Stopped at Ipiutaq, time to wait for better weather,
and to see our friends about to start gathering their hundreds of sheeps.
Winter projects are confirmed, we are heading to Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, on the
East coast of Baffin Island, in Canada. There, our friends, our dogs, the
school, and quite a lot of equipment are waiting for us for another winter in
the same little bay 3 kilometres away from the village.
Summer missions are done, five great and intense weeks in Tasiilaq region. We
were delighted to discover again that part of East Greenland, successively
with our colleagues and friends Laurent
Charavin, and Christian
Morel, and their respective groups.
The last group left last week, while Clémentine and Adrien joined us for the
long trip back. They know the route from the sky, when they flew around the
world by ultralight plane. Pilots (Wings for
Science), they were quickly sea adapted
and they are sharing watches with France and me. Nights are long now, drifting
ice is sometimes hard to see due to swell and precipitation, despite the
powerful headlight and the radar.
Our friend Christian Dumard, routeur, is looking after us: conditions were
good since we left Kulusuk, smooth sea, favourable currents and winds,
northern lights and moon light, it was pretty easy to zigzag between numerous
growlers. Only one short stop was needed, Wednesday night. When approaching
the coast and a possible shelter, wind was suddenly gusty (100km/h),
visibility very poor in flurries of snow, one engine stopped for a moment, and
the main sail got slightly damaged. Not long after, at second attempt, the
anchor was holding, the crew could rest.
We enjoyed once more the southern fjords to avoid Cape Farvel! Minke and
humpback whales welcomed us on the West coast. Aurore and Léonie were
Clémentine and Adrien cam with a drone for Vagabond, first trial yesterday, at
Ipiutaq, amazing! Fun and useful, the pictures it can take are beautiful.
Before leaving Kulusuk, the pilots could organize a photo mission for Laurent
Geoffroy. I went with them in the rented P68, it was my first time in a plane
in Greenland (where we already spent eight summer seasons)! After four hours
of flight and thousands of pictures, studied geological massif will be soon
examined thoroughly in 3D on a computer. It was fascinating to see from above
these fjords, islands, glaciers, well explored with Vagabond during 2000, 2001
and 2014 missions.
Follow Vagabond's track