The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world’s largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size. A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means “maritime bear”, and derives from this fact. Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.
The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arcticindigenous peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures.
PICTURE BELOW NOT ME: BUT WE RE VERY LIKELY TO SEE THEM BEFORE WE LEAVE THE JOB – WE NEED TO PROTECT THESE AWESOME CREATURES !!!
Meanwhile…I’m back in Seattle. Its so weird after living at night for a month straight. Eating breakfast for dinner when I got back to camp and dinner for breakfast when arriving back from shift – a shower & back to sleep to do it all again.
4:45 pm (am) my Ipod starts barking, I jump out of bed to eat dinner (breakfast), go to the Kitchen spike to pack my lunch, shower, put my gear in the sea-bag and make my way to the safety briefing with fellow CGG Veritas employees and BP reps.
Then the 30-minute bus ride to F-Pad. Thirty minutes if there isn’t a duck in the road, a fox, a herd of caribou etc ; ) If there is then the bus sits and waits for as long as it takes for the animal diversity to clear the road as it strictly forbidden to get near or upset wildlife by prodding them such as inching the bus forward.
There’s been rides to and from camp when we sit a hundred yards from a lone duck – a busload of workers waiting for it to move off the raised gravel road and back down onto the tundra. This results in either frustration or laughs dependant of whether its on our way to work or back to camp for our brief hour of ‘pleasure’ time before bed ; ) And so it goes.
Arrival to the F-Pad and the boats for shift. Check the transmission fluids in each engine, the oil, the strainers and call the coordinator for the days orders. It is either bathymetry (mapping the sea-floor), problem-solving (retrieving batteries, cables, fdu’s etc off the bottom to get faulty seismic cables working or layouts of new cables.
And then we finish the day to ride the bus and do it all again!