No way to be in Grise Fiord for today's celebration of Canada Day: pack ice is getting too thin to travel by snowmobile, but still too hard to break with Vagabond! I left our vehicle there ten days ago, for summer. It was snowing, on solstice day, when I did the last trip. Pack ice was so flooded that I was soaked! But the engine didn't stop, ice didn't break, and it was still possible to drive around wide cracks. Phew! The next day, Jeffrey offered me a lift back. France and I were happy to have him on board for a couple of hours, we were in touch with him before we came to Grise Fiord, almost one year ago, and he gave us dogs and sledges for the whole winter.
Water drained by seal holes and cracks, ice dried up. Then, in the sun, melt ponds became deeper, and larger. Now, they are connecting together, and only remain white isolated patches surrounded by thin submerged ice. Rubber boots needed! Especially to reach the middle of the fjord, for scientific measurements, every three days. Ice already lost 40% of its thickness. Sun has been shinning non stop for the last eight days, temperature is approaching 10°C, conditions are ideal for small repainting, and for picnics on land or on ice. Going from one to the other is becoming tricky, even with the kayak or the sledge. Fishing shrimps, discovering new flowers, watching ivory gulls, Arctic terns, king eiders, snow geese... Dogs are watching over their piece of seal fat, coveted by many birds, and they are excited by seals, appearing suddenly closer and closer.
During my last stay in town, I could meet Graeme Magor, who spent here winter 1999-2000, further West. I also could see again Evangeline De Pas; she lived for ten years on board V'limeuse, and she worked today on project Iqqaumavara (meaning "I remember"), with Marquise Lepage, film director of a documentary about Martha Flaherty, cousin of Larry. Great evening with all these people together!
Far away, Grise Fiord is attracting rare but amazing people, as this famous hockey player, three days ago, or this rich Mexican family, that came to see polar bears and to fly over Vagabond in a helicopter on 18th of June!