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2018 Arctic Expedition: Day 5

Hello from Itilleq fiord!

We woke up to a grey day, with the silhouettes of mountains barely visible through the fog. But today was our first landing, so the less than ideal weather didn’t deter us!

The weather has hardly swayed the spirit of everyone on this ship – the students and staff are so keen and excited to be out here that we all pull on our rain pants, put on our toques and smiles and march onwards to see what there is to see despite the cold and rainy weather.

The zodiacs dropped us off on a rocky beach not too far from the ship, and the longer we stayed ashore the better the weather got.

It’s incredible to think of the breadth of what we learned on the land today – just in terms of scale – from the tiniest flowers, smaller than your pinky fingers, to the geology and shape of the vast landscape. We learned about our role in this landscape, how we belong, our movement, how we see the world through photography, how we can interpret the natural history of a place, how to be here.

The group that was out in the qajaq’s and SUP’s found themselves paddling among jellyfish, and then spent some time swimming (in their mustang suits) near a waterfall.

Things that we saw today: 3 species of willow, one “ugly fish”(sculpin), one scary wolf fish that bit someone’s boot, many many many cod, an Arctic hare!

We ate mountain sorel, arctic salad, seaweed, arctic nut, and saw such a huge variety of lichens, labrador tea, fireweed. It was beautiful to see the collections of plants that were brought back to the ship to be pressed.

The feeling of walking on the squishy moss, the sweet smell of the plants, the smell of fish, misty air

Vicky Grant held a workshop on Belonging while we were on the land. The group had a great discussion about the difference in the meaning of the word home vs belonging. Belonging often means a sense of security and comfort, whereas home is more often associated with a specific place… But people’s perspectives of home varies so much. Some people already consider the ship to be home! Explaining your home to others involves describing your culture’s food and language and land. Home is also an understanding. It can be hard to describe your home to someone, the subtleties of the sound of a skidoo on the ice can be hard to convey, so it is nice to be with people who understand the nuances of the place where you come from.

The fish that were caught yesterday were served at lunch today! Delicious! Everyone was thrilled to be eating the catch from the day before. It will happen again tomorrow with the fish that we caught today.

This afternoon during the ISUMA workshops the group that was learning about the Greenlandic mask dance invaded the studio in character! There were about 10 of them filling the small space that was already packed with people painting and drawing.

The ship has begun to sway and some are feeling the seasickness, but most are in good spirits!

As we sail further North we have begun to spot big icebergs near the shore – we are nearing the Ilulisat ice fiord and will begin to see more and more icebergs. We wrapped up the evening with a show by Twin Flames which had everyone up and dancing.

(c) Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

Student/Staff Blogs:

Alondra Aguilar

Hola mami, hola papi. Hi everyone else who is reading this! I just wanted to let you know that I am doing well and that I am really enjoying the expedition! I collected alot of plants on todays excurion, and (no lie) I was sung Happy Birthday 5 times. It was amazing and the whole day was just completely unforgettable.

\\ Pase muy bien el dia, y espero que ustedes tambien lo han pasado extremadamente felices. Se que es un poco dificil sin sus hijos haciendo buya cada 5 minutos pero quiero dejarlos saber que los queremos y los extranamos. Nos paramos en un coste bien lindo, y encontre flores que se veian como orquidias pequenas. Corte unas para ponerlos a sequar. No se olviden que aunque estoy disfrutando el viaje, los extrano muchisimo. Ojala un dia pueda traerlos a un viaje como el que estoy disfrutando ahorita. Feliz cumple !!(J)  Sera el dia despues de terminar esto que ustedes van a ver esto, por que lo estoy haciendo a las 10 48 pm, viernes, 27 de Julio. Este cumpleanos va a ser uno que nunca me olvidare de. Me cantaron feliz cumpleanos 5 veces durante el dia, y cuando terminamos de cenar, me trajieron un pastel de cumpleanos, en donde otra vez me cantaron feliz cumpleanos. Apenas hace como una hora, llore, y no por razon de otra persona, sino porque escuche a unas artistas maravillosas, los Twin Flames, y cantaron una cancion que escribieron en commemoracion de las familias que han esperado que llegara a casa sus seres queridos, pero nunca llegaron. Me recordo muchisimo de tio Flaco, y por eso me puse a llorar. Bueno, ya me boy a dormir, pero ya que ustedess sabran que estoy bien, ojala puedan dormir mas tranquilos.  Es un viaje maravilloso que estoy muy afortunada en estar participando en, y les prometo que un dia los traere a ver la belleza que es el circulo arctico.

Diana, if your’e seeing this, please make sure mami knows that I have posted, so that she doesnt worry too much about me. I miss you all, and I love you all, but I would prefer to face these 2 weeks of homesickness than miss out on this opportunity. I’ll write again tomorrow, I promise. Say hi to Emmaly for me, and ally too.

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

(c) Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

Aiman Haikal Bin Salim
Paka, Terengganu, Malaysia

Hello there ! Bonjour! Today we are going offshore and it is totally exciting and thrilling! But first , Mom and Dad: I miss you a lot here and for your information, I do not have any seasickness and it is totally a shock for me because i do not eat any of the seasickness medicine.  But you know, someday I am gonna be rich and take you guys here to watch the beauty of arctic.

So, when we got to the land, the first thing that grabed my attention was the snow. That is one of the best moment ever as that is the first time i found a real snow! So, we kinda take a lot of photos and videos about it.

There are lot of workshops available such as photography, fishing, plants and many more. So Suffi and I decided to go for the plant workshops while Teacher Zariha go to the sea animal workshops .

Indeed, it is very fun and interesting as we can know a lot of the species of the plants at the arctic such as arctic willow, blue heath, mosses, white algae, and of course lycans .We also take some samples of it to make kinda frame of plants .

Before that, I want to share about my conversation about the history of Inuits with the commisioner of Inuits.  First, what catches my mind is that she told me that usually the temperature here is -40 to -50 degrees and but now the temperature now is like below -30 degrees so that a clear sign of global warming. I am pretty shocked as it is a big changes of temperature happening in just a short period of time.

So what i talk with her is about the victim of residental schools.  So on that time, the Prime Minister of Canada dislike the indigenous people and he kinda want to destroy the origin and culture of them. So he started instructing the people to take all of the children of Inuits to the residental schools  by force .As the children of Inuits are taken away from their houses and family for like 8,9,10 years ,it is really sad for them. They are forced to talk in English and restricted to talk in Inuktitut languange. If someone talk in Inuktitut languange, they gonna be punished by the government on that time. So it is pretty sad for them and they are having a bad trauma because of it.

