Daily Journey Updates
Monday, August 6, 2012
Check out the newly uploaded photos and daily journal entries on the August 5 Daily Journey Update page. We've also posted new videos on the August 3 and August 5 pages.
Update from expedition leader Geoff Green:
We had a spectacular landing today at Sunneshine Fjord just below the Arctic Circle. Following this, we made a short stop to see the birds at the Minerettes. It was just before sunset and the light was wonderful. Thousands of Thick-billed Murres, Kittiwakes, and Northern Fulmars filled the sky and the sea around us. It was an honour to spend a few moments at this new National Wildlife Area. Our day concluded with more stunning icebergs carved and sculpted in ways only Mother Nature could achieve.
Last night we
concluded an incredible day with a visit to a stunning three-spire iceberg. The
sun was setting and the light was amazing. Then the full moon started rising on
the other side of the berg. It was surreal. The students are doing very well
and having the experience of a lifetime.
Photos from August 6!
Bill Lishman photographing an iceberg and examining it
for inspiration for his iceberg sculpture project.
Geoff describes the days activities at our landing on the Arctic Circle at Sunshinne Fjord.
Students doing yoga on the top deck of the ship as we sailed north of Cape Mercy on Baffin Island.
Iceberg at sunset
SOI students at the start of a hike from the shoreline of Sunshinne Fjord
up the mountainside almost 1000 vertical feet/310m
Kieran Shepherd conducts a workshop on rocks and fossils on the shores of Sunshinne fjord.
Student Journals - Monday, August 6
It is our third day aboard the Akademik Ioffe, but I feel as if I have been on this ship for at least a week now... This morning, we all went on an excursion to a rocky beach off Sunshine Fjord, and hiked. I learned about the plants living in the Arctic from Jennifer, and got to see many fascinating species of lichens and mosses; I took pictures for you, mom, don't worry. We then went further North to see minerets where many birds flock to to nest; we saw many birds fishing and flying around gracefully. It has been sunny with blue skies all day, and you can see icebergs out in the distance. It is practically dinner time now so I must go, but more later, perhaps. It is great to be outdoors so much though and to see the fauna and flora that can tolerate the relatively harsh conditions here in the Arctic circle. Till next time... P.S. Shout out to Kevin!
Another great day with SOI! We crossed the Arctic Circle at Sunshine Fjord this morning. We are sailing through Cape Mercy and there is always something amazing around here. We went for a hike, up on a mountain, in Sunshine Fjord. I went up all the way, it was so tiring. Took some pictures, I passed over 150 pictures on my memory in my camera today. Not deleting the "not good" pictures so it could look like I took a lot, my parents want me to take a lot of pictures. Met a great person named Newkinga. Well that is all for now, just wanted to write to let my family know I am alive, I did not get eaten my a polar bear (pretty sure the boys are making up exaggerating stories about my trip).
Good Morning Non-students on Ice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay so just as a heads up, I've been finding that recently I've been writing my journals in the morning rather than writing them at night after all of the events of the day have happened. Henceforth, this journal is primarily about yesterday! And probably the journals after it will be as well.
Yesterday morning we had our first Zodiac landing. Needless to say I was scared because I was even scared of getting on the super safe coastguard barges. All of the staff make it sound super epic and freaky deeky so I was nervous (when am I not nervous), but when I got in it I realized I love the Zodiacs and I can't wait to get in one again.
We went to see uncharted Lady Franklin Island, on which we found four polar bears. Two were swimming in the water before us, and two were hiking up the mountain above us. We went up close to the looming sheets of rock, peices of the magma core that were once the foundation- and I felt incredibly small. It was beautiful. One we went up to had a crack down the center and it really reminded me of Lord of The Rings and I laughed so hard. They were arguably the tallest thing I'd ever seen. There we also saw guilimonts, who have red feet and are super cute because before they fly they flap their tiny feet onto the water and then finally flap their wings.
I did get seasick yesterday, so I had to spend a little bit of time in my room napping. I missed one session but felt better after supper. It's still really nice here on the ship, more like a hotel than a ship. I can't wait to tell you all about this adventure in person!
Today , August 6th 2012, I went to the beach on the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is amazing. On the beach I took the Mattie & David Flecther workshop . In that workshop we studied and talked about First in Aid and how to stay alive in the wilderness. Immediately after the workshops we went on an amazing HIKE! I reached the top of the cliff, and found a great view of the waterfall. I was so gone in the view i fell asleep because of the peacefulness that was found.
Later, when we arrived to the ship, I got started on the Ice Cap. The Ice Cap is a daily Newspaper of what is going on with Students On Ice. It is going well so far. Now off we went to another workshop with Eric on Climate Change. Well, that's all for now!
