Bear Witness Arctic Expedition
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INFORMATION - UPDATES
Sponsorship from Canada Goose.
Sponsorship from Adventure Canada and Students On Ice.
Official support and letter of endorsement from WWF Canada.
Eric Brossier joins the Bear Witness expedition team.
Official launch of Bear Witness on board Adventure Canada's Arctic Explorer expedition.
Sponsorship from Fischer Skis.
Ingrid Ortlieb joins the Bear Witness expedition team.
First Air becomes the "Official Airline" for the the expedition.
Support from Black Feather.
Bear Witness is awarded an expedition grant from MEC.
Sponsorship from ElectroSep
Sponsorship and letter of endorsement from Polar Bears International.
January 2017 - Happy New Year!
Sponsorship from Fjallraven, Weaver & Devore, Essilor and Baffin Footwear & Apparel
Bear Witness is delighted to announce an education component to the expedition with St. Michael's School in Ontario.
Sponsorship from Nikon Canada.
Bear Witness receives letter of endorsement from Joe Enook MLA for the Tununiq Riding. Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
Sponsorship from Holiday Inn & Suites Kanata
Support the Bear Witness project.
All proceeds from the sale of
merchandise will go towards funding
and supporting the expedition.
In addition to the items shown;
expedition postcards, book marks
and posters are also available.
The Bear Witness logo was designed to
include the iconic polar bear and the
mountains of Bylot Island. The white
represents snow, the red represents
Canada and the blue helps
illustrate ice and the incredible
Arctic sky. Included is the shining
BEAR WITNESS EXPEDITION BLOG
Wednesday May 10
Today will be spent packing, sorting through gear, equipment, food and supplies. Time will also be spent looking North towards Bylot; an island that for the whole team has a new significance, meaning and feeling. The team is all well with no serious bumps, bruises or injuries. The whole team considers themselves very fortunate to have travelled in such a wild area of Canada - one that relatively speaking, only a handful of people have ever seen. It is now our collective responsibility to speak and act on its behalf.
More expedition blog information will follow in the days and weeks ahead.
A special thank you to all our sponsors, in particular, Canada Goose, First Air, Baffin, Fjallraven, Hilleberg tents, WWF, Electrosep, Fischer skis, Students On Ice, MEC, Adventure Canada and Nikon.
Tuesday May 9
Once the crossing from Bylot to Baffin had been made, the community came into sight. It was a short four and a half hour ski and at 2.30 in the afternoon the team finally arrived back in Pond Inlet. The team were tired but happy that the expedition had been a success. It is the intention and goal of the project to bring awareness to this area; now (as they say) the work begins! One more night camped on the sea ice close to town meant lots of curious visitors and well wishers. The team found it hard to sleep with all the unfamiliar sounds filling the air.
Monday May 8
From Button Point the team travelled further west along the south shore of Bylot. It's in this area that the mountains rise straight up over three thousand feet. With very little snow to speak of (it had all been blown away) the team managed to find a couple of drifts that were enough to secure the snow stakes, therefore securing the tents. From this point Mount Herodier (just east of Pond Inlet) could be seen. It had been 27 days since it was last seen by the team and a very welcome sight. Great progress had been made due to the smooth sea ice.
Sunday May 7
Travelled west and camped just west of Button Point. It was windy and snowing so we pitched the tents in the pressure ice. This morning it was a little cloudy but the sun finally came out. Distance-wise, it was the best day so far. The team accomplished 23.6 kms. We started skiing just before 9 AM and at the end of the day we set up camp around 6:30 PM. It’s amazing just how flat this particular area of sea ice is, given the size of the entrance to Pond Inlet and Lancaster Sound. It’s very smooth. I hope it continues. Given various reasons, from this camp right beside Bylot, we’ll be heading in a west/southwest direction straight for Pond Inlet, therefore completing the circumnavigation. We still have a way to go. We’re hoping to accomplish it in three days. If all goes well, we will be arriving into Pond (given fair weather and flat ice) on Wednesday. So the team (dogs and people) are fed and doing well. We are all looking forward to a good night’s sleep before a long day tomorrow, which will be Day 27. If we arrive in Pond on Wednesday, that will put us at 29 days. We have skied every day. We did have four or five days in reserve, that we used up a long time ago. So we have skied every day.
