These are a few pictures from Friday the 13th... which was a very pleasant day to spend at the camp of the Savik Crew. Probably a mile southwest of Barrow, and maybe two miles out on the ice, setting at the edge of an open lead that is about 3 miles across.
Several whales have been landed, and part of what made this day "interesting" was that the Edward Itta crew had landed and butchered a Bowhead whale about 150-200 yards northwest of the Savik camp. Every polar bear within sniffing distance was showing up to feed on scraps. Hence it was a constant watch in two directions, one on the ocean hoping for a Bowhead and in the other direction to avoid being surprised by any of the young, and curious, bears. Several times a bear would approach, but usually it just took a couple people making noise and waving their hands around to scare them off. Eventually two different bears overcame fear of that, and got close enough that a rifle shot into the ice to make a lot of noise was the only remedy.
I'll post more than one article to show several images.
First, here's one brash young bear just stomping right up. The Exif data says the focus distance here was 26 meters.
But, in addition to probably 400 shots of polar bears, there was just a wonderful array of wildlife that made itself available... Here is a baby beluga following it's mother.
This is the business end of a whaling boat. The harpoon has a loaded whale bomb gun on the end, with a toggling harpoon tip off to the right side. The plunger sticking out from the end of the bomb gun fires the weapon. The toggle on tip of the stinger embeds itself into the whale, and a float that is attached then plays out with maybe 100 feet of rope on it, and allows tracking where the whale is.