Whew. That was a field heavy week! But, we are making great progress. After many hours underwater some sites are finally becoming familar. There is ongoing debate whether Narwal Cove, Back Rock or Iceberg Point are the best. They all have their own particular charm....
We found 'Iceberg point' dive site while we were exploring west of Pond Inlet. There we were, dutifully conducting video surveys... while watching three large icebergs in the distance. Trevor and Cara told us they had broken off of Greenland and were flowing around Bylot Island. We spent a moment discussing just how far away they were (it is surprising difficult to guage). And of course whether we should/must drive over and get closer! But task-oriented as always, we instead busied ourselves with deploying some instruments. Science first!
When we finished, we noticed that one large iceberg (as in the size of a small house) was getting really close. Gulp. Actually it coming right at us! As we scurried for the anchor, we watched it ground on a shoal and release a cloud of bergie bits in the water. It was beautful, carved, and light-scattering, with a deep blue crack in the middle. Everything an iceberg should be. It hit the seafloor at 25 m depth and stayed put.... now that was interesting because we were looking for kelp at 5, 10 and 15 m depth. Hmmm... cannot imagine kelp particularly enjoy being run over by ice.
We had a photoshoot moment, then geared up for our dive (safely away from the iceberg of course). Underwater it was exceptionally clear. We could see the boat perfectly from the bottom. The sea floor was patchy kelp forests on bright pink coralline algae cobbles. Not dense vegetation, but teaming with invertebrates. But by far, the most interesting part was the massive 5-m wide grooves in the bottom. You could see where icebergs had hit and ploughed through the cobbles and boulders, creating bare sediment tracks edged in mounds of overturned rocks. Was a bit surreal.
Optimistic as ever we set up a logger... and left a float out over winter. Fingers crossed that it does not get crushed! We estimate 80% chance of survival.
Ended the day with tomato juice mocktails on glacial ice that we hunted down ourselves.
Oh and we have our headshots of the week!