Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, a Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear

Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, a Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear

by Paul Souders

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Overview

2019 Washington State Book Award Winner in Biography & Memoir



Photographer Paul Souders considered himself a lucky guy. He traveled the world and got paid to take pictures. Yet at age fifty he seemed an unlikely explorer. Recently married, he was leading a generally contented life as an urban homebody, ending most days with a cold martini and a home-cooked meal. So how did he find himself alone aboard a tiny boat, enduring bad weather and worse cooking, while struggling to find his way across more than a thousand miles of of Hudson Bay?


It was all for a picture. He dreamed of photographing the Arctic’s most iconic animal, the polar bear, in its natural habitat.


It was a seemingly simple plan: Haul a 22-foot fishing boat northeast a few thousand miles, launch, and shoot the perfect polar bear photo. After an inauspicious start and endless days spent driving to the end of northern Canada’s road system, he backed his C-Dory, C-Sick, into a small tributary of Hudson Bay. Battered by winds and plagued by questionable navigation, Paul slowly motored C-Sick north in the hopes of finding the melting summer ice that should be home to more than a thousand polar bears. He struggled along for weeks, grounding on rocks, hiding from storms, and stopping in isolated Inuit villages, until finally, he found the ice and the world was transformed. The ice had brought hundreds of walrus into the bay and dozens of polar bears arrived to hunt and feed. For a few magical days, he was surrounded by incredible wildlife photo ops . He was hooked.


A hilarious and evocative misadventure, Arctic Solitaire shares Paul Souders exploits across four summers, six hundred miles of a vast inland sea, and the unpredictable Arctic wilderness—and also offers an insightful look at what compels a person to embark on adventure. The accompanying images of the landscape, people, and wildlife of the remote Hudson Bay region are, in a word, stunning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680511048
Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date: 09/01/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 640,562
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

For more than thirty years, Paul Souders has traveled around the world and across all seven continents as a professional photographer. His images have appeared across the globe in a wide variety of publications, including National Geographic, Geo (France and Germany), Time, and Life magazines, as well as in hundreds of publishing and advertising projects.

Table of Contents

Hudson Bay Map 9

Repulse Bay and Approaches 10

Author's Note 11

Chapter 1 The Ice Bear 13

Chapter 2 Beginnings 23

Chapter 3 Zones of Conflict 31

Chapter 4 Transitions 37

Chapter 5 A Hole in the Water 43

Chapter 6 Directions North 51

Chapter 7 The River and the Bay 61

Chapter 8 Big Water 76

Chapter 9 The Empty Coast 94

Chapter 10 Pit Stop 111

Chapter 11 Repulse Bay 125

Chapter 12 Ice 137

Chapter 13 Pay Dirt 145

Chapter 14 The New Year 157

Chapter 15 The Ice Kingdom 169

Chapter 14 The Half Shackleton 177

Chapter 17 A Sinking Feeling 183

Chapter 18 Round Two 195

Chapter 19 Chasing Lights 203

Chapter 20 Foreboding 217

Chapter 21 Into the Water 223

Chapter 22 Away We Go 230

Chapter 23 Prisoner of the Wind 243

Chapter 24 Latitude 65 251

Chapter 25 Unwelcome 259

Chapter 26 The Gift 267

Chapter 27 Cape Fear 275

Chapter 28 Unwinding 286

Chapter 29 Loose Ends 295

Acknowledgments 300

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