So it is kinda a good and valuable conversation as i got a pretty new knowledge and it is fun. Before that, I also attended a presentation about climate change and what shocked me out is beef is the most dangerous food for the enviroment. Then the country that contributes a lot of contamination is USA .  It is kinda sad to see a video about the progress of the global warming from 2003 to 2013 and it made me realize that human need to do something for the sake of arctic and of course, our earth.

The most happening day in my life is when i saw the glaciers for the first time and I was grinning from ear to ear on that time . The color, the sea, the cold breeze, the pure oxygen is really makes me want to cry.  That is my first time living in a non-polluted area. Of course, I cannot wait to go to Illulisat tommorow and take a lot of photos.

Love, Aiman

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

(c) Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

(c) Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

Aurora Eide
Sandane, Norway

My name is Aurora, I come from Norway and currently I find myself onboard the MS Ocean Endeavour, sailing down a fjord in Northern Greenland on the second day of our Students on Ice Arctic Expedition. I sat down to blog about my experience so far, only to realize that words aren’t big enough to describe this adventure. However, I will try my best, and I think gratitude is the place to start.

I feel an overwhelming gratitude and excitment about everything we have done and seen so far, and our journey has only just begun! I am on an amazing ship, surrounded by over 200 of the most beautiful, passionate and positive people.  The atmosphere here could not be better.

We arrived in Greenland in the afternoon of the 25th of July. We bussed down to Sondrestromfjord where our ship was waiting for us, and by nine o’clock that evening our sailing had begun! The 26th of July marked the first full day of activities both onboard the ship and on the water. We had sailed through the night and had stopped in Evighedsfjorden (And it’s fun to be able to understand the place names that are in Danish!). The first part of my morning was spent listening to a really interesting presentation about Greenland from two Greenlandic staff members, and I learned lots of new things I did not know before! For example I learned that Inuit in Greenland speak Kalaallisut, which is different from Inuktitut spoken in Inuit Nunangaat (Inuit communities in Canada). After the presentations, we got to go out on a Zodiac cruise adventure in the pouring rain, and it was awesome! We drove by a huge cliff where thousands of birds were nesting, and I got to see and learn about the Akpa (the thick-billed murre). The Akpa is defintiely my new favorite bird, and also the name of my pod group (our small gathering group of both students and staff).

I was also lucky enough to be in the same Zodiac as Garry, our bird guy! He knows all there is to know about birds and he taught us so much on that trip. We drove further down the fjord, towards the highlight of my day: a huge tidal glacier, rising up like a wall in front of us, bright turquoise, blue and white. I have seen glaciers before, but this was something else. This was raw nature, so big, powerful and majestic, yet so beautiful and peaceful. It filled my heart with awe, with inspiration and hope. Looking up at the glacier wall, hearing it rumble like thunder, and driving by big icebergs floating in the turquoise water, it all made me realize how small we are. I have learned many lessons from the wonderful Inuit onboard the ship, and one thing truly resonated with me in that moment: we don’t own nature. We have to respect the land and be grateful for everything it’s giving us. But we don’t own it. And I felt that looking up at that glacier. I felt an enourmous respect for the natural powers in the world, while at the same time I felt at peace with it. To me this was a unique reflective experience, and it only marked the beginning of this physical, mental and spiritual journey through the wonders of the Arctic.

The 27th of July was a rocky morning for me (literally). I was feeling queasy from the waves, but luckily I haven’t been sea sick yet. (Although I have  a feeling it’s only a matter of time, despite my medication). But it’s all a part of the experience I guess! We started our day in The Hub (our gathering space) with a briefing of what was going to happen today, and then we got to jump right in the Zodiacs! This time we got to go onshore to do workshops with some of the staff, and I loved it. The only problem so far is that there are SO many wonderful workshops to choose from, and there isn’t time enough to do them all! Today I actually started my morning with an interview from the media team, in which I got to thank the two people who have sponsored my scholarhips and given me this wonderful opportunity. I thought that was great! Then for my workshop I got to the “Magical mystery history hike” with Garry the bird guy and David, and it was amazing!! We went hiking in absolute desolate Greenlandic green nature, over a hill and to some cliffs. The hike was indeed magical, and so was the view to the steep, rocky and snowcapped mountains surrounding us. On our mystery history hike we discovered many interesting things as we went along, such as the skull of a loon, caribou fur, pellets of the Arctic hare, the Arctic fox as well as the caribou. We also saw a whole variety of different plants, flowers and mosses (the ground was so colorful!).

Overall I am overwhelmed, beyond excited, happy and grateful to be on this unique expedition!! I’m having the time of my life, learning something new all the time every single day. I still don’t understand how I have been lucky enough to end up here, but I’m determined to make the best out of every moment on this ship! I will keep on blogging as often as I can to keep friends and family and various curious people updated on this expedition. And if you’re reading this wondering what the Arctic expedition is like and if you should apply or not…. You should apply for next year!! I recommend it with all my heart. And to mom, dad, my brother, the rest of my family and all my friends: I love you! Keep visting this page for further expedition updates!

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Bev Sellars
Author, Xat’sull First Nation, Canada

Today we went to shore and I was so pleased to see all the beautiful tiny flowers amongst the rocks and lichen.  My sister, Teena, would have loved it.   I also tasted some of the plant food that the Inuit eat.  That was a treat.  I went with the Geology group and learned how to read the rocks.  An awesome day in Greenland.   Looking forward to dinner tonight when we will eat the cod and Arctic  Char that some of the SOI participants caught yesterday.  We have done so much already and it is only the second full day on the ship.   Stay tuned!!!

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Brady Reid
Corner Brook, NL, Canada

Hello hello hello! Day three on board the Ocean Endeavor and amazing things just keep happening. From waking up with a new spectacular view outside the porthole of my cabin each morning to watching huge chunks of glacier calve off into the Arctic sea, each day brings with it new surprises.

We are currently heading up the west coast of Greenland after spending a few days in some fjords surrounding Kangerlussuaq. If I had to choose a highlight of my few days in Greenland it would be waking up yesterday starting straight at a glacier. Coming from Newfoundland, I’ve seen some sea ice and icebergs and been buried in snow above my head, but nothing could have prepared me for the enormity that is a glacier. Seeing a small portion of what is the Greenland ice cap was wild and something that I could not have prepared for.

