August 8, 2010
Peter Mansbridge holds a journalism workshop on the land of Douglas Harbour
Last night students landed on and explored Diana Island where they encountered a small heard of muskox. Students were able to observe the herd in their natural habitat and were given an up close and personal look at how they function together and survive in the Arctic climate. Students were also treated to an interesting find upon the discovery of a recently deceased muskox carcass and led through a discussion upon what arctic predators may have killed it by David Grey, determining it was most likely killed by wolves.
The students then boarded their zodiacs and headed back to the ships for meal time.
After a big dinner aboard the ship, students were treated to an “At Issue Panel” concerning Arctic Sovereignty moderated by Peter Mansbridge along with Michael Byers, Peter Harrison, John Crump, Jeannette Menzies and David Serkoak. Here students were able to discuss important issues concerning ownership of the arctic, the parties involved and learn about some of the history of the area.
This morning students awoke and had an early breakfast followed by a presentation on Arctic and Northern Policy Issues led by Peter Harrison. Students were then able to participate in several workshops on bird survey techniques, photography, journal keeping, art, skin and bones, GPS and GPS units, Navigation, and journalism and interviews led by a number of the expedition staff team members who specialize in those areas.
After the workshops students were then introduced to “Pods” and organized into their Pod Teams, followed by lunch and preparations for Zodiac landings in Douglas harbour where the team has arrived. Students were led by staff on a hike in the harbour area and found numerous wild Caribou to interpret and observe. One group of students was even lucky enough to have aroused the curiosity of a bearded seal which encircled their zodiac as they observed it for several minutes. Already so much interaction with the wildlife of the area and the day has just begun!
Follow their journey by clicking the Spot logo below:
(Photos by Lee Narraway)
When I woke up this morning, it was clear, but overcast and I could see land out of the window of the room. This was exciting because for the past couple days, it has been too foggy and rainy to see much out of the windows. The plan for the day was to go to land in Douglas Harbour to see caribou and join one of six workshops available.
When I first got onto land a great big caribou was spotted on the hill. Even though it was far away, it was still really neat to see. Apparently only half of the 10 expeditions to the Arctic have been able to see caribou. The workshop that I chose was the Art Group. We decided to make a caribou inuksuk using antlers that we found nearby. We all collected rocks and created a small but beautiful caribou. We found a piece of driftwood that we used as the face, and used a piece of seaweed to tie it to the antlers. It looked incredible with the gorgeous scenery behind it. It was a really great day!
Today we are all recovering from our seasickness and I am happy to report that there are no more members in the horizontal club. We all went ashore this morning on Douglas Island. Upon arrival Ingrid and I walked over to a stream where we started taking pictures of the water and seaweed. Once everyone was on land, we split up into groups for workshops. I did the caribou behaviour workshop with David. We saw a couple of caribou that were grazing along the top of the mountains. After we watched them for a few minutes, we began talking about the differences between male and female caribou, what they eat and how to hunt them. We passed around some caribou fur and an antler. After about 45 minutes, we walked along the shore until it was time to head back. Now we have just finished lunch and are preparing for the rest of our day.
Student examines a water sample for the presence of algae
Estelle Simon, Diana Island vers Douglas Harbour
Nous nous sommes réveillés avec un nouveau paysage sous les yeux, puisque nous avons voyage toute la nuit. La vue est tout simplement saisissante! Le soleil montait doucement chasser les nuages et nous pouvions voir les montagnes couvertes de neige. Très vite, nous sommes descendus à terre avec des activités différentes à faire. J'ai décidé d'aller traquer les caribous! Nous marchions donc sur la plage, les yeux rives vers les montagnes, mais bien souvent, les caribous que nous apercevions s'avéraient être des roches ! Et soudain, une forme s'est distinguée des montagnes et c'est comme cela que j'ai vue mon premier caribou sauvage. Et c'est comme si ils s'étaient donne le mot d'ordre, car d'autres sont arrives peu âpres, et nous avons aperçu ce male énorme avec un panache qui dépassait les limites des livres scientifiques!
Durant l'après-midi, nous avons eu quelques présentations et en sortant dehors pour prendre un peu d'air, nous avons aperçu notre premier phoque de l'expédition! Le paysage était magnifique. De l'eau a perte de vue, et d'un cote du bateau, des nuages gris, presque noirs, et de l'autre cote, un ciel bleu éclatant ! Un autre point positif: pas de mal de mer aujourd'hui! Nous réalisons tranquillement ce qui nous arrive, mais j'ai de la difficulté à décrire tout ce que nous ressentons lorsqu'on débarque sur la plage et que l'énergie nous frappe de plein fouet... Notre team leader, Geoff, appelle ca le "good karma".. Et je crois sincèrement qu'il a raison! On ne ressent que des ondes positives et une certaine connexion avec la nature qui, peu a peu, fait son bonhomme de chemin dans notre fort intérieur. Et ca fait du bien.
Demain, c'est le grand jour. We are expecting Polar bears!!! Et juste a la seconde où j'écrit cette ligne, on nous annonce qu'il y a des aurores boréales. Alors Good night!
It's my birthday today! I'm turning seventeen. So far I have had an amazing day and what amazing scenery we're sailing through, hiking in, looking at and experiencing. Today we have spent the first part of the day in a place called Douglas Harbour in northern Quebec (Nunavik). After breakfast we got properly dressed for arctic conditions, boarded the zodiacs and headed for land where we spotted some caribou. We also participated in workshops ashore. I was in the journalism and responsible citizenship workshop with Peter Mansbridge, news anchor of CBC’s “The National”. It was really interesting especially since we had a session yesterday with Peter and some of the other expedition members discussing their views on sovereignty and climate change. Looking forward to spending the rest of my birthday on the ship here in the Arctic!