Carolyn Dawe (staff)
“Three Bears” I shouted as I burst onto the bridge of the ship after spotting the first polar bears of our Arctic journey. While the Russian officer looked at me rather skeptically, after spotting them as well, the ship stopped so that we could spend time observing this magnificent bear with her two cubs swimming gracefully through the water. As if posing for our ship, the bears eventually emerged onto the sea ice where they spent their time lounging, playing, and goofing around before settling down for a nap. It was a magical moment never to forget.
Today as a whole was just an incredible day with an unbelievable number of wildlife sightings, a zodiac expedition, time observing enormous icebergs, engaging workshops and peaceful time on deck. In total we saw approximately 9 bears, and even spent time observing a mother Walrus and her pup hauled out on the sea ice. I couldn’t have dreamed a better wildlife day, and feel like this day can’t be beat… but I keep saying that, and it keeps getting better and better. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!!!
Jennifer Doubt (staff)
The steady stream of breathtaking moments continues aboard Akademic Ioffe! Going ashore today at a beautiful beach at the Arctic Circle gave us the chance to see that what looked, from a distance, like a barren, rocky slope was actually home to a dizzying diversity mosses, lichens, and other plants. Digging below the dry surface of the moss revealed warm, moist soil it protected - a welcoming home, in this harsh climate, for small organisms such as insects and the germinating seeds of plants. As we climbed higher on the slope, we could see the season reversing: the species of flowering plants that had already gone to seed down by the beach were still in full bloom at higher elevations, where the snow had stayed later and where the temperatures were cooler. I successfully fought the impulse to stay behind when our ship pulled away - but in my mind I'm still scaling the slope with my nose in the moss, looking back over my shoulder every now and again to admire the stunning view. :-)
Back on the boat, we're relaxing ahead of the dinner bell, immersed in many happy sounds: music, singing, discussion, joking...so much infectious humour, curiosity, energy, encouragement, teamwork and creativity, not to mention willing exchange of cultures, knowledge, ideas, experiences and skills. No, really...it's true! :-) Would not have believed it without seeing it as I do, every day of the trip. Best wishes to all!
For the past two days, I've been working on the Daily Icecap, the ships "newspaper" that is posted in front of the dining hall before breakfast. It's been an interesting experience as I am an editor for my highschool's newspaper and the Icecap resembles a highschool newspaper more than I thought it would and in different ways. Its format is very different as a one page newsletter and the process is different as the software I use at home isn't available on the ship. However, the ship's community, which is the subject of all the Icecap's stories, has almost become like the tight-knit small-town high school community I'm accustomed to. We've barely known each other a week, but you would think we all grew up together if you were to board the Akedemik Ioffe. The same way a high school newspaper features inside jokes and "name drops", today's Icecap had a section called "Kevin's Korner", which starred Kevin Jones, a fellow American, football player, and generally one of the funniest people I've ever met, with a picture and a quote. Additionally, in the same way high school papers use wise cracks and "small" embellishments to liven up stories of recent news, the Icecap attributed the three-pronged shape of an iceberg we saw yesterday to aliens. I've really enjoyed getting to know all the students and staff these past ten or so days and look forward to continuing to work on the icecap while getting to know everybody even better!
We have finally made it to the Arctic Circle!!!
Today, we landed the zodiacs at Sunshine Fjord, and the beach was actually the start of the "official" Arctic Circle. We did a workshop of survival and first aid in the Arctic (Mom - I am being super super safe I promise) and then hiked all the way up the fjord. It was quite the hike, so when we got back to the boat I was more than happy to have time to take a nap on the top deck. Way better than taking a nap on my kitchen floor.
It's going to be pretty difficult to go back to the flat Illinois suburbs after this. The scenery is breathtaking, and these hikes are the best. I absolutely love love love it up here, and I can't wait to see what is next!!!
This trip has been absolutely amazing. Today we went on a hike to an island and we officially crossed the Arctic Circle. We hiked up and down the mountains in the Sunneshine Fjord. During the hike, I filled my water bottle up with the water from a stream that we found while hiking and it was some of the best water I've tasted in my whole life. Emily and I are somehow getting along which is shocking. But great. Yesterday we went on a zodiac cruise and we passed an island where we saw eight polar bears and later on that day we saw six walruses or walri. Whatever. So overall this is already the best thing that has ever happened to me. Miss you all!
