Daily Journey Updates
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Expedition Update - 4:00 pm EST
***Check the August 6 Daily Journey Update page for some newly posted photos!***
New update from expedition leader Geoff Green:
All well here and we've had a great day so far. We started before breakfast with a visit to the glacier at the head of Coronation Fjord. It is, quite simply, an amazing place that has to be seen to be appreciated. Towering 1,500 meter cliffs rose up on either side of the ship. This was all complemented by an Eric Mattson lesson on glaciers on the bow deck at 7:30 AM!
While we were in the Fjord we spotted a huge polar bear strolling along the
shore and we decided to go in for a closer look. What an impressive,
magnificent animal. After breakfast we went for a hike past a beautiful lake.
The sun and blue skies made it a perfect place for our Arctic Swim and all the
students jumped into the lake at a nice sandy beach we found! The screaming and
laughter of 75 teenagers was sure to scare off any polar bears that might have
been lurking in the neighbourhood! We are now en route to Qikitarsuaq for a
visit this evening. The community is expecting us and we are very excited to
spend some time there. They have some special activities planned for our group.
And that will be our last stop in Canada!
Tonight we bid farewell to Baffin Island and start crossing the Davis Strait to Greenland!
Update from Participant Coordinator Kathleen Connelly:
During the early morning, the Ioffe entered the spectacular cliff-fingered Coronation Fjord. A clear morning with a few passing showers gave a lovely light to the cliffs. Just after 7:00am, the captain nosed the ship gently towards a lovely tidewater glacier at the head of the Fjord. As if this was not amazing enough, the appearance of a very large polar bear on the adjacent beach fully completed the picture. The ship turned and made her way back out of the fjord towards to the site of our next activity. The Ioffe anchored in Carso Channel and everyone landed at a beautiful spot between a fish camp and a lovely waterfall. Once all ashore, there was a hike alongside a lake, its banks covered in an assortment of flowers and berries.
By now, the showers had given way to blue skies with a few fluffy white clouds over the mountains. Once all back from the hike, all got together on the glacier lake beach for an Arctic Swim! An invigorating way to start the morning to say the least! A slightly bumpy zodiac ride got everyone back on board for a hearty lunch. After lunch, quiet hour and presentations ensued.
Following this, Maatalii and Madeleine held a briefing in the lecture hall as they gave us insight into the community of Qikitarjuaq, a small Inuit community of just under 500 people. It was not a moment too soon because an hour later we had anchored in the hamlet of this small community. Landing on the pier, we were received with an extremely warm welcome from the locals.
Rows of waving children quickly grasped on to students’ hands asking what all of our names were. The community had been anxiously awaiting our arrival and had been tracking our expedition through our website. They welcomed us with a traditional seal skinning demonstration, local crafts by artists and a feast of local country food- Arctic Char, clams, narwhal, bannock and hot tea. Students played with the local children and a square dance even broke out! This was a truly special and magical evening that both the students and the locals will remember for a long time.
Videos from August 7: Arctic swim and Qikiqtarjuak!
Photos from August 7!
Carmella Klengenberg from Ulukhaktok, NWT
Eric Mattson teaches students about glacier formations
Sam Anderson and the Coronation Glacier
Alexia Fabiani paints while Marine Poirier-Defoy and Isabella Thorsteinsdottir share a spontaneous hug
An impromptu square dance breaks on on the bow deck of the Akademik Ioffe
Watercolouring painting on deck
Elena Mesher paints a landscape on deck in the sunshine
Bill Lishman and a dog from a nearby hunting camp keep company on the the shors of Canso Channel
Learning a gumboot dance with Laakkuluk
Students On Ice 2012 Arctic Swim Team!
Arctic swim anyone?
Swim buddies Ocean Wyatt and Jacqueline Winters
Annabelle Awashish from Mistissini, QC
Carved Walrus Tusk
A child and her puppy.
