and a couple of our guests were lucky enough to snap a few shots before he noticed them.

For those of you who have not joined us at the Lodge I have also included a couple shots of the real cat train departing Churchill, Manitoba on its two-day trip, hauling almost 40,000 pounds en route to Seal River Lodge.

Cat train arrives at Seal River Lodge

Cat train arrives at Seal River Lodge


Trapped by Polar Bears at Seal River Lodge

Polar bear enjoys the sunshine outside the Lodge

Polar bear enjoys the sunshine outside the Lodge

“Just another day at Seal River,” said Mike Reimer, looking out over the tidal flats of Hudson Bay. “Seven big white polar bears hanging around.”

Two big bears sleeping 20 yards away from the compound, three in the North Bay, and two wandering around on the rocks south of the Seal River Lodge.

This is what our guests spent the early afternoon viewing from the windows and the compound of the Lodge. Running back and forth from window to window, going out into the compound to see which bear was at the fence for his close up – it was almost like you could hear the mega pixels being used in the cameras.

After about an hour of this we decided it was time to go for a hike. Only one problem – there were seven big polar bears about, and one had decided to take his afternoon nap 15 feet from the door of the Lodge, right on the road.

Polar bear that was guarding the Lodge decides to take a walk

Polar bear that was guarding the Lodge decides to take a walk

“We’re trapped by Bears!” is all that Andy could say walking back into the lodge shaking his head. “I don’t think this guy is going anywhere soon.”

Luckily, time could be spent in the compound, where two large male bears had made their way up to the fence. After another hour the guides decided that they had had enough, and that no polar bear, no matter what the size, was going to hold up the program any longer.

The guests were assembled and we made our way out of the compound. The two fearless guides led the way. The resting polar bear raised his head, decided that the group of eager photographers heading his way was enough…

And off he went!