Saturday May 6
We are at Button Point. The famous Button Point! 72.50.92N 76.07.89W. We met some human beings today. Some hunters were from Pond. It was nice to see humans again. Button Point is significant as we now turn west and head back towards Pond. Rough estimate, we are just over 400 kms in 25 days. The dogs Loosey, Coco, Sienna and Grumpy are fine. I’m pretty sure tomorrow they’ll know they’re heading home so they may have a bit more spring in their step. The food that we brought will last until the end of the expedition with a little bit to spare. Camping fuel-we brought 32 litres with us which will also last us until the end of the expedition, each tent using about ½ litre per day and that’s for cooking, drying and heating. So all is well. We have four days left to make it back to Pond. We’re confident that we’ll do so. The weather has taken a bit of a turn. Right now it’s overcast, snowy, windy. If the wind keeps up, hopefully we’ll have a tailwind tomorrow. The gap between Baffin and Bylot sometimes causes a bit of a funnel so it can be quite windy in the gap before getting into Pond. So we’re hoping for a tailwind. We checked in with the hunters and the ice conditions seem good between Button Point and Pond so we’re hoping to make some good miles over the next few days.
Friday May 5
A comment on the island from David: Formerly home for many Inuit for thousands of years, the island stands with a story still to be told. While ice and snow (at this time of year) are bound the island shows and represents the changes taking place in the arctic. From past elders such as Cornelius Nutarak, to modern day hunters, all have something to say, stories to share and to tell. In addition, other Canadians too, have chronicled it’s character and changing personality in very different ways. In 1906 Joseph Bernier claimed “this is part of Canada”. Lawren Harris in his own way in 1930, portrayed the island in art. Great filmmaker Jean Lemire and writer Katharine Scherman have all been moved and touched by it. The island though, in its own silent, solid and steadfast way tells its own story and will continue to do so. It’s our responsibility to bear witness, to listen, to pay attention, and above all to care for the environment.
We are now at 72.57.04N 76.07.73W. Conditions started out great. Started out like a skating rink. Crossing the bay, cape to cape, even though it was the shortest distance, if there is rough ice, it’s difficult. Often there are better conditions hugging the shore. Although the sleds are much lighter now, because we are eating the food and burning the fuel, the snow in places is soft and deep, which makes things a little hard-going. The dogs have a hard time going through the rough ice. The weather has changed incredibly from April to May. Temperatures are higher with snow. Today it’s windy. Fortunately a tailwind.
Thursday May 4
I want to give a special thank-you, or a tribute, out to our sponsors. They are:
Canada Goose-They were the first company to come on board and sponsor Bear Witness and they got the ball rolling. www.canadagoose.com
First Air-They got us here safe and sound, the Airline of the North. https://firstair.ca
Baffin-Outdoor apparel from the tips of your toes, to the top of your head. Great gear made in Canada. http://www.baffin.com
Hilleberg-At the end of the day it's always great to crawl into a Hilleberg tent. I think the team agrees that they are the best expedition tents available. http://us.hilleberg.com/EN/
Fjallraven-Of course a good night’s sleep is vitally important and we all enjoy that in our Fjallraven -30 polar sleeping bags. https://www.fjallraven.com
WWF-Vital organization, vital for our planet, vital for everyone. http://www.wwf.ca
Electrosep-A special thanks for your inspiration and belief in the expedition and the support. http://www.electrosep.com
Fischer-Skis connecting us to the ice and snow and being fantastic gear. https://www.fischersports.com/ca_en/
Mountain Equipment Coop-Many thanks indeed for the expedition grant. Without it, this expedition would not have been possible. So MEC, get outside! http://mec.ca
Nikon-Capturing the light of the arctic. The gear stood up, the batteries kept warm, camera is working fine. http://nikon.ca
Students on Ice-We all need students learning about the wild and remote places of this planet. https://studentsonice.com
Last but not least Adventure Canada-Because we all need more adventure in Canada. It’s a great, great country and there are still many adventures to be had. So thank-you to Adventure Canada and everybody there. http://www.adventurecanada.com
Costa - Makers of incredible sunglasses.
Essilor - Seeing the world better.
