Day 9 – Button Islands Polar Bears!

TODAY was an exceptional highlight!

We reached the Button Islands which are in the middle of an upwelling of nutrients on the edge of the continental shelf.  This action makes it a magnet for thousands of seabirds, seals and POLAR BEARS!  One of our coldest days yet…this fact was soon forgotten when we experienced this incredible polar bear encounter during standing hibernation…just breathtaking!  With over 9 sightings in the area, this guy really was something special. Probably only weeks off the ice, he was healthy and strong……..such an amazing marine mammal!

Day 7 – Torngat Mountains

Polar bears, caribou and whales…what a way to start the morning as we approach the Majestic Fjords of the Incredible Torngat Mountains National Park.  Photos cannot do these ancient glacier carved mountains justice.  Our first glimpse of the park sailing in on the Ioffe, just breathtaking! The park was established in 2005 and covers almost 10,000 sq kilometers of Northern Labrador. You can understand why we were exploring  such untouched land while hiking.

These mountains represent a very spiritual connection to the Inuit spirit world. Inuit continue to use this area for hunting and fishing and travel throughout the park during the year.

And to top the day off, we finished with a BBQ on the stern while watching the sun set behind us!

Day 6 – Hebron and More Icebergs

“Today was all about being cool! Temperatures have dropped and we hit the ice flow from Greenland. Icebergs galore! My first time up close with these beautiful, magnificent, ancient blocks of ice. What a sight!” – Karen

Combined with a day of history, we visited the town of Hebron.  Once the northernmost settlement in Labrador.  The Moravian missionaries established Hebron in the early 1830’s and the Germanic influence is clearly  seen in the architecture. The mission was closed and the local Inuit families relocated in 1959. It is designated a National Historic Site and is considered one of the most historically significant mission-built structures in the entire province.

Day 5 -Hopedale

The ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield cradle the small coastal hamlet of Hopedale. We  sailed through narrow channels around this remarkable geological feature, estimated to be up to 4-million-years-old, and saw our first iceberg!

Venturing ashore by zodiac we visited the Hopedale Moravian Mission – designated as a National Historic Site, built in 1782, and said to be the oldest building east of Quebec. We visited the local museum to gain deeper insight into Inuit culture and were able to see their incredible carvings and crafts.

Day 4 – Battle Harbor

It was cold and chilly but that didn’t stop us from getting to the gang way to visit beautiful Battle Harbor, marking our arrival in Labrador!

The location was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas and was an important gateway to the rich Labrador fisheries.  We explored the restored fishing, whaling and commercial buildings found in this remote community.  Taking in it’s breathtaking coastal views and colorful buildings.

Photo credit: Kevin Johnston & Karen Schulz

Day 3 – Nature’s Finest

The ocean is rough and winds are high while standing on the highest point of the ship. Binoculars are out looking at all angles…then from nowhere nature at its finest, the reason we travel…such a rare display, something you dream about seeing. A whale breaching at eye level in the distance while a pod of 9 others are surfacing for air on the other side of the ship.

Photo credit: David Blacklock

Day 2 – Woody Point

As we approached the charming and scenic community of Woody Point, in the backdrop we could see the spectacular scenery and majestic tablelands of Gros Morne National Park – a UNESCO world heritage site.

Friendly local smiles greeted us upon the wharf. This tiny town has such color and character. Now thriving from tourism, logging, the fishery and service industries.

Title photo credit: David Blacklock & Lower photo credit: Karen Schulz

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