This is one of two very photogenic bears that we encountered on September
15th. The Captain was looking for a bit of ice to drive into,
since it would provide us with absolutely calm seas so we could move
heavy mooring equipment out of the hold. What a stroke of luck it
was to pick this particular ice mass.
When we first arrived, we noticed two very fat bears slip into the
water off of one of the floes. The bears had been feeding on a freshly
killed young walrus (or perhaps bearded seal - it was hard to tell
since the head was missing...) Not about to adandon the meal, the
bears circled the ship warily for several hours. It's possible that
these animals had never seen (or smelled) humans before - imagine
what could have been going through this bear's head.
This image particularly appeals
to me because of the bear's innocuous pose and intent stare. The delicate
backlighting, causing the bear to stand out from the background, made
the image even more unique.