Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Latitude: 71˚45′ N      Longitude: 67˚01′ W
Speed: 8.5 knots         Wind: 18 knots
Temperature: 3˚C (37˚F)
Time change: one hour ahead

A day at sea.

The ocean is a little rough as we head across Baffin Bay. There is not much in the way of scenery, but plenty of waves and birds.

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It’s a day for workshops and presentations and hanging out in the library or lounge or cabins.

Andrew gives125-IMG_2440 one on “Printmaking,” Susie on “Small Crafts.” Michelle gave one about using “Photoshop to enhance photos,” and  “Hands-on geology” was given by Cathie.

In the afternoon, David and I play Scrabble in the lounge. We each end up with a support group of passengers and staff who offer fine suggestions. I put down a couple of stellar words and finish up triple digit points ahead of Mr. Reid.

The evening begins with an Arctic Facial Hair Showcase. Contestants sported a variety of facial hair styles from “explorer,” or full on growth, “Bear Whisperer,” skinny goatee; and the “new growth” category, or beards legitimately grown on the voyage. Only one thick was entered, but when discovered that it was Anne with a stick-on moustache, the entry was disqualified. A number of passengers who easily qualified to place in the showcase chose to observe instead. All contestants were judged with the clap meter, provided by Cam. The winner was Jim, whose white President Lincoln whiskers put him in the “retired college professor” category.

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The dry erase markers were abandoned as the route kept getting rubbed off, so used sticky dots instead.

At Recap, Jocelyn Langford of Road Scholars welcomed us in Inuktitut. She had successfully passed the afternoon’s Inuktitut 101 course, offered by John, Andrew and Susie.

As we were heading to Greenland, the iceberg capital of the world, Ree talked about icebergs and how they are formed. Iceberg is Norse for mountain of ice.  The Gulf Stream and warmer currents up the coast of Greenland keep the coastal temperature about five to 10 degrees warmer than the Canadian Arctic, and some of the southern coastal villages don’t get iced in until the spring.

1-IMG_2348Cam mentioned being on deck earlier with Mark and seeing a gyrfalcon with a dovekie in its beak. It was 400 kms from land. Gyrfalcon’s can fly 1,000 kilometres for prey. Incredible birds.

Michelle showed a photo of a rock face – a cliff with Cathie’s face on it.

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About Season Osborne

I am a writer with a passion for Arctic history. After finding a photo of Capt. Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, who claimed the Arctic for Canada in 1909, I was inspired to write my master’s thesis on Bernier’s contribution to Arctic sovereignty. This ultimately led to extensive research into Canadian and ‘foreign’ expeditions to the North, which morphed into my recent book, In the Shadow of the Pole: An Early History of Arctic Expeditions, 1871-1912.
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