AUGUST 1 UPDATES
(All photos by Lee Narraway)
Becky, Okatsiak, Rankin Inlet, NU
How should I start this off? Well, I should say today was AWESOME! We finally got to see people of Greenland, a little town called Nanortalik. The people are so friendly, and similar to us Inuit. Someone said I look just like a just Greenlandic Inuk – that was cool. The elders here are so wise and full of stories. I didn’t here some stories but I could just tell by their characteristics, just like the elders from back home. It was a very warm welcoming. I got to perform with David S., Sylvia C., and two other former students from Nunavut Sivuniksavut. I got some good compliments, which I'm very proud of, to hear that from other Inuit of Greenland. This little town is amazing. I had a good little tour around Nanortalik. There are many colorful houses. I have to say that my favourite one was the turquoise one. We met some Greenlandic children, funny ones too. We tried to speak with them in Inuktitut – some words are kind of similar in a way. While we were boarding the ship two little Inuit kids escorted me to the entrance. Now that was cool, a good way to say good bye to the wonderful people here. Got to go wave good bye to the amazing people, bye for now.
Brightly painted houses and white crosses in Nanortalik
Cassie Jones, Montreal, Quebec – Part 1
Saturday the 30th we were unable to make our way to the fjord in Greenland due to the relentless fog and ice. I got out on deck to see my first Iceberg and Bergy Bits which was pretty cool. Get it? The whole ship was experiencing cabin fever, as we were unable to zodiac or do offshore excursions. It did not help because I had spent the previous day incredibly seasick. I did not understand why Mike kept handing out seasick bags as a welcome gift to the Horizontal Club. I soon became familiarized with the title as I found the only way to feel remotely better was to lie down. I spent much of the day trying to avoid standing up. That was tricky. I am an honorary member. I may reconsider a life spent in the rocky seas far from the horizon. I attended the Documentary Film workshop where I was able to film a short video with my friend and the help of expert advisors. We wanted to accentuate the point that everyone on SOI is coming from different regions across the globe but together we form a global community.
Darcy Kuppaq, Hall Beach, NU
Two days ago was the best experience ever. I did my workshop for drum dancing. Our workshop was on a rock outdoors, but we couldn't climb up so we decided to drum dance in the zodiac. While we where playing it Sylvia sang to us and it was beautiful. I felt compassion first hand. When we where done the sun set and I thought I was in a movie.
The Nanortalik Welcome Committee convenes
Victoria Wee taking in the scenery
Andrea Brazeau, Kangiqsualujjuaq
Yesterday we finally went on land, it was such a beautiful day! There were many different workshops going on, I picked drumming. I had an amazing time drumming on a tall mountain with Saladie Snowball while Sylvia Cloutier was singing. One point, I was just sitting on a rock alone, in front of the water, big mountains surrounding me and the sun shining on me. I just felt like I was in peace. I can't even describe how I felt. It was a good feeling. At the end of our workshops, we took the drum dancers and went out on a zodiac. We were going to go on top of the Island and for a photo shoot while drumming but we couldn't climb on the island because it was too dangerous. Instead we drummed it the zodiac. It was magical, as my new friend Darcy said. We also got to see a seal while the zodiac drive and got to learn about ice glaciers and also got to see big ice glaciers smashing into the water. It was an awesome day like always.
Jack Pong, Hong Kong
Today was a whole day at sea but nonetheless I had another great day. Although we didn't have any landings, we had lots of workshops and presentations. One specific activity that I felt was extremely meaningful was actually a session initiated and led by students. I gathered with around 12 other students and we discussed about what we could do after this trip. I was really motivated by how passionate and enthusiastic the other students were about helping the planet after the trip; it was a unique opportunity to have teens of the same age caring about the same issues that I care about. At the end of a long and disorganized discussion we ended with the fact that we would create a short film about students joining together because of one cause and making a difference. I have faith that this project will turn out will even with all the barriers that we will have to face after the expedition. From this initiative, other workshops and lectures it has really reminded me about the "action" part of the trip, because essentially the trip is never over. I truly believe that this expedition is a great resource for all of us to take advantage of and to create change both locally and internationally.
Joy Muckpa and Nellie
Darcy Kuppaq, Doreen Kanayuk and Chase Murdoch
on an iceberg tour!
Nausheen Rajan, Orlando, Florida
The Arctic is warm in many ways Florida isn't.....
