This time of year the sunset never quite sets over the common guillemots on the bird cliffs of Svalbard
Approaching the ice this year took much longer than usual We didn't reach fast ice until 82.5 degrees North
As aways we were on the look out for yellow spots that might be polar bears on the ice. Like that spot in the upper left corner?
And just when you least expect it, look who pops up!
Many of the bears are curious and if you are lucky they will walk up to the ship to check it out.
How close they will come and how long they stay varies from bear to bear. Some simply run away when the boat approaches, but others....
Well something clearly caught this guy's attention and for just a moment he was standing to full height to check it out
Of course polar bears aren't the only mammals in the arctic
Like whales, walrus expell moist hot air after holding their breath for a long time under water. But they don't have blow holes like whales, they just exhale
Sometimes the seals jump off the ice at our approach and sometimes......
Even the puffins seemed remarkably tolerant of our approach this year
This guy was supposed to be flying back to his burrow with his catch, but he/she was quite content to sit there and show off
Thousands of common guillemots nest on these cliffs feeding in the ocean everyday and returning to feed their young
This picture just begins to give you an idea of it because you can't hear the noise and you don't have to dodge the .........
But the glaucous gulls are hanging around to catch any chick left unguarded and make them a quick snack
The sun never quite sets when your this far north in the summer time, but the light and reflections can be quite beautiful
The blue ice from the glaciers is striking
Polar bears on dry land seem unusual, but in fact it is normal and not in itself a sign of global warming -- but some would have swum back to the ice if it were closer
These guys went in for a bit of a swim, but just to head around a corner. In the end they changed their minds and came back
This mother and cub were eating dead birds, grass, and anything else they could find
They came up the hill to check if the fox had left anything outside its den. There wasn't any food there so mom was considering eating the researcher's trail camera set up to monitor the fox