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Landscape, Svalbard - 5

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Right down in the lower left hand corner of this picture in the sea is a small dark area. That is a swimming polar bear. This day began at 12.50 a.m. with the ringing of the ships bell. We dragged ourselves out of bed to see that a distant sleeping bear had woken up and started to swim towards the boat, at which point the crew member on watch decided to wake everyone.

I actually took this picture as a landscape shot of early morning sunshine (we had 24 hour daylight throughout our trip around Svalbard) rather than of the bear itself which I only really noticed when typing this caption. The bear was too far away and the light too low to get any reasonable pictures of it in the water.

The bear got as close to the boat as it felt comfortable with and then did a semi-circle around us at a constant distance before continuing to the shore opposite. I went back to bed and was asleep again within seconds.

Picture copyright Paul Ward

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