Sirmilik National Park of Canada

  • Sirmilik National Park of Canada
  • Nunavut

In the morning, we sailed past some beautiful icebergs. Then, in the afternoon, we stopped at Tay Bay in Sirmilik National Park. In Inuktitut, Sirmilik means ‘place of glaciers’ and we saw many in our time in the park. Canada C3 staff member David Gray led a workshop on shore about bones that can be found in the area and we found many on our own, including narwhal, seal and polar bear bones. We also went for a hike where we saw polar bear tracks, freshwater ponds and loons. Then, we gathered in the Legacy Room to learn more about it from Charlene Bearhead, a Leg 9 participant and co-chair of the Downie-Wenjack Fund Board of Directors. After seeing polar bear tracks and bones, in the evening, we finally got to see the real thing! The ship was abuzz with excitement as we pulled up to see a polar bear lounging on the ice about 50 metres away. We were in awe. The excitement didn’t stop then as we sailed past a humongous thick-billed murre colony, called Akpa North (akpa is the Inuktitut word for thick-billed murre). We observed thousands and thousands of murres.