I was also priviledged to spend an afternoon in a traditional skin qajak (kayak) using Greenlandic paddles along the coast of Greenland. To everyone on board with me, thanks for being so awesome and making this expedition as fantastic as it’s been to this point! Finally, I just wanted to give a huge shoutout to everyone who helped me get to this place right now, because it’s pretty incredible to be here, I love y’all!! Forever. The end. And even after that.

Cheers to the next leg of this journey in Ilulissat, Greenland!

P.S. No sea sickness! (yet…)

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Eva Niviaixie
Kativik Ilisarniliriniq Teacher Trainee

Ullumi pirutsianit qimirrukainnatugut, Jennifer pirutsianit qaujisarti ikajukainnatavut inuutsuta, uvangalu, saira, rita lu inuttitut atinginnit uqaqattakainnatugut. Tamaani greenland mi piruttungit atjigijauqattatuit qaujikainnatavut mikijurlaunirsautuinnamuutsuti. Uuttuutigilugit; paurngaqutiit, kigutanginnaqutiit, paunnait, tingaujait, qunguliit, kimminaqutiit, anurisiutiit, tiirluit, quajautiit, asinginniluugaluaq. Ippinakainnatuq arpiqutiqangngituit nunangat. Amisuit nakituinnaq pisimajut ilisaat qaujigiuqattakainnatut. Tukisikkaigiamit alianakainnamijuq , ilangit qajartukainnatuit, ujaranginnilu qimirrutuit, aggutursimaqattasuti atuutikainnatut. Ullumi qanuingngitunga.

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Jessica Painter
Teacher, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

This expedition so far has been mind blowing. It really reminds me of the two field courses that I took in university which were the best classes I have ever taken. There is such an overwhelming amount of information being shared that it is overwhelming trying to make sense of it all (or even to remember a small amount of it!).

I didn’t realize how much would be shared about the Inuit and their culture. I really thought there would be more of a focus on Science but have been pleasantly surprised!  My eyes have been opened so much through all of the presentations, readings, and staff and students sharing about their way of life. I had no idea that there were multiple Inuit nations or the names of them, their languages, and other more specific traditions. I am really blessed to have so many people open up to me and the group, providing so much powerful information.  This morning, I had Cynthia share with me how to open the mussels that we were finding at our landing site in the Itilleq fjord. They taught me to slide the two sides apart and shove another shell into the opening, slide it across to cut the mussel and that it will then open easily. Just rinse it off to make sure that you’re not eating any broken shell parts and slurp it up! The water gave it a salty taste.

I was then practicing my new mussel-opening skills while asking Victoria questions about the white-shelled organisms that were attached to our mussels and the rocks around us. She then shared with me how she uses them! We found a suitable rock and a large enough clump of them on a rock and she began smashing them. She then scooped up all of the smashed paste with her fingers, held it to her mouth open just a bit and sucked in! After spitting out all of the chunks of shell that made it past her lips and teeth, she explained that she was sucking out the salt and asked if i wanted to try. Of course, I did. Once we found a clump big enough to smash I slurped it up and it surprisingly had more flavour than I thought! We then shared about our home and hunting and we exchanged a huge hug because I was so thankful for what she had shared and her genuine interest in that aspect of my life as well.

I was also moved by Vivi sharing a traditional Greenlandic mask dance. I dont know what I was expecting but it was NOT that! It was unlike anything I had ever seen before: the costume, the mask, the colours, movements, expressions and sounds were all combined to produce the perfect amount of fear, curiosity and humour. I think I appreciated it so much because of Vivi’s explanation as she prepared her mask. I was able to see how the dance was an effective tool to find your fear and to learn how you deal with it. Sitting in the Hub with the chill in my bones still from our earlier zodiac ride in the rain helped me realize how she meant it when it was explained that traditionally on this terrain if you can’t deal with your fear and you freeze up, there could be consequences and they could be fatal.

It is so clear that the inuit culture and bond is so strong. Looking around the ship and seeing all of the smilling faces, hearing all of the people share, catch up, and compare the similarities between their languages has been so inspiring and has taught me so much already about the Arctic, the Inuit, and their connection.

Jessica Painter

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Julianne Jager
Stittsville, ON, Canada

J’ai nagé dans l’océan Arctique! Aujourd’hui, nous avons marché sur le sol pour la première fois depuis notre embarcation sur le Ocean Endeavor. Quelques minutes après notre arrivée dessus une petite masse de terre près de la côte ouest du groenland, je me suis retrouvé debout à bord d’un ”paddleboard”. La vue des collines rocheuses et des étendues de lichens est fantastique, par contre, ce qui m’a intirgué le plus à ce moment là, c’était les méduses qui m’entouraient. La diversité de formes, de grandeurs, de couleurs, la luminosité et le comportement de ces creatures est complètement hors de l’ordinaire! Avec mon habit à l’épreuve de l’eau, consu pour les climats froid, j’ai pu m’immerger brievement dans ce monde marin.

J’ai mangé un morceau d’algues, bu de l’eau fraiche provenant directement d’une petite cascade, j’ai tenu une méduse, appris à brodder (mes talents sont encore limités dans ce domaine), ainsi qu’avoir prise des centaines de photos! La multitude de conversations que j’ai partagé à l’intérieur de ce vaisseau varient de la géologie à la reconciliation, du changement climatique aux nouvelles amitiées et de la météorologie aux arts.

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Louis- Philippe St- Arnaud

Ottawa, ON, Canada

7h19

Vers le fjord Itishluk, Groenland

Salut tout le monde! Voici mon premier article de blogue! Je vous écrit le 27 juillet, du vaisseau “Ocean Endeavour”, qui est présentement au Groenland. C’est le 5e jour de l’expédition. Nous venons de sortir d’un fjord nommé “Evighedsfjorden”, ce qui signifie “fjord éternel” en Danois, et nous allons vers un autre fjord, nommé Itilleq.

Bien entendu, ce n’est pas le premier jour de l’expédition. Nous avons d’abord passé deux jours à Ottawa, puis voyagé jusqu’au Groenland le 25 juillet. Voici un résumé de certains points marquants jusqu’ici.

Le 23 juillet, premier jour de l’expédition, à Ottawa, nous nous sommes rencontrés à l’Université Carleton. J’ai été agréablement surpris par les initiatives vertes prises par la cafétéria oû nous mangions. Les laves vaisselles économisaient des quantités énormes d’eau, le compost divergeait 70% des déchets organiques du dépotoir, TOUS les aliments étaient sourcés localement (Ontario), leur café était à commerce équitable, wow! Ça démontre qu’il n’est pas impossible de faire des changements pour la planète.

