Welcome to Labrador!
(Photo courtesy of Parks Canada)
August 3 - Daily Updates
** We received many new photos, journals and videos this morning. Click on yesterday's page to see the updates...Videos will appear on our Video Page later this afternoon! **
Welcome to Labrador!!!
** Click here for our team's GPS location **
Our expedition ship, The Clipper Adventurer, has arrived in Saglek, Labrador this morning, and is on its way to a big, welcome event at the Torngat Mountains Base Camp.
The weather couldn't be nicer in central Labrador this morning.
It is sunny and 9 C - which is perfect weather for their visit. The Davis Strait crossing turned out to be sunny, smooth and eventful. We have a particularly artistic group aboard this summer's expedition - and every night on board is turning into a festive event! In addition to our evening educational programming, evenings in the lounge have turned into "Students on Ice Idol!" We have so many singers, drum dancers, throat singers, classical musicians, sketch comedy performers, hip hop artists, spoken word artists, guitarists -- you name it!
We are extremely excited about today's schedule.
The Torngat Base Camp - also known KANGIDLUASUK – is a summer base camp and collaboration between Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government. It is located on Inuit land at the southern boundary of the Torngat Mountains National Park.
During the summer season, hundreds of people use the Base Camp for educational purposes. On the day of the Students on Ice ship visit (Aug 3), there will be over 100 people at the camp, including representatives from the Nunivik and Nunatsiavut governments, elders and their families, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut youth, scientists and researchers, musicians and writers.
The Base is rolling out the red carpet today! The team will go ashore to tour the base, the surrounding countryside and then enjoy a big, traditional feast, followed by traditional performances and ultimately a big campfire down on the beach. We have been looking forward to this day for some time - and we thank our friends at Parks Canada and at KANGIDLUASUK for making this day possible.
Arctic Char at kANGIDLUASUk Basecamp
Michael Gardiner , Torbay, NL
Today we made it to Labrador! Feels good to be home(ish). After 11 days at sea finally ready to admit that I am at least a little home sick. Today is the first day that it seems like the expedition is coming to an end. We have all been together for 11 days and it's been great getting to know everyone. Between the hikes, the hot springs, the zodiac cruises and workshops I feel like I've definitely connected with many people on the ship. I've spoken with Julian a biologist about different plant species and their locations. I found this interesting because he could teach me so much on just a walk along the beach. Another interesting conversation I had was with Karsten he is an activist who followed the caribou migration across Labrador. He talked to me about how to get your message across using stories and how to relate your experiences to people who don't like the idea of conservation or hindering progress. He told me how even though we have different perspectives some one who works in a mine still may enjoy hunting and so they to care about ensuring the preservation of different species.
One thing we also talked about today was our sponsors. I would like to send out a special thanks to the Department and Fisheries and Aquaculture, who provided me with the funding I needed to participate in the expedition! Without these funds I may never have gotten the chance to participate in this once in a life-time opportunity.
Now as the focus of the expedition is turning from education to action we are beginning to look at what will be the result of the trip. We are starting to learn about what kind of things we can do when we get home. From renewable energy to preserving biodiversity I look forward to getting home and sharing what I've learned within my community and province. I would write more but the schedule on the boat is very busy and I am off to go to a lecture on the state of the fisheries and the politics which surround them.
Students working together during a pod group activity on board the MV Clipper Adventurer
Mikaela Cockney-MacNeil, Inuvik, NT
Hey people... I haven't done a blog for who knows how long. Sorry mom :( . But I AM alive, and doing well. I have no idea what to write about, considering it's before 9:00am, when things are going to start. We've been out at sea for who knows how long, and today is my second day without gravol. I finally got my sea legs! I have actually made friends, not many, but a few, one of which is Russian (someone let Hailey know)! Hey! We've JUST gotten into Labrador. So... yeah...well, I'm going to go, still going strong with the 'no texting' thing as well!
Yaneev Forman of Toronto, meets Willie, an Inuit elder at kANGIDLUASUk Base Camp in the Torngat Mountains
Regan Burden, Port Hope Simpson, Labrador
Today we have arrived in Labrador. It is such an exciting feeling to be back home, to be back to where I come from. This is my first time in this part of Labrador but I pride myself in saying that yes, this is where I come from. To see the land partially hidden by the fog and the way that the sun hit on the water was just so amazing. It's crazy to believe that we only have another six days left on this ship. I am nowhere near ready to say goodbye to all of these beautiful places and all of these amazing people. We're all learning so much from all the staff, through their workshops and even just from having conversations with them, but I think even if we all spent two months out here on our floating home, we'd still have so much more to learn from everyone. Though I must say that the highlight of being here in the Labrador Sea, is knowing that my dad is out there looking at the same horizon as me. So dad, if you're in from a fishing trip and checking out the SOI website I just wanted to let you know that I miss you, a lot. Now I'm going to go write a thank-you letter to the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for their generous scholarship that without I never would have even imagined being able to go on this trip.
