We’re up in the high Arctic, in Svalbard. I’m a guest for a few days on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. (It’s a bit of a misnomer at this time of year because the sun never sets, so—to paraphrase Hemingway—the sun also never rises.)
As we are slowly leaving Isfjorden (Icy Fjords) 78º N and 13º E, a boat called Better Momentshails us via radio. They ask for Larissa Beumer, who has coordinated my visit and much of what happens on board day-to-day. They know her. When she gets on the radio they tell her where they are and that they’re looking at the first polar bear they’ve seen all season. “Let’s go,” we agree. Easy decision!