We did almost 17 kms today. We are currently at Cape Burney, heading south, southeast towards Cape Graham Moore, which is close to Button Point and Button Point is the point where we truly turn west, entering Pond Inlet, back towards the community. We have 6 days left in order to fulfill the circumnavigation and bring awareness of this area to everybody both now and certainly in the future. So a few tough days ahead of us, but now all is well.
Wednesday May 3
We have seven full days left. We talked about it last night and we’re confident that given fair ice conditions we will make it back on time, on the scheduled 10th. Yesterday was another good, long day. I think we did 18.6 kms. So averaging over the last four days, we are averaging around 20 kms a day. Yesterday we came around Cape Walter Bathurst, heading southeast. We are now heading towards Cape Burney. And from Cape Burney we can actually see the point of land where we turn sharp right, into Pond Inlet, heading back towards the community. Beautiful weather this morning. Last night was interesting. I had just left one tent to go back to my tent when I looked out and there was a polar bear sitting there watching us. The dogs didn’t seem too perturbed. The bear hung around long enough to have his picture taken and then he lay down about 100-150 meters away. He seemed to lose interest and then lay in the ice for a while, and disappeared in the middle of the night. So that was an eventful end to an eventful day. So all is well with the team. We are looking forward to seven good long days and at the moment, things are on schedule for arrival into Pond Inlet on the 10th. A quick shout out again to all of our sponsors who have made this possible. And a special shout out to all of the staff and students at St. Michael school in Fitzroy Harbour. I hope you’re all well. We are carrying your flag with pride and taking a bunch of pictures with it. I will see you all sometime after I get back.
Tuesday May 2
Good day. Longest day ever. 23.6 kms! Wasn't ideal conditions but we put a long day in, starting skiing just before 9 am. There was a tail wind all day and we were in an open bay, Bathurst Bay. Fortunately just before 7 o'clock we found this pressure ice so we pitched the tents and chained the dogs, which took a little brunt away from the wind. It was sunny last night and then clouded over during the night and we had some snow. It stopped snowing and the wind picked up a little bit so all the new snow is starting to get blown around. Anyway it was a good day overall.
Monday May 1
We are in Possession Bay which is a bay located between Cape Fanshawe and Cape Myam Martin. Probably tomorrow we will start heading south as opposed to east. Location of tonight’s camp is 73.31.25N 77.17.45W. It’s interesting to look north, as the spring progresses, Lancaster Sound is starting to open up (fortunately nowhere near us). But to the north of us, to our left, you can see very clearly what is called a water sky or a water cloud. And that’s a dark cloud, a very distinct looking cloud that forms over open water. So that was cool to see. We have a beautiful camp tonight. The winds of last night have disappeared and as of right now there is no wind and the sun has just disappeared behind a cloud. There is no night now of course. But all is well. We managed to scrape around the outside of Cape Fanshawe, which was a cool route. We managed to sneak our way through, in amongst the ice piled up right at the cape itself. Today, David is pretty sure he saw a white faced gyrfalcon, followed by a raven. Beautiful sight. Greetings from Possession Bay.
Sunday April 30
We are camped beside a large iceberg. We did 21 kms today! Great, great, very, very strong day! We saw a mother and cub disappear amongst the ice. 73.37.04N 77.47.84W. Progress despite the kms was in mixed conditions but we’re lengthening the days and shortening the breaks.
Saturday April 29
We passed some icebergs today just after Maud Bight. The size and shape of them suggest they came from Greenland. They could be regarded as knowledge ships of ice created in a hard carving glacial foundries of places like Ellesmere Island and the Petermann glacier in Northwest Greenland. Created and formed over tens of thousands of years, these livelies of environmental knowledge will seek more southerly latitudes now. They have taken respite in the seasonal sea ice, waiting perhaps like important books sitting on a bookshelf waiting to be read. Time and opportunity is always fleeting, All too soon, in geological terms, the larger and more resilient of these icebergs, will find their demise, off the rocky shores of Newfoundland. Important scientific work is being done already and vital information is being gathered. Who wouldn't want to know what the climate was like seventy thousand years ago? The north in the form of these icebergs is giving us an opportunity to learn about our own planet, whether it be the sea ice, earth, grass, tundra or rock, we must all bear witness, appreciate and understand what is under our feet.