Lisa Ann, Jennifer and Hannah picked a bountiful harvest of blueberries
Je n'arrive pas à croire qu’on est déjà dimanche !!! Ca passe à une vitesse folle! Je me vois encore attendre à Toronto l’avion pour Ottawa, comme si c’était hier ! Ce matin, âpres un premier petit déjeuner sur ce bateau, nous avons eu un briefing sur la journée d’aujourd’hui. Ensuite, on s’est préparé pour sortir et sommes retournes sur le zodiac. Plusieurs activités nous étaient alors proposées: je suis allé au “Caribou workshop” tandis que Julie est allé faire une activité sur le journal, je ne sais pas si c’est en général ou sur le journal de bord. Je ne l’ai pas revu, je l’attends pour manger pour qu’on puisse partager ce qu’on a vécu.
Et donc j ai vu des caribous !! 3 ! Ils restaient plutôt loin mais grâce à la lunette de David, nous avons pu les voir comme si on était à cote d eux. Ils étaient si majestueux ! David nous a parlé des caribous, et j’ai pris des notes sur mon journal de bord manuel. On a aussi trouvé des “nids” de lemmings et en avons vu. Ensuite nous avons continues à marcher sur la plage et avons trouve des bois de caribou, nous avons suivies leurs traces dans la boue et sur les petits chemins qu’ils ont traces. Nous avons aussi observe les fleurs, avons trouves plusieurs cadavres de crabes qu’on a ainsi pu examiner de près.
Au début, le temps était très ensoleillé, il faisait chaud (je n arrive pas a croire ce que je suis en train d’écrire!) Mais plus le temps passait, plus c’était humide et le brouillard a commence à se lever. Mais il ne faisait pas très froid.
Le sol était encore plus gorge d’eau, c’était impressionnant. J avais l impression de marcher dans un marécage c’était vraiment impressionnant! J’ai hâte d’être à demain pour une nouvelle expédition. La j attend pour manger, a ce soir !!
L’après midi s est déroulé au cours de rassemblements. Un premier sur les plantes de l arctique, ensuite nous nous sommes réunis en plusieurs groupes, le but étant de bâtir une sorte de projet a la fin de l’expédition. Nous avons beaucoup parle dans notre groupe, échangeant ce qui nous a marque au cours de l’expédition, ou dans un voyage. C’était très sympa. Ensuite nous avons eu une présentation sur l avenir de l’Arctique. Très intéressante, mais étant donné que je suis malade depuis plusieurs heures (seasick, quand tu nous tient!) donc j’ai pas tout suivi.
Là je n’ai pas faim, alors j’ai juste bu un jus d orange, je pense que mon estomac ne pourra pas en supporter plus... à mon avis, après diner on aura un briefing sur la journée de demain et après… dodo !
Zoe Caron, Climate Policy & Advocacy Specialist
The 10-year-old country girl in me has wondered for the past year, “Why in the world do I live in Toronto?” The city is vibrant, deep, wondrous – yet it is still a city. And no matter how hard I try to fully embrace that home, my veins still race with dreams of greenery and fresh breezes and a pure sense of stillness. As we sat on shore amidst mist-grazed grass and crumbled rocky slopes hugging our perimeter, overlooking Douglas Bay, that feeling was once-again revived.
Amidst the caribou-beaten paths and blasts of ocean spray beneath the bow, the focus revolves around learning. And although we haven't yet dissected the issue of climate change, the words come up at least once every hour. The combined understanding of climate change aboard this ship is impeccable. By last night, just a handful of days into the expedition, students were asking questions like, “Why are countries drilling for oil in the Arctic when it's oil use that is causing climate change?” and “Would it not be strategic for the Arctic Council to advocate strongest for climate change at the United Nations climate change negotiations?”
These are exactly the kinds of questions we are asking at WWF. Our Arctic team is diligently calling for an offshore drilling moratorium until sufficient regulations are in place. Our climate change team is trying to ensure countries keep recent promises to phase out subsidies to oil, gas and coal production in order to shift our world into renewable energy use. All of this is in light of the understanding that energy use is at the crux of dealing with climate change, and by doing that, we avoid the risk of losing significant amounts of biodiversity.
As we dig into these issues over the coming week, we'll uncover the passionate minds that are asking these hard questions and actively apply ourselves to being not just part of, but at the centre of, the solutions.
Art on the Land installation created by the students
This place is absolutely breathtaking. The air is so fresh, the water is so clear and the views are spectacular. After a decision made last night to go further west as opposed to north to avoid bad weather and rough seas we woke up in the gorgeous Douglas Bay. It was a nice relief to be an alumni, no longer a member of what we here on the ship call the 'Horizontal Club' (aka the seasick individuals who spend most of their time talking on the great white phone).
This morning we got all dressed up and headed out to the gangway (the staircase that is suspended on the side of the ship) and hopped on the Zodiacs. We took the Zodiacs to the mainland and for a change had a nice dry ride--I was even able to take pictures! We got to the mainland when the tide was high and left shortly after noon when the tide had dropped. While in the fjord we saw the towering ridges with little vegetation along with much kelp along the shoreline. When the tide went out in the afternoon we were able to see all of the smooth, beautiful rocks everywhere (it was like a rock shop Ashton, you would have loved it!)
