5 Polar Bears in O’Brien Harbour

July 24th, 2008 by Walt "The Skipper" Jones

After running for 40 hours straight we arrived at the very northern tip of Labrador. I must say she saved the best for last. We arrived at O’Brien Harbour (60 deg 22.7′N, 064 deg 32.4′ W). Almost immediately we saw a polar bear on the left, then another swimming toward the shore. As we progressed up the fjord we saw 3 more. If you saw these magnificent animals move you’d be impressed. They don’t look graceful or fast, but they are both. They can climb up a cliff so fast it makes your head spin. Did I mention the stunning beauty of the straight up rock walls rising 2000′ from the water’s edge? We anchored at the head of the fiord where a stream enters.

Shane’s debut as a baker occurred today. He and Kip made a “monkey bread” which is a giant cinnamon roll for 10. The five of us rallied :)

Once again we were blessed with sunshine, light winds and calm seas. The temperature was in the mid 60′s but the water is getting colder and is about 33 degrees.

Pat wants to know how we can possibly top today. We went right by many icebergs without lingering. Are we becoming blasé? Tomorrow we cross Hudson Strait and into Nunavut!

8 Responses to “5 Polar Bears in O’Brien Harbour”

  1. Randy Jones Says:

    I’ve tasted that delicious cinnamon monkey bread wafting goodness and would definitely swim 33 degree water for a taste. Here’s praying you don’t have a boarding party in the night!

    Side note: I believe you are already in Nunavut. Only the southern-most part of Killiniq Island belongs to Newfoundland & Labrador, and O’Brien Harbour ain’t in that part. Check the map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killiniq_Island

  2. Barbara McKibbin Says:

    This is the best reality show that I’ve kept up with! Really enjoying the “ride along” on your journey. Fresh baked Monkey bread + Polar bears? What a great son…willing to take one for the team! No room for hitch hiker’s wearing fur coats! God bless you all and keep you safe!

  3. Rebecca Robertson Says:

    Kip~ don’t be fooled Shane is an excellent cook. If you need a day off, he is very creative and it always turns out good. I love when he tells me there is a surprise for dinner.

    Now just keep those Polar Bears at a safe distance, you don’t need any stowaways. Looking forward to some pictures of those, I’ll bet you all looked like a bunch of tourists taking pictures. You know, all on one side of the boat leaning over to get the best shot! Continuing to pray for safety and rest, and good weather.

    Rebecca (wife of the most handsome guy on the boat!)

  4. Jennifer Borden Says:

    Bears… We know Shane’s not gonna stick around- its every man (or girl) for them self! =) You guys are having way too much fun!! Keep it up!

  5. Kathy Robertson Says:

    When Pat called to report 5 polar bears last night I was concerned! Then he said that they were anchored approximately 50 yards from shore and I got even more concerned! I called our son Jonathan to give him an update and commented that hopefully the bears were wild, i.e., not accustomed to humans and would run away. Jonathan said that polar bears are apex predators and that they aren’t afraid of anything! Then I started praying! Thankfully, the bears were more interested in fishing–and obviously doing a better job than Pat! (Sorry sugar) I’m so thankful that Walt, Kip and crew are having such a wonderful adventure! Obviously the polar bears aren’t endangered in O’Brien Harbor! We can’t wait to see the photographs! Look out National Geographic!

  6. Charlotte Coulter Says:

    This “adventure trip” gets more amazing every day. They say “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” In this case “we can take the boys (and 1 girl) out of the boat, but can we tale the wanderlust out of the boys (and 1 girl) !!! The updates are wonderful, and we can’t wait to see the pictures. Kip, you continue to amaze me. Homemade bread on the boat??? We don’t even do that at home !!!!! My husband is following this adventure, also, but I hope he doesn’t read too close……

    We miss you and continue to pray for your safety.

  7. Kathleen O'Brien Says:

    We love reading the website and are praying for you! I’ve been wanting to comment, but I didn’t have a chance. How could I pass up commenting on something that has my family name??? :) I’m glad the polar bears didn’t cause you any trouble!

  8. Bob Blood Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just checking out the site. Great pictures, I can’t imagine how amazing that part of the must be! Hope all is going well and that spectra has helped with the water maker.

    Gotta run, Bob

Leave a Reply


I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go — Genesis 28:15