Dang-Dang Gruben and Emily Morin giving piggy-back rides around Qik
Square dancing in Qik
Amanda Akeeagok and Annabelle Awashish
Malaika and Mary in Qik
Jacqueline Winters and a new friend from Qik
A traditional Inuit qulliq
Scrapping the fat off of the seal skin
Jacqueline Winters piggy-backs Evalyn Parry across a creek
Student Journals from August 7
This morning, I woke up at 7:00 to the now familiar "Good morning Students on Ice" that constitutes Jeff Greene's friendly wake up call (the insistent one comes later when a staff member knocks on each person's door to make sure we are awake). I felt slightly guilty of my sleepiness when opened my curtains to see the sun already high in the sky. Yesterday, we crossed the arctic circle and, though the landscape of the upper coast of Baffin Island remains similar to Iqaluit, the changing light is an undeniable indicator of our northernly travel.
Dressed in my layers of fleece and wool (it is much much colder here than in my home in Vancouver), I joined the other students and Eric, our on-ship glaciologist, to admire one of the last glaciers in this area that still enters the sea. Our ship floated in Coronation Fjord, a waterway walled by 1,500 meter-high glacier-carved rock. The monumental size of the landscape helped helped us visualize how tall the ice must have stood long ago when it created the valley surrounding us.
The towering rock and the floatsam of ice far beneath were awe-inspiring reminders of nature's immense power to create and humanity's immense power to destroy. This short before-breakfast half hour held an urgency for me as I realized how soon the glacier before our ship would descend into the ocean and into memory with the effects of climate change. I intend to remember it well, along with all of the incredible landscapes and creatures that have surrounded our expedition so far.
So today I joined the Arctic Swim team by diving into a pond above the Arctic Circle. It was crazy, and cold! But not as cold as I expected it to be at all. We saw yet another Polar Bear today! It was having a little chill over Cornation Fiord. I got some good pictures. We also saw an active glacier and we watched videos on Enviromental Awareness. They were so interesting.
We're currently waiting to anchor because we're visiting a community called Qikirqtarjuaq (Ki-ka-tar-ju-ak) and apparently something special has been planned! I'm excited! I hope there's somewhere to shop so I can pick something up for everyone!
Miss you all very much,
p.s. there is a rumor we could be eating seal i will let you all know how it tastes.
This morning I woke up cold, because I was drying my clothes and we went aloud to use the laundry and washer. So I had to wash my clothes in the water and when i was done i put the fan all the way up and it was just freezing. Then when i got up we were outside of a glacier and i was wondering what we were doing and after breakfast they gave us a lecture about why the mountains are today and how the rocks are there. While we were talking about the glacier this big polar bear came out of the water, the way its body moved you can tell how big it was.
Later on in the day we landed in Qikqtarjuak, when we got to the dock there was lots of kids waiting for us, they were asking a lot of questions like where were from and what's our names. Then when we were at the town hall, i liked the way they greeted us to their town and taught us how they lighted the kudlik, and showed us what kind of animals they eat, its very different from where i'm from because we eat beluga not narwhale.
We went on a hike somewhere and there were people who went swimming. I didn't go because I already have the experience. I can't wait to go Qikirtajuaq this evening. We are planning to go there for a few hours and head back to the ship and inirrak to Greenland. This week is going really fast. It's already the 7th of August.
Isn't it cool when your wake up call is "Good morning Students on Ice! We are in Coronation Fiord and ahead is the Penny Ice Cap!" If that isn't enough to get you up, I'm sure the second announcement of "Oh and there is a massive male polar bear at the foot of the glacier" would do the trick. It did for me at least. And the day only kept getting better! Before lunch we had already been out in the zodiacs, landed near a small fishing village and hiked around, and some of us even went for a swim in the Arctic waters. The highlight of the day for me was definitely our landing in Qikiqtarjuaq. The moment our zodiacs pulled up to the dock we were embrassed by the community's welcome. Children were coming up to us and tugging on our clothes, trying to find out who we were and where we all came from. None of them had ever seen so many strangers arriving in their village all at once before. There was dancing, throat singing, and a variety of traditional Inuit foods I had never seen or tried before. The children showed us how to eat raw clams and many of us tried the Arctic Char and Narwhale too. By the time we had to go we had bonded with the community and the children were sad to see us leave. After the difficult process of saying our final goodbyes we got back on the zodiacs and had a late supper on the ship.
The tenth day of the expedition for me and it seems like it has been 10 hours. We have seen everything from polar bears to micro organisms and just about everything in between ! I have learned so much in these last 10 days and met some people that I know I will never forget. Some of the landscapes i have seen; a picture could not capture their sheer size and beauty. Green lush hill sides, towering cliff faces, red sunsets with ice burgs in the distance......... And only five more days to absorb all of this!