I attended a workshop about caribou while on the mainland and we were able to see many caribou standing on the top of the ridge. It is so fascinating waking up in a new place every morning and looking out the porthole of our room into the great outdoors. Tonight we will be sailing to the end of the Hudson Straight heading further west.
So far I have learned an endless amount of knowledge while on this trip, one of my personal favourites comes from Dr. Terry, "Don't puke on the windward side!!!". Keep Reading, xo Alyssa
P.S. Yes ma, my room is clean.
Douglas Harbour and Hudson Strait
Hello everyone out there, it’s Andrew writing from the Lyubov Orlova. It’s been a very exciting day today, because we did a lot of exploration and learning. Before I share today’s rich experiences, I must note how distorted time becomes when you’re on an expedition like this. Occurrences from only yesterday feel like they were ages ago! It must be the back and forth pendulum-like movements aboard the ship that are hypnotizing us all! Anyways, we began the day with a Zodiac landing at Douglas Harbour. There, we explored the jaw-dropping remarkable land made of rapids flowing down the mountains, mosses, delicious wild blueberries and tundra vegetation carpeting the land as well as small lemmings scurrying out and about! In the afternoon we had a presentation by Paul about Arctic plants and vegetation, which certainly helped me better comprehend Arctic vegetation. Later, we had another presentation, this time by Peter Harrison about Arctic issues and climate change! Now, I’m about to go on a presentation by Alanna Mitchell, author of the powerful book Sea Sick! Today was an incredible day, packed with fun, exciting, and reflective events. I’m trying to keep my mind as open as possible for learning. Time will probably still be distorted in the days to come!
Artist instructors Linda and Jolly pose with the students and their creation
Travelling West along the Davis Strait
I am literally writing this just minutes after seeing the Northern Lights! It was incredible! This trip is so amazing I can’t thank Youth Science Canada enough for sponsoring me! In just one day we landed in Douglas Harbour, had workshops (I went to Michael Byers workshop on the history of the Northwest Passage), joined the production team for the Daily IceCap (and wrote an article about my workshop for it), heard from Peter Harrison and Alanna Mitchell as they shared their views and expertise and made even more new friends! My cabin mate Aanchal and I are having a great time, and I am amazed at how much I am learning and how much knowledge people have to offer! I must make this short and sweet, as lights out is in two minutes. Love you Mom, Dad and Memory!
Carson Hardy, Douglas Harbour
Throughout last night the boat was rocking pretty hard at times. Woke up to the boat cruising in calm waters, so I could shower without falling into the wall. I also got a full meal inside of me without feeling queezy. I ate breakfast with Peter Mansbridge! He is pretty cool. We boarded the zodiaks at 8:00 and landed on shore to see a caribou grazing near the shoreline. We all gathered together for a quick briefing. Today we were offered multiple workshops, and I attended the one on GPS. With the GPS's we marked our landing and went for a hike up a slope where some students caught some lemmings. When we were on the slopes and wanted to return to the shore, we recalled our landing waypoint and let the GPS's lead us home. We were on shore until one thirty. After lunch I attended a talk about the vascular plants of the Arctic which was presented by Paul Hamilton, a researcher from the museum of natural history in Ottawa. We still have lots to do today, as we do every day. We have started to finish off the nights with a group song.
Oh, seasickness, what a joy thou art. To feel the nauseating swell rise in your stomach. To have the blood rushing compulsion to wretch saturate your being. To feel the panic as you race for the nearest receptacle. To have the unholy upturning of your chest cavity into the vast emptiness of nature’s most dangerous sea, and then to have said contents returned to you in the gracious and face drenching arms of her icy winds. As you wipe the slimy half digested chunks of fish and salad from your face, you have a brief moment of utter lucidity. The sea is no more than a grand canvas, the ship your transient eye across the masterpiece. You find peace in this fleeting second, until you feel the next swell's approach.
It has been a superb trip thus far.
Eirik Stein-Andersen, Hudson Strait
Hey everyone! We're sailing in Hudson Strait, East on our way to Diggs Island after another great day. Today, we woke up to a cloudy morning, but with good visibility. So we could see on our way to Douglas Harbour. We landed on the shore around 10 am and broke up into a few different workshops. I learned about the history of the Northwest Passages. I also learned about the current situation and how it is changing due the diminishing ice. It was a very fun morning. Douglas Harbour was absolutely beautiful. It had a nice stream running down onto a large beach with big steep hills all around. It almost looked like a Norwegian fjord! When we got back on the ship we had another great lunch. The food is amazing! During the afternoon we had some interesting lectures about climate change and one of the staff members new book, Seasick. The day went by very fast, I guess time flies when you are having fun, but we just saw the Northern Lights! So I'm going out on deck to enjoy the beauty. Loving the Arctic,
Hannah Jacobs, Douglas Harbour
Caribou! As we pulled into Douglas Harbour we saw our first caribou silhouetted against a perfect blue sky. We then headed up the South West arm of Douglas Harbour and landed just up the channel. Once landed we were able to choose a workshop lead by one of our amazing educators. My decision was easy since I absolutely love James Raffen's approach to journaling and creative writing. Once we had our workshop group we headed inland a bit more and came across a well camouflaged caribou antler that inspired us to create some wonderful journal entries describing our surroundings and how they affected us. After the workshop time had run down Tegan and I headed up to a spectacular waterfall and joined a hiking group that went right to the top of the ridge where we saw two more caribou and some brown lemmings. We have had a very full day of lectures ranging from Arctic plants to Arctic governance issues. Our next presentation is starting now so this is it for today, I can't wait to report more tomorrow!
