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SOI Arctic 2015 day 11: Tay Bay, Bylot Island

What an incredible sight sailing just after lunch today, off our starboard side along the shoreline we spotted seven polar bears which brought our total to ten bear sighting  this morning—and at the same time we were looking at seven bears on the distant shore, off our stern in the distance, seven glaciers looked like the runs of a giant ski hill.

Overnight Tuesday, we sailed north along Navy Board Inlet, the body of water separating Baffin and Bylot Islands and then we slipped into a small sheltered harbour named Tay Bay. It was named by Scottish whalers centuries ago, after the Tay island in Scotland. The American Military was very active in this same area in 1946 and had at least five ships and two floatplanes doing mapping and research.

At the time Canada was aware of the American presence, in fact some aspects were a joint operation. However at the same time, it was the beginning of growing concerns in Canadian political circles that Canada should begin taking stronger measures to assert both our presence and sovereignty in the High Arctic.

The small Harbour with wide and deep gravel and clay slopes and plateaus made for a perfect landing site and workshop locations for SOI as well as walks and reflective time.

We took every advantage spending more than three hours here, our students and educators dividing themselves into their various scientific, creative or cultural study and discussion groups.

Others took turns in any of our three kayaks, or nine paddle boats. At one point the nine paddlers, all standing, made a terrific picture stretched out in a straight line, silhouetted against the noon sun and a huge glacier in the background.

One student even preformed a hand stand!

Back on board the Ocean Endeavour in the afternoon, we gave everyone time to decompress, catch up on their journal writing and generally appreciate the marvels of the Arctic and nature that surround us.

A joint keynote address to the full SOI expedition by Alexander Shestakov of the World Wildlife Fund, and Mary Simon, Canadian Inuit Leader and Former Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, provided an historical overview of the creation of the Council and the political fight to have Indigenous peoples from the eight Arctic Countries involved as Permanent Participants. Both Alexander and Mary expressed concerns that the social and environmental priorities of the council may be diminished as a result of Canada’s lead in creating a new Circumpolar Economic Forum.

Mary Simon, told students there are lessons for youth in the Arctic Council’s history, stating that if you believe strongly in something, you have to be prepared to make youth case and fight for it. She said Circumpolar Governments initially refused efforts by Aboriginal Peoples for a seat at the arctic Council Table.

Fred Roots, the dean of Arctic Scientists, Nationally and Internationally, said had it not been for Mary’s persistence and vision, there would not be direct aboriginal participation in the Arctic Council and social policy issues would not be put on the same agenda as political and development issues.

Early this evening, we left Sirmilik National park, and Baffin Island with one final look at the enormous steep cliffs of Cape Hay which is a huge nesting area for Thick Billed Murres, Kittiwakes and Northern Fulmars on the of tip of Bylot Island. This is one of the biggest bird nesting sites in the world, with as many as one hundred and twenty thousand birds laying eggs and feeding in the area. As we sailed by the nesting site at the northern tip of Sirmilik Park, thousands of birds were scooting back and forth from the ocean to their nests, many of them coming very close to camera lenses, giving students and educators some very special pictures.

At tonight’s closing briefing, 16 year-old Parks Canada student, Justin Milton from Pond Inlet, provided a detailed and concise briefing on the Inuit history and, culture. He divided his presentation in two parts, pre-contact with outsiders, and post contact, including recent history and community development, structure and social economic realities.

At the conclusion he commented, the lessons he passed on, are issues he researched and discovered from talking with elders. He added “ these are things I did not learn in school and I wonder why?”

Our course is set to sail across Lancaster Sound and tomorrow we begin exploring and studying the history of Dundas Harbour on Devon Island.

 

In the expedition spirit,

Geoff Green

 

Check back tomorrow morning for photos, blog posts, and Geoff’s expedition leader update! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more content!

