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A Guide’s Notes – Departure

November 16, 2015 | Heather Chrystie

Left Churchill with my first group of the season today. It’s always seems like it should be a sad moment, and many guests do feel a little pang at the idea of departing this unique frontier town. However, normally I find that the final day in Churchill is a blur of activity, laughter, and reflection over the events of the trip so far. As we always say, it’s not over yet!

Before our flight we headed down to Cape Merry Historic Site, an activity that always thrills me as we share tales of the first explorers through the area. The ghosts of Henry Hudson, Jens Munck, John Franklin and more feel close as you stand on the blustery point looking at the impressive remains of Hudson Bay Company post (Fort Prince of Wales), and imagine their struggles to survive endless winters on this inhospitable coastline. The spirit of exploration that brought many brave men to their knees right here is something everyone in the group can relate to as you have to be a modern-day intrepid explorer to have travel to Churchill on your bucket list!

Today, as we arrived at Cape Merry, we were greeted by our cheery Parks Canada interpreter, who quickly announced “Hey, you guys want to see an arctic hare?”. Well, my group have been here a few days and if they know one thing for sure it’s that nature is unpredictable. Nobody can quite believe that a hare is there on demand for all to see. But, sure enough, after a short-but-exciting trip over the icy rocks and boulder there it is. Arctic hares rely heavily on camouflage for their defense against their many predators, so sitting very still comes naturally to them.

This hare was perched, like a large furry basketball, confident in the camouflage of his snow white coat against an unfortunately snow-less backdrop…. Needless to say, camouflage is tricky at the turn of the season. Although I have to say it’s very handy for photography!