Greetings to Hong Kong and everywhere else in the world! Just a brief recap of what happened on the last two days. We arrived to Kuujjuaq on the 6th. The crisp, fresh, cold air welcomed us as soon as we stepped off the plane. I have personally never seen an airport like the one in Kuujjuaq before. Everything is so different to what I am accustomed to – the weather, the air, the landscape...... After a welcoming event and a walking tour, I had my first zodiac ride to our expedition cruise, and our voyage officially began! The next morning was a rough morning. I missed seeing our first iceberg because I felt too sick to get up from my bed due to the swells of the sea and the drowsiness caused by the pills. It was exhilarating to be on Diana Island yesterday. Though we failed to see a living musk ox, the peacefulness and the tranquillity there was simply breath-taking. When we all stood still, it was absolute quietness. It's amazing to know that there are still places in the world where wonders of the nature are found. On a last note before I end here and get ready for my landing on Douglas Island, all the presentation sessions we had during our time on the cruise were very illuminating and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Students hike past caribou antlers at Douglas Harbour
Megan Schlorff, Douglas Harbour, Nunavik
Today has been a great day so far! We started off the day with a zodiac landing in Douglas Harbour which is actually in Quebec, so we were back in Nunavik for a bit. There were many different workshops to choose from during our landing. They were all excellent topics, and I had a difficult time deciding. I ended up attending the sample collection workshop with Paul Hamilton. We took a whole bunch of samples from a stream, including algae and sediment. I am looking forward to viewing the samples under a microscope to view what we all captured. After the workshops we had time to walk around and explore, so I had the opportunity to hike up to see a waterfall. The waterfall was beautiful and totally made the hike worthwhile. Another highlight of the landing was seeing my first caribou!
I am one of the students who is working on the daily newsletter on the ship called "The Daily Icecap". We had a meeting after the landing and decided all of our positions. I am going to be one of the copy editors. We have some great ideas about content, especially some comic strips dedicated to seasickness. :) We also found out our pod groups today. They are groups for us to gather in to discuss ideas and do activities. My pod is called "Gray's Anatomy" in honour of one of our leaders, David Gray. Our other leader is Paige, and we have already gotten to work planning our goals. We are all going to be experts in Inuit games and Russian, I think!
Olivia Rempel, Hudson Strait
At six AM this morning I woke up without the aid of an alarm clock, again, I had inexplicably become a morning person. I walked to the bow of the ship, and looked out over the water. The ship was navigating between small, barren islands. There were only tiny patches of ice on these islands; the rest consisted of copper cliffs that looked like the surface of another planet. There are absolutely no trees; we passed the tree-line our first day on-board, as we set sail from Kuujjuaq, and since then we had encountered only miniature shrubs. I squinted into the frigid wind, watching our surroundings until I started to shiver, then it was back into the ship to eat breakfast and anticipate our landing on Douglas Island.
Alex gunned the engine, and the zodiac ripped through the calm waters, slowly overtaking Scobie's zodiac. Soon they were far behind us, but the quick glimpse I caught of the passengers let me know they were un-amused. We reached the shore in record time and soon the workshops began.
I walked to a spectacular spot beside a creek where Peter Mansbridge was standing, I sat down with a small group of students and staff, and he began his journalism workshop. When he began his talk, I furiously started taking pages of notes. I suppose I will be the only person in my freshman journalism class that will be able to say that they learned Peter Mansbridge's interviewing secrets on the Arctic tundra.
Hi everyone miss all of you,
Today we went to Douglas harbour and did workshops but the most amazing part was tonight. I saw the sunset over the open Artic horizon and then saw the Nothern lights dance it was amazing, cant wait to write again
Tegan Schellenberg, Douglas Harbour
If I thought that the first landing was amazing, then the second landing must have been something greater: so serene and exciting all at once that it does indeed escape words. We left on the zodiacs fairly early, and then once on shore we participated in workshops. For me, the decision was easy: the journal workshop with JR. It was interesting, realizing that journals should be filled with much more than just text. We drew the landscape (“drew” being a relative term since for me anything beyond a stick man is pure genius.) After that, the workshops ended and a few of us decided to climb to the top of the highest ridge within sight, hoping that maybe form there more caribou would be spotted. Turns out that any caribou we did see were always on the top of the next ridge. Despite that slight disappointment in terms of wildlife, it felt incredible to get out for hike and to breathe in such fresh, cold air.
Upon returning to the ship, we had several presentations. The first about the flora and the next about the political side of climate change and basic Arctic issues. Basic perhaps being a bit of an understatement. Throughout the past two days, I have learnt that the issues are quite complex, and that there is a lot at stake. Hopefully, during these next few days I will be able to better understand these issues, and to help in finding solutions.
Lyubov Orlova at anchor in Douglas Harbour
Cette nuit j'ai très bien dormi. Je crois que je me suis un peu remise de la fatigue des activités de la veille et du décalage horaire...pour me retrouver assommé par le mal de mer ! À l'heure où j'écris, soit 13h30, je n'ai pas encore mangé : je me remets progressivement. Le gravol pris à 8h a été utile un court moment avant le mal au ventre. Cependant lorsque je ne me sentais pas très bien, Jaqui et Bryn son venues me parler ainsi que d'autres. Des regards étaient échangés entre convalescents, une certaine complicité se créait. J'ai compris alors qu'il y avait deux types de “Heartache”: le mal de mer et la solitude. Le fait que les membres du groupe me parlait ne faisait pas passer le mal au Coeur, mais, je me suis sentie presque comme dans une deuxième famille. Aujourd'hui j'ai été “seasick”...mais je n'étais pas seule...
