Exploring Nunavut & Greenland

 

 

Day 1 - August 25, 2013 - Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

 

Warmly welcomed aboard by Expedition Leader Kara Weller, we enjoyed a buffet lunch and got settled into our suites. The scene from the port decks was spectacular: several dozen Beluga whales swimming and diving in the Churchill River.

 


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Day 2 - August 26, 2013 - Churchill, Hudson's Bay, Canada

Our first full day in Churchill began with a road trip around the area to help us become oriented on this small peninsula. We enjoyed scenic viewpoints along the way, including one with a massive stone called Inukshuk, backed by white capped waves pounding the shores. The scenery was very photogenic and of increased interest because of the prominent sign warning of bears in the vicinity.


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Day 3 - August 27, 2013 - Arviat, Nunavut, Canada

We took our guests on a Zodiac run to the little Hamlet of Arviat. This small Inuit community of about 3,700 people gave us a fabulous welcome, including the highlight of the tour: tea and cloudberry jam on traditional Inuit bread at Mark and Angie Eetak’s home. The stories Angie told were fascinating. She sat in her living room with a photo album and recounted stories of her life and the many people that she had met, including the Queen.


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Day 4 - August 28, 2013 - At sea

 

Today we had a day at sea en route from Arviat to Walrus Island – and rather blustery it was too! My fellow expedition team members delivered an interesting series of lectures throughout the day.

 


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Day 5 - August 29, 2013 - Walrus & Bencas Islands, Hudson Bay, Canada

Captain Maggie took us as close as possible to Walrus Island, where we got to see a few sizeable groups of walrus hauled out on the rocky shores, and even a few that were swimming around. Binoculars in hand, our guests had long looks at the Walrus as we sailed by before we turned south and made our way towards Bencas Island.


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Day 6 - August 30, 2013 - Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

Early this morning Silver Explorer sailed into her anchorage position just one and a half miles out from Cape Dorset. This little town calls itself the “Capital of Inuit Art” and indeed it is. Since the 1950’s Cape Dorset has been the center of art in the Inuit community producing drawings, printmaking and my favorite: carvings.


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Day 7 - August 31, 2013 - Douglas Harbour, Canada

This morning I was assigned to guard one of the walking groups ashore as bear guard. As we walked uphill, we appreciated the late blooming flowers, such as Fireweed and Arctic Bellflower, as well as the many Blueberry stands, Cotongras, Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch with their beautiful fall colours. A flock of Snow Geese flew overhead and several Pipits were watching us.


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Day 8 - September 1, 2013 - Akpatok Island, Canada

It was an amazing day, and all worked out as I wished! In the morning we had a chance to go ashore and have a look at the fossils, and in the afternoon we managed to offer great sightings of polar bears from the Zodiacs.


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Day 9 - September 2, 2013 - Lower Savage Islands, Nunavut, Canada

 

This morning I was excited to take our guests on a Zodiac tour through the Lower Savage Islands. Located Southeast of Baffin Island, here in the Canadian Arctic, this small archipelago is home to many sea birds and most importantly it usually has a summer inhabitant, the Polar Bear.

 


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Day 10 - September 3, 2013 - Kekerten Island, Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island, Canada

The day dawned beautifully as Silver Explorer cruised into Cumberland Sound situated at the southeast corner of Baffin Island. The sun rose over low hills in the distance and the wind was a mere few knots with nary a ripple on the sea. A tabular iceberg was seen at breakfast, far off and seemingly grounded close to shore.


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Day 11 - September 4, 2013 - At sea

A full sea day, with heavy seas and low cloud cover provided an opportunity to catch up on the lecture programme for the voyage.


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Day 12 - September 5, 2013 - Nuuk, Greenland

I love Greenlandic Churches, they are quaint, colourful and they all have model ships hanging from the ceiling, attesting to the strong maritime vocation of the Greenlandic people.


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Day 13 - September 6, 2013 - Maniitsoq, Greenland

Shortly after my lecture, we crossed over the Arctic Circle, 66.5 degrees North, which is a milestone for many and the place on earth that has 24 hours of sunlight once a year.


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Day 14 - September 7, 2013 - Sisimiut, Greenland

Particular highlights on the walk were the lovely native Greenlandic dogs – some of the strongest working dogs in the world.


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