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International Polar Year

August 4, 2008

Iqaluit, Nunavut: This morning, we board our First Air charter flight for Iqaluit, Nunavut – Canada’s newest capital! We will spend some time exploring the community before boarding our expedition vessel – the “Polar Ambassador”, checking into our cabins, casting off the lines, and setting sail down Frobisher Bay!
Photo by Lee Narraway

Late night update!

After a long day of travelling, the SOI Team is now safely on board their expedition ship, and getting ready to set sail down Frobisher Bay and into the history books as the largest Youth Expedition to the Arctic... EVER!

The team arrived in Iqaluit at 3:30 pm and were met at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut by the Commissioner of Nunavut, the Hon. Ann Meekitjuk Hanson. Ann is also an educator on our expedition this year! We had an opportunity to meet other friends from the community who welcomed us to Nunavut! There were lots of smiles and handshakes for our student participants.

After a walking tour of the community the team traveled to a pier on the south side of the bay where they took their first zodiac trip of the expedition, motoring out through an ice-strewn bay to the "Polar Ambassador" - their floating home for the next two weeks!

And if you haven't read about yesterday's adventures yet... click here!
Photo by Lee Narraway

Student Journals

David Crane, Student

Today was a day of many surprises.  To begin with we got an hour more sleep than scheduled…a great relief because few teenagers enjoy waking up at 6:00 AM.  After a late breakfast and a quick meeting we headed to the airport.  We boarded the planes and started to taxi towards the runway before we realized we had forgotten to load the expedition’s food, turning the plane around to make sure there was enough for the voyage.

Halfway through our flight many of us saw our first icebergs.  Below on a sea of dark blue there floated huge chunks of white ice.  These brilliant, colossal formations were what I came to see and reminded me of the Titanic.  I also thought that they might not be around for my future children to see.  This doubled my resolve to do all I could for the environment.

When we landed, the cold wind bit into my jacket the minute I got off the plane.  It was here, standing outside of Iqaluit Airport, I realized how dirty the air back home is.  The fresh, clean wind tasted good. 

We were welcomed by Ann Hanson at the Nunavut Legislature, before we hurried over to a large group of huge chunks of ice that were sitting in the mud flats of Frobisher Bay, stranded by the high tide.  During high tide these chunks of ice floated but since the tide moves so drastically here, during low tide, they just sit there.  The ice was amazing, cold, and melting.  This reminded us all of the rising temperatures.

Photo by Lee Narraway

Delphine Remillard Labrosse and Benjamin Tur, Students

Aucun homme ne peut pretendre se souvenir de son premier souffle, tout comme se souvenir de son dernier, mais aucun doute que la première fois ou l’on gonfle ses poumons de cet air si unique, si puissant, si pur que l’air du nord est inoubliable, tout comme ces fragments d’icebergs apercus au travers unocean de nuages. Cette immersion soudaine dans une culture inconnue, qu’est la culture inuite, n’a fait qu’amplifier notre enthousiasme. Et que dire du Polar Ambassador! Le bateau, que l’on decouvre a mesure que nos zodiacs avancent dans ce champ de glace, nous promet une aventure hors du commun. Alors qu’on ecrit ces quelques lignes dans une salle commune, les sirenes retentissent, le bateau leve l’ancre, et prend le large vers l’inconnu, qui nous apparait deja captivant. Photo by Lee Narraway

Louis-Philipe Dury, Student

L’Arctique aujourd’hui, apres ces jours charges d’excitation et de connaissances avec des personnes des quatre coins du monde dans toute cette beauté tous encore angoissee par ce qu’on vient de realiser. Amplifiee par ses amities, ses souvenirs qui se forment deja pour s’installer, des plus timides au plus amicales, tous ont formee une equipe quand nous avons embarque. On rencontre deja l’amitie, la fraternite entre quelques uns. Tous ici pour pouvoir admirer ce si délicat, fragile et unique milieu. Pour apprendre a cultiver nos connaissances, pour pouvoir ceder, et accepter notre societe, pour pouvoir tenter de l’ameliorer, realiser de grandes choses et ainsi pouvoir nous changer et nous aider.
Photo by Lee Narraway

Photo by Lee Narraway
Photo by Lee Narraway

Stay Tuned for Further Updates!


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