Friday April 28
We have successfully crossed Maud Bight. We are just now approaching Cape Liverpool. We’re on the sea ice and not a particularly good area as we are surrounded in rough ice. So the dogs will hopefully do their job tonight. The weather continues to hold. Very little wind by day typically. There was a little bit of snow earlier today but other than that the weather is holding fair for us. It was a short day due to ice conditions. One bear did approach us but took one look at us and decided better of it. By his own volition and a wee bit of encouragement (a bear banger), he left and we never saw him again. But it was interesting to watch him or her approach us and then go down wind to catch more of a scent of us. He could clearly see us but he wanted to catch a better scent. So it was interesting to see the bear’s behavior. Apart from that, Eric every day continues to do ice science, measuring the ice. Lat 73.669317 Lon -78.882866
Thursday April 27
Still encountering a lot of rough ice. We’re doing our best to negotiate through the ice. The prevailing wind sometimes presents us with snow drifts so we follow the snow drifts. That being said, it can take us an hour or two to cover one kilometer. That’s how bad the ice is. But everyone is good, healthy and has the right, positive attitude. Just a note on where we are travelling. It is a proposed national marine conservation area. More details about this can be found at www.wwf.ca. and also the Parks Canada website. So right now it’s a proposed conservation area and it’s up to all of us to do our part to change it from a proposed area to a reality. This morning we were woken up to our dog, Grumpy, barking. There was a mother and cub. Not sure how close they got but Grumpy did his job at 4:30 this morning. We all woke up to see them walking away. He earned his supper today:) 73.39.57N 79.10.73W
Wednesday April 26
We continue east. We only did about 11 kms today again through mixed ice and snow. There is some fresh snow, which means breaking trails. Everyone is working as a team, helping each other out. Camp is getting set up quicker and quicker every night. It’s such a nice feeling to crawl into the sleeping bag at the end of the long day and get caught up with everything. As we head east towards Maud Bight we will probably head a little closer to shore, but still on the ice, towards Cape Liverpool and then further east again to Cape Fanshawe. At Cape Liverpool we actually start to head southeast to Cape Fanshawe, Cape Myam Martin, Cape Walter Bathurst and then Cape Burney. And then we really head south to Button Point. Button Point is such a significant part of the journey. Not to jump too far ahead but that is in essence where we head south and then turn west into Pond Inlet, back towards the community. But, all is well. The team is great. We’re still all talking, albeit in four different languages (kidding). We’re behind schedule so we’ve got some calculating to do in terms of days left and flights home but we’ll get that figured out over some hot chocolate.
Tuesday April 25
We rounded Cape Hay, and we encountered a lot of big ice but we managed to squeeze between the land and the ice and then finally turning right heading due east. Conditions continue to be difficult with either lots and lots of rough ice or patches as smooth as the floor. The weather continues to be good. As of yet we haven’t seen any more polar bears although lots of tracks. We anticipate seeing more further east we go.
Monday April 24
We camp up off the sea ice. All is well. The weather continues to be in our favour. We're now heading eastward along the north coast in the region of Cape Hay. Ice conditions have been challenging so progress has been slow. We've done 240 kms so far averaging 17 kms a day. We are about a day and a half behind schedule. There are a lot of polar bear tacks around. But it is nice to look across Lancaster Sound and see Devon Island. Weather is still great. The sun helps with the solar panels. Between go pros, cameras, video cameras and satellite phones, we need constant power so we put the solar panels on the back of the sleds and charge throughout the day. Lat 73.717672 Lon -79.845715
Sunday April 23
We are presently at Cape Hay but thought it would be good to go through what we do all day. So we normally start waking up around 7 am, and it’s hard getting out of the Fjallraven sleeping bags (fjallraven.com) And then we set about packing up gear. It’s usually pretty cold at that time in the morning. We normally have a couple of Nalgene thermoses to fill up from the night before so we do that while having breakfast. Of course we look outside to see if there are any bears. But we are keeping the dogs pretty close to the tents. So normally we’re packed (the sleds don’t seem to be getting any lighter), and we have a quick team meeting to discuss the route and then we’re usually skiing by 10 or 10:30 am. Throughout the day we normally ski for an hour or hour and a half with a 10-15 minute break. We normally go until 7 pm. At night, we sometimes set a goal in terms of a point, or something in the distance we can see. It makes a good target to aim for but usually at 7 o’clock we are pretty beat. So we stop and pick a spot on the ice. Of course we need the sea ice because the dogs need to be taken care of with ice screws. So first things first, we normally put the ice screws in the ice and take care of the dogs. Once the dogs are detached from the sleds and secured to the ice screws, we put up the Hilleberg tents (us.hilleberg.com). Wonderful tents! We then toss the various things we’ll need for the evening into the tents from the sleds. We feed the dogs first. And then we feed ourselves. Usually by 8 or 8:30 that’s all done and we catch up on journals, review the day and the weather. So far, the weather seems to be on our side. Hopefully that continues. We’re running a little behind schedule but we’re hoping to make that up in the next few days. So that very briefly sums up what we do between 7 and 7. By 9, there’s various wheezing, snoring, coughing etc, going on. No one has any serious rubs or aches or pains. We’re delighted to be on the north coast. As we look north over Lancaster Sound towards Devon Island, the world’s largest uninhabited island, it truly is a wild north coast that we’re looking forward to getting stuck in tomorrow as we head east.
