Close Encounter With A Polar Bear
By Mark Beaumont
I was hoping for a glimpse a polar bear in the Arctic - I have seen six already, and last night one got a bit too close for comfort! Mark D managed to take the photo of the beautiful bear before it ran off.
Due to the very cramped sleeping space onboard, Dave Mans and myself decided to take a tent ashore for the second night. I fell asleep at about 9.30pm, only to wake an hour later with Billy calling out from the boat (anchored 20 meters away) 'whoa bear!' I half woke to this, then properly woke up with Dave saying 'I don't think he is joking!'
The bear was standing about 10 feet away, and Billy's call had the unintended effect of luring it closer instead of scaring it away! Still inside the tent, I heard Rob firing two bear bangers high into the air above, which had the desired effect, of sending the bear off. However, Dave and I decided it might be best to move back on board for the rest of the night, and not face the bear returning whilst we slept!
The high winds have continued and we are stuck in our sheltered bay for another 24 hours. The winds, which are now gusting at about 40mph have us pinned down, so we are hoping and waiting for a change before we can move again.