Saturday, 14 June 2014

Friday 13th June: Ottawa to Resolute Bay

Very smooth and often breathtaking journey up from Ottawa to Resolute Bay today. Arrived at the airport way too early as we got our departure time wrong, but this gave us time to get all our kit on (including guns) with relative ease. Landed at Iqaluit on the SE shores of Baffin Island with a two our turnaround, so had a little time to explore the town. The inlet is still icebound (see photo of Ian) so it wasn't exactly warm and the town has changed much since I was last here in 2007, lots of new buildings and roads.We also hooked up with Chantelle Masson, a student from Iqaluit,  who will be working with us this summer. The plane that took us up to Resolute base, via Arctic bay  only seats about a dozen passengers (the rest of it is given over to cargo). On the plane with us was a team form the BBC including Gordon Buchanan who will be up in Eureka with us filming wolves. There was a lot of cloud for the first three hours, but it cleared just as we were landing giving us spectacular views of Arctic Bay and its surrounding cliffs. After a short wait at the airport while the plane refuelled we were off again. There is still a lot of snow and ice around, but a massive polynya was visible between Devon and Bathurst Islands (where the fabled north west passage runs). The skies cleared completely as we landed in Resolute bay, very cold indeed (blizzards here last week and more snow forecast for tomorrow). But it is encouraging to see a lot of snow free patches. The geese will need these in order to although it has been a late spring, the birds could well be on eggs already...we will find out early next week.
Resolute base has also changed a lot as well, about three times the size it was in 2007. The rooms have everything a scientist needs (desk, internet access, bed, shower and a view...see photo of the view from my room). We are in the new wing named after Marty Bergmann a really nice guy who looked after various members of the Irish Brent Goose Research Group on previous visits here and who was tragically killed in a plane crash on the island a few years back. The food, particularly the baked goods has not changed...still very very good. I am glad we are only here for a couple of nights.... We will be sorting out kit for tomorrow with BBC guys and all of us are due to fly up to Eureka on Sunday. Really looking forward to getting there.

1 comment:

  1. Great account there and I will follow this with great interest. Guess you'll be keen to know if the birds are on nests on eastern Axel Heiberg and you'll know the answer to that in a few days. I'd expect the weather conditions to get better when you go up a few degrees further north!