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Packing and (some) paddling

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Last night we camped on the sea ice. From the door of the tent we can see Fort Conger in the distance–actually it is not that distant. It took us all day to get here.

Yesterday was spent trying to fit everything into our kayaks. The end result, stuff tied on everywhere. By the time we got going it was 5:00PM, which seems a more fitting time for arriving. We hoped we could avoid harnessing ourselves up like donkeys to drag our loaded kayaks across the not-so-flat ice but after an hour or two we realized that we were not going to get too far paddling in the small space between the high and low tide.

So here we are, with the ruins of Adolphus Greely’s camp in the distance.

Cheers, Diana

Safe landing

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We arrived in Fort Conger late on July 2nd, flying low in the Twin Otter, only 1,500 feet above the ground. Our small plane was stuffed like a sausage with us, all of our gear, and three kayaks. Our pilots followed the narrow frozen passageways of the massive islands of the Canadian Archipelago. We feel so lucky to have arrived. Low clouds and fog have set in, and up here, pilots fly only by sight.


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Day 1 of Enduring Ice begins with a bang. Rather than our bags falling to ground at Fort Conger, it was instead the sound of a thin door slamming, followed by the padding of Steve and Diana down the South Camp Inn hallway. We won’t be flying today.

Some few hundred miles northeast of our location in Resolute Bay sits a slow-moving low-pressure system. This weather system is not precipitating, but it is also insecure, compensating for its poor moisture content with a proliferation of low clouds and fog. In this business, landing strips are simple cleared regions of tundra, and Twin Otters must have them in sight before landing. For today, our cowardly barometic friend has won.

For myself and the crew of Enduring Ice, this meant another day of the relative luxury of Resolute Bay: lukewarm showers, warm meals, and pre-made slices of cheesecake. So many of those.

But as quickly as we reacted to the news by stuffing our faces with last-night’s-dinner-turned-brunch, new news. We’ll be taking a Twin to Tanquery Fjord and overnighting with it in the hopes that we will see clearer skies tomorrow. The journey begins anew!


The Journey Begins (really!)

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Happy birthday, Canada. You are wearing your 150 years extremely well.

We celebrated today watching a parade of a dozen vehicles festooned with Canada flags driving through the hamlet of Resolute. Much of the rest of the day was spent assembling our kayaks and packing (and repackaging) our food and gear to minimize weight and space for tomorrow’s flight to Fort Conger. One pair of underwear for 35 days? Are you kidding me?!

Fingers crossed the weather holds!

Cheers, Diana

The Journey Begins (soon!)

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With two weeks to go before we head North, we are like frantic squirrels, gathering our gear. With no chance of resupply, we must bring everything we will need for the entire month, and everything must fit into our three double kayaks. Our headquarters is filling up with nifty cameras and state of the art solar chargers, cases of granola bars and piles of nuts (just like a squirrel’s den). The smell of dehydrating veggies and meats permeates the air. What does one have to bring to survive for a month in the Arctic? If we forget anything, we’ll be sure to let you know when this blog officially begins: Resolute Bay, Canada, July 1st, 2017.

Cheers, Diana