Living Right: Be More like a Polar Bear

It’s not every day that a polar bear teaches you how to live a better life.

But Adventure Canada passengers enjoyed just such a day in the Canadian Arctic recently, as everyone aboard the Sea Adventurer was treated to great wildlife sightings, including eight of the iconic bears and fifteen walrus.

Polar Bear at Play

One juvenile Polar Bear in particular took time to pose for photos and play around on the ice. Perhaps some of us read too much into it, but it seemed as if he was trying to teach us a thing or two about enjoying the ‘bear necessities’ of life.

After all, the bear was obviously enjoying a great daily routine. He was well-rested, ate healthy and natural food, played outdoors in the fresh air when he wanted and got plenty of exercise.

Well-Rested Polar Bear

By contrast, thinking of returning home to our regular routines, human life seemed so dull. Most of us spend too much time working, instead of playing. We eat processed foods, instead of natural healthy foods. We sit at desks and in front of TVs, instead of enjoying the outdoors and exercising.

Exercising Polar Bear

So, with that, we encourage you all to be more like a polar bear! Be active, eat healthy and enjoy the outdoors.

Photos courtesy of Franz Wusits, Hotel Manager, M/V Sea Adventurer

A (bottlenose) whale of a tale

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A unique wildlife encounter is the highlight of any Adventure Canada cruise, and on the recent Heart of the Arctic voyage, one curious – and rare – creature stood out from the rest.

Crossing the Davis Strait, we were approached by some northern bottlenose whales who obligingly “posed” for photos for more than 30 minutes.

These unusual whales are similar to bottlenose dolphins. We were all able to stare down at their big, bulbous melons and pointy beaks. These unique features help them dive to great depths while hunting their favourite food: squid.

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The whales danced around the Sea Adventurer, sometimes swimming upside down right beside us, to get a better look at us strangers. The encounter, in the middle of the open sea, was a true highlight for all aboard, made even more special by the fact that so little is known about this species.

This northern bottlenose whale siting was a first for most people onboard, even those with years of Arctic expedition experience.

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One very well-travelled guest, Mary Curry from Adventure Life, said this was “the single most incredible wildlife sighting I’ve ever seen!”

Which goes to show you never know what surprises await in the Arctic. You might say, this sighting was a fluke.

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Photos courtesy Franz Wusitz, Hotel Manager, Sea Adventurer.

Melanesia: where is it, anyway?

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Melanesia is relatively unknown in the North American travel market—so much so, that people are often surprised to hear Melanesia is a where, not a what.

You’ve probably heard of Polynesia? Ah yes, images of palm trees, over-water bungalows and fruity drinks on the beach are probably coming into focus now. Well, Melanesia isn’t much different in terms of being a bit of paradise in the South Pacific Ocean.

Along with Polynesia and Micronesia, Melanesia makes up one of the south Pacific Ocean’s three cultural areas.

Melanesia is actually significantly closer to Australia and New Zealand—where it’s a well-known adventure destination—and comprises many places you probably have heard of: Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Santa Cruz Islands, and the island archipelago, Vanuatu.

Guinea (1)Does Melanesia sound a little more attractive now that you know what, and where, it is?

The history of Melanesia actually makes for some great discussions as the ethnicity, wildlife and geography of these islands are quite different from those further east in the Pacific.

Most notably, there are more than 1,300 languages spoken in Melanesia – making it the most diverse land area on Earth in terms of languages and religions.

If birds are more your thing, Melanesia has recorded more than 500 species, with 200+ of those being endemic.

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If you think of Polynesia as a popular beach paradise, then think of Melanesia as its lesser known, more adventurous, little sibling. Just the kind of travel destination we love. See you there in 2014?

Adventure Canada offers two excursions to Melanesia: Secrets of Melanesia and Melanesia Discoverer.
Expedition leader Aaron Russ will present both trips, Tuesday June 25, at Pangaea Restaurant in Toronto.
UPDATE: This presentation has been cancelled due to illness. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Red Hunt has worked in many aspects of the travel industry and is the passionate voice behind redhuntravel.com. Red has just joined our team at Adventure Canada and will be sharing some of his experiences and perspective in this space. Welcome, Red! -ed.