Video: Playing with Walruses in the Arctic

Posted on August 31, 2011 by

“Roaw roaw..” Our expedition guide Frank Todd called. The resident biologist who’d spent decades working with marine mammals, obviously had some tricks up his sleeves.

It wasn’t long before an inquisitive group of over 25 walruses swam up to him, snotting and whistling as they waddled their way onshore. One of them came so close, it looked like it was planting a kiss on his cheeks.

We were on the pebbled beach of Torellenesett in the Arctic and this was the third day of our voyage. Earlier that morning, our captain had informed us that we would be making a landing here.

Back on land, there were over a hundred walruses splayed out before us, piled atop one another in a pulsating heap of biomass. As we stood and stared in awe, some of them peeked at us, some snotted in oblivion while others wriggled their flippers playfully in the air, seemingly waving at us.

Over the next hour or so, we observed the walruses in silence - watching them waddling clumsily on land and swimming elegantly in water. By the beach, the gentle giants frolicked mischieviously around Frank. Here’s a video of the walruses swimming towards Frank. Watch how the animals respond to his calls…


A walrus swimming up to shore.

A pair of walruses snuggling close together.

 Up close: the walrus stares straight into my camera.

At the haul-out site, over 100 walruses piled atop one another.

 


This experience was made possible by Gap Adventures as a part of their Wanderers In Residence program. I traveled with Gap Adventures on their Realm of the Polar Bear trip (Trip Code: XVRPNX). All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Read more about my travels in the Arctic here or follow me on Twitter with the #gadvand #WIR hashtags.

 

 

 

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

6 Responses to “Video: Playing with Walruses in the Arctic”

  1. Shannon O'Donnell September 1, 2011 12:50 am #

    Ahh! Those photos are so wonderful! This is one of my dreams and it looks like you had an amazing trip :) Love that they came right up and out of the water for you :)

  2. Nancy $ Shawn Power September 1, 2011 1:57 am #

    Awesome post, love it!

    Thanks,

    Nancy & Shawn

  3. Mike December 1, 2012 12:38 pm #

    I want to ride my motorcycle to Anchorage, fly to Barrow, get a dry suit and swim with walrus before I die!

  4. Michael December 4, 2012 12:33 pm #

    Looks like a great experience with the Walrus. For those that want to see them in Alaska, we have a trip planned for July 2013 to one of the biggest haul-outs in Alaska. http://www.arcticwild.com/schedule/itineraries/Wa… Seems like something your reader might be interested in.
    Great video. Thanks.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Highlights of My Arctic Expedition Cruise Voyage | The Looptail, The Travel Blog Powered By G Adventures - September 23, 2013

    [...] At Torellenesett, we came across a haul-out site where over a hundred walruses splayed out before us, piled atop one another in a pulsating heap of biomass. Some of them peeked at us, some snorted in oblivion while others wriggled their flippers playfully in the air, seemingly waving at us. We spent over an hour observing the walruses in silence—watching them waddling clumsily on land and swimming elegantly in water. Frank, one of the expedition leaders, called out to them on the beach and many of them started swimming towards him one by one. Here’s a video of the walruses. [...]

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