En après midi, nous avons visité le Musée de la Nature. En entrant, j’ai passé en entrevue avec CTV! Le tout a été diffusé à 18h00 ce soir là, mais vous pouvez sûrement la trouver sur leur site web. J’ai parlé du fait que je voudrais faire de la recherche pour des énergies renouvelables dans le futur, et que je voulais en apprendre sur  le changement climatique et le leadership pendant l’expédition.

Au musée, nous avons discuté des glaciers, des oiseaux, des roches, de baleines de minéraux et du cerveau humain! C’était très intéressant. En soirée, il y a eu une présentation faite par Geoff Green, le fondateur de Students on Ice et notre chef d’expédition.  Ils parlaient de l’expédition comme un catalyseur, qui permettra aux participants de faire une différence en revenant chez eux. C’est exactement cela que je veux faire! Et j’ai déjà quelques idées de projets.  Plusieurs autres ont parlé, dont Nathan Obed, le président du Inuit Tapiirit Katanami. C’est l’organisme qui promouvoit les droits des Inuits au Canada. Les twin-flames, un duo de chanteurs, ainsi que Vivi, une Inuk (le singulier de Inuit) provenant du Groenland, ont fait des présentations. C’était très motivant.

Pendant notre deuxième journée à Ottawa, nous avons eu la chance de faire un dîner Pic-Nique au Musée de l’Histoire. J’aime bien les dîners, et autres occasions de discuter, puisque ça vaut vraiment le coup. Pendant le Pique-Nique, j’ai discuté avec Megan, une Inuk des Territoires-du-Nord-Ouest. J’ai pu en apprendre un peu plus sur leur mode de vie. Saviez-vous que, en hiver, il fait jusqu’à -60 degrés celsius au nord?Quoi??!!! Ça démontre à quel point les Inuits peuvent s’adapter.à

En après midi, nous avons vu le documentair de l’expédition Canada C3, au Musée de l’Histoire. C’est très intéressant. Geoff Green  avait eu l’idée de prendre un brise glace et de faire le tour le la côte du Canada. C’est ça, ils ont commencé à Montréal, monté en Arctique, puis descendu jusqu’à Victoria. Geoff Green, il peut vraiment faire n’importe quoi. Quel individu inspirant.

Par la  suite, nous avons fait un parcours aérien dans les arbres à Camp Fortune. En traversant les obstacles, j’ai passé beaucoup de temps à discuter avec Sarah, un membre du personnel. Elle aussi, était passionnée par  l’environnement, et ça se voyait. Elle était aussi douée en physique, alors j’en ai profité.à

Le 25 juillet, nous avons pris l’avion vers l’endroit oû nous sommes en ce moment (Kangerlussuaq). J’ai profité du voyage pour parler à Maddison et Nivi, deux Inuuk. J’ai appris que les Inuits croient qu’il existe un esprit en tout, alors tout mérite d’être respecté. La terre est aussi sacrée. Si tu vois un animal en décomposition, tu ne peux pas le toucher, ou tu sera hanté, parce qu’il appartient à la terre. Les Inuits respectent la terre parce qu’elle leur permet de survivre (construire leur maison, chasser, faire des manteaux). C’est pareil pour chaque humain sur terre. Si seulement tout le monde en était consicent…

Arrivés à Kangerlussuaq, c’était magique. Je sentais l’air frais dans ma figure, je regardais les montagnes gigantesques s’élever devant moi. Toutes sortes de roches, polies ou angulaires, sur ces montagnes. J’ai vu des lichens orangés, et du “cottongrass”, une espèce de plante un peu cottoneuse. Après un petit tour en autobus, j’ai fait mon premier voyage en Zodiac pour me rendre jusqu’au vaisseau Ocean Endeavour!!! C’était super, de voir le fjord et encore des montagnes. Incroyable que les glaciers aient pu sculpter de tels monuments. La nature est un artiste.

Le bateau est très acceuillant, et assez luxueux. Parfait pour notre expédition. Pendant le souper, j’ai pu discuter avec Allison et Yves, deux scientifiques qui étudient les effets des changements climatiques sur les communautés Nordiques. J’ai appris que le changement climatique change la saison des glaces, ce qui rend difficile l’utilisation des glaces comme moyen de transport. Elle est aussi parfois trop mince, et des camions tombent à l’eau. Dans le nord de l’Ontario, plusieurs doivent se déplacer en hélicoptère pour éviter ce problème.

Finalement, hier (le 26 juillet), je me suis réveillé pour sortir dehors. Il y avait tellement de vent que tu pouvais t’accoter dessus, et il te supportait! J’ai aussi vu un glacier pour la première fois de ma vie, et plusieurs petits icebergs. Les montagnes semblaient toucher les nuages, avec toute la brume qui s’était formée. Wow, quel paysage!

Le matin, nous avons eu une présentation de Vivi et Mira (une autre habitante du Groenland) sur le Groenland. Toutefois, ma partie préférée fut vraiment une sortie en Zodiac. Nous nous sommes rapprochés du glaciers, et…wow! Tellement de neige, tellement de petits détails à observer, sur ce gros spectacle! On aurait dit une flaque qui coulait vers la mer. Il y a même eu quelques chutes de glaces, et nous avons pu observer des petits icebergs qui s’étaient détachés du glacier. Nous avons même ramené un petit morceau de glace à bord pour boire de l’eau du glacier.

Pendant l’après-midi, je suis sorti faire de la science sur un Zodiac avec Daniele, un océanographe, et Alain, un autre membre du personnel. Nous avons pris la clarté de l’eau avec un disque seki, la salinité, la conductivité, la profondeur, etc. Nous avons aussi attrapé du zooplancton, de petits organismes qui mangent le  phytoplancton. J’ai pu observer cela au microscope. On aurait dit des petites crevettes! C’est incroyable qu’une forme de vie si petite aie pu se développer.

Ce n’est pas  tout ce que j’ai fait dans les derniers jours, mais c’est un résumé. La station de blogue a été montée très récemment, alors je n’ai pas pu vous parler avant aujourd’hui. Sachez, toutefois, que j’adore l’expédition jusqu’à présent, et qu’aujourd’hui, nous allons aller sur la terre en zodiac! Je suis tellement excité. Ne vous inquiétez pas, je publierai autant que je pourrai dans les prochains jours. Pour tout de suite, à plus!

-Louis-Philippe

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14h24

En route vers Ilulissat, Groenland

Wow, wow, wow! Je viens de vivre quelque chose d’incroyable.

