There were bears somewhere out there and probably more to the north and south along the shore ice .
From Pond Inlet we headed south along the coast, winding our way through rough ice and pressure ridges, passing huge icebergs trapped in the shore ice.
Even so we had a couple of anxious moments when she brought birds back and the current threatened to sweep her under the shore ice
while she was trying to clamber her way out.
We broke shore ice
to set decoys and broke it again to retrieve the same blocks.
The terrain is quite flat on the eastern side, and therefore shore ice ride-up can reach long distances.
Shore ice pile-up and ride-up: field observations, models, theoretical analyses.
The sealift finally made it, but late, and at a time when shore ice
was already forming- the barges could not get in to the Prudhoe Bay dock.
This year, the shore ice
was entirely gone by early June, and except for the bigger bergs and growlers, the coast was clear, giving us unprecedented access to the shoreline.
The most famous place to see polar bears is Churchill, not just because it's one of the first places where shore ice
forms, but also because of its town dump.
But melting of on shore ice
does pose the prospect of sea level increase, with estimates ranging from a conservative two feet this century--enough to doom low lying places such as the Bengali and Mississippi deltas--to 20 feet if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melts.
If the char travel under the shore ice, the belugas leave the area, since they cannot swim too far under the ice.
When the cod swim under the shore ice and beyond the reach of the belugas, the belugas leave the area again, usually heading south.