Hello to everyone! Today we took zodiacs from our ship to a beach in Sunneshine Fjord. As the boat crossed the water, I liked the feeling of the waves because it made the boat tip from side to side. The rocks at the beach were like circles, eggs and soap! I took a workshop on story telling. We learned that it's hard to tell a story at first, but after we practiced in small groups it got easier. Then we hiked up the hillside overlooking the Fjord. I loved the view. We ate qungulik's. We were on the arctic circle! This afternoon we had a presentation about everything that's changing in the world. Looking forward to tomorrow! :)
Steve Sheppard (staff)
Hi Hauna, Isaac and Daniel! Good evening from above the Arctic Circle!! This morning we passed the Arctic Circle and for the rest of our journey we will be above the Arctic Circle. Today was another Stunning day in the high Arctic. I have been waking around 6am to take in the beautiful mornings alone on the deck while passing though the most amazing views in the world. Today we spent the day in a place called Sunshine Fjord doing workshops on the shore, along with a hike to the top of a mountain ridge. We had perfect weather, and the view from the top of the Fjord was simply amazing. We left the Fjord and headed to a place called the Minorets. This place has just been designated as a National wildlife area for the bird sanctuary there. The cliffs there were so high! We saw a lot of birds, Murres, Kittiwakes, and Dovekies. Tonight just before dinner we passed through a floating art gallery. There were many icebergs that passed on both sides of the ship as we looked in amazement. There were tall pillars, huge chunks and a few massive tabular icebergs. We also had a couple of the staff give lectures on Climate change and Hope for the Environment. It has been a long day, and everyone is tired. It is now almost 11:30pm and its no longer dark outside, just slightly duckish. Tomorrow is going to be another fun filled day, so I will fill you in again tomorrow with our progress. Tomorrow night we are actuallly leaving Canada and heading across the Davis Straight to Greenland!!
Another beautiful day up here, this morning we hiked up Sunshine Fjord and enjoyed being on the Arctic Circle, I have never seen such a beautiful view nor had I ever been on such a satisfying hike. It was a very steep climb and we had to stop many times but we agreed not to climb 3/4 of the obstacle, whether it be that mountain or anything else in life.
Artful moments last forever
Today as the sun set into rosy magical light, we passed a brilliantly beautiful iceburg. It towered high, it's lines dropped sharply and rose up again in a twin tower formation.
I hurriedly rummaged through the art supplies to help the sudents capture the moment in watercolour painting.
In the last 20 minutes of the falling light and rising moon, my cabin-mate Carolyn and I used fast broad strokes to capture the delcate pastel purples and pinks and reflections of the sky and water and ice. I washed water and colour over the paper and she copied the steps, so we were painting together,really taking in the sublime moment to take home with us. I loved watching Carolyn's excitement of trying waterpainting for the first time. When the ship slowly turned away from the magestic ancient ice towers, we admired our work and thought of ways to improve. Carolyn noticed she accidentally used the cover of the watercolour paper book instead of the water colour paper! Her painting was good anyways so I'm sure she will do a great job next time! Now I'm ready to get more students taking in moments with art.
It has been a very exciting day, We went on a zodiacs and saw some polar bears and when we got back, we saw three walruses one was a mom with two babies, It was sooo cute!!!! I'm kinda sea sick right now from the ship moving but im sure I will be fine. i took graval like 3 hours ago and it still not working. I am also home sick so I am definately not feeling well right now. I can't wait to get home and tell and show everyone everything about this trip. My my highlight of the day so far was seeing the walruses because it remindes me of my friends back home just because we always talk about walruses. I really miss them so much. I miss my mom too. I am now going to go and finish my song. It is ship quiet time , meaning free time but you have to be quite!!!... See you mom and everyone else when I get home on the 13th of august at 6:30 or so
p.s Camille, Kaite, Chelsea and everyone else, I took a picture of walruses so I will show you when I get home. Love and miss to you all.... mom i miss and love you sooooooo much cant wait to see you i think of u and everyone every night.
Today we went ashore on the zodiacs! I got to do a work shop all about fossils and minerals. Someone even found a fossil. It was a very interesting workshop. Because I live in the Yukon, I tend to watch the ground anyways, looking for bits of gold. I never thought that I could have easily found a fossil. We even got to hold crap! Literally! We held fossilized crap. It was....interesting.
"IT'S MY LIFE"
" Ur enemies right beside u
tryna take ur life & shut it down,
forget ur enemies & scream loud 'its my life'.
Once in my life ur son feel so ashamed & jus'
can't believe it ur beggin' me to stay, ur the
best thing in my life, tell me its okay when im
truely sorry the teenage life how i changed &
heaven knows i've never been a saint, i ain't
pointin' fingers jus' to blame, u kno' im goin
circles the life im livin' is jus' the same:
pilin' up my pains, writin' my page, strivin'
my pace its like im dyin' in this game, but u
gotta understand its my life.
