BEARS! POLAR BEARS! WE SAW POLAR BEARS TODAY!
In the morning we got the dingy out for a test run. It took much longer than honestly it should have because the last time we put it together was last year, and Denis has hurt his back. After setting the dingy up we went back inside the boat for lunch at which point I realised that with the dingy covering two of the skylights at the front of the boat where it was set, it was almost dark in my bunk! Which was lovely. I don’t think I’ve been in a dark room for over a month and you find it is one thing you really miss. After lunch we put the dingy in the water. This in itself is always something of an adventure. First you have to get one of the outboard engines off the back of the boat, carry it to the foredeck and clip it onto the back of the tender. Then you have to rummage through the lazarette for the bottle of fuel and the paddles. Then you have to attach two ropes in the centre of the dingy to a halyard and then one person has to hoist the boat into the air on the halyard with two people making sure it doesn’t go astray. Then the two holding people push it over the side of the boat and keep pushing as the person on the halyard lowers the dingy into the water. Once we accomplished that, we tested that the engine worked and that the dingy had no holes in the bottom or fell apart when you moved it or anything. Nikolai and I got in and raced around the boat a bit, Nikolai at the helm and me with a GoPro. Once we got back to the boat The Mother, Barbara and Constance got in and we went ashore. There’s a shallow beach in the north of the bay we’re in without any big rocks that we beached the dingy on and got out of. We walked up and down the beach a little and then we all went up to a little cairn a few dozen meters up a hill, took a few pictures and then started walking back to the boat. Once we were back on the beach The Mother looked over onto the other side of the bay and said,
“Thats a polar bear!”
My head snapped round …. to where she’d been looking and I saw three white dots not too far away moving in our direction. I shouted “Bears!” a couple of times in case anyone hadn’t noticed or needed any encouragement to get back to the dingy and then ran along the beach to the tender quickly followed by everyone else. Once in the water we were basically safe. The mother wouldn’t want to leave her cubs and with the outboard we could move faster through the water than the bear could. We skirted the coast at a safe distance and took pictures. We didn’t get too close to the shore because you shouldn’t get too close to wildlife in case you disturb it. Constance took the photos with her long lens, we certainly weren’t as close as it looks! Also the bear would try to eat us, there was that also. So we took pictures and film and then motored our way back to the boat at which point we got off and Denis and David got in and then they went off with Nikolai to have a look at the bears too.
Once the bears were far enough away they got onto the beach and we could just hear Denis calling from across the bay. So that was exciting. While I reserve the right to say I wasn’t scared there was quite an adrenaline rush upon realising we had to get out of there.
In other news everyone else saw a walrus today.
I came up as quickly as I could but I was too late to see it.
So that was the news today, I’ll write again when something interesting happens, or tomorrow, whichever comes sooner. Oh, by the way this is my fortieth blog. And that includes blog 31. Bye.