August 2, 2007
Location: Navchvak Fjord, Ivitak Cove - Idyutak Mountain (3400')
Stopped for a Full station and 3 Parks Canada Officials to transit off ship via helicopter. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains and hills rising up on small islands in the fjord. Watching seals in the water from the top of the bridge, they stick a bit of their sleek heads out of the water, mostly eyes and nose, swim a bit, and dive again. There are about 6 people up here, all science crew who are taking a break to drink in this northern beauty. Suddenly Peter calls out, "Polar bear!!"
Indeed, there is a white blob on the hills to port of us and it is moving away. We all grab our binocs for a closer look. Whitish-yellow fur, ambling gait, heading over the side of the hill and out of sight. As we all stare after the disappearing animal, a few more folks come up and we try to point the bear out to them before it disappears. Then a round of "Holiday" photos ensues, we all take turns posing with the amazing scenery behind us and take pictures for each other. Alas, it is time to drag myself away and get last night's water samples from the fridge and head to the lab for filtration.
One deck down, en route to the lab, T.J. tells me he has just been watching a small whale off starboard. I watch with him and within 5 minutes I've also seen it. Small fin, I think possibly a Minke whale but T.J. Is not so sure. What a half hour this has been, with fjord, sun, seal, bear, and whale sightings. Who can ask for more?!?!