Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Death and Life

Remains of the fin whale viewed underwater

Two years ago a fin whale died and washed up near Holmiabukta.  It's rumored that a film crew dragged the carcass to it's final resting place inside the cove which is a favorite anchorage for small boats seeking refuge from stormy weather.

Perfect free-diving form

For the past two years this whale has attracted polar bears from far and wide.  We arrived in Holmiabukta Cove after the thaw while there was still snow on the ground.  We were treated to multiple bear cycling through, diving for the remaining tidbits of meat and blubber. It was such a treat to see so many healthy, well fed bear.  From the death of one whale comes a whole lot of good living for many polar bear.

Bear chews on a piece of flesh from the whale
The low tide exposes the fin whale vertebra and makes it easier for the bear to reach the remaining meat  

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