The last few days in Greenland are not easy to sum up. The view of the fjords is a view I will never forget. I literally witnessed glaciers fall and become icebergs, and that image will always stay in my mind. For some reason I was really attracted to the glacial water. The glacial water was by far the purest thing I have ever seen in my life. It's crazy how close I am to nature right now; sometimes we forget what's really out there. My favorite part has been climbing the cliff the first day in Greenland. I never thought that I could make it, but I conquered...Carpe-d Diem you could say. Presentations and activities on the ship have been keeping me busy. I've joined the ship's newspaper, The Ice Cap which I am so happy to be a part of. I've tried to shy away from my camera because I'm trying to vividly capture each millisecond, and store it into my mind. Sea-sickness prevailed over the boat a few days ago as we were crossing the Denmark Strait. The most magical moment has been seeing the blue whales, as they are very rare in the world. It's funny because they are notably the largest animal on this planet. Classroom on the glaciers was also one of my highlights, because it was a change from the norm and I felt as if I was doing active learning. We met with scientists and researchers at the Steffanson Arctic Institute which was thrilling. It was great to ask about their thoughts on the future of this planet. A few days ago I witnessed the sunset on deck with the crystal-clear, blue ocean surrounding it......nothing, nothing can compare. It was also very neat to be part of the Bottle Drift Project as a group. I really hope someone finds at least one of my bottles some day......... Waking up to icebergs surrounding you, talking to David (polar expert), visiting the friendly village of Herjorlfnes, nutella in the morning, Richard (my favorite server), and all my peers and staff have all enriched my experience in some way. It's hard to describe how I feel into a composed sentence, but I surely say that this experience thus far has been BREATHTAKING. I will NEVER forget this.
Sigmundur Arni Sigurgeirsson, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
Heyy, Ef thid lesid thetta. Eg er a lifi, Thad er ekkert samband her svo eg get ekki talad vid ykkur.
Nuna erum vid a leidinni til Kanada fra Graenlandi, Maturinn er frabaer, Eg snerti fyrsta isjakann minn i fyrradag. Keypti minjagyrpi a Graenlandi en var ekki med naegan pening fyrir hnif. Thetta hefur lidid svo hratt trui varla ad thad seu bara 5-6 dagar eftir. Margir urdu sjoveikir a leidinni til Graenlands en ekki eg svo mamma thu tharft ekki ad hafa ahyggjur. Eg nenni eiginlega ekki ad skrifa meira svo eg skrifa kannski adra seinna. Eg er buinn ad eignast marga nyja vini. Eg er lika buin ad taka nog af myndum ;)
Hiking to the hot springs at Unatoq Island
Relaxing in Viking hot springs
Bridget Graham, Beachburg, Ontario
Icebergs - what a way to start off your morning. That's right folks, on July 30th 2011, after finally growing my sea-legs (it only took me two days of seasickness) I was able to enjoy the Southern coast of Greenland surrounded by new friends. After one week of travelling, I can't even list all the things that I have seen. I have never experienced anything like this and I feel so happy to be here. Iceland was incredible, and our ship is too much for words. I've seen jellyfish, puffins, seals and I even climbed my first mountain and volcanic crater. I've sat in on workshops on journaling, and slowly I'm realizing just why I'm here. One of the staff on the expedition told us that an experience like this can either change the whole course of your life or keep you right on course. I have less than two weeks left and I promise to take advantage of every experience that floats my way.
P.S. Mom, you were right-they totally do have dolphins in the Arctic. I saw about 10 of them!
James Day, Inuvik, NT
What a day. We visited a fjord with a natural hot springs in it. We were sitting in a hot spring with icebergs flowing by. Mountains kissing the sky. If you were to tell me I was going to be experiencing this a month ago, I would think it was a lie. Zodiac cruises is also always fun. Cruising by the icebergs is sure something. My first time seeing them and I get to experience them to the fullest, up close and personal. We also visited a community by the name Nanortalik, it was amazing. A group of us walking and exploring the town and there was also these kids walking with us. Great soccer players, we played soccer with them the whole time we were there. A lot of fun. The kids were awesome, I lost my camera and one of the kids found it for me. Awesome. As much fun I am having, I am horrifically homesick. Thinking about you guys back home, my family, friends, Kaila, and hopefully my baseball team is doing good! Miss playing sports so much. I'm going to be playing sports like 24/7 when I get back there. So be ready everybody. We are leaving the town now so I am going to go and wave goodbye and take one last picture of a place I may never see again. But I’m sorry guys, I can take a million photos of the places I've been to and it won't be the same. No pictures or words can describe the places I have been to on this expedition.