Сегодняшний день действительно превзошел все ожидания! Началось утро с уже привычного подъема в 7 утра, но на этом ставшие уже более ли менее привычными вещи закончились. Завтрак сдвинули по времени за счет проведения лекции по ледникам на открытом воздухе. После завтрака последовало неожиданное сообщение о том, что под теплую одежду, которая необходима для высадки на берег, нужно надеть купальник! Забегая вперед и упустив описание нашей поездки на Zodiak (название лодок), скажу, что купание было восхитительным! На удивление мне было совсем не холодно и очень весело. Важно заметить, что купались мы не в океане, а в горном озере. Это озеро - исток для маленькой речки с водопадом, впадающей в океан. На обратном пути нам попался «чудесный» водитель. Настолько «хороший», что абсолютно все, кто находились на лодке (12чел) вымокли в холодной, соленой воде. Как всегда вкусный обед значительно улучшил мое состояние, а возможность поспать закрепила результат. Вечером мы поехали в местное поселение. Мои ожидания не оправдались! Даже в такое отдаленное место пробралась цивилизация: снегоходы, машины, квадроциклы и т.д. Но и эта поездка принесла свои плоды: чудесная маленькая сумочка из тюленя, желанное фото со снегоходом (нужно для конкурса) и дегустация сырой рыбы и кита. В завершение этого насыщенного дня нам отменили ежедневное вечернее собрание и сдвинули утренний подъем на час вперед. И это все только за один день!
I am Nancy Tooktoo from Umiujaq Qc. I am also an expeditioner from Students on Ice and I am liking it here so far, although it's very challenging to be away from my family especially from my daughter. It's even harder when I'm not able to contact home to see if my daughter is ok. So anyway, it's been awsome seeing Polar bears, few walrus, glaciers, huge icebergs and bowhead whale. It's my first time seeing all of those!, and I would've never seen these if I didn't come here, i'm very proud that I got to experience to be apart of SOI. Also we have been hiking and today was the 4th that we went hiking, worth hiking after all the eating. We have been eating very delicious food. It's very nice, every morning when I leave the room for breakfast, the house keeper would go and clean our room and I would come back to my clean room. I have made new friends. We wake up 7am and I have been taking naps and I love it because I will be ready waking up early before school starts. Today we went to a community called Qikirtajuaq, and we really had fun, they were really welcoming people, they had traditional food, bannock and tea from the fire and BBQ for hotdogs prepared for us, so I finally had Arctic char, tea and bannock. We saw a lady skinning seal, an elder lighting a qullik and art crafts that poeple made and wanted to sell, there were also 2 throat singers. Now I can't wait to go home and show all my photos and tell my family or friends what we did during this expedition. I will encourage and motivate students from my school and tell them how awsome it is to come here and say it's a once in a life time experience.
Yesterday we went to Qikitarjuaq and there were many people welcoming us near the dock. We took a zodiac from the ship and when we got there, there were people waiting to shake our hands, give us hugs, and there were even 3 people I knew; Kayla, Charlie and Ina. I never thought I was going to see them again, so I was very happy. I went on a scooter for 3 rounds around the town. We then ate a bqq, and bannock. I went to a tent where they were cleaning a seal.
Today was amazing! It's only 3:00 but we have done so much. We went for a hike and the scenery was spectacular. Looking at the fog surrounding the mountains truly makes me appreciate the beautiful country we live in. After the hike we went for an Arctic swim! Thinking back it was the first swim I've had this summer, I was cold to say the least. While I miss home, I am having a lot of fun.
Steve Sheppard (staff)
Hi Daniel, Isaac and Hauna! Just a short update from this long but simply 'sublime' (our word for the day) day! Today I woke to 1500m cliffs on either side of the ship. We were travelling into Coronation Fjord. At the end of the Fjord there was an active glacier that is a part of the Penny Ice sheet on Baffin Island. After having breakfast at the Glacier and watching a huge Nanuk (Polar Bear) on the shore, we headed to Canso Channel and had a shore landing and a hike along a lake. Some of the kids became a part of the arctic swim club there. We then headed into Qikiqtarjuag on Baffin Island. We had a traditional meal there with the community and had some Narwhal, char and clams. It was one of the neatest things I've ever been a part of. The community met us on the dock and the kids were all around us, asking our names as soon as we arrived. We were there for a couple hours, but we are now back on the ship heading to Greenland!! This is our last night in Canada. The Bay here is full of icebergs and the sun is just low on the horizon. I love this part of the world!
