Is the weather affecting your studies? No, it really adds to it. Actually, even though it is really cold, it's the atmosphere!
Is your body adjusting to the cold? Well, I suppose so. I have made a few trips to the Northern store here in Churchill to obtain new gloves and a ski-face mask hat contraption. And the locals said it was warm last week--temps up in the 20's! Here is something about how to understand these temperatures that are mentioned on this website (this link is within this site): IT'S COLD!! , Arctic Climate and Other Arctic Links
Has Churchill or Canada changed since you were there the last time? Well, there are some changes and then some things have stayed the same. Some of the changes: a new stamp with a polar bear has been released; but even bigger, part of the NWT (Northwest Territories) has been returned back to the Native population (Inuit). This "new" land is called Nunavut. Here are several links to learn and find out about Nunavut, the Canadian Provinces, NWT, and the Yukon: The Northwest Territories (NWT) , Nunavut 1 , Canadian Provinces 1 , Canadian Provinces 2 , The Yukon , Arctic Links , All kinds of Canada Links!!
Are there a lot of odd people there like yourself? Hmm, how do I take that? There are many people doing there "thing" here--some are ecotourists; some scientists; researchers; media; curious folk that have found there way here.
What made you decide to go to Churchill and do the polar bear thing again? Well, the response to my previous endeavor here was overwhelming. I knew that I wanted to be able to share more about this area with people like yourselves. When this opportunity arose, and with the support of our administration and staff, away we went.
How many other people are you working with on this project and what kind of a group are you in? I am not in any organized group. This trip and its research value has been together by myself. I am not traveling with anyone here. I have, however, met many people to share this experience with. My "ground crew" really are all back in the Carmel and Indianapolis area. They consist of the technology coordinators and facilitators that are helping be pull this off. Parks Canada and the local Churchill Community Network (CanCom) have also been gracious enough to allow me access to their system to allow me to be able to send this information.
What is your morale right now, and will it change? (Question asked before riding on the buggy) I am very excited to get aboard the Tundra Buggy and roll across the tundra.
Why do you eat at Gypsy's all the time? My bed and breakfast place gives the people staying there a coupon for breakfast at Gypsy's. But there's more to it than that. It is in the centre of town; the locals hang out here; the tour groups may stop here as well for a quick snack or hot cocoa. It's good and it's convenient. As I read this question after I am back in Indiana...oh how I wish I were at Gypsy's. For something rather odd about my Gypsy meals that happened on the way home, read the last couple of entries in the Daily Journal portion of this website (linked off of the Opening Page).
How many polar bears have you seen? I have had nearly 100 sightings. But that could be the same bears several times, as they tend to wander around, and each day the daily count starts over.
Did you have any problems while you were in Churchill? Well, yes, I did, as I mentioned in the Daily Journal entry about the day I had rented a truck from Tamarack Rentals. It was a very windy....VERY windy. I was out on an ice covered road, the wind was really shaking me around (probably more mentally than anything), so I stopped the truck. I opened the door to check out the thickness of the ice on the roadway, when the intense wind shot into the truck, all of my notes and little papers that I had notes on started blowing around the truck. I leaned to try to catch them, but the wind and extreme cold rushing into the truck got the better of me and I was either blown right out of the truck or I fell out and slid across the ice! The door of the truck was swing around--but as you might figure, it apparently didn't swing closed. It swung backwards causing it to bend slightly. I did not even realize the happening of the door until I returned the truck! The Tamarack Rental man was so incredibly nice about the whole matter, very nice. They would sort it all out later and let me know if I had any damages to pay. Well, yes, I did have to pay some damages. But, what is so wonderful about the whole thing is that they did not even bill me until after I was home and out of the country. We parted on friendly terms and hoped that we could do business again! Oh, by the way, the man that I dealt with, the owner of Tamarack Rentals....he is the Mayor of Churchill!! Here is his Internet link: The Mayor of Churchill!!
How have people reacted to this project? People here, in Churchill, have been fantastic. Everyone that I have worked with, or asked questions of, have been gracious with their time and energy. They have been fascinated with the whole process, interested in the digital camera and how it works. (I probably should get a commission from Sony for advertising their product!!) Everything is so close here. You don't have to go very far to get some information or help from someone in town.
If you were to become ill while being so far away, what would you do? Churchill does have a medical facility that caters to all persons in and visiting Churchill and also tends to basic health needs of the Native population. If someone were to become seriously ill or a serious medical emergency, they would be flown down to Winnipeg for more appropriate treatment. Here's a link to the Churchill medical services and also some information about Native population health care:
Churchill Medical Services , Aboriginal (Native) Health Care Services in Canada
What kind of clothes do you have to wear for this trip? Couple of parkas (thick coats with hoods); heavy jeans, boots, layered socks; insulated underwear; hats; scarves; gloves and better yet mittens.
Would you like to return to Churchill to do this again? Or, do you have other adventures in your future? Yes, to both questions....I hope! I would like to return to Churchill to stay once again in the Polar Bear Lodge at the farthest point away that can be managed and continue these studies. Also, I would like to view the HMS Breadalbane wreckage under the arctic ice and participate in that exculsive program. Going to the wreck of the Breadalbane is very, very expensive. It would be a wonderful experience and I could set up a comprehensive website about it, like I have done for this one. Please, take a moment and look at the these links about the company that runs the Beadalbane program and also information about the sunken ship: Under the Arctic Ice (Breadalbane Exploration) , The Breadalbane , The Wreck of the HMS Breadalbane
(Also, look in the CHURCHILL section above, the question dealing with the Franklin Expedition):
Would you retire to Churchill? The people here are great. Very friendly, very helpful. Retiring here is a possibility.