Cold and diving

  • Laurent rapporte des algues
  • Site de plongee au pied d un petit iceberg
  • Chien intrigue
  • Eric slurp gun pres iceberg

-37°C today. The children stay in the gym and do not go outside for recess. Exceptionally.
Blue Soul team came in 4 days ago, they have been diving everyday since. Collecting algae allowed the divers to make good contact with some villagers. Diving under the ice requires so much effort, that it would not make sense to bring back images only... but picking up algae, which we love here, was a happy success!

Laurent has been dreaming of returning to see an iceberg closely. The one he has explored in September is still there, grounded in front of the village, but it is too threatening. I suggest a more modest iceberg near Vagabond. This is our supply of fresh water! Time to make the hole, and the other iceberg collapses, breaking the ice dramatically...

Beside the hole, two small heated tents. Under the ice, another world. By this cold, it takes quite a logistics to access, even snorkelling, at the hidden side of the ice, sea ice and iceberg. Our iceberg is grounded on a thirty meters deep seabed. Very nice diving shared with Jacques and Laurent.


  • Six futs de gasoil pour chauffage et electricite
  • Carburant pour Vagabond

Not having managed to refuel before winter, it was time to ensure a minimum supply to feed heater and generator. We try by truck, but a snowdrift stopped us, so we used a snowmobile.


  • Plancton de janvier sous la banquise
  • Samantha observe plancton au microscope
  • Repas de clams
  • Eric et Sammy collectent clams

It was during summer 2005, on the East coast of Greenland, that Vagabond and her crew started looking more at plankton. Our mission was to plunge a net at regular intervals in the feeding area of little auks, close to a big colony on Liverpool Land. This bird, the largest in the Arctic, feeds mostly on plankton species that grow under the ice. The health of this little penguin is linked to the sea ice condition. Little auk becomes an indicator of climate change. Since then, we had many opportunities to stay in touch with plankton, to our delight. Each observation leads to discovery!

In December 2012, the Observatoire du Plancton has given us a small plankton net, while Océanopolis, provided us with a microscope. Back home, on board Vagabond, frozen in ice, we started to regularly send pictures of plankton living under the ice in winter in the Canadian Arctic. The more complicated is to make a hole large enough for the net, it's a good reason to join our friends Inuit hunters who catch seals with nets under the ice. We can use the existing holes. Back on board Vagabond, using our little microscope, hunters are stunned to find such a variety of creatures in their own garden!

As part of the GreenEdge project (2014-2016), we study the phytoplankton spring bloom in Qikiqtarjuaq (Nunavut, Canada ). Dozens of researchers, all kinds of sophisticated instruments, and even the Amundsen icebreaker are mobilized to analyze the phenomenon: the flowering of the ocean in spring! Inuit as much as bears, whales or seabirds are concerned by phytoplankton, at the origin of the main food web. GreenEdge offers an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration with the Inuit, who willingly share their knowledge and are curious about scientific discoveries.

Plankton also eat clams. Qikiqtarjuaq is probably the only community in Nunavut with local divers, digging for clams. To get samples of clams, sea urchins, algae... twice a month, diving under the ice for GreenEdge scientists, is an opportunity for us to share happy moments with our friends Inuit divers: it is all about science, collecting food and leisure. Diet and even the Inuit culture are closely linked to the health of plankton, and thus to climate change.

Watercolor workshop

  • Outil pour assouplir kamiks
  • Atelier aquarelle anime par France

This week I started a poetic cartography workshop, offered first to the youth committee. In the new visitor center, with 3 young women we shared memories associated with their beautiful area, where they love to go boating or sledding. Then we draw the geographical contours before linking all that with watercolosr. 3 very enjoyable evenings spending to share what I like to create.

If there are magical things in the Arctic, kamiks are one of those: once severe cold was back, I was very disappointed to notice that my kamiks that I put so much energy on making them last year did not support to add the insulation of sealskin inside slippers. So Raygeelee invited me to stretch them! On the wooden stretcher, little bit of water and man power are enough to change size of the magic boots! She is one of the last to wear only kamiks, all her life, her feet only know sealskin. She shows us some of them: those for summer, those for winter, those for interior, some more waterproof and some very decorated, all made with passion and patience.

Leonie is looking forward to February, and the sun is looking forward to show up!

Christmas Holidays in Qikiqtarjuaq

  • Trois ours viennent de passer
  • Leonie Qikiqtarjuaq 2016
  • Noel 2015 Vagabond
  • Livraison de Noel par maire de Qikiqtarjuaq

January 3rd, 3am: the festivities just end in Qikiqtarjuaq. 3pm: 3 polar bears visit us at Vagabond!

France is telling about Christmas Holidays:

December 17th. The day after the school concert, where we could see Leonie singing and Aurore brilliantly dancing, each one with her class, now they are on holidays. Christmas preparations... Léonie on the sly with Eric goes exploring one of the only two stores in town. Just before the blizzard, an illuminated truck rolls up to our door far from town, with the Mayor, bringing us a Christmas turkey and all its tasty accessories! From December 23rd and for 10 intense days, begin the endless nights where nearly 300 people gather for skill games, chance games or talents games, for hats contests etc. And some mornings for seal or ptarmigan hunting contests, fishing contest into the ice cracks, throwing spear or shooting... And even picking up frozen berries in a fjord without any snow! Ten days made with three times: playing, sleeping, eating. But the blizzard provides us three days of break, precisely to celebrate Christmas: family time in our cosy Vagabond, precious moments are spent playing music together, cooking, entertaining, while outside gusts are blowing around. The new cabin (gift!) will wait a few days outside before being discovered and invested by Léonie and Aurore. The polar bear tracks are multiplying, we look forward to meet their owners... On January 3rd finally, Annu barks for a good cause: 3 polar bears are 30 meters in front of Vagabond in the night. Our search light make them gently turn back. A female and her two cubs, this is a nice gift show, much appreciated by all four of us!

Look at more pictures here.