YOLO! While I feel that "Yolo" is a greeting, it is also an acronym standing for "You Only Live Once". This SOI expedition is YOLO, as well as other experiences.
Whether happy or sad, discouraged or motivated, or with any other contrasting emotion, we only live once. The moment comes and passes. To fully live life, one could say "YOLO!" as a reminder for oneself. As the SOI Arctic expedition 2012 nears its ending, its important to note "YOLO". It was our "word of the day" at our night briefing.
Here are some YOLO moments from today. Swimming in the Arctic with its frigid, stony bottom. Learning from a lecture, "Hope and the Environment" about the importance of the connection between the audience and speaker. Heading to Qikiqtarjuaq in our Zodiacs, seeing hundreds of smiling faces greeting us. Eating char, clams, and narwhal with the community on their shared tarp. Seeing iceburgs pop up in the middle of the open ocean. Even getting sea-sick was a "YOLO" moment as my stomach overturned and my head rolled.
You only live once!
So today was a packed day to say the least. In the morning, we stopped at a small fishing camp and hiked a little ways. The scenery was beautiful, but the best part of the hike was the Arctic swim at the end. We all got into our bathing suits and ran into this freezing cold water, and it was amazing. It was really cold in the beginning, but after a while my legs started to burn so it got hot.
That night, we also stopped in a community of about 500 people called Qkiqtarjuaj (I know how to spell it now). They prepared narwhal, Arctic char, seal, and clams for us as well as hot dogs and hamburgers.As good as the food was, by far my favorite part of the visit was meeting the children of the community. The kids were so full of life.They were genuinely so excited to see us, and it was amazing to see how quickly we can form such close connections. I made two new best friends in 90 minutes. I absolutely loved the community there, and I just hope that our other visits that we make will be just as meaningful.
This morning we woke up to a polar bear sleeping in front of the boat, across to land and it was great.
I also seen enough ice/iceberg like I don't think we (student on ice) don't even bother it. haha When they first mention we all run to the outside and look and now when they announce it, only a few people. it is not nearly as exciting as seeing a polar bear, or walrus's and they said they saw seals but most of the time they are in the water near the ship swimming with the boat i guess. I dont know ! but i would like to see a seal. We didn't see a whale yet. Hopefully soon!
YESTERDAY, we decide to go on land and we arrive at the ARCTIC CIRCLE! The land we climb was called Sunshine Fiord and we went hiking all the way to the top but honestly i kept stopping and didn't bother reaching the top because I kept on looking at the beauty of this land and the senary was beautiful so i decide to just sit and enjoy it and take it all in. I felt i could do anything, I honestly want to travel the world as much as i can now and i'll start fundrasing on my own.
Got to meet more interesting people yesterday as well and I am learning throat-singing and speaking a little bit of inuit.
My goodness what a day! Every day just gets better and better here at Students On Ice! Our day started by waking up to a glacier which we all rushed to see before breakfast. While we were on the deck gazing at the ice, Eric gave a presentation about how that glacier was formed; to our luck, we saw a polar bear very close to the glacier! He was the biggest one we've seen yet, and he had started to scale the mountain. Later in the morning, we landed our zodiacs and went for a hike around a lake, and then had a polar dip in the lake! It was SOOOO cold! I seriously thought about turning back, but I knew I would regret not going under the water in the Arctic Circle, so I went for it. The rest of the afternoon were spent on presentations, until the evening when we landed in a small community in Baffin Island. Hundreds from the commumity greeted us at the docks, fed us both traditional and modern food, displayed their culture to us, and played games with us. I even tried some narwhal! My favorite part about it was the children; they were so excited to see all these new people in town, and they were amazed by how different some of us looked. Some of us with blonde hair, curly hair, very dark skin, very white skin - they were amazed by all of it! Definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far!