Saturday April 22
73.39.61N 80.47.16W. We just came from the sea ice just southeast of the Wollaston Islands, which is a group of 3 islands at the very top of Navy Board Inlet marking the boundary between Navy Board and Lancaster Sound. It was here in the 1850's that Qitdlarssuaq, who was a shaman hunter from the Cumberland Sound area of South Baffin Island, had a vision that he needed to travel north to meet people further north. And so began a polar migration in the 1850's. It was during that migration where he travelled up through Baffin Island that he actually stopped off at the Wollaston Islands. It is thought he waited there along with a group of his followers before crossing Lancaster Sound, over to Devon Island, into Ellesmere Island and eventually getting to Thule in northwest Greenland, where they met a group of Thule Eskimos. So the Wollaston Islands are a pretty cool group of little islands. The ice has been particularly rough but we've been skirting around the shore. Everyone is fine. We are all grateful to climb into our sleeping bags at the end of the day. We usually start skiing around 10-10:30 in the morning. That may sound late but we make camp at 7 for the night. It seems long enough for us as we ski all day, stopping every hour or hour and a half for a break. Sometimes it’s 2 hours depending on how the ice and snow is.
Friday April 21st
Continuing north up Navy Board Inlet. We are located just north of Tay Bay. Conditions were mixed. We may have taken a bit of a wrong turn. You're never sure exactly which way to go when there's so much rough ice but anyway we got through the rough stuff and found some smooth stuff and we're camped at 73.32.66 N. 80.51.20 W. Tay Bay - in the mid 90's, Alva Simon and his wife Diana overwintered there with their sailboat, the Roger Henry, a 36 foot steel small boat. That adventure is outlined in a book called North to the Night. So Alva, Diana and Halifax the cat spent the winter in Tay Bay so it was nice to see Tay Bay again. It is off to our right. We are still heading north. We're expecting either tomorrow or the next day to make the big important turn east, turning right at the corner of Bylot, into the wild north coast of Bylot, which we're all looking forward to. Everyone is well. Food is good. Gear is good. We have a great team. Weather wise it seems to have warmed up a bit. We are close to some pack ice so the dogs are chained up quite close to the tents tonight in case we have some visits from polar bears. We covered 17.3 kms today.
Thursday April 20th
We covered 14.9 kms. We're a little shy of where we're supposed to be but that's OK. So we've traveled to Canada Point, the site of the famous rock. From Canada Point, you really get a sense of turning north towards Navy Board Inlet and Lancaster Sound. Canada Point is 73.22.39 N 80.53.99 W. All is good. Mixed conditions. It's been amazing. We're coming across rough ice that is 5 or 6 feet wide, which we have to negotiate with the sleds and the dogs. It can be frustrating but there's always smooth ice and the other side of the rough stuff! So it was a good day overall. A little shy on the mileage but a good day nonetheless.
Wednesday April 19th
We made our way through rough ice. We did 14.9 kms. We made it to Canada Point. We camped not far from the rock itself. We’ll send a little thank-you to Joseph Bernier who in 1906 at that very spot claimed Bylot Island for Canada. So we’re very grateful to him. He is very much an unsung hero in arctic exploration. So it was a good day. It continues to be cold and clear dipping to between 25 and 30 below at night. Everyone is figuring out their sleeping system. I think we are 8 or 9 days in and we’re still figuring out all the systems. So, all is well. It was a tiring day but we found some smooth ice. Lots of polar bear tracks and happy to meet Canada Point.
