Day 7: Polar bears!
They were all initially frightened by the roar of the helicopter, but as polar bears do, they quickly forgot about it and stood staring at us.
Polar bears have no natural predators and are one of the few animals on the planet almost devoid of fear. As such, they tend to stray extremely close to people out of sheer interest and well…they’re animals after all.
Everybody aboad the ship has been given little brochures about how to deal with polar bears, with the instructions basically boiling down to run or sneak away to shelter.
It’s because of polar bears that everyone on Katelniy Island – our destination – must at all times be armed or under armed guard. But actually shooting a polar bear except in life-threatening situations is a very, very serious offense.
FUN FACTS: Polar bears weigh up to 1.5 tonnes (the combined weight of 20 adults), can sprint almost twice as fast as the average human and can jump a distance of up to 7 feet.
We also managed to film a small group of Walruses((is that the right plural?)) on a each. They too became spooked by the helicopter:
Wildlife aside - the naval group is continuing to climb the latitudes toward the North Pole – it’s getting colder by the day and it actually snowed heavily during the night.
The cold and wind are one thing on land, but at sea it’s cold, wind, sea spray and all of that while you’re moving at 20 kilometers per hour…not pleasant.
Time to dig out our arctic gear.
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