Fishing Derby

  • Arrivee sur le lac du Fishing Derby
  • France Fishing Derby

Our colleague and friend Christian Haas arrived on Thursday for a new sea ice thickness survey. The next day, with France and our daughters, accompanied by Jaypootie and his family, we all leave together toward Nedlukseak. This is where is held the 2015 Fishing Derby, organized by the residents of Qikiqtarjuaq. Key event in the life of the village, we are all delighted to be able to perform our work while accepting the invitation of the villagers.

The lake is 130 km north of the village. It snowed so much that sometimes we need to use long ropes and two snowmobiles to pull each sled, which frequently get stuck in the slush (mixture of sea water and snow), on the ice. We need six hours to reach Nedlukseak.

The weather is beautiful when we arrived at the lake on Friday night, but deteriorates on Saturday morning. We spend more time inside the tent than out fishing or doing ice measurement in the area... relaxing time and good mood anyway. Snow is falling incessantly for two days. So much so that it ends up tumbling down the mountain...

School trip

  • Ecoliers visitent camp de glace
  • Ecoliers passent par Vagabond
  • Peche pendant sortie scolaire

Because of bad weather, our team is staying in town today, while our little family is sheltering on board Vagabond.

This week, pupils had 3 day trips! Time to play, slide, fish in a lake or in the sea, visit Broughton Island caves, see Vagabond or discover GreenEdge ice camp.

My first dive under the ice!

  • France avant apnee sous la banquise

This year, I felt more and more excited with the idea to see by myself what Eric's pictures showed us. And despite my inexperience, Sunday I could have this nice birthday present: some wonderful moments of free diving under the vast blue ceiling!

Controlled inspirations (being oppressed by the thick diving suit) to compensate my excitement, happiness to move in the water, to feel it infiltrated by my hairs floating outside the suit, but not feeling the -1,8°C cold water! We have to tame the environment to get the measure of it, to delight the slight dizziness under 1 meter of ice, observing 20 meters below a little diver collecting clams in a perfect lightness.

Unexpected week-end trip

  • Akshayuk Pass refuge North Pang
  • Eric Billy et France Akshayuk Pass
  • Recuperation materiel cache depuis 11 mois

After receiving an email two days ago, we decided to organize the recovery of some hidden gear left behind in June, on the tundra in the middle of Auyuittuq Park. Seven skiers found themselves with no other option than walking when the snow had melted. They had to continue on foot, with large bags stowed in the back instead of sliding with skis and sleds (read also Blog June 17, 2014).

This weekend is perfect: it is the last one before the GreenEdge high season (up to 20 people on site for 6 weeks), snow is still good and it's not too cold anymore! By Friday after school, our sleigh flies towards Tasialuit. Billy and Daisy are opening a little cabin for us, near other cabins, their own one, Raygelee and Silasie's cabin, and Ena and Sammy's cabin. Saturday, while our daughters are enjoying a beautiful day with all our friends, Billy is driving us by snowmobile in North Pangnirtung Fiord then to Akshayuk Pass. Only Inuits are allowed to drive in the park, so we sit in the bumpy sleigh. "We need about 8 hours for the return trip" said Billy. But he has to find its way between the rocks and land patches that already appear, or sometimes drive on the river's bare ice... Valley bristling with sumptuous peaks, spectacular Mount Asgard, then comes the ultimate "treasure hunt", thanks to our GPS: under 40cm of snow we finally find the seven sleds, skis and bags. It's 10pm when we meet Aurore and Léonie again.

The next day, Sunday, at 6am, Eric is heading back to Qik, towing the icemeter (200 km measures this weekend), and then to the ice camp with the scientists. Aurore, Leonie and France enjoy another day in Tasialuit. The break was wonderful!

From diving to school!

  • Les points noirs sont des clams
  • Atelier dessin benthos avec France

Algae, sea urchins, Serripes, clams, various shells and starfish, that's what Eric has collected during his last dive under the ice. Also samples of microalgae, giving brownish colour to the underside of the ice, and sediment samples from the bottom of the sea.

The next day, this material becomes source of observation, astonishment, desire sometimes (yum, can we eat them?), with students from all classes of the school! Mary Helen and Anita explain what GreenEdge scientists are studying here now, they show pictures of the ice camp and also, they let them touch all this alive material with their curious or greedy hands, explaining how each one can feed and move under their sea ice.

Then I host an artistic workshop: the fresco prepared shows the depth of the ocean with Qikiqtarjuaq, his mountains and thick ice. Looking at shellfish and algae laid in front of them, children manipulate, draw and paint with enthusiasm, before sticking their varied and colourful achievements on the drew ocean! This was an exciting day at school, with discoveries for kids and two beautiful frescoes painted!

The evening menu: clams, prepared in two ways by our cooks just arriving from France!