Ce matin, après le déjeuner, nous sommes embarqués dans des bateaux zodiac pour notre première excursion sur la terre! Nous étions dans le fjord Itilleq, et j’ai mis le pied sur le sol de la toundra. Les petits mousses étaient un peu rebondissantes, donnant une sensation intéressante quand on marche. J’ai été surpris de la diversité splendide de plantes qu’il y avait à cet endroit. Quand même, on est en Arctique, il fait froid même en été, comment est-ce que des plantes peuvent surmonter ces températures? Malgré tout, il y avait des lichens sur les roches, du “Saule Arctique”, des petites clochettes blanches, du saxifrage, des salades et des noix (qu’on pouvait manger! ça goûtait la vinaigrette), des petites mousses, du sphaigne (comme dans la tourbière mer bleue!!!) et bien d’autres plantes dont je n’ai pas appris le nom. Peu de gens le réalisent, mais l’Arctique est vraiment un endroit époustouflant, et non une terre glacée couverte de neige.

Ça m’inspire, la “persévérance” des plantes. Malgré le froid, elles s’adaptent. Les lichens, même s’il n’y a pas de terre, poussent sur les roches. Les plantes ne peuvent pas contrôler les conditions oû elles se trouvent ou la température, alors elles font avec.

En plus d’avoir des plantes mangeables, utilisées par les Inuits, ceux-cis utilisient aussi les mousses, mélangées avec du cotton Arctique, pour faire la mèche des lampes à huile. Ils utilisent aussi des plantes séchées pour faire des feux de camp. Ils entretiennent vraiment une connexion profonde avec la terre. Et malgré cela, ils n’ont pas un impact ridicule sur celle-ci. C’est inspirant. Et si nous faisions pareil?

Il y avait également de la neige (en été!), et quelques flaques d’eau. Il y avait même un étang! Daniele, l’océanographe, a tenu un atelier sur la vie dans cet étang et a ramené des méduses et des poissons sur le bateau. Je n’y ai pas participé, mais ces organismes sont si intéressants!

J’ai trouvé les roches intéressantes aussi. Plusieurs étaient métamorphiques, donc très anciennes. Certaines étaient très plates, et j’ai construit un Inukshuk avec. D’autres étiaent très grosses, et on s’assoyaient dessus. Presque toutes les roches, avaient un fond gris-noir, mais étaient colorées par des bandes oranges ou d’un ton de gris différent.

À moment donné, j’ai gravit une montagne très haute, je me suis assis et j’ai contemplé le paysage. C’était merveilleux. La plage oû je suis arrivé semblait si petite! Les motagnes continuaient pour des kilomètres, se perdant dans la brume. Je voyais le vaisseau, au loin, et les vagues qui étaient si calmes. Il y avait seulement les zodiacs retournant vers le vaisseau qui produisaient des vagues avec un crête blanche. Presque comme une queue de baleine. Je me disait que s’il n’y avait presonne avec moi, et pas le boudronnement de zodiacs, il n’y aurait pas un seul son. Jute le doux sifflement de l’air. S’il n’y avait pas de zodiacs, l’eau serait infiniment calme.

C’est à travers de longues périodes comme celles-là, sans l’intervention des humains, que des beautés comme celles-là ressortent. C’est fou que, alors qu’il y a plusieurs villes habités par millions dans le sud, je suis une des seules personnes ayant mis le pied dans ce coin du Groenland.

L’atelier auquel j’ai participé là portait sur l’expression corporelle. Jess, l’animatrice de l’atelier, nous parlait de quelqu’un (j’ai oublié le nom) qui croyait que tout  le monde pouvait être un acteur et s’exprimer avec son corps. C’est intéressant, parce que c’est vrai. Même si je fais du théâtre, tous les autres participants étaient aussi bons que moi. On peut vraiment se lancer dans tout.

Une des activités qu’on a fait consistait de choisir deux personnes du cercle, puis de rester entre ces deux personnes (au centre). Tout le monde se mettait à marcher partout, mais  on devait rester au centre. Mais, en bougeant pour rester entre les personnes choisies, on fait bouger les autres qui nous ont choisi. Et quand ces personnes bougent, d’autres doivent bouger. Ça démontre que, comme dans le monde, plusieurs choses sont liées, alors n’importe quelle action a des impacts en boule de neige.

On a aussi fait des tableaux. On devait représenter un mot avec des gestes. J’avais le mot “solidarité”, et les autres mots étaient du genre “colinisation” ou “libération” ou “oppression”, etc. J’ai trouvé vraiment intéressant comment cela nous fait sentir des émotions. En faisant mon geste (je faisais semblant de lever quelque chose, comme si un effort commun de tout le monde, une solidarité, permettait de lever ce poids), je sentais l’espoir engendré par une unisson commune. Les gestes permettent donc de communiquer des émotions et de rester dans la tête des gens, ce qui, selon moi, reste plus dans ta tête que des mots comme “la solidarité nous a permis de surmonter le changement climatique.

Finalement, on a fait des marionnettes. Une personne, comme un marionettiste, commandait les mouvements d’un autre avec des cordes imaginaires. C’était plus difficile que ça avait l’air. Par exemple, tu peux bouger ton bras pour lever le doigt de ton partenaire, mais il lève son bras en entier. Ça m’a fait comprendre l’importance de la communication dans une équipe.

Bon, comme vous pouvez le voir, c’était une excursion incroyable. Et il en a d’autres qui s’en viennent dans les jours à venir! J’espère que vous vous amusez à Ottawa.

À plus tard!

-Louis-Philippe

Madeline Mumford
Hope, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

I woke up this morning to the bed slightly swaying in tune with the beat of the floorboards and the rhythm of the waves as staff members flooded into the hallways, ready to wake up students for another day of excursions. I got up quickly and rushed to the breakfast buffet, my seasickness trading places with starvation for the morning. After an interesting discussion over eggs and various cheeses, I was whisked into “The Hub” with the rest of the students for the morning briefing. We were told that we were planning on taking zodiacs out so that we could visit a mountain in Greenland; I was thrilled that it was my turn to go on the paddle boards and kayaks once we arrived.

I threw on my clothes, (approx. 5 layers, if the safety jacket is included) and was speeding in a zodiac in less than 15 minutes; the sweat from the layers becoming frozen as Arctic water hit my skin.

The zodiac lands on the island, and my foot steps out onto what feels like a sponge, slowly bobbing up and down, making me question whether or not I was woozy from being on a ship. I went off with my two freinds to go exploring (for a good place to take a photo) and ended up spending a half an hour balancing a tripod on a large mossy rock that is not accustomed to new technology, or any technology for that matter. Don’t worry, the pictures that were taken are totally worth it.

