Between Devon Island and Ellesmere Island, a dozen of CTD casts are done across Jones Sound (some Arctic Ocean water is going this way to the Atlantic Ocean). In the middle of the strait, Vagabond stops and drifts, while we are repairing the capricious winch! Happily, wind and swell are moderate.
Then, it is at the end of South Cape Fiord that we drop anchor for a rest day before the end of the cruise. Weather is perfectly calm, tenths of narwhals are swimming around. In fascination, we watch and listen to them for a long time: their back are shinning in the sun, their powerful blows are echoing in the fiord.
Christian was dreaming about fishing and about a glacier trip. Fishing attempts are quite short, from the boat, but a nice trip allows everyone to step on Sydkap Glacier, and see two arctic hares, and footprints from polar bears, wolves, foxes and muskox.
Friday morning, sea is flat, ideal for the scientists to pack all the equipment, while sailing, and to give us orders: icemeter, CTD, winch, and part of the weather station are staying on board. We will follow given protocols to do measurements all along the winter.
At the exit of South Cape Fiord, hundreds of Greenland seals, in small groups, are swimming and jumping like dolphins. Spectacular, unforgettable. On our way, we find a little bay well protected which could be fine to overwinter...
At the end of the day, we get a very friendly welcome in Grise Fiord. Entry formalities to Canada are done in French, in the local office of Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and by phone with Iqaluit authorities (Nunavut capital).
Great meeting with Jon et Erik, from the US, they also just arrived in Grise Fiord after 104 days expedition around Ellesmere Island: Ellesmere Island Circumnavigation. We passed them a few days ago, less than four mile from each other, but too much ice to gather.
Mary, Lea and Christian are still with us, because their flight was cancelled yesterday. Airspace is closed around Resolute Bay, where was a dramatic plane crash.