August 6: An Inuit games workshop on the land, photo (c) Martin Lipman #Nunavut #CanadianArctic #SOIArctic2015

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

 Sophia Winkler
Carrboro, North Carolina, USA

The 2015 Students on Ice expedition so far has been special in many ways: for the places we have been, the workshops we have done, the community we have formed. Being in the Arctic allows us to learn about the environment and cultures directly- no classroom learning involved. In a botany workshop, we collect samples on land to identify and study back on the ship’s lab. It is the Students on Ice staff that brought me to question everything I’m interested in, everything I want to do when I grow up. When I see Pascale and Grant tracking the birds on the Bylot Island cliffs, I want to study biology and identify new bird colonies. But when I learn about the intricacies of glaciology with Eric, I swear I could study ice for the rest of my life. At first this seemed to me like a ridiculous inner-conflict, considering I’ve been fairly sure of what I want to do for a while. It was after about ten potential career switches in one evening that I realized: the inspiration these members of the Students on Ice team provide is not as literal as wanting to study what they teach. Instead, I aim to be as passionate about my interests as they are about theirs. The fact that my instructors’ enthusiasm is powerful enough to make me want to enter their fields shows how convincing they are- every single staff member makes his or her study look fascinating and fun, from plankton towing to environmental legal advocacy. Even though I won’t come out of this trip with a brand-new life plan, I will leave with a new passion for what I do want to do-  plus a way to include the Arctic region’s environment and communities in my interests. This ship is full of passion among students and staff, and it’s those people that will always be learning more and teaching others.

-Sophia  

Michal Leckie
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

We got to sleep in this morning until 8am! We are still close to Bylot Island, nearing the beginning of Lancaster Sound (the Northwest Passage). This morning, we had a Zodiac landing. It was chilly but sunny. I did a workshop on life in the pond. We explored the shores of the pond, taking little containers with creatures we found. We also extracted sand and mud from the bottom of the pond with a telescoping tube thing. It worked in the way that if you put your thumb on the top of a staw, water will stay in. We then collected 0.5cm samples and labelled them and put them in baggies for further investigation.

Afterwards, I saw a bunch of people throwing rocks at a larger rock sitting on the water with other medium rocks balanced on top of it. The goal was to hit the medium rocks off the larger rock. It was quite fun. I didn’t hit any though. I then took a quick stroll around with some other people. It got more windy and cloudy. The ground and mountains were so stark, we all noticed that it felt like we were on a different planet.

As we entered Lancaster Sound, the waves became larger and the boat rocked back and forth. Many people aren’t feeling too well. I am feeling okay, but not my best. I did take some ginger Gravol tablets, and a ginger candy Diz offered me. I played some cards, and then there were workshops. I went to a workshop on advocacy. We discussed the meaning of this word, and examples. We also discussed the proposed marine protection zone for Lancaster Sound. I started thinking about what I want to do when I get home, in terms of bringing knowledge back and doing something with it. I have no solidified plan, but I have collected many ideas.

I was strangely hungry even though I felt sick. I had quesadillas for dinner, and an apple for dessert. It’s strange walking in a ship that rocks so much. It’s like the crazy kitchen, Mom and Dad.

See you very soon, Mom, Dad, Ben, and Farley.
Fun fact: Looking at the layers of sediment in ponds can help you tell the age of the pond, life in the pond, and whether the pond is receding.

– Michal

 

Christina Cheung
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

As we landed at Tay Bay today, I was mesmerized completely by the painting-like mountains that lie behind the water. One of the most notable moments was when I found unknown bone remnants on dried soil, which reminded me of how time never keeps anything still. Being on this trip allows me to walk in the footsteps of the past, but also explore the unpredictability of the future.

– Christina

Shawn Tourangeau

Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada

The past few days have been simply amazing. The days are going by way too fast for my liking. However, it’s really weird because things we have done a week ago feel like they were done about a month ago just because we’ve done so much. Each new day is an adventure.

Polar bears. Polar bears everywhere. Yesterday alone we saw not one, not two, but three polar bears on land. They were quite far away, but nonetheless, they were still polar bears. We saw two of them along one of nine of the Artic’s greatest nesting grounds. What made it even better was that it was on an amazing, massive cliff.

Along the cliff were thousands, and I really mean thousands of birds. When you looked up into the sky you would be able to easily see at least fifty birds flying back, and away from their nest. The polar bears were hunting for bird eggs. The polar bears seemed to be just as interested in us as we were in them.

Soon after that, and after many changes of plans, and I mean many, we ended up heading to an amazing shore landing – where I saw snow! I have to admit, it did make me miss home a little more. A few of us had a snowball fight and a few others were sliding on a small hill of snow and ice. It made me miss home, but I also enjoyed the view even more.

We had workshops on the land from people we picked up from Pond Inlet. Throat singing, drum dancing, elder stories, and Inuit games were just a few of the amazing workshops that were held. The land scale was absolutely gorgeous. There was a very small river which cut the large flat field in half, and stunning moutains were our backdrop.