Lorsque nous étions affalés dans les canapés nous avons aperçu nos premiers icebergs! C’était comme un rêve, un peu flou à travers les hublots du navire. À Diana Island nous avons jeté l’ancre au grand rejouissement de nos estomac et vers le coup de 15h le zodiac nous a mené jusqu’ à la cote après avoir été informé sur les mesures de sécurité de façon assez …comique! Scobie s’est présenté vêtu de manière opposée à celle requise…c’était comme une pièce de théâtre! L’ile était entourée de brouillard et c’est à peine si on la distinguait du navire. Nous nous étions sépares en groupe et les “Polars Bears” étaient partis en premiers. La végétation m’a assez surprise : il n’y avait ni arbres ni herbes, juste des rochers, du lichen, un lac et une rivière.
Nous espérions voir des bœufs musques car on nous en avait parlé précédemment, bien que je n’ai pas suivi grand chose de cette intervention à cause du mal de mer. Nous avons cependant pu observer une carcasse assez récente d’un bœuf musque. On voyait très bien les cornes, les sabots, les dents et il avait tout autour de la laine réputée pour être très chaude. Un instant j'ai eu l'impression d'être devant des restes d'animaux préhistoriques tellement l'admiration était grande et le lieu désert. De retour sur le bateau j'ai fait ma première lessive à la main. C'était long, éprouvant mais à la fin j'étais fière. Une bonne chose de faite !
À 8h du soir j'ai enfin pu prendre mon premier repas de la journée et je l'ai réellement apprécié.Le soir nous avons assisté à une sorte de débat sur le changement climatique et la question "Qui peut prétendre à la possession de l'arctique"? Pour finir en beauté Remy a chanté une chanson sur le Northwest Passage et nous avons vu les vidéos tournés durant les premiers jours de l'expédition. J'aimerai continuer d'écrire mais il est 23h30 et je commence à fatiguer...à demain !
Hier soir pour choisir le chemin que le navire emprunterait durant la nuit, Geoff a attendu de recevoir le «ice chart». Résultat : tout le long du Northwest passage il n'y avait pas de glace, pas d'iceberg...N'est ce pas la preuve irréfutable d'un changement climatique, d'un problème ? La ou auparavant la glace rendait le passage meurtrier pour de nombreux marins il n'y a plus aue de l'eau. Cependant ce matin j'ai vu mes premiers «seabirds»...quel engouement...c'était magnifique de les voir voler, petits points dans l'immensité !
Vers les 9h30 nous sommes allés sur Douglas's Harbor où nous avions le choix entre 7 workshop ou activités. J'ai choisi d'aller à l'atelier «Sample Collection» dirigé par Paul pour étudier la composition de l'eau.Nous avons mesuré la teneur en oxygène, la conductivité et nous avons filtré un échantillon de 1L d'eau pour observer plus tard au microscope ce que nous aurons récupéré.
En plein milieu des explications données par Paul j'ai repéré un caribou en haut d'une falaise et j'ai interrompu l'atelier.C'était comme dans les romans ou les films : il se tenait droit et fier, ses bois dressés vers le ciel, sa silhouette se découpait nettement sur le ciel bleu. En même temps que j'annonçais la nouvelle à mon groupe je dégainais mon appareil photo, visait, zoomait...et me retrouvait a quelques mètres du caribou. J'avais la sensation qu'il me regardait, c'était juste une illusion, il ne faut pas se leurer, juste le désir de partager un regard avec la nature.
Peu après nous avons fait une courte ballade pour nous rapprocher de la cascade. Quel bonheur simple : marcher et observer...sans oublier de discuter...cela met du baume au cœur de pouvoir partager ses émotions, son ressenti avec les autres : Kim, Hugh, Jackie, Dr Terry, Paige (qui m'a même appris à faire des macros !) et je dois en oublier...
De retour vers les 13h nous nous sommes restaurés avant d'assister à une intervention de Paul sur la végétation de l'Arctique.
My name is Francis Himiak. I am from Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories,Victoria Island.This is my first trip on this ship, so this new to me and about a week earlier from this trip I went caribou hunting. Altogether we got three tuktu, we went across Prince Albert Sound for about 5 days. When we got back home from a long boat ride, we were pretty tired when we got home. One of my cousins, Bryan Kimiksana went on this trip last year so I thought I'd might try out the expedition.
2008 08! Best birthday ever! Some treat from home slipped into my bag and a card from my daughters that said, “Your 856th Birthday is a fine accomplishment. Congratulations on being ancient!” Nice to be loved.
But the gift of the day and the place and this remarkable expedition was getting to know Inuit Elder, David Serkoak, a member of the SOI team this year. I plunked down in a chair in the library to share a morning coffee with David, who was up early too. He took one look at the Hudson’s Bay Company hockey sweater I happened to be wearing and asked, “Do you work for the HBC?” “No, it’s just a replica garment from The Bay.” “Good. Did you know HBC stands for Here Before Christ?”
“When I was young,” he said, “the first HBC store I ever went to was not far from where I was born at Hicks Lake near Neultin Lake. We called it Hudson Bay Padlei.”
