Eric is interviewed by Arielle Cassim on Radio France Internationale this Wednesday 27th June at 1:40pm (11:40am UTC).

Léonie is 4 months old today, her weight doubled since her birth!


3 polar bears, including a cub, shared the leftovers from a seal devoured not long before by another bear. Fascinating show we could see yesterday from Vagabond, while the sun was illuminating again the pack ice, after 3 days of wet fog (the opportunity to go on a film cure on board). Another seal, so far more fortunate, took up residence close to the hole I'm using since early April to do the hydrographical measurements with CTD. Melting is not early this year, although some flowers are appearing, but snow is more covering the land than previous years at this time. Skiing conditions on pack ice are still very good, allowing some fast trips around with the dogs. We sometimes need to exercise authority to control them, when we find ourself face to face with a very young reindeer for instance! Nevertheless, if polar bears visits are increasing, this is because pack ice is receding, we should soon see open water...


Summer is tomorrow. At the lowest of its course, in the middle of the 'night', the sun will be at 11°20' above our horizon. It will be the altitude of the sun in the sky of Paris at 20:25, then at 21:02 at Brest, by comparison (local time). As you can imagine, our solar panels are working continuously, and without heater, under the panoramic roof of Vagabond, temperatures can reach 25 to 30°C! While outside, we have around zero temperatures. So when the sky is clear, no fuel is used to heat, to light, or to make electricity (deep freezer, computers, radios, phone, CD player, charging various batteries...). A little gas for cooking only. And as we are moving around with dogs, no engine neither exhaust fumes are disturbing Inglefield's bay. So we are waiting for thaw, knowing the privilege it is to be here at this time of the year. For the last 6 weeks, and for about 4 weeks more at least, only a helicopter can reach us. The snow melting and the rivers opening make any travel difficult by land, while pack ice and shallow waters make our favourite bay inaccessible by sea.


Pack ice is smooth now. Snow has melted, and melting water froze again, in contact with sea ice. Like an ice rink, on which it is easy to travel on skis, with dogs or snowkite depending on wind. Even so I need more than 3 hours to go and do a CTD cast, compare to less than one hour with snowmobile before. But what a pleasure to observe more calmly a polar bear cub playing next to his mother, or a young seal lying near to the hole he will dive through if the polar bear is coming too close. On land, snow is loosing ground and areas without snow are welcoming the birds, coming back. Brent geese are showing off, purple sandpipers are forcefully looking for their food, great skuas are gliding, kittiwakes are gathering and shouting 'kitti-wake'... their presence is reassuring us: summer is coming, pack ice will certainly break-up this year again. Be patient!

Plancton du monde

Océanopolis and CEMPAMA is organising the event "Plancton of a day, plancton of the world", in the context of the Oceans World Day; there will be a live phone call this morning between the public and Vagabond