We had little sleep that night as the wind picked up on the beam. Thankfully, the anchor held and we left at 0630 to explore the fjords to the south, heading straight for the Buchan Gulf, some 100 miles away. The coast was getting steeper, which we hoped would provide some good rock climbing. Unfortunately, low, wet clouds obscured all but the lower 300 feet or so of the cliffs, making the prospect of climbing less than tempting.
It was there that we saw, foraging on the rocks at the base of the cliffs, our first of many polar bears. These creatures look beautiful and powerful, and it's sometimes hard to realize how dangerous they are. On our trips ashore we always carried a rifle, as they're one of the few mammals that consider humans food. We also carried a flare pistol with flash-bang type cartridges; the theory being that if the bear is 150 feet or more away, you would fire the flare pistol to scare it off. Fortunately, we never had to use either, but once we did have to beat a hasty retreat to the boat after spotting a bear coming in our direction.