That, as I learned as we sipped our coffee, placed David on the map on the land west of Hudson Bay and, as it turned out, as a member of the Ihalmiut, the Inuit group Farley Mowat called in one book, The People of the Deer and in another, The Desperate People. I couldn’t believe it! Morning coffee on my birthday with a man who I’d read about long ago in a book of a library shelf. Now THAT’s experiential education!
David told me a little bit about growing up—growing up hungry, being forcibly dislocated from his home, and of his life as an Inuit educator—but, when the chat turned to Farley Mowat, he told me that a few years back he read an article in Maclean’s magazine about Farley that said he lived in Port Hope, Ontario. By then, David had a list of topics that he wished to discuss with Mr. Mowat. So he called 411, got Farley’s number and dialed the phone. Apparently, it wasn’t long into the conversation before David was so engaged in the conversation that he’d forgotten about his list.
And the conversation rambled from there until the announcement that breakfast was being served.
And so went the day with magical surprises at every turn. A film, narrated by Matty McNair about her two amazing children kite skiing across the Greenlandic icecap. A healthy dollop of sea sickness for about half the team. A landing at Diana Island. An “At Issue” panel discussion with Arctic experts David Serkoak, Michael Byers, Jeanine Menzies, Peter Harrison and John Crump, moderated by Canada’s own Peter Mansbridge, and an amazing cake with candles in the dining room with a resounding chorus of Inulirvisiutsiarit (Happy Birthday in Inuktitut).
But the icing on this Hudson Strait birthday was another conversation with David at the other end of the day, this one a musical, with David playing his button accordian and me chording along on the guitar. Together we played fiddle tunes that I learned from my Scottish kin and that David had likely learned from his kin who likely learned them from Dundee whalers who came this way not so very long ago.
During the first few days of the expedition I was feeling really homesick, missing my friends and family, and also thinking that I would regret going on this expedition. But after a few days I met an old friend of mine that I met at Kugluktuk and since then we've been catching up, and telling each other stories.
The best thing for me that happened on the trip so far was, getting of the ship and going on Douglas Harbour, picking up a few blueberries, taking a couple of nice pictures, and looking at the beautiful landscape. And the worst thing that happened to me on this ship was getting sea sick, and missing out on a couple of events that happened so far while I was sick. I'm really looking forward to landing in Cape Dorset and see what the towns like and especially meeting new people and having a feast there. The next best thing that I'm looking forward to is going to Auyyuittuq to see the beautiful landscapes, hopefully some animal's, and most of all, experiencing the beautiful feeling on the park.
Douglas Harbour. Khloe Heard.
Hello everyone! Today has been a much better day than yesterday for one sole reason: No seasickness! We don’t have ¾ of the passengers lying asleep in the library. Instead, we have every single person aboard a zodiac boat and heading off to the mainland. Mountains and creeks and waterfalls carry out this wonderful landscape of the day. I learned about the creek water and also about the mud under the water. It can give you a history of the climate from up to 10 000 years ago! But you have to drill around 3.5 meters deep do that.
The weather is lovely. I saw the sun today, which was quite enjoyable. But, as soon as I turned around it was gone and replaced by an eerie fog. All in all, a fantastic morning so far! I cannot wait for the next excursion on the zodiac boats!
This morning I awoke to a boom at around 6am when the something in or on the boat went BOOM as we came off a wave. This boom was rather disconcerting but as soon as I was awake I was happy to look out my porthole and see the land that has finally shown through the shroud of mist. This morning I saw the first pockets of snow on the ridges of the mountains. It truly is breathtaking here.
The past two days have been following the typical Arctic weather patterns. The first day when we flew into Kuujjuaq we walked off our charter into the rain. That city is rather small and very flat. In fact, I would hardly call it a city at all, but it does have an airport and a research center. From Kuujjuaq we continued on our way to the beach. During the drive down we drove through the ever northern growing tree line. I do think that even though this tree line has not previously been there, and it may very well be a sign of global climate change. It was important to see a forest at its start. I do think that someday there will be a great forest, maybe something comparable to those in BC, but just evergreens.Yesterday was my first day of truly being at sea, and it really took its toll on both students and staff alike. The number of seasick grew throughout the day, because of the gale force winds and 4 meter waves. Many, if not all my friends, vomited at least once, and the entire library of the ship was covered in students sleeping. The library has now become know as the horizontal club, due to all the seasick who sleep on the couches. I however have triumphed over the seasickness, and am proud to say I have only felt nauseous but have never actually gotten sick. The secret is a lot of time on deck and an extreme amount of camomile tea, (over ten glasses a day). All that time on deck really paid off. Despite the nipping cold and the blustery winds my friends and I found a place of shelter at the stern of the boat. From there we watch as we saw our first icebergs. The first was a “bergy-bit” out on the horizon. This mini chunk of ice was followed by a massive blue iceberg. I was very happy to see the beauty of this iceberg floating past the ship. It was large, flat, and had a colony of birds living from its peak. The striping over the top, where the layers of ice naturally showed in, was different colours. It was breathtaking to see the waves crashing against the sides and eventually carving new wave patterns onto the sides of the berg. This iceberg was followed by four more. The largest and by far most beautiful was hard to see from the ship, because it was far from the ship and we were cloaked in a fine mist of fog. But this iceberg had three or four gigantic spiralling steeples, it looked like something out of Narnia. Yesterday we finally made our first landing on Diana Island. We had gone in search of Musk Ox but there were none to be found within the short visibility of one mile from the top of the ridge. We did however find an interesting Musk Ox carcass of one that had died over a year ago and had been preserved in ice and snow. But even through the fog we could still see the beauty of this place. We have just came into Douglas Harbour and it’s a calm day, overcast but is filled with much promise.
