Animals & Mammals of the NW Passage (1)

It is one of those nights, you know when you can not really be bothered do anything. Cold and wet outside, warm and cosy in. I am in the mood for warm and cosy, been doing some researching of the various animals of the NW passage and thought it might be an idea to share them threw a couple of posts, so here goes well for as long as I intend to stay in this room, wifi reception better here but the room is not as warm and cosy as the main room with its log fire, so no promises this post will be long.:)

Lovely picture of a Polar bear Mother and her Cub

Polar Bear –Ursus maritimus. the first animal anyone would come up with when asked what you found find in the Arctic. These an unpredictable, solitary animals that are only found in the Arctic ( which by the way means Bear, Antarctic means opposite of Arctic). They hunt seals and certainly not as cuddly as the media makes them out to be but make no mistake Polar Bears are under threat. The warming of the seas and loss of sea ice will drastically reduce their habitat and hunting potential. There is a fantastic site on polar Bears with all the information you could want, it corrects the myths that have grown up around these creatures and actively shows how you can get involved personally or as a community to help save their environment.

A Muskox -magnificent Bison of the NW Passage

Muskox – Ovibos moschatus. These animals have inhabited the Arctic tundra for thousands of years. Well adapted to the freezing temperatures. They wander grazing as they go, in winter using their hooves to get to the roots mosses and lichen buried beneath the snow. In summer their diet is supplemented by arctic flowers and grasses. Travelling in herds they use their numbers to circle and protect against most predators. Except humans of course – we very nearly decimated these magnificent animals before legislation was made to protect them. Now protected they have reservations to roam safely in the Arctic, Norway and Siberia


Ice breakers

I thought it would be interesting to find out more about ice breakers and their use in the NW passage. So as normal off I went to Google but what did I find? The holiday of a lifetime, 18 days on an arctic icebreaker expedition. Oh I drooled over this holiday for over an hour – avoiding the cost page! What a fabulous itinerary, breathtaking in fact and all for the small cost of ( yes I looked) $20.695 plus airfares of around $2.000. I could probably manage the $695 – at a push. I wonder if they need any workers on board. I would do anything…seriously anything. Unless I win the lottery this is not on the card for me for next september but top of my bucket list so who knows? By the way there are many cruises up and around the NW Passage, it is just this one really caught my attention.

The Americans and Russians are looking develop their icebreaking fleet as the waters of the NW Passage become more available but I thought over the next two posts we could look at what the Canadian coast guard  has, In total they have 15 icebreakers.

Two heavy icebreakers:

CCGS Terry Fox & CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent

Terry Fox 1 (5x7) in ice one of the CCGS heavy duty ice breakers
CCGS Terry Fox

Four medium Icebreakers:

CCGS Amundsen, CCGS Des Groseilliers, CCGS Henry Larsen & CCGS Pierre Radisson

CCGS Amundsen medium icebreaker used as science vessel in summer
CCGS Amundsen

I wonder what life aboard one of these ships is like? Has anyone worked on one? If you have please let me know what it is/was like? I have found a fascinating document on icebreaking ships and some of their design structure with historical reference. Really interesting read.