Svalbard - Kingdom Of The Ice Bear

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

What a great way to start November! What was? Our trip up to the far north - inside the Arctic Circle to have a close encounter with polar bears!

All by means of digital images of course - courtesy of Eddy and Pam Lane who came all the way from darkest Wiltshire (I think) with their presentation 'Svalbard - Kingdom of the Ice Bear'.

We'd had a taste of this last January when we had a recorded presentation. However, those who were there will remember that while we were being mesmerised by the wonderful images and narrative .... the presentation gremlins put in an unwelcome appearance and it all ground to an untimely halt! So good was it though that we invited Eddy and Pam to come in person - and here they were - and not a gremlin in sight!

We weren't disappointed either - absolutely superb images of polar bears going about their everyday life - ambling across the icy wastes feeding, swimming, raising their cubs (cute aren't they!) and doing all sorts of polar bear-like things. This included feeding off the corpse of a whale which kept whole families going for ages (certainly gave a new meaning to frozen foods!)

Trouble is they look so cuddly - but we soon discovered that most people carry rifles - just in case - 'cos these lovely animals, as we know, can be lethal! Anyway, Eddy and Pam, wrapped up securely against the bitter cold (and we complain about a sprinkling of the white stuff!) set off on their cruise aboard an ice breaker. And wasn't it worth it! But apparently you have to be prepared to be woken up at an ungodly hour of the night because a bear is in photographic range!

Then of course some hardy Scandinavian types decide that a swim in icy water is the thing to do! Very bracing I'm sure!!!!

Anyway, it was an absolutely superb evening which we all enjoyed - though after all those pictures of snow and ice I reckon we were all shivering by the end!! Thank you Eddy and Pam for coming to share your images and experiences with us and hopefully we'll see you again!


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