Heading North

  • Depart helico pour manip sur glaciers ile Devon

Maya, Erin and Dave have an appointment in True Love on Devon Island, a little scientific station built in 1960. On August 9th, a Twin Otter (small airplane) coming from Resolute Bay is dropping their gear and supplies, and a helicopter is meeting them for 2 to 4 days of field work on Devon Ice Cap and Sverdrup and Belcher glaciers. So we are standing by and watching Vagabond. The anchorage we found, 5 km from the station, is not well protected from the swell, so we decide to camp! It's a little bit like holidays...

Happy with the work done, the team is boarding again on August 13th to cross Jones Sound, back on the southern coast of Ellesmere Island, towards South Cape Fiord. While coming back in "our" fiord, we get to see not less than 4 polar bears, walruses, many seals, with blue sky and beautiful glaciers in the background. After a long day profiling and sampling the fiord's waters, and before heading to the next fiord, France and I are taking time to visit again our wintering site (2011-2012), at the entrance of the fiord. Lots of memories, emotional...

Weather still perfect for the last stations, in Grise Fiord, Vagabond's coolers and freezers are all very full! We drop anchor in front of the village on August 15th: offloading, team change, loading the sonar and other equipments, community event organized by the scientists, diesel resupply, training for 2 Rangers (Jimmy and Jason) for them to carry on measurements and samplings during their patrols in the area.

At last I meet with Andrew Hamilton, we have been in touch for the last 2 years about this oceanographic and hydrographic project in Talbot Inlet. After so many mails exchanged, here we are! He is coming with Gabriel Joyal, hired to operate the multi-beam sonar. A complete day is necessary to set it up along the port side of Vagabond, using the mounts we have prepared in St-John's in Newfoundland early May (we did 7400 km since).

So we are bound for Nares Strait, getting a nice gale pushing us quickly out of Jones Sound. Nice stop in the large bay with no name near Cape Norton Shaw: the sonar is giving us a beautiful image of the underwater part of the glacier termini, but we see only the tracks, fresh, left by the polar bear not long before going for a short walk ashore.

Vagabond is notably slowed down by the sonar, happily the winds are fair and on August 22nd, we arrive in Talbot Inlet!