We all thought that yesterday was quite the unique day with so many eventful polar bear encounters! However, our good luck was repeated today, and the wonders continued. At 6:00 in the morning, we were awoken by expedition leader Stefano, who announced another bear close to the ship.
After breakfast, we planned to land in a beautiful spot in Mushamna, Woodfjorden, home to a large trapper cabin built from driftwood. As the scouting party went ashore, they found a polar bear close to the cabin, and the landing was cancelled for obvious reasons. Instead, a Zodiac cruise in the fjord was offered. Zodiacs were heading to see the polar bear ashore when another polar bear was spotted swimming across the fjord! Whilst guests were focused on viewing this swimming polar bear, yet another (a third!) polar bear was observed also swimming in the water. One of these bears finally made it to shore and started checking out the cabin and the surrounding area. Three polar bears in the same spot! We spent time watching these polar bears. Then guides maneuvered the Zodiacs among the pack sea ice so guests could observe a large black-legged kittiwake colony on a spectacular cliff.
After a short interruption for lunch and repositioning the ship to a new location, afternoon adventures awaited the guests. The sky cleared of all clouds, the fog lifted, and the wind completely died. A bright, sparkling Arctic landscape appeared in front of our eyes. Guests began boarding Zodiacs and were taken ashore at Texas Bar in the Woodfjord waters. After scrupulous scouting, four options were offered to guests, including long, medium, and short hikes and a photo walk. At the landing site, guests left behind much of their clothing as it felt very warm. Snow melted all around us. The land was steaming, and the fjord was like a mirror. Across the fjord, two mountains, one red and one black, were perfectly reflected on the water’s surface. What could be better! We stayed on land as long as we could and returned to the ship only when it was time for a recap and dinner.
After dinner, Kathrine Owens, our on-board visiting scientist, prepared a special evening for guests to participate in an art session. Participants prepared a portrait of a polar bear using pieces of different colored plastic. The idea of this event was to draw attention to plastic pollution of the oceans.