When we got back on the boat, we had a BBQ dinner. It reminded me of home as well. Everyone either ate on the deck or in the hub. It felt as though I was at my great grandma’s, having a family dinner again. That’s when we truly felt like one huge family. I have met so many great people on this trip, and I do not want it to be over.

Fun fact: Lead is sweet.

-Shawn

Kevin Huo
Foster City, California, USA

Greetings world! How’s the weather? Cold. How’s the land? Great! There are mountains, ocean, and the beautiful sky. Since I haven’t been blogging for the past few days I’ll do a recap starting on August 3.

August 3rd we travelled to Ummannaq and had a great opportunity to enjoy the town and walk around. I hiked up a moutain to the glacier, and enjoyed workshops. I took the medium hike, which I believe was much more treacherous due to the fact that we hiked in our rubber boots. The strenuous took us hike up, and down, and up and down through rocks for a 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sadly, we weren’t able to make it to the glacier. The glacier was tremendous. We took pictures and learned about geology. All I have to say is that at the end of that day my rubber boots hurt and my heart made me feel like I was a “Student on Rocks” now.

August 4th, we travelled to the distant land of Pond Inlet. We had a great chance to learn about the culture, wildlife and land. After arriving on shore we split into Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Pods. We first travelled to the cultural center to watch a show. We saw Inuit games, drum dances, and songs at Pond Inlet. The community filled our hearts with joy and happiness, while walking through the town it was filled with dust, dirt, a basketball court, and more. Following that we travelled to the shore to be a part of a shore clean-up were we had various trash to pick up. Finally, we ended our happy day with a visit to the mueseum filled with both cultural and biolgocial exhibits.

August 5th, started out the day at Bylot Island. There we had a great day with a mixture of both workshops and self-exploration. Bylot Island is part of Sirmilik National Park. We started off the day with an amazing wildlife exploration of the cliffs of Bylot Island. There were all sorts of birds. Nests of all sorts filled the whole side of the never-ending view. All the birds fluttered across the sky as if they were a cloud. The workshops that I participated in were Connecting with the Land, Botany, Drum Dancing, and finally Shore Search and ‘Ologies. Then I decided to go on a personal hike. It was a very peaceful walk with the Arctic wind blowing on our faces and holding me down, but I kept on and pushed forward. The mountains ahead rose from the ground like years of work by mother nature. The vegetation below squished and squashed like sponges below me. I stumbled through swamp and mud, and gave my rubber boots a good workout. My adventure continued as I stumbled upon a meadow of magnificent flowers and amazing rocks of all shapes and sizes. There I came upon a river/creek and followed it upstream. I tried crossing it three times and eventually suceeded. I strolled across the land feeling the spirit of nature and the sun on my face. The time had finally come to leave and so I walked towards shore. The very first obstacle that I encountered when walking back to shore was crossing a piece of ice. The ice seemed solid, but as I stepped on the large ice there was a CRACK! I jumped off and below the ice I noticed a empty space. I decided to go around, the rain had stopped by now and my one hour and 35 min of free exploration came to an end.

– Kevin

August 6: photo (c) Martin Lipman #Nunavut #CanadianArctic #SOIArctic2015

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Matthew Newell
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Hi! We are currently in Tay Bay, so you can look that up and see exactly where I am if you want! Yesterday was another great day above the Arctic Circle, just like the rest (in its greatness, not its content, every day is different)! We went ashore and completed some fun workshops, we had a special BBQ dinner, and we dropped the Elders back off in Pond Inlet. I am very tired and have writer’s block, so I’m going to check in later, sorry guys!

-Matt  

Chase Holwell
Nain, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

We were all treated today with breakfast half an hour later. So I woke up at ten to eight and had breakfast with everyone else at half past eight. Briefing as usual came up after a lengthy wait, during which I hung around the lounge with some other students who finished breakfast earlier like me.

Tay Bay, eh! I did a workshop down on the land, which we would reach by Zodiac; as you can imagine. Fourteen different workshops were being offered, most have been running throughout but competitive games was new. But I had decided on doing a geology workshop with Fred Roots and Pascal Lee (and King Kong). They discussed how glaciers had affected the surrounding area; how they formed the mountains and valleys around us, it was very interesting to learn about the process.

After lunch the ship cruised passed some massive bird cliffs, immense natural structures home to… you guessed it, squirrels. Anyway, there were plenty of birds — hundreds upon hundreds flying past just the starboard side for some reason. I took quite a lot of photos to give others an idea of how many there were. These birds include the ones the Inuit catch with nets on cliffs; the ones they stuff into sealskin and ferment for a year.