After fussing and then celebrating the success of our pictures after an unnecessary amount of effort, my friend and I spot kayaks out in the distance – and realized that we forgot to go out.

So we break out into a full sprint down the mossy mountain, slipping and sliding on the ice and laughing because we know that our rubber boots are not equipped for handling solid water, and made it to the kayak sector.

I was swiftly set up in my dry-suit: a suit that will prevent you from freezing, drowning, or being stung by jellyfish if you fall in the water. There were two paddleboards left, so I went through a demo with an instructor and then started paddling out, the goal now being to catch up with the other group that had remembered to go on time.

We caught up with the rest of the group, and by this time I was well practiced, standing on the board and breathing in the ice cold air. I felt bad for hitting the jellyfish with my board, but they didn’t seem to mind as I smoothly made my way towards a waterfall that my group was planning on investigating.

I felt like a natural as the paddling increased, and felt really pleased when the Olympian, who was kayaking with us, complimented me on my strokes. “I couldn’t tell that you hadn’t done this before, you look really good!” he said. I was so excited, in fact, that I threw my hands up and lost my balance, falling into the water, “a natural” no more. I laughed as my suit puffed up so I felt like a big marshmellow. But, now I can say that I have swam in Arctic waters with jellyfish!

We made it to the waterfall, and then everyone jumping off their boards and into the water to go swimming. After the swim, and of course more photos, I switched my mode of transport to a kayak, and made it back to the mountain; I fell back getting out of the kayak and knicked my hand on some barnacles, after washing it out, I now have a souvineur on my skin!

Now I will go to “The Hub”, to discover what we will do for the rest of the afternoon. Whatever it is, I know that it will be filled with memories, and trying new things, like everything else on this trip has been!

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Marie-Philippe Ouellet
Québec City, QC, Canada

Je dois avouer que les derniers 48 heures n’ont rien eu de standard. An experience of a lifetime, je commence à y croire.  C’est intéressant de constater l’ambiance qui s’est vite installée sur le bateau. J’ai le sentiment qu’on est déjà une très grande famille, et ça, je l’avais pas prévu. Comme tous les autres choses qui suivent.

Tout est beau, tout est grand, tout est froid et tout est plus fort ici. Le vent, l’eau, les rires,les espèces, les sentiments et la pluie, bien sur…

Je ne peux pas trop vous en dire, parce que je volerais des punchs à mon récit de voyage, mais c’est plus que tout ce que j’ai pu imaginer.

Entre rencontres inspirantes, atelier de langue inuite, consommation extreme de thé au gingembre, mal de main parce que j’écris trop dans mon journal, cueillette et dégustation de fleurs sauvages, visite de colonie de guillemots de Brünnich et crépitement des morceaux de glacier qui flottent dans l’eau, je ne réalise pas encore que j’ai les deux pieds qui naviguent sur l’Arctique.

Je vous laisse, le soleil veut enfin perser les nuages et je ne peux pas manquer ça!

Je vous envoie une grosse vague de froid.

On se reparle bientôt!

Marie, le sourire fendu jusqu’aux oreilles!

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Mark Frank-Perry
Ahousaht, BC, Canada

Hi Mom, Dad, and everyone in Ahousaht. I miss you guys, but I’m having a good time up here. It’s day 2 on the ship and the food is so good. Yesterday we went to see a sea bird colony and also a glacier. That was really cool and I really liked the colours of the ice. We also went fishing. Then, this morning, we went on land and did some exploring. There were also different workshops. I went on the “magical history tour” of the island; that was cool. I think my highlight has been the food aha. But so far its been really good, but I’m looking forward to going home. I love you guys and miss you.

-Mark F-P

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Polina Konstantinova
St. John’s, NL, Canada

Привет, hello, bonjour! from the Ocean Endeavour! This morning was our first zodiac landing to the shore in a fjord off West Greenland. My first moments on the shore of Greenland were amazing – the air was so clean and revitalizing, the ground covered in mosses and beautiful plants, and the only sounds came from people talking on the beach. I climbed up one side of the valley and was immediately at peace, because it was just me and the rocks and plants, no sounds at all. I think it is so important to have moments of silence like those, where many of us come from a society of constant noise. I climbed down to join the rest of the group while the workshop leaders introduced themselves.

We were given about 9 options for land or sea workshops including a natural history hike, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, and a conversation about place and belonging, among so many compelling choices. I took a geology workshop, and together we put together an incredible, 3 billion year old story about the rocks we were standing on, just by walking around the valley and hills, and picking at some shiny (or not so shiny) objects on the ground. My favourite part of the day was when I found some purple-grey fluorspar crystals in some gneiss rock, and also when I saw a plant called malitsuarait, which is edible and looks a bit like a cactus. I hope the rest of my expedition is full of new experiences and findings for me like today was!

(c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation

Sarah MacNeil
Montreal, QC, Canada

Salut d’Itilleq, Groenland!

La grosse journée aujourd’hui – même si nous avons fait une sortie en zodiac hier, ce matin nous avons accosté pour la toute première fois. Comme hier, il a fallu nous emmitoufler avant de sortir, parce que la règle de base c’est que nous pouvons toujours enlever des couches, mais nous ne pouvons pas en rajouter une fois les pieds sur terre.  C’est quand même impressionnant le montant de linge qui peut se retrouver sous les vêtements de pluie de chacun.

En débarquant des zodiacs, nous avons été accueillis par un véritable tapis de mousses, petites fleurs et lichens, recouvrant un sol tellement spongieux que nos bottes en caoutchouc s’enfonçaient de quelques pouces à chaque pas. Même si personne habitait ces lieux, nous nous sommes vites rendus compte que la vie y abondait pareil.

Comme d’habitude, le seul problème auquel nous avons eu à faire face, c’est réellement qu’il y a TROP de choix d’ateliers – comment choisir entre une dizaine d’experts? Devrais-je plus goûter aux plantes comestibles, examiner les crânes et ossements qui se cachent un peu partout, apprendre à pêcher la morue arctique, sortir en qajaq (kayak), ou participer à une discussion portant sur notre appartenance dans ce paysage ancien?

La bonne nouvelle, c’est qu’aujourd’hui nous avons eu notre premier après-midi avec des ateliers ISUMA. En inuktitut, isuma signifie justement ça -trouver de la signification. Dans quoi, vous vous demandez peut-être? Et bien, ça c’est à nous de décider. Que ça soit par la peinture, la danse, l’écriture, la couture, ou peu importe, une des meilleures parties de l’apprentissage, dans le fond, c’est de transformer tout ce que nous avons absorbé en quelque chose qui vient nous chercher personnellement.

