The last few days have flown by! We were anchored just outside of Naujaat (actually pronounced Now-yat), marking the mid-point of our arctic adventure.
In addition to refueling, provisioning, cleaning, tidying, packing or unpacking (for some), as well as many other necessities, the entire crew got to host “VIP” community tours of our vessel, in order to explain and demonstrate the main goals and purposes of conducting marine research in the Canadian Arctic to the inhabitants of Naujaat. Children’s eyes lit up as we showed them invertebrate collections, as well as videos taken during our dives. Fun fact: many Inuits were surprised how diverse and colorful the benthic life of Southampton Island is.
As for the rest, It’s been bitter sweet: we had to say goodbye to a key member of our team: our lovely kelpy Karen, leaving us to join (another!) epic Arctic kelp journey, this time in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. Thanks to her, our readers will have more to look forward to, as, from now on, the blog will be updated from two different locations in the Arctic😉 –Thankfully, Paulina Bruning (chocolate-fanatic Chilean, invertebrates and soft corals enthusiast and cold-water diving powerhouse) brought fresh blood to our team.
As of now, the Chileans represent the majority of the diving team (*warning to our cook Billy, who should expect his meat stocks to run dangerously low in the following weeks*).
We are now looking forward to some calm and glassy seas, piles of ice, chilly waters and great diving for the next passage!