Our first day in Canada started before breakfast as the expedition staff were up early looking for wildlife. They found a couple polar bears, the first bears of the trip! We gradually approached them and found it was a female and her cub on a kill. As we sat watching them, we saw another bear off in the distance. And if that wasn’t enough…as we continued to make our way to Pond Inlet, we saw a fourth polar bear swimming.
After breakfast, we watched an excellent movie by National Geographic called ‘The Last Ice,’ which explained the history and challenges of the peoples of Nunavut. It was extremely educational and the perfect preparation for our afternoon visit to Pond Inlet. Before we could go ashore, we saw the capabilities of National Geographic Endurance as the x-bow had to cut through the ice to approach the town. Then we observed the skill of the Zodiac drivers as they got the guests ashore despite melting sea ice flowing past the sides of the ship.
Once ashore, we wandered through town to the community center where we were entertained by the local Inuit. The Arctic Games type of physical challenges were a crowd pleaser, with everything from two-legged high kicks to juggling. It was also fun to see a mix of age groups participating in the dancing and drumming. Our visit continued with stops at the library and a sod house.