En mission pour la Nasa

  • CTD 600m

Vagabond is slowly going North, sailing into every main glacier fjord. For Eric Rignot and his colleagues of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Nasa), for two weeks, we are doing bathymetry and hydrography, using a deep water echo sounder and a CTD probe. Our friends Gilbert and Annick are joining our family crew from Uummannaq to Augpilagtoq, for the first part to the work. Perfecting equipments and procedures is taking a bit of time, but this will be useful for a more ambitious project next year. We are sometimes sailing along the coast, open to the waves from offshore, and sometimes inside the fjords, very icy. Lights are beautiful in September, gales too! It can be hard to find a place to anchor in the night, in a steep fjord full of drifting ice, when swell, wind and snow come into it. In these conditions, sending down the CTD to 500m depth is not easy as well!

Surprisingly, not far from glacier Kakivfait, we meet four fishing boats, one after the other, all sailing as slow as Vagabond across heavy ice concentrations. The night before, not far from there, I dived to check the transducer: clear water, -1°C, 600m depth!

Villages are often meaning nice encounters, and at times good anchorage. At Augpilagtoq, Thomas is trying to sell us a huge geode, and is fascinating us with dozens of trophies won in dog sledge races. At Naujat, Gabriel is teaching patience to our daughters willing to get close to young dogs; in the meantime in front of the small village, at dusk, two other hunters are training in their kayak. At Nuussuaq, where we are happy to come back (photo 2011), Aurore and Léonie are easily integrating with pupils from the school for some class work.