I don’t usually talk about dinner but I think that I will for this one. I sat with Don Walsh: one of the few people who dived to the deepest part of the ocean, Mariennas Trench. He spoke about his time in France and, besides his good sense of humor, he is just a genuinely kind individual.

At the briefing the flu hit me hard, not seasickness mind you, but just the common cold the staff had warned us about. Not very nice, but the doctors had just the thing so I’d wake up the next day completely fine.

– Chase

  August 6: A student paddling the silty waters of Tay Bay, photo (c) Martin Lipman #Nunavut #CanadianArctic #SOIArctic2015   A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Michael Mehreteab

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

“Good Morning Students on Ice!” is the ordinary wake up for an extraordinary day. However, today was not like every other day, it was probably one of the best days of our expedition so far. We had guests from Pond Inlet (a town we visited yesterday) and Parks Canada staff. We woke up to a windy morning with “rough waters” that made us change our original plans. But hey, “Flexibility is the key”! After our morning briefing, we had the chance to cruise along the waters, where we were welcomed by very beautiful scenery. A really beautiful place we passed was Cape Graham Moore, where we saw many arctic birds and polar bears – it was amazing!

Following that and lunch, we landed on Bylot Island where we had many workshops (such as Elder stories, a botanist walk, and drum dancing) and a group “moment of silence.” That was a great chance to enjoy the nature that surrounded us. After our wonderful afternoon in Bylot Island, we went back to the ship, where we had a BBQ dinner. Who else could say they had that on a cruise ship? It was great, a true SOI community moment. After dinner we had our recap and briefing. We also had a concert by Sarah and a cultural show by the Pond Inlet community members. It was a great way to learn more about the cultural richeness of the Inuit people. What a beautiful end to a beautiful day! I think Geoff’s final words recap it perfectly: “It’s so great to be alive.”

-Michael

 

Megan Dicker
Nain, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Another visit to Sirmilik National Park! There were multiple workshops all around the tundra. Some on the beach, some on the plain and some by a pond. I happily resided with David Gray as our workshop leader and some other students. The workshop was titled “Skin and Bones,”, and it was just that. We talked about and held narwal tusks, walrus tusks, caribou antlers, skulls of foxes, wolves, and huskies, muskox and many other arctic animal pieces. The arctic weather was present once again, with a cold breeze running through our hair. It was a beautiful section of the park, with a glacier/large ice mass at the head of the bay and gigantic mountains all around us. We were given time to be in the moment and breathe. It is an amazing feeling when you realize where you are in the world and how you are impacting it.

Once we returned to the ship the weather decided to go crazy. The ship rocked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for a few hours (which felt like years). Mary Simon and one of her colleagues displayed a presentation about the Arctic Council. That was interesting.

The effect of a rocking ship eventually got to me. It was not pleasant. On the bright side, we were informed that we were in Lancaster Sound, which is an area of high biodiversity. It is an interesting area and it needs to be protected. Even though Lancaster Sound brought a rough ride, it was cool to be in an area where life is so abundant.
We said farewell to another day at sea with Sarah Harmer’s beautiful voice. She sang a few songs and we all listened carefully. I closed my eyes and listened to every word. It was another great day in the Arctic.

– Megan

Beatrice Chemtov
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The last few days have gone by so quickly, sorry for not blogging. I will share a highlight from each day to make up for it. *Edit* Sorry about how long it is. The end is pretty much a stream of consciousness.

Monday we got to choose what to do in Sirmilik National Park, and I in the spur of the moment, I decided to do the “strenuous” hike. They weren’t kidding. It was the most challenging hike I’ve been on, but also the best. Normally, I don’t enjoy pushing myself to go up a mountain, because despite the beauty, it gives me a lot of time to think about how tired I am getting. However, this was so steep (at least 60 degrees), and we were climbing along fist-sized loose rocks. I had to focus entirely on my hand and foot placement or else I would fall. Even so, every few minutes someone would yell “rock!!” and we would see one bouncing down the mountainside.

