The final day in the Arctic was spent in Resolute Bay! This was an incredible opportunity for our team as this area of the Northwest Passage is often unreachable due to ice conditions. Everyone onboard the expedition was excited and thankful that the ice and weather conditions cooperated, allowing us to reach this remote, bustling community.
Our time in Resolute included a memorable visit to the headquarters of the Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP). The ship arrived in the morning and everyone got their gear loaded onto trucks to transfer to the airport. It was time to say goodbye to our floating home and classroom, the MS Ocean Endeavour.
During the day, students were fortunate enough to partake in a tour of the PCSP labs, operations centre, and warehouse. What made this tour so special was having legendary Canadian explorer and polar scientist Dr. Fred Roots with us. Fred came up with the idea to create the PCSP and he made it a reality in 1958, serving as it’s director until 1971. This visit was the first time he has been back to Resolute Bay in many years.
Fred said he was amazed by how much the program has grown and changed, he even remembered one of the employees who worked for the program since the 70’s. Arctic biologist and historian, David Gray, also had the opportunity to connect with people he’d worked with before during this tour.
The PCSP staff were extremely hospitable, and welcomed us with open arms, and for that we are incredibly grateful.
Later in the day the team said goodbye to three expedition team members, Keith Kocinski with Channel One News (N.Y.), NASA scientist Dr. Pascal Lee, and his expedition dog, King Kong. After a few flight delays, it was time to board our charter flight back to Ottawa.
We dropped off 19 more staff and student in Iqaluit before arriving in Ottawa, late at night where the SOI office team had a pizza party waiting for us at Carleton University!
Shortly after dinner it was time for bed to rest up for the final day of goodbyes at the Welcome Home Event. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and wonder as everyone reflected on what they had just experienced.
Tomorrow we celebrate this incredibly journey through stories, photos, videos, art and music at our annual Welcome Home event at the Canadian Museum of Nature! Check back for photos of the event!
In the expedition spirit,