by Lotte De Maeyer
My first time in the Arctic was last summer and immediately it became a trip to never forget. We went sampling by boat and anchored for about a week at the peninsula Ossian Sarsfjellet. On our last evening before continuing our route we were extremely lucky and saw a little bit of the biodiversity the Arctic has to offer. After dinner everybody was enjoying the quit and sun until the silence was broken by beluga whales swimming along the coast line. It must have been about 30 animals in two groups swimming past us. The whole crew was very excited and we enjoyed it as long as it lasted. When the quit had returned the captain noticed something white descending the hill in the front of us. A polar bear came down the hill were we passed by every day for the past week to go to our sampling spot. The bear definitely smelled us and when he was at the beach he directly looked at us. On the boat you could hear a pin drop and when the animal jumped in the water everybody held his breath. However, the polar bear decided he was not interested in us and swam across the bay all the way to the other side.
Photo credit: ©KoenSabbe