Monday, 9 March 2009

Arrived in Qikiqtarjuag

Today has been a very busy day.

Yesterday was spent having a much needed rest and adjusting to the fact that I was now heading out on my own. During the past two weeks I had got used to working within a team and as a team we over came many challenges and shared a great experience. Yesterday I had to wave goodbye and quickly realized that that part of the expedition was now over. I was more then a little sad to say goodbye.

This morning I awoke feeling fresh and determined to start my next part of the expedition. I started the day with my introduction and orientation of the Akshayuk Pass and Auyuittug National Park, ironically called the land that never melts.

I always enjoy this introduction as it helps highlight any issues I should know before entering the Park. It was also good to meet face to face with the parks personnel I have come to know via email.

It was also the induction for my team mate, flat Stanly from St Mawgan-in-Pydar Primary School near Newquay. Stanley is part of my school outreach project and is traveling with me to introduce himself to schools here on Baffin.

I quickly learnt that there is a number of new developments. First, that the park has under gone dramatic changes since my last trip due to the server flooding last year. Second, there seems to be a lot of surface water or thin ice which will need to be safely crossed.

Lastly and the most scary fact, is that polar bear sightings are very high at the moment. One has been recently seen in the pass and seems to have damaged one of the emergency shelters. A shelter which is a pretty sturdy cabin, what could it do to my tent? The park rangers are not sure if the bear has moved on or not.

Another fact I was told which really surprised me is that winds in the park can reach 175kmph! Last year I was stuck in my tent for 3 days due to high winds. Just 80kmph winds would add a massive wind chill factor to already cold temperatures.

This is a lot to think about and to plan for over the next week. I am now up at Qikiqtarjuag and looking forward to starting my film project tomorrow.

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