Today was our very first landfall since coming aboard the Akademik Ioffe! We landed the zodiacs on a beach in the Sunnshine Fyord, right next to the official Arctic Circle! We first had workshops on the beach - I did Matty and Kieran's worshop on Arctic Survival and First Aid. Next we had a short but STEEP hike. About halfway up the cliff my back started to spasm from the pressure of the climb, and I decided that I shouldn't push it so I stopped about 3/4 up the cliff with a group of people who also wanted to stop. Even though I didn't make it to the top, the view was amazing from the height I made it to! I found a large flat rock to sit on and just stared at the water, ship, islands and ocean - it was amazing! We came back to the ship for lunch, where I washed the morning sand and salt water away and used good old A535 for my back; I'm going to yoga tomorrow morning, so that should help with it! The rest of the day consisted of a presentation, bird-watching, an "iceberg gallery," and painting watercolors on deck! We are now officially in the Arctic Circle, and tomorrow is our last day in Canada - tomorrow night, we're off across the Davis Strait to Greenland!
We crossed the Arctic Circle at Sunshine Fjord at 66.33 degrees north! There, we landed at a beach covered in garnets, quartz, and mica deposits. All the rocks shone from the mica flakes, and it looked as if we had walked on stardust or glitter. When we hiked up a cliff, one could still see a bit of light coming off them. How glistening!
Coming back, we had workshops in our two seperate groups (sun & moon). In the Sun ("Siqiniq") group, we went to the ship's bow to the workshop "Climate Change 101" After a short summary of climate change, we jumped into discussion. From the albedo effect, methane clathrate, to radiation, we conversed on each part's role in the global climate change. In Earth's network, everything is interconnected - and, both the lecture and climate change itself were reflective of that. It makes me wonder about the footprint/imprint I make upon the world.
Another highlight was seeing minorets! Looking outward from the ship at these bird colonies, it was so humbling. There were thousands! And, I was just one person in their presence. Some birds, especially guillemots and murres, also flew alongside our ship. One could see them swift along, just inches off of the water and rise, sweeping, into the air. And, sometimes, they dove before coming back up in a few seconds. A simple swoop, down and out, and away.
Woke up this morning to a huge glacier infront of the ship! AND a polar bear :) We went on the land today and it was so beautiful! There were 2 dogs that came from the cabins by where we were. Reminded me of Lala and Precious. I'm not getting as seasick anymore (knock on wood). Coming back to the ship with the zodiacs was really bumpy! We had lunch and the dessert was so good! Homemade strawberry icecream. We're going to Qikirtarjuaq this evening around 6pm. Apparently we're going to have ammuumayuq, iqaluk, nattiq and mattaaq!! :D We're crossing over to Greenland tomorrow and I think its going to be a rough day since we're going through Davis Strait.
We've been having quiet times and thats when we either take a nap or write our journals or just enjoy time to ourselves. We have workshops and thats when we choose if we want to go to storytelling, climate change stuff, photography, learn things with microscopes and other things.
We'll be leaving Canada tomorrow! Getting more and more excited now.
Just wanted to let you know, mom, that I'm doing better than yesterday, mirianguluaruniiqtunga. Talk to you soon! Love you!
Yesterday was amazing. We saw 7 or 8 polar bears and I don't know how many Walruses and we also saw a baby walrus. We went on a zodiac ride around Lady Franklin Island. It was very cold to be out yesterday. Today is a really really really nice day. We went to the Sunne Shine Fjord today. We were hiking there. I didn't really want to hike since I had no energy. I slept in this morning and missed breakfast.
Kiitaapi Anirrarumallipaa! Paingnguqunga Joey'mi. Joey kunirtara paingngutararuuk. Kathy'mirasaruu paingngumivunga. Paingngulaursimalaarunnaitakkaruu angayukka suutaraa aullalaartuinaumata tikikasaaliruma. haha
This morning the Akademik Ioffe rolled into Sunshine Fjord and we got out on these amazing zodiacs to explore the fjord and its steep ridges. The Sunshine Fjord definitely retained its reputation today... since it was so on the coast of the fjord! During our stay I got to go for a hike and explore the Arctic gardens of the plant life on the coast. It is VERY interesting. Undescribably fun!! A highlight from the slopes of these mini mountains were the wild blueberries. Delicious and unreal. This plant reminds me of the Icelandic landscape...and going out on the land when I was young while searching for these type of blueberries. Sweet memories. Another amazing sight were two rough-legged hawks. So neat to see them so close. Lastly, a golden mushroom. Pure golden color.
During the afternoon I learnied a lot from Peter. His workshop was 'Hope for the future'. The most interesting part of this workshop was when he said, "the planet is geared to create life". Simple logic that makes perfect sense. Without humans, or with humans, the earth will always create new life and move on. What are we prepared to do to continue to be a part of Earths circle of life?
I have to add this amazing spectacle on the top deck. Painting! It was perfect setting, amazing company, and simply two hours to paint...one of the best evenings on the ship.