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!

Sediment traps

  • Quelques minutes avant mise a l'eau des trappes a sediments

Deploying sediment traps, hard work with Cyril: a weight of about 30kg at 130m, first trap at 105m, second trap at 25m, then ice screws and two large buoys to secure the mooring. Recovery expected in about 6 weeks.


  • Plan Qik GreenEdge

Here is a small map to help the scientists landing on "Qik planet" to found there way! The community is not so huge, but it has nothing similar with a scientific station or an icebreaker...

Family ski trip

  • Tous a l'iceberg

It's Saturday, time for usual excursion to one of the neighbouring icebergs for our fresh water supply. For the first time, all four of us is skiing! With the help of our two dogs and two sleds, collecting ice is also a very nice ride.

Despite some breakdowns on board Vagabond (central heating, generator, stove, spare generator...), which are hard to repair during this period of intense activity (GreenEdge project), such family trips on the ice are necessary to recharge our batteries!

Easter camping and games

  • Camping et pleine lune de Paques
  • Caribou clams algues phoque pour Paques

Although it is early in the season, the girls are pushing us to go camping. Piculi and Ponyo enjoy following us through hummocks until the end of the first fjord, north of Qikiqtarjuaq. Our tent is quickly set up, then the sun can gently heat it up while we climb a bit to enjoy the view and play and slide on slopes. At 5pm, the cold falls again and inside our family cocoon, the -30°C will not reach the children, warmly wrapped up. Meanwhile, the full moon give us a show, between shadows and illumination, all over the surrounding mountains.

On Easter Sunday, it takes a while for our children to look for eggs, so well hidden on the ice and in the snow. We even find some lemming tracks going across the fjord on the sea ice!

Back to Qik on Monday, we take part in ice sculpture competition (adults), snow man competition (children), then various races, as well as the famous dog sled race with his specific rule: only one dog, a child on a sled, an adult leading ahead. Leonie gets ready with our dog Piculi... and wins!!! Helped by her mom, breathless to run with heavy boots in the snow!

This day is closed by a feast of frozen or cooked caribou, raw seal meat, and fresh clams seaweeds.

Optical, by Guislain Bécu

  • Guislain prepare mesures optiques
  • Guislain plonge un instrument sous la glace pour mesure optique

A first optical profile was done to record the underwater light before any biomass occurs. This measurement is performed with an optical profiling radiometer, which measures the ambient light in the water column under the ice.