I love everything about this trip so far. I have made many friends. Everyone here is extremely nice and brings out the best in each other. This trip has exceeded my expectations in every way possible. I love you Mom and Dad, and to Annabel and Chris, you should be jealous you are not on this spectacular journey.
Each day of the Students on Ice journey has been unique, inspiring and basically just overwhelming. From a continuum of cultural realities in Kuujjuaq I did not initially appreciate to the diverse expertise on board our laboratory the M/V LYUBOV ORLOVA, there is a clear expression of passion and concern which is expressed by all. I have come to better understand the complexities of political inaction or action depending on where you are sittting at the table. Although the environment is consistently highlighted as key to our story, the disconnect between the realities of our human imprint and environmental reality is clear. I strongly feel that an understanding of our earth's history is key to getting people to understand the significance of our actions. The powerful presentation today on the state of our oceans is a reminder that our anthropogenic impacts are far more significant than we could ever imagine. Let's use our knowledge of 4+ billion years of global history to guide our future direction. GLOBAL LEADERS take note.
Hey everyone! Yesterday morning was really awful. I was one of the members of the Horizontal Club... But I am feeling much better today. I missed the first few sightings of icebergs, so hopefully we get to see some more soon. Our first few days in Ottawa were really fun. We did a walking tour of downtown Ottawa and got to see the Changing of the Guard - that was so cool! Our flight up to Kuujjuaq was really smooth. First Air provided us with a hot meal - Eggs wrapped in a crepe, corn beef hash, banana muffins, and fresh fruit! I thought it was pretty cool that we didn't have to go through security - we went right onto the tarmac on our bus! Kuujjuaq was beautiful and reminded me of home. We listened to some speeches, sang some songs and had a great BBQ lunch at the community center. I was in the group that went on the walking tour - it was fun but really wet. We took a bus ride to the shore where the zodiacs were and I was one of the last ones to board the ship. The ship is very nice, the staff is great and the food is fantastic! We did our first landing at Diana Island yesterday afternoon. I never saw any live Musk Ox but we saw a carcass and whale vertebrae. We set sail at 11pm last night and got to Douglas Harbour this morning around 8am. My diet consisted of crackers and water yesterday. I have my sea legs today so I had a great breakfast this morning. We saw our first caribou today and I got some pictures of the beautiful landscape. We are going to do a landing soon and have some workshops on shore. I am missing everyone at home but I am having a great time so far.
Okay……….So this morning, I woke up to my roommate telling me it’s 5 minutes until breakfast.Apparently she tried to wake me up when the wakeup call was said, but I was dead asleep,I was so tired from the night before. Anyways, today I had some breakfast and read a little bit of the book SOI gave us called Sea Sick. Then I got ready for the trip we were going to take to Douglas Harbor. There were a bunch of workshops we got to choose from and I chose the art workshop. My group and I made a caribou out of rocks; it worked so well with the real antlers. J We all got to see a real caribou during the day; I thought it was really cool. I also got to see a seal (not sure what kind) pop its head up and down a few times.I wish I could see a seal up close and alive. Who knows? Maybe I will before this expedition ends.After the trip on the land we went back on the ship, and it was around lunch time when I got back. I was super tired! At some point it felt like I was going to have dinner instead of lunch. After lunch, I went to hang out in the library, talked to some people, and then went to my room and read some more of Sea Sick. We got called to the lecture room, around 3 to listen to a lecture about the Arctic plants. Gosh…… I never would have thought there were so many, and what they go through.
So… here I am now, writing my journal for the first time. The ship is rocking, and my stomach doesn’t like it, so I’m going chill in my room and read.
Today we went to Douglas Harbour, on a beach in Nunivik! We had some workshops and a chance to look around! We saw caribou and a seal from afar. I did the Art Installation workshop where we built a caribou out of things we found in nature! We used caribou antlers, rocks, seaweed, grass and driftwood.
Today was a great day in the Arctic. We went to a place called Douglas Harbour. It's very beautiful and open with majestic mountains and really big hills, blue-green water that looks very pristine and natural. I love being here with all the other students and staff. They're like my family in a way for the next week or two. Anyways, today we saw seals, caribou, and a variety of plants and pretty flowers. I never thought such beautiful things could grow in such a "treeless" place. Anyways, being here from where I'm from is truly amazing and overwhelming with all the natural beauty. I love it! I really do love it!
Moe Qureshi, Douglas Harbor
Dedicated to Niki, who was always there for me
What a fantastic day.We were already at Douglas Harbor and we immediately went on the zodiacs to explore. There were roughly seven workshops, and my only regret was not being able to attend all of them. The caribou, art, journal keeping, and even Peter Mansbridge's workshops sounded so interesting, but I followed my heart and attended Paul's, a phycologist, workshop to test water quality.We tested the river that was going through the mountain and it was incredibly fresh. I'm pretty sure it was fresher than the water we drink on the boat. We tested the pH levels, the dissolved oxygen percent, and others as well as collected sand and algae samples.However, the most interesting thing was when everyone left the workshop, Khloe and I stayed back and talked to Paul Hamilton. He had a weird instrument that we hadn’t used. He told us it was used to collect mud samples. What? Well, it turns out that mud, just like tree rings, or glacier rings, makes rings every year and we use it to find out the earth’s activity hundreds of years ago.
Until next time!
Je n arrive pas à croire qu’on est déjà Dimanche! Le temps file à une vitesse folle !
