As we had no (or little) success in the south, we turned our vessel north. The ice charts show that there was a lot of ice in the North-west corner and that we would only be able to explore a little of the pack ice edge on the northern side of the west coast, but it was still worth a try.
And yes, here we found massive floes of often multiyear pack ice. At the edges there was some thinner ice, probably originating from the fjords, but most of it was quite thick. Which is a good thing, but not for us. It meant we couldn’t penetrate far and had only little room to play with. What was more concerning, for us at least, was the lack of seals and bear tracks. We were on a bear hunt, remember?
What we did find, however, were Walruses. We saw several individuals and small groups hauling out on the ice. In summer, there are several larger haul out sites on land nearby, but they are not accessible at this time due to the ice. Besides, Walruses prefer to haul out in smaller groups on ice floes anyhow. For us a welcome change of sight, even though the sea ice itself never ceases to amaze either.
But still no Polar Bears nearby… And with a northernly wind, the ice started to push us south as well. If we didn’t want to get trapped, we better head south and try our luck in the fjords nearer Longyearbyen again.