The Northwest Passage Trip Log (21 Aug - 13 Sep 2017) - ​Saturday, Sep 2

Saturday, September 2
January 2018

As we entered Larsen Sound, one of the most treacherous waterways in the region, the captain of ‘Le Boreal’ announced that we would be joined By the Canadian Coastguard icebreaker Des Groseilleurs to escort us through the pack ice. It was a unique experience to follow the icebreaker through waters where the vessels of the doomed Franklin expedition had finally been captured by the ice. After successfully following the Des Groseilleurs through the ice, for a distance of 50 nautical miles, ‘Le Boreal’ was free to proceed on its own. The senior officers of the Canadian vessel joined us for lunch and briefed everyone in the theatre about their operations transiting back and forth through the Northwest Passage. We were also treated to our second harmonica lesson from Mike Stevens before taking in excellent enrichment lectures by Mike Beedell and Margaret Bertulli. As a young adult, Mike spent several summers traversing the Northwest Passage on a Hobie Cat with one companion; an extraordinary achievement full of adventure, danger and self-discovery. Margaret later took us through an intriguing series of northern experiences from her career as a Canadian Arcticarchaeologist. After entering James Ross Strait which runs between King William Island and the Boothia Peninsula, it was full steam ahead for Gjoa Haven. As always the expedition recap was lively with presentations by Brent Houston followed by Marine Biologist Sean Todd who enlightened us about the behavior of Beluga Whales.

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