An angry polar bear
An angry polar bear

Here Are Some Suggestions On How to Survive

  1. Have your weapon ready. Whenever leaving the science station always carry a rifle with the magazine loaded.
  2. Assess the situation. Most polar bears don't think of humans as lunch but if they are hungry or protecting cubs they can be very unpredictable and attack without warning.
  3. Make yourself visible and make noise. Get to high ground if possible so that you can see the bear.
  4. Fire flare shots so that they land between you and the bear.
  5. If attacked by an aggressive bear, shoot with the intent to kill. Aim for the chest. Keep shooting until the bear lies still.

Hey Polar Bears! You Better Not Mess With Us!

This is me.  Look out polar bears.
This is me. Look out polar bears.
Ryan the defender
Ryan the defender
Dominique the protector
Dominique the protector
Courtney the courageous
Courtney the courageous
Jessica scares them with the flare gun
Jessica scares them with the flare gun
Steve is a super shot
Steve is a super shot
Coming back after checking our shots
Coming back after checking our shots
We are all certified in the polar bear and weapon for protection course
We are all certified in the polar bear and weapon for protection course

Second Most Frightening Encounter- Finding Yourself in a Titanic-like Situation

This is bad.......

You don't want to be in this situation.  Well, at least not out in the frigid North Atlantic.
You don't want to be in this situation. Well, at least not out in the frigid North Atlantic.
This is good!
I've donned the suit
I've donned the suit
Donning the Arctic Armor might be the most difficult part. But we managed to get them on and test them in the icy Arctic waters.
All ready except Steve who is has a super tall man suit
All ready except Steve who is has a super tall man suit
I'm in the water
I'm in the water
Courtney plunges in
Courtney plunges in
Kean- did you inflate?
Kean- did you inflate?
Jessica jumped in
Jessica jumped in
Ryan leaped into the fjord
Ryan leaped into the fjord
Dominique's douse
Dominique's douse
Steve did a spin on the way in
Steve did a spin on the way in

Snow Buntings Can Be Found In Some Strange Places

On the drive back from the target range we crossed a bridge with an outhouse. Nice place for an outhouse- especially if there is nothing under it!

A water closet on the bridge which is a handy place when there is no bottom
A water closet on the bridge which is a handy place when there is no bottom
Surprise! A snow bunting made its nest in the toilet! Awwwwwwww.........
Snow bunting in the john
Snow bunting in the john
And as an extra treat, here is a young barnacle goose that I came across today. The wonders never cease!
A darling, young barnacle goose
A darling, young barnacle goose

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Weather Summary
Windy and cool
Temperature
45ยบ F
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Comments

peggy's son (not verified)

did you actually take that picture of the polar bear? looks scary. hey lil barnacle goose! i want to put him in my pocket and take him home. looks like you guy are having lots of fun.....when does the work start?

Michelle Brown

What did you do when you found the bird in the toilet!? That seems like a tricky situation! Did you move the bird or just not use the bathroom!?

Stephanie (not verified)

I love that cute little goose. What are the chances that you would actually encounter a polar bear? Do they actually attack?

Brian (not verified)

Jack and Rose could have used some of that arctic armor! Your polar bear looks a lot more aggressive than the cuddly guys on the Coca Cola bottles, hope you don't run into any of them!

Peggy McNeal

Haven't seen any polar bears yet, so no on the picture. If I saw one like pictured, I would be shooting it with something other than a camera. I did just see an Arctic fox running around from my window. He had a flock of panicked Arctic terns above him because he is after their eggs which they lay on the ground. Poor little guys. The little barnacle goose is not pocket size. Right now they are about as big as a cantaloupe. They grow fast! They are only 3 to 4 weeks old. The work has started in the sense that we are busy prepping our lab. Today the weather isn't looking good, so we will probably get out on the water Friday. By this weekend we should have the our first data. Thanks for the questions, son ha ha! I'm guessing Jon?

Peggy McNeal

Hi Michelle!We didn't use the bathroom and I hope no one else does either. That might not end so well for the bird. Actually, I think everyone knows about the bird and just doesn't use the outhouse. There are only about 135 of us here in town and the water closet is out on a remote road, so it's easy to get the word out and have everyone avoid surprising the little guy. Great to hear from you!

Peggy McNeal

Hi Steph!The goose is pretty darn cute AND lucky to be here based on the fox antics I just observed. Nature can be harsh. The chances that we will encounter a polar bear are very, very slim. Usually, they are not interested in humans because they like to eat seal. But they can attack if hungry, threatened or protecting cubs. Most people never see one, just like we have never seen a mountain lion at home although we know that they are there. Thanks for writing!

Peggy McNeal

Hey Brian! The survival suits are extremely bulky and will take some getting used to just to be able to maneuver. Although a suit might have saved Jack's life, it would have severely limited his cuddling up to Rose and not made for good cinematography, ha ha. If I see a polar bear with a coke, I'll make sure and get a picture. Great to hear from you!

Debralee Seles (not verified)

Why do the mits have the split between the fingers?

Peggy McNeal

Hello Debralee,The mittens are split to maximize warmth while allowing some dexterity and control. But after I got the first mitten on, it was very difficult to get the second one on securely. As a result, my suit leaked up one arm to my elbow. Lesson learned. The survival suits each cost around $1,500! Can you believe that? Doesn't Dominique look so happy in the water?

Steven Fuselier (not verified)

Hi Peggy,
Just a quick note to say hello, and am jealous I am not there. I hope you have a safe and blessed expeditionary experience. OBTW, I see the certificate for the completion of the polar bear training, but don't see any photos of you shooting the gun. On this end, Jim (AKA My boss, the Admiral) is doing well and making positive changes here at GLS. He misses you! Today, the wardroom, is going to the Padres game at noon. It should be a grand day. Take care and have lots of fun, be safe and keep your spirits high. Remember, God is with you and He will keep you safe. Blessings, Steve

Lisa Litsey (not verified)

Peggy,You're really there! Your pictures are spectacular! What an adventure!! I want to see Chasing Ice. Thoughts on the polar bear training are both hysterical and terrifying. Stay safe. God bless. Glad no one pooped on the bird.
We love you,
Lisa et al

Peggy McNeal

Steven,It is so good to hear from you! Yes, I qualified and got my certificate. I'm in the first picture (brown jacket) with the caption, "This is me". My Army son (Jon) critiqued my shooting position, however. He gave me some tips, but hey, I got the job done. Padres game sounds fun. Stay in touch and thanks for writing!

Peggy McNeal

Lisa and family,It is so great to hear from you! Yes, I think if I see a polar bear the biggest issue would be not the ability to shoot the rifle, but staying composed enough to do it. Encounters are very rare, The bird in the toilet is so funny! Stay connected and I hope to hear from you again.

Bobby (not verified)

"Peggy the Powerful"

Peggy McNeal

Ooops- I have to take back my statement that spotting a polar bear is a rare occurrence; one was spotted in town this morning! More on that in my next journal!

Jonathan McNeal (not verified)

yes mother