Lat 73.278991 Lon -80.765755
Tuesday April 18th
We had just packed up this morning and saw a mother and cub walking past our camp, which was very nice. The rest of the day we crossed at least a dozen sets of bear tracks. The dogs seem to be barking/yelping/complaining often so that may be why we’re not seeing bears and that’s OK. Big day yesterday-monster day actually as we did 21.9 kms! It was under mixed terrain but we put our heads down and pulled it off. We camped beside an iceberg and shortly after we arrived half of the iceberg fell off, which was kind of dramatic. Fortunately we weren’t very close. Things are well. David’s dog is still on vacation so he’s taking 44 pounds of dog food for a walk for a month. ;) The other three are pulling their weight. David’s dog just looks at him when he turns around as if to say “You know, I could use a little help here!” and gives him a dirty look. It’s been cold at night with clear days, which is nice. It’s usually warm until 2, 3, or 4 in the afternoon and then it starts to cool off. The last couple of nights it has to be about 25 or 30 below at night. But that’s OK. We have some good gear and all is well. Lat 73.162218 Lon -80.508842
Monday April 17th
Hello from Camp Vagabond, we’re calling it. Yesterday was mostly clear with a little bit of sun. We continue to have a little bit of a tailwind which is always nice. Last night after the sun set it got cold - at least 30 below which means down filled booties on inside your down filled sleeping bag so your feet stay toasty. So all is well. We’re making progress. We’re cutting across Navy Board Inlet towards Borden Peninsula and then on to Canada Point. So we’re sort of cutting the corner. Bylot is thankfully still on our right. The team is great. The dogs are a mixed blessing. It’s tough sometimes to look behind you and see the dogs not doing any work and realizing that you’re carrying 44 pounds of dog food for them but it doesn’t take long to discipline. David is trying to kill Coco with kindness and give him lots of love. The other three dogs seem to be working ok. All of the gear is holding up fantastically. Fjallraven tents keeping us warm at night. Hilleberg tents giving us perfect shelter. Fisher skis are perfect. All of the gear is really performing well. We’re going through our ‘munchie’ bags quicker than we would like but it’s all good healthy food so we don’t mind snacking every hour when we stop. It’s cloudy this morning but we’re looking forward to getting going again. Lat 72.980558 Lon -80.250342
Sunday April 16th
Long day, long tiring day. David’s dog, Coco, is good in the morning, not so good in the afternoon. The other three seem to be finding their rhythm. Those dogs now are doing some work, which is good. The scientific device, we have had to send that back to Pond Inlet. The computer wasn’t working so Robbie and Carson, two friends came out from Pond last night. It’s interesting that it only took them three hours by snowmobile. It seems very close, but we’re not very close. So they took the scientific device back to Pond to be looked at. They brought us some more butter which is always welcome. So we had butter for breakfast this morning and some cheese and a couple of extra dog harnesses. The dogs are very hard on the harnesses so we now have some spares. Eric broke his basket on his ski pole so we have some extras. Apart from that, it was a very cold night last night. Sleeping bags were good but it felt mid 20’s, 25 below maybe. Last night when Robbie and Carson showed up, they were complaining it was cold too. But a good night’s sleep. All is well. Looking forward to getting on the trail, making some miles. Good night from Camp Nikon. Lat 72.86357 Lon -79.979396
Saturday April 15th
A good long day. In a straight line we covered 15 km. We're now heading North up Navy Board Inlet towards Goose Camp and finally Canada Point. Towards the end of the day we ended up with two loose dogs and so we put our heads together and tried to figure out how we were going to catch these dogs. There was no way they were going to come close to us as they are very shy. They don’t know the four of us. So we ended up with a bit of ingenuity where we put all of the food in a bowl and with the bear fence trip wire, we created something like a rabbit snare. Then when the dogs went to get the food in the bowl, we snagged the noose and caught the dogs. It worked on both dogs. So now we have all four dogs harnessed up and ready to go again. David felt like he was taking Coco for a walk yesterday. He wasn’t pulling at all. Every time David looked at him, Coco would look back and give a look as if to say “I’m having a day off”. All is well. We are looking forward to day 5. We are camped on the sea ice. We haven’t seen any bears or tracks as of yet. This if from Baffin Camp. The black pants supplied by Baffin is loved by everyone. We haven’t taken them off since we started. Lat 72.758117 Lon -79.578609
Friday April 14th
All is well. We had a good long day. We did 15.2 km. We continue along the south side of Bylot Island. We're just before the South West corner of Bylot so today we’ll hit the corner and start heading North. Conditions continue to be okay. We encountered some rough ice yesterday but negotiated it OK. The dogs are a full time job. Four different dogs who want to go in different directions. We still have one loose dog-Loosey. We have tried everything to try to catch the fourth dog but he is very elusive. We stopped off at a hunters cabin to see if we could find some fishing net or something to try to catch him but to no avail. Anyway, all is good. The team is feeling strong. We’re putting in the miles. We’ll continue west and then north. It was a little colder last night. Not sure what the temperature was but all is well. Greetings from Camp Canada Goose.
