The engine started running at 6 o’clock in the morning as we left for Clyde River again. The group of qualified mountain guides and climbers from Petzl is flying back to Europe tomorrow and they are expecting to meet their plane at the tiny airport of Clyde in the morning. But we’re in Nunavut and things are different from what we are used to. Time runs in its own speed, depending on the weather and place. We’ve literally been to ‘the middle of nowhere’ and lost conscious of passing days. It’s already the 11th day of the Expedition, we’ve experienced a lot, but it feels like a few hours since we were picked from the airport in Ottawa.
The weather that woke us up on the big wall still follows us. Grey, heavy clouds dominated the sky for good and the rain will find the smallest gap in all the layers of clothing that you wear and soak you. Typically there are 10 rainy and 4 snowy days in August in Nunavut. We already had a great luck with the sun during glacier crossing. Not a single plane landed in Clyde since last 5 days and we doubt that any will arrive tomorrow.
But we still had to sail down here. Life on the boat is great and very clear: we all know what to do; we know our duties and responsibilities. Primarily, a system of watches was established. 2 hours of constant checking and 6 hours of break. We work in groups of 3: 2 Young Explorers and one experienced sailor to explain to us all the meanders of the art of moving with the power of wind. We need to observe the horizon in order to avoid icebergs and other obstacles on the way of Pangaea, control instruments measuring the depth of water, speed of the vessel, engine, so as radars. It is a full-time job demanding concentration, but also a great opportunity to talk and learn from each other.
What else we do is cleaning and cooking. We were expected to cook on certain days, but it ended up with everyone helping everyone in the kitchen, Simon assisting in preparation (and degustation) of every single meal, girls washing dishes, people preparing drinks for each who wants. There are some habits, like morning porridge or bread baked by Jacek on the night before, but we also had a solemn dinner this evening.
Our fantastic mountain guides have decided to prepare a festive supper as a ‘goodbye’. We ate a delicious arctic char with baked potatoes and vegetables, sitting all together and bringing back fresh memories from the big wall. I’m wondering how will this place look in a couple of years time? We’re on an expedition to the changing wilderness, wilderness changing so rapidly. On our way to Refuge Harbor we saw a stunning iceberg with a hole in the middle of it. One week after it has changed its shape and could no longer be recognized as the same piece of ice floating to Nunavut from Northern Greenland.