On Leg 3 … a corner turned
David here, checking in for the team.
Tonight’s camp co-ordinates are: 68º 0’ 59”N | 88º 27’ 37”W .
Sunset arrived at approximately 8 o’clock…and the light is beautiful!
Our Day Finally, after 4-5 days of travel, we have (at last) come off the sea-ice of Committee Bay. We made a significant turn today and we’re now camped on the land, terra firma, heading due West along a route that will bring us to the Arctic waterway of Pelly Bay, in the Gulf of Boothia, just a bit South of Kugaaruk.
Wildlife Report A mixed day, all in all, but noteworthy for observations made. Yet another interesting wolverine encounter, (is he shadowing us?). A touch closer this time around, but nevertheless, it is always amazing to experience wildlife. We also saw an arctic fox. He was hard to spot, obviously, because the distant canvas his presence painted was ‘white on white’. What you look for is movement, and so it was, just out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of the fox. Frank and Richard, saw and heard, two Snow buntings — very nice to see and hear and a good sign that Spring is nigh here in the Arctic. (I didn’t see them, but would never accuse Frank, or Richard, of hallucinating).
We made for land today, to a place called, Colville Bay. The land here is very interesting, featuring a system of jumbled ice river outlets that run into Committee Bay. Our day was one of jumbled ice, flat light, flat land; all of which took a bit of navigating, (we needed John Rae and his Indigenous friends —would have been nice to have them along with us today), but all is good.
We do feel after all of that, that we’ve turned another corner —finally off our route North through the North Pole River System and finished with Committee Bay. We’re on what I would describe as Leg 3 of our expedition, that being Committee Bay to Pelly Bay, heading due West, through rather flat, mildly undulating landscape.
There is a lot more snow here than there was in the Naujaat region, enabling us to ski on the rivers should we choose to. A bit more meandering that. Then again, given the topography, there’s enough snow, we can actually drag the sleds on the land. Where we are today, there is just enough snow.
It bears mentioning (no pun intended) that the AR team to this point is staying strong and nimble; experiencing few, relatively minor, easy to remedy physical complaints, not untypical for an expedition such as this. Richard did not really enjoy the flat light very much today, but we’ll reserve his comments for the sake of propriety.
More on the bright side (flat light and all) Mixed conditions on the ice today —was a relief to finally get off. There’s no necessity now, I feel, to have the bear-fence up. We found a pretty ‘even’ location for a campsite. Tomorrow the temperature is to rise to a ‘believe-it-or-not’, -2C which is rather strange. We would of course prefer it to be colder, which would make pulling of the sleds more efficient, (-15C to -20C …and no wind, being just fine).
All is good.
Cheers, David, Frank and Richard
[Flat Arctic light, casts a soft pallet of greys that magically melds sky and snow-covered terrain to create a scene lacking in definition and detail. An unsuspecting traveller, whether on skis, or on snow-machine, can easily be fooled to what actually lies just ahead.]