The trip I just finished was officially called a Polar Bear Special. This means we spent more time searching for Polar Bears and usually more time in the sea ice. The latter was quite tricky, as the sea ice is already far away from land. We did search a lot for bears, were successful (more on that later), but the trip was much more a Walrus Special. On the first day, we already had our first Walrus hauled out on the beach at Smeerenburg. A few days later we had another group, this time in Sorgfjord. The highlight here was one individual that came to me at two meters distance to check us out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any camera in hand so I couldn’t take pictures, but just enjoying having such a high Arctic animal being curious and so close was very special. As the water was very clear, I could see him ‘walk’ under water, with his head out of the water. After a while, he decided to move away to continue feeding.
Later in the cruise, we found a mother and calf on an ice floe and then a young (2-3 years old) male on another ice floe.
Walruses were all but extinct on Spitsbergen, not that long ago. Having a trip and seeing them in so many different places is still very special.