Canadian journalist, fashion icon and media personality Jeanne Beker and her daughter Bekky recently traveled with Quark Expeditions to Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, a unique adventure outpost and world-class beluga whale watching site 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Quark: “What was a typical day like on your arctic holiday?”
Jeanne Beker: “I loved having daylight 24/7 -- how fabulous is that? The sun is always shining. It was just absolutely amazing to wake up in the middle of the night -- say, 3:30 in the morning -- and the sun is shining and you think, “Okay, it's time to get up.” Well, it's not time to get up! Go back to snuggling under the covers and sleep for another three hours! It's fabulous.
Becky would come in every morning with her cheerful, “Hello!!” and we'd go for breakfast. You go into this dining room and see everyone, and we were given such a warm welcome from the Weber's, an incredible couple who have obviously got adventurous spirit stamped all over them.
We met the guides, and at breakfast they tell you what the options of the day are. You decide what you are doing that day... it could be to go out on ATVs looking for musk ox, or watching beluga whales, or visiting a canyon. We tried it all (I drew the line at taking the polar plunge).
It was exhilarating, and crazy. I loved it -- it was fun, it was edgy, it was a little scary (in a good way) and it was just wild! It's a no-brainer vacation. There was something for everyone."
Quark: “It sounds like you had a fabulous time. What were some of the highlights of your trip to the Canadian High Arctic?”
Jeanne Beker: “It's so hard to choose. The terrain is like nothing you've ever seen. It's every kind of terrain from rockiness to muck to hills. Being above the tree line is so strange, too; no trees at all, and everything is flat as far as the eye can see. Some of the rock formations -- when you see the layers of rock, you just, 'ahhh.'
Then the plant life was just gorgeous. We saw so many beautiful little plants that were just so perfect... teeny, tiny miniatures and the colors were just extraordinary. You want to get down on your hands and knees and take pictures, it's so beautiful.
"The closer I looked, the more I realised there is actually life everywhere in the Arctic, surviving and thriving against the odds. Like an optical illusion, that grey expanse is actually a blend of colour: every shade of juicy green moss and wispy grass; yellow Arctic poppies; purple saxifrage; snowy pom poms of cotton grass; and bright orange lichen pushing persistently through the crags and crawling over rocks – none more than a few centimetres tall, the world in miniature." - Katie Palmer, in My Arctic Awakening on Somerset Island
Next thing you know, you're looking for musk ox with your binoculars. The belugas arrived the day we got there, and I am not talking about one or two. We saw hundreds of belugas dancing and performing for us! It was the most magical, beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was truly miraculous that there would be so many there.”
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