The Northwest Passage Trip Log (21 Aug - 13 Sep 2017) - ​ Wednesday, Aug 30

The Northwest Passage Trip Log (21 Aug - 13 Sep 2017) - ​ Wednesday, Aug 30
January 2018
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When we awoke this morning, ‘Le Boreal’ was making its way along the northern shores of Lancaster Sound, an area of the Arctic that the Inuit and their ancestors have relied on for thousands of years for its abundant natural resources for food, clothing and shelter. Today, residents of the three Nunavut communities of Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay and Resolute Bay continue this tradition, depending on its waters for their cultural and economic wellbeing. We arrived at Devon Island in Baffin Bay which is claimed to be the largest uninhabited island on earth. The island boasts great coastal scenery and a massive icecap that feeds spectacular scenery. We had an early start under warm skies to visit the Dundas Harbour located on the southeast coast of Devon Island. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had established a post here in August 1924 as part of a Canadian initiative intended to regulate the whaling activity and provide a Canadian presence. The walk to the remaining buildings of the outpost of Dundas Harbour provoked images of this lonely outpost, particularly the small Royal Canadian Mounted Police cemetery containing three graves perched above the abandoned site and harbour. By noon ‘Le Boreal’ headed out toward Devon Island’s Croker Bay and, as we entered the bay, the siting of a polar bear crossing the water was a spectacular experience. After anchoring adjacent to two beautiful blue-ice tidewater glaciers, it was time for a zodiac ride accompanied by black-legged kittiwakes on patrol, hoping for a calving in the ice to bring plankton to the surface. We were not be disappointed, because there was some calving action from the glacier, as well as the viewing of both Harp Seals and Bearded Seals. It was a perfect way to end a spectacular day of expedition cruising in Canada’s High Arctic.

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