Stella and Jamie Robertson escaped the Texas heat (104oF) this June, 2011, to 80 degrees north latitude , north of the Arctic Circle, on the Lindblad /National Geographic Explorer cruise to the Arctic, to the“land of the ice bears”. It was an amazing time with bright 24 hour daylight as we sailed around, kayaked, or walked the remote islands of Svalbard, Norway. We were within about 540 miles of the North Pole, finally stopped by the thick pack ice and surrounded by icebergs. We saw polar bears hunting for seals on the ice or for bird eggs on land, huge blue whales, walrus, seals, caribou, and seabirds. Vegetation was mainly moss and lichens, with small plants topping out about 3 inches high. Polar bears are truly marine mammals, spending most of their life on the pack ice near the seaor swimming in the sea. These majestic animals are really cream colored, with black noses and ear linings, and feet the size of dinner plates, with black foot pads. They think anything on the ice is their lunch, so we watched them from the safety of the ship.
Stella and Jamie
Polar Bear seen from ship