Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting to Pangurtung

A flight that was supposed to take an hour, Iqaluit to Pangurtung, was canceled due to cross winds in Pangurtung. Our re-booked flight was late in the day on Tuesday, two days later. While wandering around town, we noticed a blue hulled ship at anchor in the harbour – so we inquired about it. It was the M/V Nuliajuk, the ship we were to meet in Pangurtung. We canceled our flights (we actually got reimbursed) and boarded the ship.

M/V Nuliajuk is a brand new research vessel – so new, Iva and I had to unwrap our sheets from their original packaging before making our bunks. The ship bounces like a cork, which is good for stability but, bad for seasickness and, it has an integrated 150kHz ADCP (current meter) – which is good news for me.

Sailing from Iqaluit to Pangurtung took just over two days, with the only rough patch being Davis Strait. Icebergs were everywhere – one even had what looked like a flock of penguins on it (wrong pole for them). Through binoculars, the birds looked like some other sort of seabird with penguin-like colouration. Later I saw them flying (confirming they weren't penguins). Once we entered Cumberland Sound we saw belugas and what was likely bowhead whales. We were following a path along one coast of the sound, and I couldn't see the other side. Cumberland Sound is huge, it looked huge on the map, but, seeing its full extent made its size no longer an abstract concept to me.

The equipment I shipped made it. Tomorrow we load up the ship and head out to start our sampling.

The top photo is an iceberg in Frobisher Bay, the bottom photo is of Pangurtung

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