Tuesday, we went to Pond Inlet. My group began by doing doing shoreline clean-up, where I met a girl named Linda. We stayed together the whole afternoon, going from activity to activity around her community, and we were sad to leave. I thought we were going back to Pond the next day, so I was happy about that, but we ended up not getting off the boat. I’m excited to go back home and message her on Facebook (the internet is a really wonderful thing).
Wednesday we had a landing in a valley on Bylot Island. Before leaving to do our workshops, we had a moment of sillence all together and it was magical. We could feel each other’s energy, and the energy from the land (that sounds super cheesy but it’s true). We then went to do the workshops and I chose to learn to throat sing, which is difficult but a lot of fun. I also listened to the elder’s from Pond talk about when they were children. Another highlight from Wednesday was the wildlife we saw from the boat. We saw a cliff that just looked like a cliff. BUT IT WAS REALLY COVERED IN THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF BIRDS! It was a nesting spot for thick billed murrs, which you could only see through binoculars/a camera lense. We also saw POLAR BEARS! WE SAW POLAR BEARS! SO MANY POLAR BEARS! THEY WERE SO CUTE (probably because we saw them at such a distance, if they were close they would not be cute).

Thursday morning (this morning), we got to go on land again. I participated in a workshop about the history of the pond in the valley we visited. I helped take a core sample from the bottom of the lake, and we could see the layers of sand and mud. It was very interesting, and soon we’re going to the lab to look at the layers in the microscope. There was also quickmud around, and despite not getting stuck as deep as some of the others (who were chest deep), my boots were planted and hard to get out. Before getting back on the zodiacs, we played a game where we threw small stones and piles of other rocks to try to knock them down, and I taught some people how to juggle. It was a lot of fun.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do when I get home, and I’m not entirely sure. The beauty here is unreal and should exist forever. How can one person help though? Almost unrelated, I would love to learn to paint, so I can try to recreate what is outside my window right now. I think I will also try to form some kind of connection between people in the North and in the South, because I was unaware of so much before I came. At school we learn about the culture and some of the issues communities are facing, but it seems so remote. What I’m noticing here is that they live in the same country as me, yet lead such different lives. We learnt that Canada is as big North to South as it is West to East. If BC was treated by the government as Nunavut is, we would be stepping in much quicker. There’s so much we can and should be doing. I’ll leave thinking about what should be done, along with spreading awareness.

– Beatrice

August 6: A gull at the entrance to Tay Bay, photo (c) Martin Lipman #Nunavut #CanadianArctic #SOIArctic2015

A photo posted by Students On Ice (@studentsonice) on

Meghan Flood
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I think the coffee is decaf.

Today is our last day at Sirmilik National Park, Bylot Island. This is the most north I’ve ever been in my life. Before this trip, the northern-most place I’d been was Edmonton. That’s really not very north. Yesterday, we had planned to go ashore at one part of Sirmilik, but it was too choppy to land in the zodiacs. So we cruised on over to the other spot we had planned to land in the afternoon, but a polar bear had beaten us there so we had to go to plan C. Yesterday, the polar bear count (PBC) was at 3 before noon, which makes the total polar bear count (TPBC) at 4 this trip. Yesterday, we went to the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It was a valley with a river trickling down from a glacier far in the distance. I could have sat there forever. Everyone on the ship has reached the point where we’re all comfortable with each other, and all of our weird sides are coming out. It’s quite interesting to watch and to joke and laugh with everyone. The best times on the ship are the 15 minutes between meals and breifings where we can just sit and relax in the common area. I’m not sure what the plan is for today, but I’m sure it’ll be just as exciting and amazing as every day so far.

-Meghan

Lyric Oblin-Moses
Gatineau, Quebec Canada

For the past couple days, if you were to scan the room during any presentation, 4-5 students/staff would be asleep. One of the staff members told me that someone was desperately trying to stay awake during his workshop by making these jerking motions but eventually fell over on the couch and passed out. Thankfully, our clocks will go back an hour as we head towards Resolute Bay for an extra hour of sleep.

We are currently sailing along Navy Board Channel to Lancaster Strait in Nunavut. Here, there were 7-8 polar bears walking up the shoreline, which included a mother and her two baby cubs. Earlier, we anchored beside Bylot Island before lunch. They gave us an option of 14 different workshops to do and we were limited to choosing only one. My choice was kayaking. It was really hot out on the water so I had a really brief swim in my dry suit aftwards.

So once we returned to the ship there was a large white poster posted up on the wall titled “Burning Questions” and some markers. Here are some of the burning questions the youth on the ship wrote on the poster.

“Why is the government not doing all that it can to help? Aren’t aboriginals Canadians too?”

“Why did the gov’t spend $$ on Franklin when there are more pressing issues in the north?”

“Where is all the ice?”

“What was Idle No More like in Nunavut?”

