Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island (polar bears), Nunavut, Canada

Panorama of our ship at anchor in a bay in one of Canada’s most northern islands, Ellesmere Island, where we explored the sedimentary mountain ranges, ice caps, glaciers, fiords, fertile arctic oases and abundant wildlife

Panorama of our ship at anchor in Boger Bay in one of Canada’s most northern islands, Ellesmere Island, where we explored the sedimentary mountain ranges, ice caps, glaciers, fiords, fertile arctic oases and abundant wildlife by Zodiacs and our helicopter

 

Encompassing Canada’s northernmost lands, Ellesmere Island National Park in Nunavut Territory is an enclave of sedimentary mountain ranges, ice caps, glaciers, fiords and fertile arctic oases.  Here, glacial debris ice can be found drifting late into the summer, making it a prime area for wildlife viewing.  During our visit there was so much polar bear activity on shore that we had to cancel our planned hikes.  Instead, we ventured out in Zodiacs for scenic cruising and were surprised with the rare sighting of polar bears dragging up a seal carcass to the beach and then eating it as we drifted by just offshore in our Zodiacs.  Meanwhile, dozens of beluga whales swam by, between our Zodiacs and the beach – at one point creating a challenge for two more polar bears in the water who were attempting to swim ashore to join the eating frenzy (seal carcass).  Look at the photos, below, to see the time line and what happened…

After the Zodiac cruising and helicopter flights [see our upcoming blog post], we sailed to the end of the bay and set an all-time record for our ship’s furthest northern point in North America: 77 degrees 18.92 minutes N latitude and 078 degrees 50.51 minutes W longitude.

 

Tidewater glaciers flowing into the ocean in a bay on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Tidewater glaciers flowing into the ocean in a bay on Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

By the time we arrived on the “scene” in our Zodiac, a mother polar bear and her yearling had dragged a seal carcass up to the beach and were busy eating while two other polar bears (only one is pictured here) were looking on with envy

By the time we arrived on the “scene” in our Zodiac, a mother polar bear and her yearling had dragged a seal carcass up to the beach and were busy eating while two other polar bears (only one is pictured here) were looking on with envy, waiting “their turn” as they weren’t dominant in that group, Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

A great spot for a feast of a luncheon! -- Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

A great spot for a feast of a luncheon! — Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

A close up of the mother polar bear, taking a short break from eating, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

A close up of the mother polar bear, taking a short break from eating, Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

We took a break too, as we drifted and then checked out this large iceberg full of gulls…, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

We took a break too, as we drifted and then checked out this large iceberg full of gulls…, Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Suddenly, we spotted two more polar bears (another mother and yearling) in the water who smelled lunch and were heading towards the shore, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Suddenly, we spotted two more polar bears (another mother and yearling) in the water who smelled lunch and were heading towards the shore, Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Oops – traffic jam – the two polar bears in the water couldn’t get ashore for a while due to the large number of beluga whales (the adults are white and the young whales are darker in color) swimming by the shoreline

Oops – traffic jam – the two polar bears in the water couldn’t get ashore for a while due to the large number of beluga whales (the adults are white and the young whales are darker in color) swimming by the shoreline in front of the luncheon spot (note the whales’ spouting water visible against the sandy shore); Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The swimming polar bears finally made it ashore, shook themselves dry, and proceeded to invite themselves to lunch, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

The swimming polar bears finally made it ashore, shook themselves dry, and proceeded to invite themselves to lunch, Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The first two polar bears hadn’t invited guests for lunch, so the new arrivals starting barking and showing that the new mother was the dominant one on the beach; Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

The first two polar bears hadn’t invited guests for lunch, so the new arrivals starting barking and showing that the new mother was the dominant one on the beach; Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

After a few minutes of the standoff, the first mother (on the right with her yearling) relented and made room for the new arrivals to join in the seal luncheon; Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

After a few minutes of the standoff, the first mother (on the right with her yearling) relented and made room for the new arrivals to join in the seal luncheon; Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

And a nice feast was enjoyed by all; note that the two mother polar bears each put their yearling off to the side away from the other mother, for protection; Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

And a nice feast was enjoyed by all; note that the two mother polar bears each put their yearling off to the side away from the other mother, for protection; Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

A close up of two beluga whales, the white one being an adulte and the grey one, a young whale; Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

A close up of two beluga whales, the white one being an adulte and the grey one, a young whale; Boger Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

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