On French National Day, the fruits of our work for Takuvik took off! All samples prepared in the lab and by diving since March have been entrusted to the Amundsen's helicopter, as well as main scientific instruments that must be checked (CTD, ADCP, SPAR). While the icebreaker was heading north, 50 nautical miles from the coast, the helicopter made a return trip to Qikiqtarjuaq, to maintain the cold chain (-80°C and -20°C). It was also an opportunity for us to get some spare parts and a few groceries which cannot be found in Qikiqtarjuaq!
Then all the remaining scientific equipment was dried out, sorted and stored in a container until next winter. Under the sun and hordes of mosquitoes! Skidoo covered with tarpaulin, qamutiks (sleds) pulled up on dry land, the Vagabond-Takuvik 2014 mission is over for us.
The ice breaking up is progressing slowly, it is very late this year. Not seen since 1981, according to the elders. Our neighboring campers at Aningaatalik are patiently watching the ice melting, they hunt seals before going sailing in the fjords. During a wonderful evening birthday with them, I won a knife at a shooting contest!
Last Saturday, the anchor was lifted up, after 9 months of stillness among clams at 15m depth. Lifted with a 60 liters container filled with air, I was able to bring it back under the hull of Vagabond. France then could bring up 60 meters of chain lying on the bottom since October. While diving, I inspected the hull, despite very poor visibility: nothing to report, except the two propeller anodes to change and the deep sounder probe to better fix. Meanwhile, Aurore and Leonie, more and more capable by themselves, are visiting melt ponds by kayak!