My ninth trip to the sub arctic town of Churchill was in terms of weather, more reminiscent of my early trips: cool, with plenty of snow and compared to recent years, a relatively early freeze up of Hudson Bay. This meant that during my time there, many of the bears were able to make their way onto the sea ice to start feeding on ringed seals after their long summer fast. This year, the Northern Lights were not to reveal themselves behind the cloud cover, but the bear sightings in the first half of my week long stay more than compensated for this.
Familiarity means that I travel independently to Churchill, this year again by air from Winnipeg to Churchill. Yet, I'm happy to report that the railway, washed out in the spring of 2017, has now reopened, and early in December 2018, the passenger service resumed. There are no roads to Churchill, so the community was incredibly isolated and its economy and people suffered badly from the lack of rail service. Next polar bear season, which will be my tenth, it will once again be possible to make the 2 days and nights train north. I recommend this journey for those with a sense of adventure, and it's more sustainable and affordable than taking the plane. If you're looking for an educational, environmentally sensitive and relatively inexpensive tour to Churchill, I would suggest that you consider the Great Bear Foundation's trips. They helped me to discover this fascinating ecosystem, and all proceeds from their trip go to fund bear conservation projects.
Churchill 2018 Contents