Bath Time

The zodiac crawls slowly round the headland and into the bay.  We've had a tip off.  There are bears here.  

We creep slowly in, eventually the bears come into view tucked away on the right hand side of the little bay.  They are right on the waters edge - mother and cub looking down onto an old bare whale skeleton.  They see us, we see them. Everyone stops. They try and figure if we are either a threat or a meal. Eventually they decide we are neither and everyone in the boat starts breathing again.

Then the show starts.  The stage is a old whale carcass, blown in on a storm many months ago.  From where we sit it's a bare skeleton, although we can see that the vertebrae are still connected.  From where the bear stands there is still lots of meat on the carcass - although it is underwater.  No problem for a polar bear - its not called ursus maritimus for nothing. 

Mum drops down onto the skeleton then dives under the water before coming up with a mouthful of meat - and soaks junior in the process. He has ventured along the spine too, picking his way tentatively along the vertebrae so he can stay as close to mum as possible. The inevitable happens - he get a little bit too ambitious in his scrambling, and finds out just how warm the arctic water is.

No comments: