After the flat West coast of Foxe Basin, it is a pleasure to see again mountainous South Baffin. And to discover Cape Dorset, the nicest town I saw in Nunavut.
Looking for a shower, we are invited at the school. The high school burned one year ago, so the elementary school is open to the youngest every morning and to the teenagers in the afternoons. The principal, an enthusiastic Kenyan, takes us to every class for an informal exchange with all the students. Then, from his office he plays a piano composition he wrote specially for this school. Good musician, he plays 7 instruments, and sometimes let everybody listen to him through the speakers in the entire school! But about the showers, they are broken.
Ooloosie Ashevak, the school secretary, invites us at home... And there we can't stop speaking about our good friends from Grise Fiord, Larry and Annie, her uncle and aunt, and about their daughters Laisa and Arna. Arna was also Leonie's teacher! The following day we are all invited to her daughter's birthday party. I bake a cake, to share after the feast made of beluga maktak, frozen caribou, fish soup and fresh bannok. Such a warm and simple welcoming!
Adamie, Ooloosie's husband, is a carver, as most men here. Because Cape Dorset is the artistic capital of Nunavut! We are lucky to have a good tour of the lithographic and silkscreen printing workshop. The artists are only from here, coming from artist families most of the time. All their production are sold in Toronto. There are also drawers and painters. We meet Tim, and the boss of the workshop who just came back from holidays discovers his last draws with us. I admire his sense of lines and volume... He shares his time between art and hunting. It is on the land that he observes, gets inspiration, finds his subjects and defines his ideas. Then, without any draft and with a sure hand he achieves the piece which had to be born.
There is also a carving gallery. The soap stone comes from a place at one day by speed boat from Cape Dorset. The gallery doesn't have the capacity to welcome all the carvings from town, so people are also selling in the street. Then we ballast Vagabond with some emerald-green polar bears coming strait from Baffin hillside!
Alicia is leaving us here. She brings back most of the coralline samples to Jochen laboratory in Toronto. The last point to check was not so good, but we hope to get better collection for the last dives of the season.