Students and staff deep in discussion during a pod group meeting
Trevor Taylor gives presentation on the fisheries of Newfoundland & Labrador
Gloria Lingard, Kuujjuaq, QC
Early this morning we arrived in Canada from Greenland. I was glad to not get sick during this crossing. We are in the Torngat Mountains now and the land is similar to where I live in northern Quebec. We met some people at a camp here in Saglek Fjord, some of whom I know from a cleanup project we did last year with Cruise North. It was nice to see people I know again and to have country food (bannock, seal, char, and narwhal muktuk that the elders made for us). It's nice to be back near home.
Isabella Bruce , Rankin Inlet Nunavut
Today has to be my favourite day so far. This morning we woke up to be in Canada once again. I loved Greenland and Iceland but I really missed Canada and home a lot more than I thought I would. So this morning we did pod groups. My group is called the "serial krillers" and we played a couple of games which was a lot of fun. We also talked about what we were thankful for. I was thankful for the new family I have made on the ship. We talked about what we missed. I missed home and my family. After that we had a presentation on fisheries which was interesting. After lunch we went to the Torngat Mountains and we did a tour of the base camp. Personally I do not like hikes but today I went on one to a waterfall. It was a nice hike. After we had a bbq and some traditional food which I was really excited about. I got to have seal and some char. After that we had a bonfire and there were songs and entertainment. It was all just fun. During the end of the bonfire, Kayleigh, Simon/Gordon went across the water. It was cold but lots of fun. So far, my favourite thing to do on this trip is to learn my Inuit culture from David, Annie, Jolly, Sylvia and Johnny. I really like to sew with Annie. I'm having a lot of fun and it's going to be sad when it's all done.
Mike Jensen (Expedition Staff) and Kayleigh Spencer
Mary Paquet, Amanda Mackey, Bridget Graham and Emerald Kains at the campfire at kANGIDLUASUk base camp
Doreen Kanayuk, Pangnirtung, NU
Today was a beautiful and awesome day here in Torngat National Park. It is so good to be back in Canada and even better that nobody got sick on our way here from Greenland. We went hiking to a waterfall this afternoon and some other students went to the top of the mountain. We had supper at a research base camp and the country food the elders cooked for us was so good. The bon fire was awesome. People were singing and dancing. Sylvia was throat singing again with Beckie and Robin. A great way to end a great day.
Michael Gardiner, Torbay, NL
It's been 12 days without any electronics beside this blog. It's funny how I occasionally still feel my cell phone vibrate in my pocket when there's nothing there. However today I feel a little closer to home as we land in Labrador
SOI students play volleyball with kANGIDLUASUk summer students
on the beach
Kayleigh Spencer, Mistissini, QC
What an awesome day. Woke up this morning to the coastline of Labrador after a day at sea. In our pod group this morning we discussed the previous days events, how we felt, how they changed our perspective on the environment. I have never seen icebergs before and we learned that because of the climate change they're melting fast. This makes me think about the people who spend their time looking at them but not realizing that they're at risk. I am very excited about the busy afternoon that we just had here at the Torngat National Park. We went for a tour at the base camp and learned about their research followed by a hike to a waterfall. Afterwards we were treated to a barbeque which included country foods such as seal, bannock and arctic char along with hamburgers and hotdogs. I wasn't a fan of the seal and narwhal blubber. It was comforting to have the bonfire on the shore. It reminded me of the beach back home. This day was such fun. I loved it.
Sherilyn Sewoee plays Inuit drum at campfire
Joey Loi, JF Carrey, Trevor de Zeeuw & Nick Taylor dance while Sylvia Cloutier sings
"Four brown and speckled frogs...." Ian Tamblyn plays a special campfire tune, while Cassie Jones acts out the frog part of the song!
Kiran Dhatt-Gauthier, Sudbury, ON
To sit in a naturally heated hot spring, while observing colossal icebergs float by in a nearby lake is quite the unfathomable experience for most. Add in lush vegetation, a few snow-peaked mountains, and an endless blue sky, well then you've got Greenland. As we boarded the ship again, the crew ushered us to our final destination in Greenland, the small village of Nanortalik, where not only the mayor would meet us, but also the entire community. Small triangles in eccentric colours dotted the landscape, which turned out to be homes of the few hundreds of people who had come to welcome us on shore. Walking to the shore of the coastline, blues and purples and reds of all hues on either side of us, the small children of the village were extremely charming in their efforts to become our new best friends. The camaraderie between the community and the SOI crew was reflected as if they had known each other for many years, both parties hastily awaiting the arrival of the other. Nevertheless, certain differences held them back, namely, there is the fact that the intricate languages of English and Greenlandic do not have many words in common. This boundary was eclipsed by the performance of the kayakers, rolling and putting on quite a show for the general audience, jerking their bodies with such ease that the hardest maneuvers were performed with great ease by these seasoned veterans. The scenery surrounding the village was ineffable, holding mystery and beauty in a very fine balance, perfectly reflecting the native population of Greenland. With heavy hearts, all of the SOI crew slowly ascended the ramp leading to the Clipper Adventurer, not wanting to leave the most beautiful place on Earth behind in our wake, but finding comfort in knowing that our expedition was not yet over, hoping that Labrador will fill the void left by "the true land of Ice".
Stay Tuned for Further Updates!