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  • Bella

It is really dark today at noon, when I go for scientific measurements. Moon is set for eight days, sun is at its lowest under the horizon (winter solstice is in two days), and first of all, the sky is cloudy. On top of that, it is snowing and it is windy, so visibility is very poor. For once, I need to keep my headlamp on for the five hours field work. But luckily, I make out my tracks from previous surveys. Actually, I never had to use a GPS so far to find my way across the fjord. Once departure excitement passed, the dog Bella seems to be deep in thought too, until we meet polar bear tracks, quite recent. Hard to say as it is snowing. The animal join the "trail" and is going in front of us. Bella is sniffing actively. The sledge looks far behind, I decide to keep the riffle with me, even if I would be using the alarm pistol first. Tracks are sometimes very well marked, it is not a huge polar bear, but a fair size for now. Previously, I had watched several times polar foxes tracks, also attracted by that amazing "trail" going across the fjord. In the end, four kilometres further, we reach the iceberg near the CTD station, where I come two or three times a week. The polar bear went around, he is maybe having a nap behind, we will not go and check. On our way back, I can hardly see the light on top of Vagabond's mast, it is twinkling between snow flakes.