Before the sea ice is no more walkable

  • 20200612 Camping pres de Arctic Bay ©EB
  • 20200610 Leonie avec chien et Eric en kite-ski ©France Pinczon du Sel
  • 20200519 Vue 360degres au pied des falaises St Georges society ©Aurore Brossier
  • 20200613 Fonte et banquise inondee pres d Arctic Bay ©EB

May and June are THE season for camping. Then, the sea ice becomes risky to walk on drily, and then the melt ponds are too big and the black ocean appears like a sneaky puzzle.

15 days after my birthday, it is the fishing derby long weekend but without a snowmobile we can't join. The wind is strong and many people have to turn back, as driving when dragging the heavy family qamutiks is dangerous. Holes are opened all over our bay for the village's version of the fishing competition. As soon as the wind calms down, we go camping at the entrance of the fjord, outside our bay. In 5 hours walking and skiing along the cliffs and with only one crack to cross, we are in another world. Still cold, however the tent is no longer set up on snow but on a perfect carpet made of small stones split by the frost. And we breathe, with a larger horizon on the pristine Admiralty fjord and its 20km wide!

10 days later we cross Victor Bay to settle at its north-west point. The sea ice is more beautiful that in our bay, however we have to make 2 big detours in order to find where to cross the two cracks too wide for our steps. When we arrive, nearby a lonely weekend hut, we discover the life that is reborn. Many geese can be approached, or are screaming in the sky. And now we have two dogs: Stone and Mickie, the second one is loaned for one month by Paul, the hamlet chief mechanic. So each girl has her dog, for their greatest happiness!

For June 10 Eric's birthday, we leave again harnessed in the same way to our pulkas and our dogs, but on a turquoise sea ice full of melt ponds. Eric even tries to kite with a little wind. Magic journey but cold foot bath guaranteed. And the return trip will be even more aquatic: we will feel like going from islets to islets across-lake! In a pretty little bay we spend few heavenly days, crawling on the rocks, discovering a multitude of birds and nests, snow buntings as much as gulls and even a hawk. The air is maritime, while the blue flooded sea ice still hides some thick ice.

Mid June, going camping on foot by the sea ice is no longer reasonable. Otherwise, before the first rains, we bivouac under the stars ... or rather under the permanent sun!