Vagabond is at sea again. The second attempt was a success. Spring high tide and Kavavow's powerful speed boat were needed to leave Grise Fiord beach. Launching Vagabond means the end of a transition period.
From land to sea. From overwintering to sailing. Towards an hectic scientific cruise!
From solo to crew since France and Léonie came back on July 22nd, after 15days isolation in Ottawa. Joyful reunion upset by France's father death the following day. We are staying close to the family despite the distance.
Spring has passed in no time. Snow melted, tundra bloomed, rivers are running again. Sea ice was spotted with beautiful melt ponds for a while, until it broke up mid-July.
Transition towards positive temperatures, for sure, but it is still snowing regularly, even in summer. What a difference with the 50°C reached in the southern part of the country!
For the past few weeks hunters were bringing a small boat, on a sledge, just in case, to the floeedge. This is where they could catch again walrus, bearded seal, beluga or narwhal. Now boats are replacing snowmobiles, until the ice will freeze again.
To reach the glacier, no more skis but crampons. Without snow, I could recover the lost weather station and rescue the data logger, crucial data for the Asuittuq glacier study. Good field work!
Since I came back over two months ago, thanks to permanent daylight, our good old solar panels (2004!) are able to supply all needed power to live on board Vagabond, this is very satisfactory!
On July 1st, there has been no Canada Day celebrations in Grise Fiord after the residential schools scandal (50s to 90s) and the discovery of the remains of more than one thousands children.
On July 6th, Inuit leader Mary Simon was named General Governor of Canada, an historical step towards reconciliation. Larry Adlaluk's book is bringing a strong account on how much government made Inuit suffered in the 50s. The documentary Wounded Healers is hopeful and optimistic.
On July 9th, it was Nunavut Day. In Grise Fiord we had a fishing derby, a small boat race, a cake decoration contest, games, feast, music... and happiness to gather and celebrate.
Transition in Health Centres: it is becoming harder to work as a nurse in Nunavut and there is a lack of nurses. After servicing for 30 years in Nunavut, including the last 10 years in Grise Fiord, our friend Joanne went back to her Acadie. A very moving departure for her and the entire community as they faced three sudden deaths last winter, while there has not been any for eight years.
Transition from North to South for Vagabond's crew as well, from Arctic to Subarctic, as I will be in charge of a new research platform in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. But we will keep running Vagabond in the High Arctic in summer!