Swim with Polar Bears
Ellesmere Island, Canada
August 6 – 16, 2018
UNDERWATER WITH POLAR BEARS – TRIP DETAILS
It’s an overcast day in August, late summer in the Arctic, and there are sprawling stretches of dark, open ocean water between thinning islands of ice. we are searching for polar bears by boat because at this point in the season there is almost no ice left. the lack of ice forces polar bears into the water to swim for extended distances, and gives us the perfect opportunity to experience these ultimate polar predators in their element.
The latin name for polar bear, ursus maritimus, actually means “sea Bear” and although they are ice dependent animals they are still regarded as marine mammals because of their proficiency in the aquatic environment. we have been out on the water for hours searching for bears and the golden light from the setting sun is desperately trying to break through the grey cloud cover that has blanketed the sky all day. we’re all a bit chilly as a result of the wind and intermittent mist, but that doesn’t stop us from pushing ahead. our feet are cold from lack of movement, our fingertips are getting numb, our backs are stiﬀ, any exposed skin stings from the biting polar wind, and our intensely focused eyes crave rest.
Then about 150 meters away, we see the blurred but unmistakable image of a polar bear slip into the water, soon followed by another smaller white shape. A mother and her cub.
We have to time our entry just right and suddenly our chill is gone and the excitement is palpable. we all check and double-check our equipment even though it has been ready to go for hours, and then gear up and prepare to quietly slip into the water. the adrenaline really starts pumping as we watch the bears get closer to us and the reality of diving with one of the world’s top predators begins to set it. Almost as if controlled by a switch, the clouds fill with light as the sun pushes its way through them to illuminate this uniquely Arctic scene unfolding in front of us.
It’s almost the perfect moment to submerge ourselves in the frigid polar water to fully experience the marine world of these \ sea bears.
Logistically, this is the most sophisticated operation we have run in the last 35 years. the intricacies of this challenging expedition rival the complexities of the security protocols for Area 51.
The expedition location is extremely remote and we must travel 700 miles to even get to the desired region. there is nowhere to obtain the fuel we need throughout the journey so all 2200 gallons must be flown out in barrels that will be returned to their place of origin once they are empty. the planes are small and consequently we must charter two of them, one to carry the fuel and the other to carry the guests and their gear. it is of utmost importance to us throughout this trip that we conduct ourselves in the most sustainable way possible.
No trace of our expedition will be left behind and we interact with the wildlife in the most respectful of ways to make sure our actions never alter the animal’s natural behavior.
Once we have arrived at our destination, we will begin our transformation into a team of adventurers setting out together in search of an unprecedented experience in the wilderness of our polar north.
There is only space for two guests and they will be sharing their time in the Arctic with two extremely committed and experienced trip leaders, Amos Nachoum and Adam ravetch, along with an incredibly knowledgeable ground team of inuit guides and hunters.
Our dedicated inuit team will facilitate transportation, food, sleeping arrangements, etc. and will ensure that we have everything we need to sustain ourselves in this harsh environment. we will search for polar bears by boat all day, but the preferred times to be in the water with them are around sunrise and sunset because of the superior photo- graphic quality of low angle light. we will eat salmon, caribou, reindeer, and any animals hunted by our inuit guides and stay in mini- malistic tents with mattresses and sleeping bags. Amos and Adam have worked for years to create a safe environment for this unique encounter and they will be in the water with our guests at all times.
in this incredibly harsh yet surprisingly fragile northern polar region of our planet, we’re oﬀering you the opportunity to be part of an experience more exclusive than walking on the moon. this journey will try your patience, test your endurance, and show you the Arctic in a way few humans will ever have the privilege of seeing it.
- DAY 1
- August 6. Fly to, winnipeg Canada and transfer to our designated hotel
- DAY 2
- August 7. Early morning fly to the remote settlement on Baﬃn island, Baker lake. This staging area – review and check all our diving and cold weather gear. pack our personal, cameras and team gear, fuel, compressor, tanks, weight and generator.
- DAY 3
- August 8. With weather condition on our side, we prepare the two charter planes; load our fuel, 2200 gallon on one plane, the second plane with our gear and the team on a three hours flight to isolated and remote location. Upon arrival we coordinate with the inuit team arriving from their village some 400 miles away by two vessels. With the planes landing on dirt strip, we unload all the gear and fuel and reload the gear on board the inuit vessel transferring us to the selected beach our base of operation and tents accommodation.
- DAY 4 – 9
- August 9-14. For the next six days in accordance with weather conditions the inuit guides will decide if and when we shall go to sea in search for polar bear family swimming. At this time of the year most of the ice already gone and the bear in this remote location are moving from island to island in search of food other than seals and that will be birds and eggs. Every morning after earthy breakfast and strong coffee the inuit chef we prepare the dive and camera gear load the vessel and go in search for polar bear family swimming. the tactic how we connect and dive with the Bear family safely will be addressed later. on every dive only one guest will be in the water while Adam and Amos will be guiding, protecting and filming the guest in the water. Guests will alternate order of getting in the water.
- DAY 10
- August 15. We unpack our camp and pack all our gear. Collect our fuel drums, we leave nothing behind. we leave the place as we find it with limited impact on the Bear and the pristine environment. we load it all on the vessel and transfer back to the dirt strip where we landed a week ago. on the arrival of the two charter planes we load the fuel drums on one planes and our gear on another, say Goodbye and thank you to the dedicated inuit that brought us here and guided us safely into this extreme adventure. Arrive at Bakers lake unload the plans, have good hot shower and ready for tomorrow flight to the mainland Canada.
- DAY 11
- August 16. Transfer to the airport only with our personal gear this time on the flight to Winnipeg, over night and farewell dinner
- DAY 12
- August 17. Transfer to airport according to your flight for your next destination with most amazing one of a kind personal achievement.
PAYMENT, DEPOSIT & CANCELLATION POLICY
Payment Policy and Deposit
When we receive your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive and detailed trip preparation Bulletin about the experience and the destination. All trip costs are subject to change without prior notice until your reservation is confirmed.
A deposit of 33% of the total trip price is required to secure space on the trip.
Full payment is due no later than 90 days before departure.
We reserve the right to sell any space that is not paid in full by 60 days before departure.
- Must be made in writing
- More than 90 days before trip: deposit will be refunded in full
- 90 days or less before trip
- Deposit will be refunded if space is sold, less unrecoverable costs of sales, and administration costs
- No refund is made for unused part of the itinerary
- The following are subject to change:
- Cost of services which are not included in the expedition price
- Flight time and schedule
- Weather, water temperature, and animal behavior