Thursday April 13th
Great long day. Ice conditions are great. Not a lot of snow which makes pulling the sleds a lot easier. As mentioned we have four dogs with us. So we had to take 130 pounds of dog food along on the trip. One dog managed to get loose. So we actually only have three dogs helping us pull the sleds. We’ve tried for 2 days to catch the loose dog. We have got a name for him. We’re thinking because he’s loose all of the time we’ll call him Loosey. David’s dog is Coco. The third dog is called Grumpy. And the other dog is called Sienna. Sunny, still a little windy but fortunately it’s a tailwind which has been pushing us along. On Wednesday April 12th we did 19.2 kms. Today we did 14.9 kms. Judging by the schedule we are where we are supposed to be at this time. We’re just in the process of packing up the sleds, ready to get back on the trail. All is well. We will call this camp Electrosep after our sponsor. 72,49,84N, 78,43,65W.
Wednesday April 12th
Under sunny skies, the team left Pond Inlet just after 11 o’clock in the morning, after having a wonderful send off by the school kids on skies from the local school. We got going with four dogs, one dog each. The dogs are having a hard time learning their new job but they seem to be learning quickly. Perfect conditions to begin with and then storm winds encountered. We finally made camp around 9 o’clock. Once camp was set up, we got the dogs fed, then we ate. Ended our day around 11. Conditions cold and windy but all is well and team is great. Many thanks from the team. Calling from Camp Hilleberg. Will be pressing on west from Bylot Island toward the southwest corner of Bylot. Location 72,50,76N, 78,16,69W
Tuesday April 11th
Day spent in Pond Inlet packing, prepping and getting everything ready. Busy day in Pond Inlet. Thanks to Black Point Lodge and Sauniq Hotel for their hospitality.
Monday April 10th
Hello from Pond Inlet! The team is delighted to have arrived in Pond Inlet. Stepping off the First Air flight from Iqaluit, the first thing David, Eric, Ingrid and Martin saw was the sight of Bylot Island 20 km or so to the North across the frozen expanse of Eclipse Sound. This evening the team met their Fjallraven -30 Polar sleeping bags! Tonight the team will enjoy a good nights sleep before a busy day tomorrow for final packing, prepping and meeting with various individuals and organisations in town. Special thanks to John Henderson and Black Point Lodge. Without doubt, the view from the rooms has to be one of the best in the entire Arctic. The weather forecast is calling for the temperature to get colder which everyone is happy about. All very excited to be back in Pond!
Sunday April 9th:
Hello from Ottawa. The team (David, Eric, Ingrid and Martin) spent the weekend at the Holiday Inn in Kanata planning, buying supplies, packing and prepping gear, equipment and supplies. All good! Team is stoked and excited to fly to Pond Inlet with First Air tomorrow and see Bylot as they step off the plane. The team look forward to providing daily updates and giving information and insight into one of the most incredible and amazing places in the world.
Cape HayNorth side of the island. Note open stretch of water in the background and fresh polar bear tracks in the foreground.
Looking west from Cape HayAdvantage was taken of any higher ground for scouting route and ice conditions.
Working towards Canada PointAlthough cold, the weather at this point was settled and with little wind.
Scouting the route aheadEven getting a few feet in elevation helped enormously in figuring out the route ahead.