The images contained in Polar Eve whaling stations along the northernmost coast of Svalbard just shy of 80°North. The ruins of those stations, the earliest of which was established in 1615, are still visible given the relatively low rate of decay in the far north, and they were only made more so by the freakish warm rains that fell almost every day of our weeks at sea. The arctic is largely a polar desert--so cold and dry year round that very little precipitation falls in any season and rarely is there rain. And yet rain had been falling all September and even though the snow returned the night we set sail the rains set in again the next day washing all the early winter snow from all the mountains across the entire archipelago. The ruins of the whaling stations were mired in thick mud where ordinarily snow should have been by this time in the season, laying bare the evidence of the first in a series of European oil booms.