Lancaster Sound (Tallurutiup Imanga)

Aug 29, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

After much anticipation, we finally found ourselves in the Arctic ice. For the past two days, everyone aboard National Geographic Explorer has seen the occasional glimpse of drifting icebergs but hadn’t seen a proper congregation until just past lunch. We all heard that wildlife is dependent upon the ice in most cases, and that idea was proven to be true quite quickly.

Within 20 minutes of reaching the ice, a bridge officer spotted a polar bear in the distance. As we headed closer, we realized there was a mother and a cub as well as a male off in a different direction. Due to ice conditions, we gambled and moved in closer to the male. We were greatly rewarded by its curious nature. Our bear experts estimated that this male was nearly five years old and hadn’t yet developed the caution typical among older individuals, hence its decision to approach within 30 yards of our ship. We were ecstatic and so grateful for this encounter. Our amazing photos were made even better in the incredible light—the sky and reflections were lovely. It was a special day and there were an exceptional number of smiles carrying throughout the ship.

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About the Author

Ryder Redfield

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Growing up at the base of the Cascade Mountains in the tiny Oregon town of Sisters meant that Ryder was surrounded by wilderness. A childhood of hiking, fishing, hunting for arrowheads, camping, and upland bird hunting resulted in the outdoors feeling far more comfortable than hectic city streets. His passion for the outdoors has perpetually grown and, upon graduating from the University of Oregon, he embraced his wanderlust with even greater vigor. His adventures eventually led him to working with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as a photo instructor.

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