Bear One

"There - just in from the back of the ice." "Where?" "I can't see anything." "I think you're imagining it." "No, really." "The slight creamy blob just to the right of the dark smudge on the ice face." "I think you might be right, good spot!"

The bear spotters dialog. Probably heard on every polar bear spotting trip to Svalbard.  Particularly around Bear One. The first bear of the trip.

Bear One on any Svalbard trip is always a big deal. It sets the tone of the trip. Is this going to be a good trip, or a great one. Did the first bear come early? If it did the trip was going to be a lucky one.

For first timers on the trip, it's always challenging to pick out the first ivory smudge in the far distance. For the old hands, its pretty easy. They've seen bears before. They know what empty ice looks like, and they know if there's a bear around.  Having spotted the bear, the next challenge is to take photographs.  Yes, it's just going to be a faint blob a few pixels across, but it is Bear One.  How many pictures of Bear One do you need? A few more will always be good.

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