Today is the 9th of August, and I just talked to the skipper of the sailboat that is on its way to carry us home. The boat left Norway a few days ago, but is struggling with an unkind wind. The forecast is northerly gales, so Thorleif Thorleifsson expects they’ll be at least a day delayed.
We will just have to be patient – we can muster enough of that and have plenty of excellent provisions left from the icebreaker that called at Cape Flora with their tourists. We’re not suffering for lack of anything, although we are eager to be homeward bound.
This last day has been plenty exciting. Last night two bears came to visit us, a mother and her cub, which must have been about a year and a half old. This island is probably not the best place for them to be, there are no ice floes here – it’s all melted. In years past there used to be miles and miles of pack ice around the cape here, and in Nansen’s time these were excellent hunting grounds for the polar bears. Now it’s just open water and they would have to swim for days to reach the ice floes.
In other words, the bears are very hungry, trying their best to catch a few birds, including the young seagulls that were sitting on that rock over there.
They were very excited to discover our campsite – the smell of food at last! Which I’m sure included two of us. They triggered first one tripwire, then another, firing two of our signal flares. Now we only have one left. That’s no crisis, really, because we’ll always manage to rig up some kind of alarm to wake us up if the get too close to the tent.
The bears were hungry enough to brave a return, and that called for more drastic measures. We brought forth the pepper spray, fired our gun into the air, and ran after shouting. When we finally frightened them off, they took the hint and stayed away. Haven’t seen them since.
You see, Cape Flora is not a dull place. There’s a lively fauna here. Walrus are swimming right off shore, and we have also seen these poor young razorbills that race toward the sea – they’re more popular than they care for, and not all of them can fly yet. So the Arctic foxes do catch a few delectable tidbits. This must be one of their best seasons of the year.
We are still here, too, waiting for our transport home.