Grise Fiord families are now going back and forth, by snowmobile, from town to their favourite sites to camp, to repair or build a new cabin, and just to enjoy the summer. The sun is still pretty high in the sky at midnight, and seal hunting can last all night on packice, which is much more practical than last year at the same time! On land, the geese are very popular too (hunting is encouraged by scientists), and sometimes one picks up some Arctic heather for cooking (very little driftwood here). A few days ago, a fox (a chef?) pilfered our wooden spoon! Approaching hares, listening to snow buntings singing, watching spring tides, discovering new flowers, visiting other camps... it is because we need to prepare the sailing season and to carry on the scientific measurements, that we need to go back to Grise Fiord from time to time.
Nevertheless, ice break-up is coming, even faster than we can think sometimes: some of our Arctic Bay neighbours were stranded on a drifting ice floe. This reminds us of memories! For our friends onboard Gambo, in Greenland, all ice was gone by June 12th already.
The area is coveted by fans of adventure, it welcomes all kinds of expeditions: a Russian team managed last month to reach Resolute Bay by amphibious trucks, via the North Pole (see MLAE log book); another Russian team rallied Greenland from the north pole by dog team (see Konyukhov's website); a pilot from Slovenia has just crossed the Arctic, via North Pole, on board a very light aircraft (Green Light World Flight); Babouchka, Sébastien Roubinet's very special mini catamaran, is about to attempt a crossing from Alaska to Spitsbergen via North Pole; Tara has started a circumnavigation of the Arctic (ten years after Vagabond!), while at least a dozen sailboats (Tooluka, Dodo's Delight, Arctic Tern, Gitana, La Belle Epoque, Traversay III, Lady Dana, Panorama, Noème...) are getting ready to sail the North-West Passage; as well as a rowboat and even a racing boat; when the night will return, Alex Hibbert will try his luck again from Qaanaaq (Greenland) to the North Pole. We should make some food depots for him during our journey into Nares Strait in September.