Quoi de mieux qu’une journée active pour le corps, la tête et le coeur?

Nakkurmik, et à bientôt.

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

Sean Brandt
Outdoor Education Teacher, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Welcome Aboard!

Our Captain, Master Denis Radja has been expertly weaving our vessel, the Ocean Endeavour, in and out of the islands and fjords that saturate the coastal regions of Greenland.  Captain Radja is supported by a vessel staff of 105 dedicated individuals that keep this floating city on course, impeccably clean, and surprisingly flavorful?  The kitchen staff has created food options that far surpassed any of our expectations.  Although I lack any formal training in the culinary arts, I married a chef (I mean that literally) and our conversations at home often include terms like foodsafe, whilst she reminds me to use a claw grip when prepping our supper.

My pre-expedition expectations around the food menu were low- I mean, really low. I assumed- albeit incorrectly, that two weeks at sea would mean powdered milk, dried meat, and a post-expedition physique resembling a cast member of the Survivor television series.

A typical food-day on this ship, however, has been more akin to the dining options of a multi-star restaurant.  Our evening meal last night is a perfect example: To start, a choice between French onion soup, Fennel soup, or Caesar salad; the entree options consisted of prime rib of beef, pasta pomodoro or vegetable tempura; and the meal finished with either devil fudge cake, or crème brulee.  Crème. Freaking. Brulee.

My compliments to Chef Indra Wicaksono and his remarkable team.

Growing in many ways,

-Sean Brandt

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

Sydney Dicker
Nain, NL, Canada

July 25th Day 1: I woke up at 7am at the university. I went to breakfast and ate as much as I could because I find myself hungry all the time. I’m not used to eating only three meals a day. After breakfast I get onto the bus and we headed to the airport. I’ve never just pulled up to a plane on a bus before especially heading out of the country. They told me that the plane ride was just about three hours long so I thought wow such a nice time to catch up on all the sleep that i haven’t been getting. Anyway, the plane ride was faster then i thought it would be probably because I would sleep, eat, sleep, eat, and sleep some more. Then just like that i was in Greenland. Then once again we didn’t go into the airport, our buses would once again just pull right up to our plane, like OMG. On our way down to the ship everyone was looking out the window at the beautiful scenery, but then the hills started moving slower and it seemed as if I was staring at everything longer, then I realized our bus was barely making it up a hill. It got to a point were it was so slow that I thought we were going to start rolling backwards. But thank the good lord we actually made it. Then after getting dropped off to the dock and a zodiak ride we were finally on the boat. And, after that, I was really tired and can only remember going to bed.

July 26th Day 2: We got to “sleep in” till 7:30 am but, me being me, I woke up at 6:30 am because my body thinks i’ll be alright if i only get 6 hours of sleep. I went to breakfast at 8 am and had a very big plate of very….. very fancy food. We had our morning briefing and I found out that i would be going on a zodiak tour to a glacier. So I went to my room to get dressed; they told me dress really warm because it was raining and they said that i would be cold. So i put on 2 sweaters, 2 coats, 2 pants, and made my way down to the boats. I ended up almost dying of heat stroke like really, I kept saying to myself couple more minutes then I shall be in the cold rain and cool off. When I finally made my way outside onto a boat I did feel a lot better then I did inside but, I was still hot enough to sweat. Anyway, dripping wet and hot, we made our way to first a cliff of birds and it just beautiful. Water falls and wildlife look pretty amazing when they are put together. And at the end of the bird cliff there was this beautiful iceberg. It wasn’t big but it wasn’t small either, but the size wasn’t the thing that made it stand out was the colour of it. It was a gorgeous light blue; it reminded me of my huskie dog Kalluk’s (thunder) eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it before. After that, we all wanted to make our way to the glacier because we were hearing some loud noises. When we did go over, the glacier was very active. A piece would fall off every few minutes, and some of the pieces were huge. But, to me, it was the mountains that I couldn’t stop looking at they looked so nice they looked fake. It was like as if i was staring at a photo. After the tour, I came back to the boat and had a very interesting presentation, and some more very…. very fancy food. After lunch we had another breifing about some workshops that we would be able to do in the afternoon. When i heard that there was fishing going on I couldn’t help but run over to the station. If any Nainimuiks are reading this, you know what I’m talking about. Quite a few other people went fishing. I didn’t get anything but we still went back to the boat with 21 cod. We then had a very…very…..very fancy dinner time, like you know its fancy when the portion is small, right? After that we had another briefing with a few more amazing presentations and finaliy went to bed.

July 27 day 3: I slept until 7 am today, my version of sleeping in this past month. I got up and got ready for the day and once again had a very…. very fancy breakfast and headed to the morning breifing. At the briefing, we were told that we were all going to shore to do some workshops. So i went to my room and got dressed but this time not too warm. I was on the second boat to shore because I had to go meet the media team to do a photo shoot and interview for SOI and my Nunatsiavut sponser. After meeting with the media team, a few of us did a very fun photo shoot of our own. Then we went onto the morning workshops. It was quite fun despite getting stuck in mud. I started at a workshop catching little creatures in a fresh water pond, but then somehow I ended up fishing and catching fish and gutting the fish and getting to eat the fish eyes, heart, liver, and eggs. Yum.  After that, I headed back to the boat had lunch, a briefing and then came here to write this, which is very rushed because the battery is dying. If any of my family is reading this tell pop I met Tom Paddon.

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

Tobias March
Brantford, ON, Canada

Okay, hello everybody, sorry it’s late, I’ve been busy, so this is my first blog, and the date is July 27th. We have been on the ship for three days and before that we were on a plane which is a first time for me! During the plane ride I felt very relaxed and happy except for when we had been heading in for the landing and my ears popped and everything sounded weird for the rest of the day. Part of what helped me be so relaxed was that my seat neighbors were talking with me and we were  all having fun. One of my seat neighbors, Andrea, wrote out the cursive alphabet to help me learn during spare time which has actually allowed me to improve quite a bit.

