• Eau libre devant Qikiqtarjuaq debut juillet

This morning, open water areas appear everywhere! I don't feel completely safe when crossing the channel between Baffin Island, where Vagabond spent the last 3 winters, and Broughton Island, where is the village of Qikiqtarjuaq...

8°C, bright sunshine, wind and even quite strong tidal current: the melting is fast!

This evening, after a day at the GreenEdge ice camp, I let the snowmobile near the village and walk back to our boat, quietly bypassing the open water to the north, between the icebergs. While our powerful machines, at a good speed, are able to stay on the surface, I like the slowness and lightness of walking!

Fortunately, everything we had heavy and bulky on the ice next to Vagabond, has already been moved using the snowmobile. Last move, Aurore and Leonie's cabin was set up on land yesterday morning, just before I went to the ice camp!

The day before, we towed the dinghy with the skidoo to the open water, then we made the first crossing by boat to the village, for Canada Day. How exciting to sail again!

Dogs or seals?

  • Deux phoques offerts par Jaypootie

Today our dogs escaped. They left with necklaces and chains, freed from the ice melting. Note that this is the first sunny day after 10 days of mist and snow. Coming back from the ice camp, four of us, what do we find at Vagabond? Two seals instead of our dogs! It seemed that the dogs had turned into seals! But it was the magic of our friend and hunter Jaypootie...


No real music festival to celebrate the summer solstice... But playing with skidoos, augers, generators, ice corers, helicopter, hovercraft, drone, winch, radios, pumps... there is rhythm on the ice!

Seasonal transformation

  • Camping mi-juin

We went camping on weekend to celebrate Eric's birthday into the nature, but we finally stayed 6 days to enjoy the perfect conditions: in addition to the 24 hours sun, we saw the sea ice passing from white to turquoise, spangle of melt ponds, magic! We were only half an hour by skidoo north of the village, so Eric could go to work to the Ice Camp during the week before joining us in the evening at our camp. Every day the girls where playing with the rivers, bathing their legs on many spots. We saw torrents growing up and flooding the surroundings sea ice, we ate seal just hunted by some youth Inuit who shared with us... Beautiful and fleeting season.

3 days!

Only 3 school days left for our daughters here in Qikiqtarjuaq !!! And the ice is melting, we have to change route to go to the village, not to fall through the ice!


  • GreenEdge logo

GreenEdge, c'est un camp de glace, un hôtel (Siku) et un labo. Dans GreenEdge, il y a Takuvik; les scientifiques travaillent sur le plancton. Le plancton c'est des tous petits animaux ou des toutes petites algues. Les animaux, on les appelle le zooplancton, les algues, ça s'appelle le phytoplancton.

Science seen from Base Camp

  • Leonie Aurore et France observent benthos avec Joannie

Since the field work is fully ongoing, more and more scientists are going to the ice camp, but Aurore, Léonie and I still manage to know all of them. No more room on snowmobiles or even in kamutiqs to go helping or just discovering what spread out at the famous ice camp. From the village side, there is: the base camp, alias office-restaurant-hotel that is set-up in the old Siku hotel rented by Green Edge, and the beautiful laboratory located within the school, offered by its principal.

Siku hotel is the place for all the gossip, the meeting place for artists who come by in order to sell sealskin mittens, ulu, jewellery and figurines made from narwhal tooth, caribou bone or whalebone... but also logistics headquarters and place for exchanging ideas, and our canteen for each school time lunch: it's like going to a restaurant every day! The chef is French and do justice to the reputation of our country!

The lab looks like a real and high tech hive of activity. Under the green lights are filtered litres of sea water from different depths or examined microscopic living beings in every drop of water... Another world, full of surprises and attractions for Leonie and Aurore who love to go and help discover what is going on. Friendships are formed.

Enjoying our tent!

