Sign Up for our Newsletter!
1-866-UGO-WILD (846-9453)

Archive for August, 2011

Amazing Northern Lights show at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

Here is a picture of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) taken on August 28, 2011 at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Our staff are at the lodge preparing for today’s arrival of the first 2011 guests.

Northern Lights at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge - Photo Credit: Frank Melonas

Churchill polar bears not starving at Seal River

Polar bears chowing down on the coast of Hudson Bay near Churchill Wild's Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Chow time for two hungry polar bears on the coast of Hudson Bay near Seal River Heritage Lodge.

There has been quite a bit of talk about polar bears starving in the arctic, but we’re not seeing that where we are on the coast of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. The photos in the gallery below were taken near our remote Seal River Heritage Lodge on the Hudson Bay coast during our recent Birds, Bears and Belugas Adventure.

Polar bear watching at its best, on the ground, up close and personal. But not too close. We have great respect for a polar bear’s personal space – as should everyone. Still, the photos our guests are able to take with ground level access can be spectacular. You can view more polar bear photos taken by our guests here.

The Birds, Bears and Belugas Adventure is now finished for the season and we’re off to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, followed by the Great Ice Bear Tour and the Polar Bear Photo Safari.

Wish you were here!

Magazine editor Katie Nanton details trip to see Churchill polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge

Polar bear relaxing on rocks at Seal River Heritage Lodge

Polar bear relaxing on rocks at Seal River Heritage Lodge – Photo Credit: Robert Postma

Katie Nanton, an assistant editor with NUVO Magazine, was at Seal River Heritage Lodge for the Birds, Bears and Belugas Adventure last summer.

A seasoned adventure traveler, writer and editor with world-wide safari experience, Katie wrote a story about her Churchill Wild experience for NUVO entitled A Canadian Safari – Churchill, Manitoba: the polar bear capital of the world, which appeared in their Spring 2011 Issue. Below are a few excerpts from Katie’s Story with a link to the original story. Enjoy!

First polar bear

I see the first bear in the distance. A big, beautiful Ursus maritimus. Adrenaline kicks in and the quiet chatter halts, followed soon after by the clicking of camera shutters and zooming of lenses. Our guides remind us to be silent – although this bear is familiar with the presence of people by now, we don’t want to disturb or frighten it – and we take a few steps forward until I’m standing about 10 metres away from this larger-than-life beauty. I eye the guns slung over our guides’ shoulders: loaded, and a necessary precaution, they are very rarely used, and only to scare off an approaching bear. Nothing stands between us and this wild animal but a short distance and a few rocks; polar bears are capable of running up to 40 kilometres an hour.

A  fight in the morning

One foggy morning, I awaken to an early morning knock on my bedroom door and a commotion outside. A night watchman stands  guard over the lodge each night, eyes peeled for curious bears and Northern Lights. I’m expecting flashes of green and blue aurora borealis, but out of the main-room window is a more unexpected early morning sight: far in the rocky distance, two bears are stretched up on their hind legs, standing at least eight feet tall, their furry arms in the air like boxers, jabbing, dodging, and blocking each other, paws flailing. Their show of strength is spellbinding. I want to get closer. I walk with my guide until we come within about 15 metres…

Full Story: A Canadian Safari – Churchill, Manitoba: the polar bear capital of the world

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

About NUVO Magazine

NUVO Magazine LogoInspired by quality, NUVO is a lifestyle magazine for the Canadian sophisticate. It is our mandate to create an editorial environment that is stimulating, evocative, entertaining and informative, and relevant to both the amateur and the connoisseur.  The NUVO reader is the inquisitive, culturally aware, well-travelled urbanite who appreciates a blend of insight and entertainment. We share the NUVO reader’s discerning taste in travel, food and wine, film and TV, fashion, art, architecture, design, business, automobiles and music.  NUVO features the finest in writing, photography, illustration, design and production. Our commitment to quality is essential to being a leader in the magazine industry. It is thus our assiduous intention to craft a magazine that is quite simply unlike any other.

Bring your parents to work day in the arctic

by Allison Reimer

Churchill Wild guide Andy MacPherson on the tundra with his parents Al and Sherron.

Churchill Wild guide Andy MacPherson on the tundra with his parents Al and Sherron.

Instead of “bring your kid to work day” we had one of our guides bring his parents in for a week of arctic life experience.

It didn’t matter what Andy (the guide) had told his parents (Al and Sherron) about his work experiences at Churchill Wild. It couldn’t possibly have readied them for what they were about to encounter. Hearing stories and looking at trip photos is nothing like experiencing the wonders of the arctic in real life.