“What do young Inuit think about cruise ships in the north?

“Why is education so different between the north and the south?”

“Where is the line between future development and past culture?”

“What hair products does Raphael use?” (The best kind)
 
– Lyric

Petra Brown
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This morning we got to sleep in (till 8:00 am). That was pretty nice. We woke up still pretty close to Bylot Island and had a landing there in the morning in Tay Bay. There we had a selection of awesome workshops to chose from; I picked stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). We put on drysuits so we would not completely freeze, it was still a little cold though, and we paddled around the bay. Thankfully it was nice and calm in there so we didn’t fall off a lot. While we were out I jumped off into the water and floated there for a while but because I dunked my head I got a pretty big brain freeze. We also tried some yoga on the boards and I successfully managed to do a headstand on it (without falling off!) When we finshed paddle boarding I went and started an oil painting of the glacier and mountains further down in the bay.

This afternoon it got pretty rough as we were entering Lancaster Sound and though I didn’t get seasick it was still a little difficult to move around the ship. We passed right by the bird cliffs. There were so many birds flying around and we got to watch them dive in and out of the water looking for fish. It was so amazing to see so many of them in the air, on the water and sitting up on little ledges on the cliffs.

– Petra

Ahmad Zulkifli
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“Good morning, Students On Ice” is the line we all wake up for another great day ahead of us. Good morning or evening for the Malaysians out there. We’re all in great condition today. No one got hurt and everything is fine.
For today, we had a briefing from Geoff and he said that we are going to visit Tay Bay (still in Bylot Island). After we had our breakfast, we packed our things done and ready to go to shore. There were no houses and no one lives there, but we were astonished to see the wonderful scenery, the glaciers, the greenery, the freezing water of the ponds, the quacking sound of ducks flying freely in the sky, the glowing sun shines the mountain, what a spectacular creations from God.

So, we were given about 14 workshops. I really don’t know what the others chose, so I’m going to tell you what I did. I went for the pond research with Daniele Bianchi. I got some samples of these beautiful small creatures from the pond like copepods and water flea. Then, I got to see other workshop taking sample of the pond’s soil. Every milimetre counts. Afterwards, I got a chance to be with Sarah Harmer in her workshop. She sang a song and it was really beautiful. With the beautiful background or scenery, even better. I even showed them a bit about Bollywood dance with Isobel…hahaha. Anyway, our workshop ended and we rode on zodiac to the ship.

There was a presentation from Mary Simon about the Global Arctic Programme. She talked about politics and all her experience in political issues. That really impressed me and I’m sure all of us like that. Afterwards, we were separated with each other and getting in our workshops. I went for the Mars by Pascal Lee. I was surprised to see Pascal journeys riding rover in Devon Island with all the difficulties. That was really amazing. The rover travelling in Devon Island was a success! And one day that rover will be going to Mars! I got some time left before dinner so I went to meet Daniele and Sally to see some samples under the microscope. Organisms like Cymbella, Pinnvlaria and much more. Lastly, we got really important information about the Inuit culture and everything.

Well, that’s all from me. There are a lots of information that I want to share for all of you. I’ll see you again, or read my friends’ and my blogs okay.

Rachel Boere
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of our adventure. We went from being strangers from around the world sitting in a room together, to a team, if not a family, travelling through the Arctic. Our adventure has taken us to many beautiful places with inspiring stories and exceptional people.

We’ve learned an incredible amount about culture and community, the Earth, our impact on in and so much more. We’ve been exposed to so much raw-ness, from tears to rugged cliffs. We’ve absorbed so much truth, from the smiles of our new friends to the untouched tundra. We’re leaving with such big dreams, from improving education to standing up about the effects of climate change. As corny as it sounds, together we have climbed the mountain of Arctic knowledge. Coming from all sides, some helping others when we got stuck or didn’t know the way, we’ve made it to the top. And we’re ready to go running down the other side with change racing behind us, with optimism and hope in our hearts and flurries of ideas in our minds.

-Rachel

Ashley Cummings
Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Today was another beautiful time on shore! We were on Bylot Island again and had our workshops there. I went to the skin and bones workshop and learned a lot as well as seeing many skulls and the various pieces of coats and hides from the different regions of the north. We are making our way further north as we are on the ship now and it is beautiful to see the many mountains and shorelines that surround us. We only have three more nights on the ship and many of us are taking advantage of our time. I will be landing in Iqaluit on the 9th, rather than going to Ottawa and coming back up.

-Ashley

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