When we’re within a mile or two, I scream to Paul and Denis to get out on deck. “Put on your dry suits, guys!” They scramble out of the cabin, fully aware of what’s been unfolding. “Tell us when you see the island,” I shout. It becomes obvious now that facing backward in a rowboat can be very impractical at times. “We’re four hundred meters out,” Frank yells (about four hundred yards). “Do you see anything?”
“Nothing,” Paul replies.
A moment later, Frank yells, “Two hundred meters out.”
“Nothing,” Paul says. “Wait a moment, I think I see—”
We all hear it before we see it—the deep, resonating thud of wave against cliff. I strain my neck over my left shoulder to see Bear Island ringed in steep cliffs, huge waves, and little hope. Our island refuge is no salvation at all.