A few hot days really bring out the sunbathers in Churchill: the kind with sleek obsidian skin and flippers.
"There are lots of seals out on the ice sunbathing," Churchill Mayor Mike Spence said Monday. "We've got some ice, maybe a quarter mile off the coast, and you can see the seals laying out there."
But they had better not get too relaxed; Spence said polar bears are still out on the ice on Hudson Bay, too.
Churchill was Canada's hot spot Monday with the temperature spiking at 32.1 C by 3 p.m. It got up to 29.7 Sunday.
Dave Phillips, Environment Canada senior climatologist, called it "one of those weather head-shakers."
"It's clobbered, it's smashed, it's annihilated the previous record" of 24.4 C for June 11, set in 1950," he said. "Normally, records are broken by tenths of a degree."
Monday's mark was, amazingly, more than 20 degrees warmer than the average for the date, he said.
And, as if, the record-setting temperature wasn't enough on its own, the humidity made it feel like a steam bath, with a humidex of 37 C.
Phillips said the hottest it has ever been in Churchill since 1929, when meteorologists began keeping records, was 36.9 C on Aug. 11, 1991.
A high-pressure system over the Great Lakes is pumping hot air over Northern Ontario and into Churchill, he said.
"The irony is, if it was southeasterly winds coming off (Hudson Bay), you would see single-digit temperatures. The water is so cold there."
Temperatures also got into the 30s in Shamattawa, Gillam and York Landing.
"We're pretty happy about it. People are enjoying themselves," Spence said.
The same seems to hold for the white beluga whales, which started to migrate into the mouth of the Churchill River on the weekend, he said.
Just three weeks ago, the community was digging out from a snowstorm and the temperature was -10 C.
"We're not used to this heat. I couldn't live in the south," said Dale de Meulles, who runs the local Home Hardware store with wife, Rhoda.
The couple has air conditioning both in their store and home; summers are short, but they can get hot.
Most Churchill residents were able to go about their lives in Monday's heat, unlike a day de Meulles remembers in the early 1980s that closed businesses and sent hundreds of residents to cool off along a sandbar in Hudson Bay.
Environment Canada issued a heat warning for the northeastern Manitoba area, but the early summer weather was to be short-lived. Tuesday's forecast called for a more seasonable high of 14 C, with Wednesday even cooler at a high of 9 C.
Bill Redekop is the Free Press rambling rural reporter. His beat is a bit like the slow food movement of news gathering.