  • Camping 1er mai 2016

First real camping! This year we were often invited in cabins during the weekends, being again in our yellow and orange cocoon is really fun! In the first southern fjord, we set up the camp near the beautiful cabin built on sled by Celine and Yves this year. They arrive the next day with Celine's brother and two of his friends who came to enjoy Baffin slopes and snow. Nice walk and some rock climbing at the end of the fjord, aperitif and dinner shared in the beautiful cabin! But also piano under the tent (with solar panels and battery), flute and song book.

Spat Sampling around Qikiqtarjuaq

  • Sites de plongees pour recuperation des pieges a clams
  • Eric recupere piege a clams
  • Pieges a clams et nuage d allevins
  • Eric recupere spat trap 21 avril

In August of 2015 the Memorial University Marine Habitat Mapping Group Scientific Dive Team collected Mya spp. clams around Qikiqtarjuaq, NU in order to obtain information on their size, age, and reproductive capacity. Adult clams can be picked from the seabed by hand, but juveniles (called “spat”) can be hard to see and even harder to grab! In order to sample these juveniles, we installed spat traps in five locations in the area in sets of three, to be retrieved at different times in the following year. It turns out that spat like to settle on artificial grass, so we staked 50x50 cm artificial grass mats to seabed in the hopes that the spat will collect on top, and so that they could be easily collected.

After 7-8 months Eric and his assistant conducted SCUBA dives under the ice in frigid waters to retrieve the first set of traps, which were frozen for storage. It was extremely hard work, but Eric’s team was able to dive at each sample location and retrieve the grass mats from the seabed. We plan to bring these frozen traps back to the lab to see if any spat are present, and if they so, count and identify them. We plan to do another collection later in the year and expect to see differences in what settles on the traps between seasons, since clams usually spawn in the summer. There is little knowledge of the life cycle and population of clams in this area; through this work we hope to gain some understanding on what areas spat like to settle in, and how many settle at a given time. This is part of a larger project to assess the clam population around Qikiqtarjuaq, and map out where the best clam habitat exists in the area. This work is in support of the ongoing clam fishery assessment around Qikiqtarjuaq being conducted by the Government of Nunavut Fisheries and Sealing Division in partnership with the Memorial University of Newfoundland Habitat Mapping Group.

Ben Misiuk, PhD Student

Memorial University of Newfoundland

La plongée, vue du dessus

  • Plonger sous la slush
  • Les palmes et hop
  • France tient la ligne de securite
  • Dur labeur pour faire un trou dans la banquise

Récupérer des pièges à bébés clams semés avec précision par 7 à 17 mètres de fond nous a permis, Eric et moi, de partager 5 fois 2 jours entre le dessus et le dessous de la banquise.

5 fois 2 jours variés. Et pour cause, les manips se sont étalées entre début mars où le froid attaque et fin avril où un printemps précoce s'installa.

Le premier trou de plongée nous pris la demi journée : 12 perforations à la tarière dans une banquise épaisse délimitant le trou, puis le bloc du milieu à casser en morceaux raisonnables; en tout près d'une tonne de glace déplacée à la pelle, au tuk ou à l’écumoire !

Un mois plus tard c'est dans la slush que nous installons le trou de plongée. Situé à proximité d'un fort courant, la glace rongée par dessous est fine et la neige qui pèse sur la banquise est inondée d'eau de mer. Nous installons donc la petite tente sur de la neige tassée au mieux, mais autour du trou, une vingtaine de cm d'eau inondent la glace vive. On croit marcher sur l'eau, la sensation de passer au travers n'est pas loin...

Le rituel est le même chaque deuxième jour. Qu'il neige qu'il vente la tente est montée, le réchaud allumé pour réchauffer matériel et plongeur. La ligne de vie, le filet, les outils sont préparés, ainsi que la Go-Pro sur son trépied que Eric installera au fond de la mer. Puis vient le harnachement du plongeur, sa sortie précautionneuse par la petite porte avant sa mise à l'eau. La ligne de vie nous relie, je sens chacun de ses mouvements au bout du fil tendu, prête à le ramener à la moindre alarme.

La plongée, c'est un travail d'équipe où chaque geste compte pour que la confiance soit totale et la sécurité optimale : un seul petit trou entre deux mondes dont un sans air !