Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 12

Expedition Day 7: Mushamna and Bockfjorden

What was planned
What actually happened

We anchored in Woodfjorden at a place called Mushamna. This site had been occupied by trappers for many years but now there was a more modern cabin that could be hired. We went ashore to view the wildlife, including two rangers who were there to keep an eye on the tourists. We fed them fresh greens! We then moved on to Bockfjorden where there are rare hot springs but the high wind and rough conditions made a landing impossible, so we toured around until we found an Arctic fox dining on fresh bird. Then it was back on board for dinner.


Mushamna is on an exposed section of fjord coastline. The hut here is new and boasts a coal-fired sauna. There was also plenty of driftwood if the coal ran out. The site was also used as a landing base for helicopters, with a large fuel dump nearby. We watched the various birds both in the sea and nesting on the meltwater ponds.

Looking up from the beach to the hut and fuel dump.
Up close to the hut. No sign of the police inside. We enticed them out with fresh greens.
A solitary bird sitting on her nest surrounded by meltwater.
Birds on the sea.
Plenty of driftwood. Mostly from Siberia, we thought.
A meltwater stream.
The effect of freezing on rock.
Our intrepid explorer looking the part.
Compared to JJ who was still learning his part.
Looking back to more ice as the ship headed out to sea.


On the hill overlooking Bockfjorden are some hot springs. Not sure why they should be here, but we were not able to land and examine them up close. The wind was still too high and the sea rough, so we motored inshore towards the head of the fjord. We passed more birds and plenty of driftwood. Then, as we headed back to our ship, we head that the kayakers had seen an Arctic fox catch a large bird and drag it into a sheltered spot. We found the location and managed a glimpse of the fox. It was very well camoflaged in its summer coat of brown. In Winter its coat is white.

The reddish smudge on the hillside is the site of the hot springs.
The kayakers had seen a fox catch a bird here, so we tooka closer look. Just behind the green plastic waste the fox was watching us.
A closer view of the fox.
Well camouflaged against the brown rock.

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Last updated: 3/12/2015