Expedition 5: coming soon.
Expedition 4: coming soon.
Expedition 3: coming soon
Expedition 2: June/July 2013
Just like the April season, this season also had some bad luck. This was the coldest summer on record since records began at the Eureka Weather Station in 1947. This had a few consequences on my season but nothing like my first one. We were stuck for a week at the McGill Camp on Axel Heiberg Island. There was still snow on the ground in late June (the snow usually melts at the end of May/beginning of June) which made travelling around a bit difficult because the area was very muddy. I read a lot of novels that week!
We travelled around and spent time in various places, including Eureka (on Ellesmere Island) and camping at one of my field sites. Camping was a great experience. The water is so pristine here that you can drink it straight from the rivers without treating it first. Because the human population and activity is so low in this part of Canada, the moment something new pops up on the landscape (e.g. tents for a campsite), the local wildlife get very curious and always come to inspect the new unfamiliar objects. I also woke up during my first night camping to the sound of something sniffing around my tent (likely a fox or a wolf) which was definitely a bit stressful. During another night I found an arctic hare chewing on the lead lines and finally on a different day a few musk ox wandered into camp and spent the day.
Experiencing the midnight sun for the first time was also an interesting experience. The one thing I enjoy about it is that I feel safer because I feel wildlife are less able to sneak up on me (this is probably not at all accurate but it is a thought I find comforting). Sleeping can be a bit difficult, so sleeping masks are a must and I tend to bury myself within my sleeping bag to ‘simulate’ darkness. After about a month, it tends to drive me a bit crazy but at the same time it is convenient because you can work at any time day or night.
Expedition 1: April 2013
This represented my first season and my first time going north. It was a mixed experience: exciting, overwhelming, and frustrating. Iqaluit had recently opened a Tim Horton`s and it was a very popular topic on the flight there. I am sad to say that at the time I managed to get the record of being on standby (i.e. being stuck in) Resolute the longest (but this record is shared by a few people)!! We were stuck for 12 days, but after we finally made it to Axel Heiberg Island. The only positive outcome of being stuck in Resolute was that I had plenty of time to finish my Master`s thesis proposal. It is also very easy to get fat in Resolute because your day is pretty much spent only eating.
Resolute is the further north one can travel commercially in Canada. To continue further north, like what we have to do, requires chartering a twin otter aircraft. Flying these aircrafts is only done visually, and there are few airports in this area so landing is often done on sea ice in the winter (these aircrafts are fitted with skies!) and on somewhat flat surfaces in open areas in summer. Axel Heiberg Island has a beautiful alpine landscape. We also had visitors (arctic hare) while in camp.