After today's dive, my harvest of clams, sea urchins, algae, and sediment has been sorted and labelled with Flavienne. Time to inaugurate GreenEdge laboratory!
A polar bear visited the ice camp and slightly ripped the tent! Some repellent added to the ropes should now be enough when nobody is at the camp...
First CTD profile today. The data indicate that the planktonic activity is still very low, we are not late for GreenEdge.
We were very happy to see Nicolas Martin again, from the lab LOCEAN, he came to set up the Ice-T. The prototype of this instrument was successfully validated near Vagabond in Spitsbergen in March 2007. View live data from the Ice-T.
For two weeks, scientific projects have been getting real! Instruments and a lot of equipment are constantly arriving. Already three small planes were chartered by Takuvik for GreenEdge program, only to carry cargo from Quebec. Canada Post and scheduled flights to Qikiqtarjuaq are also very much used. Thus came two new snowmobiles, that needed to be prepared and broke in; here are four in total for GreenEdge.
We welcomed the first team on March 15th: Flavienne, CJ, Guislain, José and Jean-Jacques. Time to meet everyone and to set up in the little town, we were heading to the ice camp, 30 minutes south of Broughton Island by snowmobile. First the main hole, made using an auger, then a solid floor all around, and then a large tent on top. Then delivering a cabin to the site, installing heaters and a complete power network... The base camp is in the village of Qikiqtarjuaq. As well as the laboratory, which is no other than the Inuksuit school, beautiful, available for GreenEdge researchers, which also develop an educational program throughout the mission.
A few days earlier, came our inseparable icemeter (EM31) that was sent by Christian Haas from Toronto. Just in time to do some tests and then measure the thickness of sea ice in the area, especially in the area chosen for GreenEdge ice camp. Finally, the distance criteria from the coast, sea ice state, access and water depth took us to the same location than last year.
The day before the arrival of the first team, during a nice and long family day on the ice, the weather mast was installed, with its thirty temperature sensors (from air to sea via snow and ice), at the exact same place than in 2014.
Sunday, with the whole team, we rode a small summit south of Broughton Island. Like last year, a camera will monitor the melting and breaking-up period, every half hour until August (timelapse). The ice camp is in the middle of the picture!
v The sea ice around Vagabond now exceeds one meter thick, slightly less that a year ago at the same time. Luckily for the team setting up the ice camp, temperatures are 15 to 20°C higher since mid-March!
Beautiful kiting day for France and me yesterday (Friday 13th!), near Vagabond. It's not every day that the wind setup at 20 knots! Most of the time, the weather here is nice and quiet, so we don't want to miss such an opportunity.
Skis and skins took us out to some nice tours, joyful runs, and Leonie's first summit.
During a picnic at nearby Bubble Lake, stunned by the sound of bubbles under the ice (probably methane), we collected fresh water, clear and pure. Bubbles are slowing down the ice growth, and it is quite easy to access water. Villagers often come to get drinking water. A polar bear has also been there not long before us!
Two evenings per week in March, Lisa teaches Inuktitut for beginners!
On March 8th, Women's Day, Becky Kilabuk and Emily Karpik came to teach throat singing to Qikiqtarjuaq students, and they gave us some explanations and a nice rehearsal session.
A small igloo was born next to Vagabond, lying under the numerous northern lights.
Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer came to visit us on board: exciting evening! We were delighted to meet Sarah, and to see Erik again (we met him in August 2011 in Grise Fiord after he circumnavigated Ellesmere Island by kayak. Launched today in a great journey of 4000km in 4 months around Baffin Island with their 13 dogs, they stopped in Qikiqtarjuaq before heading further north. They should gradually catch up with Jamie and Benno (map), Alex team-mates now by themselves since his accident (blog).
It's great to see these expeditions passing by!
Little event on board on February 27th: Leonie turned 8! !