Since then so many things have happened! On the first day as soon as we entered the Ocean Endeavour we were brought straight to our rooms, I took a picture of the rooms which I will add in a later blog (I forgot to grab my camera and I cant go to my room or else I may lose all this) after I placed all my things in the room I went to a room on the ship which had musical instruments in it, so i grabbed a guitar, and played, then went over to the piano, and played. During my timeon the instruments i made some friends, and we all talked and played while waiting for dinner. After dinner we had a practice drill for emergencies, then after that we all met in the hub and had a welcome and some of us talked about our highlights of the day, mine was thatiwas on the plain for the first time. We then went over what we weregoing to be doing tomorrow, and headed to bed. Also, I am writing a story in spare time, by this time i was at 2 pages.

On the second day on the Endeavour  we got up early and had breakfast. after this we had a meeting in the hub, talking about plans for the day. All that had been confirmed so far was that we were all going on a zodiac cruise and that after the cruise we would see a presentation on climate change. During the cruise we were in the Evigheds Fjord, and I saw a glasier which had chunks of ice coming off in large masses. We stayed out for quite some time, and then headed on our way back.

We then watched the presentation, which I will blog about later (I left my notes on that in my room). After the presentation we wereall brought to the hub and were split into workshops. at first there was a workshop i was at where there was a brd dicection, I ended up leaving, and going to another workshop. at this workshop we were able to build ROV’s, which i need to add thrusters on today.

After the workshops we had dinner and then watched some presentations, the first one was from Adam Van Koeverdan, where he talked about how he is an olympic gold medalist in kayaking, and how just winning, didn’t bring him joy. he once messed up a perfect run so he made it into the B races, racing to win 9th place over all. and it was in Rio, where he said was amazing to be there, and that for the first time in a long time he was actually very happy, and enjoyed winning the race.

After this presentation we watched another staff member did a mask dance, which was very interesting. She mentioned how everyone has a unique mask that they paint. she then went around the room doing a dance, and making sounds that were unique to her.

When this dance was finished we were told what we were doing today, as well as we all had a cheer and greeting from the captain. we were sent to bed early since we were getting up early, however, I built a fort to block the light from my bed, so it didn’t bug my room mate, and I stayed up and continued to write my story, which i am currently on page 6.

Finally, today.Today started off with me getting up at 6:30 am and heading to the gym on the boat; i had done rowing exercize which ended up making me feel sick, both because i hadn’t eaten yet so i had no energy, and also because it was facing the wrong way and watching the water go one way while i row to go the other made me feel very… bleghh. luckily my insides STAYED my insides, and i was able to finish, then head down for breakfast. after breakfast we were sent to land on the zodiacs, where we got to roam for about half an hour, then we had workshops. the workshop I was in was going for  a walk, and seeing what kind of things we find. after this workshop we had a few minutes free time, in this time I ate a dish eyeball, then we hopped on the zodiacs and went to the boat, had breakfast, and then had free time, which is now, so that was my long-ish summery of the past two and a half days, I promise the rest will be a bit shorter and more detailed.

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

Ty McNea

WOW! WOW! & WOW! Its been a busy few days on the Students on Ice Arctic 2018 Expedition. A lot of firsts and exciting times for me. Students grand arrival in Ottawa, team meetings, SOI swag (thanks to Canada Goose for the much needed warmth of a down vest), Museum of Nature, team meetings (yes, I wrote this twice because there are a lot of teams and important meetings for exciting events). Ziplining at Camp Fortune where I supported students by standing on the ground and cheered them on. There were a lot of couragous young people that day. Viewing the Canada C3 film at the Museum of History. Everyone needs to see this documentary about the expedition for Canada’s 150 sailing Coast to Coast to Coast. First Air flights, which were a wee bit wet boarding but we dried out and onward to Iqaluit and Greenland. Our first rides on zodiacs to board the Ocean Endeavor. Getting familar with our new home and getting some sea legs too. Setting sail down the Sondestrom Fjord. Seeing, hearing and feeling the glacier calving (chucks of ice coming off) into the water in the Itilleq Fjord. The deep blue of the iceberg ice was stunning. Loved hearing the students gasps of amazement too. Delious, did I say delicious, meals. Another wow on that one! Workshops, speakers and performances from staff. It’s been a packed itinary of exciting conversations, wonder, science and community. There are incredible people, staff and students, from 20 different countries on this expedition. I am very grateful to be part of the SOI Teachers on Ice program! So looking forward to more conversations and adventure with the Arctic 2018 Expedition. And, a big HI to everyone back home! Love ya!

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

Zariha Ibrahim
Teacher, Malaysia

Yesterday, 26 July, is the most wonderful day in my life …..we went to see the glacier in the morning …….being in the zodiac with Aiman and 8 others, including a bird scientist that shares lots of knowledge about the birds. We heard a sound just like a shot gun ‘boom’.  I was thinking it’s the sound of a hunter, but no, that’s actually the sound of glacier, falling down into the sea. We can see the splash of water that comes up just because of the glaciers.

We also can see the icebergs floating around the  zodiac, as in the Titanic movie….such a wonderful  moment… we also see various kinds of birds species flying over ….they are flying to  the left, some of the to the right, at different heights. We see the Kittywakes resting on the glacier while waiting to catch fish or jelly fish for food. I tried to taste the the iceberg …it is tasteless because it is fresh water…..it’s rainy out, so we get wet and freezing….eeeee!

When we get back to the ship, we put our wet clothes in the mudroom to let them dry….we were told that the mudroom is specially made for drying all the wet clothes in the lockers. My locker number is 88.

After lunch we have workshops and we divide to various activities. Aiman and I join the activity on underwater robotics. We build the robot within 1 hour…hopefully it works….

At dinner time, Aiman, Suffi and I are sitting in the same table as usual….Jennifer W. came to join us and she wished me a birthday wish….my students had already wished it early morning.  Suprisingly, I heard some voices singing “Happy Birthday to You”, coming to me with a lovely cake….with some other SOI staff, Shirley and others…speechless….actually, since my husband passed away 5 years ago, I never celebrate my birthday …..I just gave my kids a cake only….so the moment is the most wonderful moment in my life, celebrating my 46th birthday on this luxury ship in the Arctic….thank you to the SOI team …..I end the day with everyone greeting me with “Happy Birthday”….

Today is 27 July. After morning briefing, we went to land off the fiord …..the first time we touch the snow. Amain and Suffi join the plant workshop, while I join the aquatic animal workshop….we collect all the samples of species there, then bring them back to the ship….very nice experience …the temperature of water in the pond is 7.38 degrees celsius and the pH is 9.8. We bring back to the ship all the sampled species to be identified by name…in the laboratory. I have captured some of the plant photos from the land to share with others, when I go back home.

(c) Martin Lipman/SOI Foundation

(c) Robert Kautuk/SOI Foundation

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