Conversing with Andy’s mom Sherron in the lounge at Seal River Heritage Lodge, just to get her take on the overall Churchill Wild experience, she didn’t have too much to say, but when we parted company an hour later I got the feeling that what we are doing here is a truly wondrous thing.

“Paradise in the Wild,” Sherron dubbed us, adding that she was thrilled to see “a true family-operated business that shares the wonders of the Hudson Bay.”

Exiting the boat on Hudson Bay after swimming with beluga whales.

After the beluga whale swim...

I think what really made Al and Sherron’s stay so terrific though, were the people. Yes, they had an amazing time swimming with beluga whales and viewing polar bears, including one that even tried testing the strength of our fence despite getting yelled at, but there was never a thought towards being unsafe. No, what really made the trip special  was the fact that all the guests became like one big family during their visit.

The way the guests bonded became the cherry on top of their arctic adventure sundae. With such a a wide variety of age and ethnicity, you might have expected something less, but everyone had come for one or two reasons – to see polar bears and swim with beluga whales, or to have a new travel experience unique in its own.

“I immediately felt welcome when I arrived and the time went far too quickly,” said Sherron. “The world doesn’t intrude here. No cars, no trains, and the only planes we saw were the ones that delivered us and the ones that took us home.”

From what Sherron said, and from what I gathered from everyone else in the group, it was a trip full of memories; of hearts speeding up with excitement; and of comfortable relaxation between the day to day adventures.

Churchill Wild guide Andy MacPherson with parents Al and Sherron at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Is that frost on Andy's breath? Hmmm...

The group saw hundreds of whales when they went out on to the water, and the curious creatures just kept coming towards them for the full 45 minutes that Sherron and the other guests were swimming with them.

And nobody seemed to mind that almost every dinner time was interrupted by a polar bear showing up to check out the smells, which also resulted in dessert being constantly postponed. And our new open kitchen at Seal River Heritage Lodge was a huge hit!

It was a fun week that the group promised never to forget. We certainly won’t forget them… and their warm and wonderful personalities!

Arctic Touch Quesadillas – Jeanne’s Arctic Appetizers – Week 6

Following the tortillas is a long list of ingredients that can be used in your quesadillas. The recipes given are only suggestions, and the only necessary ingredient is the cheese – it holds it all together.

  •           large, soft tortillas
  •           grated Cheddar OR mozzarella cheese
  •           picante sauce
  •           salsa
  •           sour cream
  •           horseradish
  •           chopped onion
  •           chopped sweet peppers, green OR red
  •           chopped jalapeño peppers
  •           chopped tomatoes
  •           sliced mushrooms
  •           capers
  •           sliced olives, green OR black
  •           crumbled bacon
  •           chopped ham
  •           any cooked OR smoked meat of your choice
  •           smoked fish
  •           anchovies
  •           refried beans

Warm 1 side of 2 tortillas first on a hot skillet, so that they puff a little (15 seconds will do). Remove tortillas to a working surface, and start building the quesadillas on 1 tortilla, by layering your choice of ingredients. Top with the second tortilla. Return to hot skillet and brown for 1 minute. Turn (that’s the challenging part!) and brown on the other side for 1 minute. The cheese should be slightly melted. Remove to a cutting surface, cut into 6 pieces, like a pie, and serve for lunch or snacks*.

Suggestion #1 – The Starter

  •           salsa
  •           crumbled bacon
  •           chopped onions
  •           sliced green olives
  •           grated Cheddar cheese

Suggestion #2 – The Hot One!

  •           sour cream
  •           picante sauce
  •           chopped pepperoni
  •           pickled jalapeño peppers, chopped
  •           sliced black olives
  •           grated mozzarella cheese

Suggestion #3 – North Knife Lake Special

  •           sour cream
  •           horseradish
  •           chopped tomatoes
  •           smoked fish
  •           capers
  •           sliced black olives
  •           grated Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses     

This is finger food, like a sandwich. Generally make 1 double quesadilla per person.

*To serve as an hors d’oeuvre, cut each slice into irregular shapes. Decorate with slices of jalapeño or olive, held in place with a toothpick.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

 
Please let us know if you try them. We would love to know what you think.
 
 

 

Thanks!

Jeanne Reimer

 

Jeanne Reimer

Jeanne Reimer

 

This is the sixth in our series of Arctic Appetizers. We’ll post one a week so make sure to check back regularly. Why? Because we serve these at our lodges and they are really, really good!