Our Ocean Blog

Polar Bear Sighting

Did he raise his shaggy head in defiance and in his mind scream his
annoyance at us humans bringing our metal craft to disturb his cold domain?

“The name ‘Arctic’ is derived from arctos, Greek for ‘bear’. The
heavenly constellation of the Great Bear – Ursa major – points the way
to the Pole Star, Polaris.”
(from The Arctic: A guide to coastal wildlife by Tony Soper)

For we have seen one of the mightiest creatures Earth has yet to show us
and to put it bluntly, it was rather awe-inspiring.

This marine mammal, the Polar Bear (latin – Ursus maritimus) was spotted
as we were sailing into Dundas Harbour. He very kindly chose to swim
about in the water a while before dragging his bulk out of the freezing
water with the sopping wet guard hairs forming a watertight overcoat and
leaving his skin happily drip free. We watched him lumber slowly up the
side of the brown mountain nearby while sending us what probably could
be translated only as a look of annoyance or simple fright at what
things were oogling at him from across the water. Either way, he was an
incredible sight and we believe he lives across the other side of the
bay as we saw him again today.

One thing I’m confident about is quite a few of us on board are quite
pleased he does live a considerable distance away from us.

No matter how wonderful seeing a Polar Bear is I know there is a nagging
feeling of how dangerous they really are. I know this because
immediately when we saw him, the rifle was brought out and sat there
like a stewing toad ready for the next unfortunate insect to fly into
its range before it shoots and gulps the remnants of the meal.

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