VIRTUAL EXPLORATIONS > ARCHIVED EXPLORATIONS > ELYSIUM ARTISTS FOR THE ARCTIC
Part 10: He Walked Right Up to the Ship...
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2015
We had an absolutely incredible polar bear experience this evening. It was honestly beyond what any one of us could have expected or even hoped for in an Arctic animal encounter.
After a mostly grey day, the sun broke through around 6:30 p.m. Not long after that, we got an intercom call from the bridge notifying everyone that a polar bear had been spotted in the distance. We’re not sure if he smelled us, the delicious dinner cooking on board, or a combination of both, but he was close to us in a matter of minutes. He essentially walked right up to the ship and investigated us from a surprisingly close distance for about an hour before he decided to leave and continue looking for better food options. We got to see him jump across the pack ice a few times and he even slipped and splashed into the water a bit. Towards the end of our encounter, he decided it was time to for a bit of relaxation and rolled around on the pack ice for a few minutes giving the photographers and videographers quite a show.
This polar bear experience was the perfect way to finish off a busy, cold, and eventful day, and he was just what we needed. The other thing we needed was the sun. Without this soft, warm, evening light, the images would have been cool and blue, but the low rays of a late day sun cast a soft glow on the bear’s fur illuminating every detail and making the ice surrounding him come alive. The water was so still that when he would peer over the pack ice his image would be reflected perfectly in the water. Everything about this unforgettable hour at 81.5 degrees North was perfect, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.