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> 09-23-05: Bloody Polar Bears..., ...and Goodbye to the Oden
Ute_Kaden
post Sep 24 2005, 08:33 PM
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Bloody Polar Bears and Goodbye to the Oden
9-23-05


This afternoon, we held a farewell party for our Swedish colleagues. Several of the science crew on Oden flew to Healy along with Capt. Arnell and we said our goodbyes, as the two ships would separate later this evening. Six of the Swedish scientists on Healy that were involved in the coring and bottom mapping, including Martin Jakobsson flew to Oden for the short transit to Longyearben, Svalbard where they will fly home. We are on our way to the next coring station and seismic surveys on the Yermak Plateau between Svalbard and Greenland in the Fram Strait.

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The pack ice edge is an area sustaining diverse wildlife. We were standing at the bridge and followed a great show, better than National Geographic. Our ship traveled through pancake ice occasionally spiked with iceberg. The sun went low on the horizon.

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And there they were birds, seals and Polar bears. Seeing a bird after almost two months was quite an event. The Polar bears showed off their life style. I spotted 3 polar bears in less than 45 minutes including a mother with her cub. Seeing them walking lonely and majestic over the ice is striking. We spotted 6 bears in a matter of only 2 hours. Two of them were feeding on a seal. What a bloody business. We got glimpses of a lifetime by watching those grandiose animals in their territory.

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It is getting really dark outside by now. We got a final glance at the Oden parked next to a big ice berg. Everybody is well.

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Best regards,
Ute Kaden
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