A group of seal-clad Greenlanders demonstrate rowing an umiaq
Cassie Jones, Montreal, Quebec – Part 2
August 1st we hiked in to a hot spring where we swam and relaxed. It was funny to see icebergs floating past as we heated our feet by burying them under the hot spring's rocks. My favorite part of the morning was when I took some time to independently reflect on the trip this far from Canada to Iceland, Iceland to Greenland, and tomorrow Labrador, and all the interesting things I have learned about others and myself. I laid down in the lush overgrown moss by the edge of the water and tried not to close my eyes. I tried to just be in nature but I also wanted to memorize every smell, sight and feeling that flowed through me. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. That is when a part of an Iceberg fell off. It was a beautiful crashing sound that shook the quiet from the land. Waves formed, parts broke and floated away.
In the afternoon we docked in a small rural village in Greenland. When we disembarked people were waiting there greeting us. The streets filled with people of all ages and they walked with us, smiled and laughed with us. We gathered together to celebrate our arrival and there hospitality in traditional practices. The natives of Greenland demonstrated techniques of the kayaks used when hunting in the frigid waters. They were very agile and extraordinarily talented at rolling. We also saw the traditional women's umiak battle in their boat used to transport camp in the past. It was interesting to see their culture. I really loved walking around the town and seeing the house of all sorts of colors. Not one was not painted. I met and spoke with people of all ages from little kids to my elders. My favourite part of the day was starting a game of soccer up with all the local kids. I definitely got schooled. It was really nice because other students from the trip joined in. We felt a little famous afterwards because the kids followed us around town playing soccer through the streets. I think it was amazing to find that although things change from country to country kids are the same in a sense. We all want to learn and play.
Pascale Otis videotaping
Mary Paquet works on her painting
Amaya Cherian-Hall, Whitehorse,Yukon
Two days ago we stopped at an island and swam in a warm springs. It was such a picturesque moment, chilling in a hot spring with the ocean and icebergs in the background. We also stopped in a little town called Nanortalik. They gave us a kayak performance and man! those guys are good. We went on a hike to some Viking ruins as well. Yesterday we spent all day on the ship. We did some workshops and such. We are now in Canada! Yay. I love you family.
Alannah Johnston, Igloolik/Iqaluit, Nunavut
Hello, This is my 7th or so attempt to write a journal entry for the website. Ok, so here it goes...
This expedition has been something else. I've been to Iceland, Greenland and now I can look out the window and see Labrador. I have had an experience overwhelmed with beauty and excitement and some seasickness and now a cold. HOWEVER, the lows don't match the highs.
It's crazy how much you can fill in a day. We met the President the same day we went to the geysers in Iceland! Most of this trip I've felt like there were bubbles under my skin because the new things we've been able to do just make me hyper with happiness! I stood on a glacier and then I saw a different glacier break apart. I saw first hand the effects of climate change. Then, I relaxed in a hot spring in Greenland that Vikings and Inuit have probably relaxed in also hundreds of years ago. I've met awesome people here that help make this trip as great as it is.
It's hard to believe that there is only 4 days left and then I'll be back in Iqaluit and working. I hope to be back to Iceland and Greenland again someday soon. The time we spent there wasn't nearly enough and yes we got to see a lot but hardly enough time to soak it all up and truly appreciate it. This is all for now. :)
A Greenland hike
AUGUST 1 UPDATES
All are well on board our floating home - the Clipper Adventurer. The seas are calm and the sun is out and shining brightly. The termperature is approximately 13 C - and students are happily wearing their new Students on Ice / First Air fleeces on deck.
It is perfect weather for exploring Greenland!
This morning the team will continue their exploration of the Cape Farewell / southern region of Greenland. They will spend the morning in the beautiful Tasermuit region - hiking, zodiac cruising and educational activities.
When our land on shore, they usually break into "pod groups." Each team (accompanied by expedition team members and gun handler of course) head out for different activities. This morning for instance, we have educators leading hikes to a spectacular waterfall; there will be a group doing beachcombing activities; others are helping with vascular plant collection another group are assisting with clam mya collection along the beach - others are painting or going on short walks. We normally spend approximately 4 hours on a landing, and then return to the ship for lunch while the Captain re-positions the ship for the afternoon landing.
This afternoon, the team will be visiting the beautiful Greenlandic community of Nanortalik - which means "place of polar bears."
This is one of our favourite places on earth. Approximately, 1500 people live in this picturesque community - and most of its inhabitants work in the fishing industry. In fact, when we visit, the students will have the opportunity to visit the open fishing market and try some local delicacies. The community is also preparing some activities for us, including some arctic games, kayak demonstrations and some drum dancing and throat singing. Our own educators and students will participate.
Because the ship is deep in fjords right now and surrounded by enormous mountains - they don't have a satellite signal presently to send us yesterday's pictures and journals. However, we are hoping that as the ship steams towards Nanortalik later this morning, they will get them out to us and we will post them immediately.
Check back in the early afternoon for updates.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE!