Winter and Bears arrive

Winter has set in here in on the Beaufort Sea in a hurry. Two days ago the weather was in the higher 30’s and open water. Just the fresh water ponds were starting to freeze. Yesterday, we went inside at 9 am and there was just a little ice starting on the shore. When we left again at 945, the bay had mostly iced in with a few open areas – just that quick. It’s not hard ice yet, but never saw ice form that fast.

Today the sow and 2 polar bear cubs we saw here last year appear to have come back again – at least from the size of the cubs, it seems they’re the same animals. First ones I’ve seen all season.

Daylight is fading fast, and with the westerlys gusting around 30, the windchill was reading below zero on our weather station thermometer today. I went from thinking we’d be running boats till the end of Oct to wondering if we’d make it now to the end of Sept