Ce matin, après un premier petit déjeuner sur ce bateau, nous avons eu un petit briefing sur la journée d’aujourd’hui. Ensuite on a débarqué sur Douglass Island. Plusieurs activités nous étaient proposées, je suis allé au “Caribou workshop”. Et donc aujourd’hui, on a vu 4 caribous !! Ils restaient plutôt loin mais grâce aux lunettes de David, on les voyait comme s’ils étaient justes devant nous. David nous a parlé d’eux puis nous avons suivi leurs traces, soit par le chemin tracé par leurs sabots, soit par les empruntes laissées dans la boue. On a trouvé des morceaux de leurs bois et des poils. En marchant sur la plage on a trouvé 3 cadavres de crabes. On a aussi vu des foyers de lemmings ainsi que ces petites bêtes courir de partout. Au début, le temps était très ensoleillé, puis le brouillard s’est levé, mais il ne faisait pas très froid. On a eu une présentation sur les plantes de l’arctique, puis nous avons été séparés en plusieurs groupes, le but étant de rassembler nos connaissances pour les exposer aux autres à la fin de l’expédition sous forme de chanson, power point ou autre. On a fini la soirée sur une présentation sur l’avenir de l’arctique.
Four hundred years ago this week, Henry Hudson, on his last of four voyages to the then New World, sailed through the strait that now bears his name towards the vast bay which also bears his name. It would be his last voyage. After overwintering in James Bay several hundred kilometres to the south his crew mutineed. Hudson, his son and several loyal crew members were set adrift in a small rowboat and vanished into history.
But around this time in 1610 he was making his way towards Digges Island off the northern coast of what is now Nunavik, the Inuit territory that covers thousands of square kilometres of northern Quebec. He named the island after his financeer, Sir Dudley Digges, anchored his ship and put ashore for water and food. The latter he found in abundance -- today Digge's is home to 180,000 pairs of seabirds which come every year to breed. It would have been a feast after long weeks at sea.
This is the beginning of one entrance of the fabled Northwest Passage, the "shortcut" to the mysterious east which Europeans sought and died for over four centuries. Hudson was one of the first Europeans but he really entered territory that the Inuit and their precedessors, the Thule and Dorset peoples, had occupied for millennia. This point was made abundantly clear when Hudson's crew clashed with Inuit who already occupied Digges Island. Two crew members died in that short conflict.
Today the passage is the focus on intense debate. As the summer sea ice retreats in the face of rapid climate change, and as the world, ever hungry for more fossil fuels, begins to think of the potential of oil and gas development throughout the Arctic region, attention is focused increasingly on this waterway. The Government of Canada has been clear that it plans to control access to the passage because it considers it to be inland waters, subject to the reach of Canadian law. Other nations, citing the UN Law of Sea, anticipate it will be eventually declared an international strait and open to increased shipping. The vision of a shortcut to Asia is increasingly becoming an economic calculation.
Beneath shimmering northern lights our Students on Ice expedition is sailing these same waters and through so many thousands of years of history. Nearly 80 students from all over Canada and around the world are experiencing the land and water first hand. On the water, we have weathered rolling swells and seasickness and we have seen a bearded seal rise repeatedly to try to figure out if our rubber zodiacs were a threat; on land we have hiked, observed caribou, seen signs of muskoxen, held tiny voles gently in our hands, and tested water for microbes and pH levels.
The students are in the classroom, and often the classroom is a scattering of lichen encrusted boulders next to a gurgling Arctic stream. Or a hillside with a view that sweeps down a fjord carved by glaciers through successive ice ages.
Along the sides of the fjords and hills you can see where the year-round snow pack has melted, leaving behind light patches of earth surrounded by rocks covered in ancient black lichen. These are the footprints of climate change. On the ship, we talk about the oceans and their decline and what this means for the future of life on the planet. But always, we talk about choice. How we can all make choices that will influence the direction of our culture and our planet. How we can choose despair or hope.
We sail on.
The 10-year-old country girl in me has wondered for the past year, “Why in the world do I live in Toronto?” The city is vibrant, deep, wondrous – yet it is still a city. And no matter how hard I try to fully embrace that home, my veins still race with dreams of greenery and fresh breezes and a pure sense of stillness. As we sat on shore amidst mist-grazed grass and crumbled rocky slopes hugging our perimeter, overlooking Douglas Bay, that feeling was once-again revived.
Amidst the caribou-beaten paths and blasts of ocean spray beneath the bow, the focus revolves around learning. And although we haven’t yet dissected the issue of climate change, the words come up at least once every hour. The combined understanding of climate change aboard this ship is impeccable. By last night, just a handful of days into the expedition, students were asking questions like, “Why are countries drilling for oil in the Arctic when it’s oil use that is causing climate change?” and “Would it not be strategic for the Arctic Council to advocate strongest for climate change at the United Nations climate change negotiations?”
These are exactly the kinds of questions we are asking at WWF. Our Arctic team is diligently calling for an offshore drilling halt until sufficient regulations are in place. Our climate change team is trying to ensure countries keep recent promises to phase out subsidies to oil, gas and coal production in order to shift our world into renewable energy use. All of this is in light of the understanding that energy use is at the crux of dealing with climate change, and by doing that, we avoid the risk of losing significant amounts of biodiversity.
As we dig into these issues over the coming week, we’ll uncover the passionate minds that are asking these hard questions and actively apply ourselves to being not just part of, but at the centre of, the solutions.
Stay Tuned for Further Updates!