Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 8

Expedition Day 3: Edgeøya Island

What was planned...
What actually happened...

Today was labelled an "expedition day". This meant there were no fixed plans, we would cruise along the edge of the ice and hope that something interesting would turn up. It did.

That's a Walrus??

After breakfast we were invited to dress up and get ready for a Zodiac trip to land at Kapp Lee on Edgeøya Island. Here there is the Søaust-Svalbard wildlfe reserve, also the location of several old trapper and hunter huts.

Cruising around the coast of Edgeøya Island.
Landing at Kapp Lee.
We walked over the low ridge to the old trappers huts.
The octagonal one is actually quite old. The others were just built to look old. The foundations of a new hut are all that remains after it was deemed to be too "modern" and had to be demolished.
After inspecting the huts, we headed along the beach...
and collected in a group...
by the small stream.
What's THAT, we asked??
Fortunately we were standing up-wind, otherwise this would have been the better vantage point.
Birds on the way south...
Maybe they are lost.
Woolly creatures...
grazing on the moss.
A final look at the walrus.

Cruising the Ice Barrier

After returning on board, we headed northwest into the narrow channel between Edgeøya and Barentsøya. The Captain's intention was to pass through the gap, into the Barents Sea and then continue northwest to circumnavigate Svalbard. But the ice forcast was not good and sure enough we soon met the edge of the sea ice with no way through. The ice still covered most of the Barents Sea, so we had no choice but to retrace our path.

Barentsøya Island to the north.
Soon we met a few lumps of ice.
Then more ice.
And more....
Now some "bergy bits" - yes that is the correct techncal term.
It was so cold with all the ice, that we were fed hot chocolate with Kahlua.
Then it was back to the binoculars to look out for the elusive wildlife.
There's something on the iceberg!
And in the water.
Actually there are three and they have tusks - walruses.
They came closer.
Now that's not from a walrus - bear tracks.
Out with the binoculars again
There's a bear! Where??? Over there....really???.
But the bear found a nice looking seal breathing hole, so settled down to wait for dinner.
Leaving us to cruise the edge of the ice, before going indoors to the warmth and our dinner.


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Last updated: 18/10/2015