14 Sep 2017

SHO: 12 Polar Bear Sightings Before Breakfast

This morning we arrived at the Medvezie or Bear Islands.  It is a group of six smaller, low lying Islands situated offshore of the Kolmya River. They were named because of the abundance of Polar Bears seen here, who ever named them was not wrong.

Our day started at 0500, I have always been an advocate of before breakfast landings and today it paid dividends, (as it often does) we were rewarded beyond words. Even before we had dropped the anchor we had counted 8 polar bears. They appeared to be relaxed and unconcerned about the ship. 

We zodiac cruised the shoreline and watched a female with a cub as they ambled along the shore.  We found a protected beach and walked as a group across a small isthmus to another amazingly beautiful wild beach, which I doubt had seen footprints for many years.

There was lots of driftwood and pleasingly little or no other flotsam. We came back to the zodiacs and continued our coastal cruise. There was a female Polar bear with two cubs in the distance atop a small cliff.

We approached quietly, they were curious and came to the cliff edge to watch. The watchers became the watched. The encounter lasted approx. 20 mins and I am guessing at least 5000 photos between the four zodiacs.

The female and cubs moved off only when a young male Polar bear which we had noticed in the distance approached them. That was 12 polar bears before breakfast.

It was the perfect encounter, we were all happy and bears were totally relaxed and confident in their environment.

©Heritage Expeditions, Polar Bear Islands North East Passage 2017

©Heritage Expeditions

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