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Displaying items by tag: Canada
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 03:00
It gets a bit tiresome starting every new entry with 'what a great day' but the truth is, most are... and it wouldn't be appropriate to focus on any lower moments in this forum. That said, yesterday we tried a smaller group exercise, "high - low - wow - now" which gave the students and mentors the opportunity to be that bit more reflective and open about how the trip is going so far. What was your high point, low point, wow moment... and where are you at right now? For many, the lows were the lectures. Not the content, just the format. In fact, they wanted to stay awake... they want this information and knowledge... but after long hikes outside or big meals it's hard to stay alert in a warm, dark, rocking room. I empathize. The information has been heard and we already notice that ...
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 03:53
photo credit: Alex Taylor We've been on this 'expedition' for a week now, half way through, and I can feel the dynamic shifting. Faces are pretty much all familiar and I'm not doing badly on names either... only a few students left whom I haven't had at least a brief conversation with. Amongst the students cliques have formed, as expected, but there is also a sense of change — more pondering, clearer questions, greater attentiveness, thoughtful poetry, and increasing questions about the educational content of the coming week. ...
Sunday, 10 August 2008 04:03
The intercom system has just announced that wake-up tomorrow has been postponed by half an hour to 8am. Everyone cheered. We have a happy, but very tired, shipful of folk today. It was a wonderful day, awe-some, in its true sense. In the morning we glided down Hirbilung Fjord, sheer cliffs on both sides, glaciers and waterfalls pouring off them. It was almost too much to take in, to process. For the first half hour on deck everyone milled, took photos, chatted, gaped... but what to do after that? How to take this in? Spontaneous groups of painters, writers, singers, players gradually filled the decks... a singsong on the back-deck, group games on the very top, somehow laughter and fun was the magic missing ingredient that made it all digestible again. In the afternoon we wer...
Saturday, 09 August 2008 03:49
Another great day and we'll all go to sleep buzzing. Qikiqtarjuaq was fab: the people, the place, the food, the air, the weather, the crafts, the welcome, the kids. Kids everywhere, excited about strangers in their town, better yet, students. Craftspeople displaying sealskin hides, jewelry from bone and baleen, walrus tusk carvings, polar bear claws. The naturalists among us also came home with skulls from polar bear and walrus and, most impressive, narwhal tusk. NARWHAL TUSK. No, really. The first time I saw one, never having heard of a narwhal, I battled with my inner belief system. What from this earth could this beautiful spiralling ivory possibly have been created by if it wasn't a unicorn? I saw three or four on display today,- the smallest about the length of my fore-arm, the tall...
Tuesday, 05 August 2008 18:20
Today is the first full day of our expedition, and I have just returned from our first expedition of the expedition — a zodiac cruise around Hantsch island to observe a colony of thick-billed murres, or 'akpak' in Inuktitut. They are the Penguins of the North. Well, they look like penguins, but they fly. And genetically they're not penguins, they're part of the Auk family, like puffins and other black and white sea-birds. In fact, the thick-billed murre is the most abundant marine bird in the northern hemisphere. But they stay so far north that they are little appreciated or recognised. We also saw black-legged kittiwakes, really sweet looking seagulls. Amazing what you can learn when there's an ornithologist on board and a briefing before the outing. ...
Wednesday, 06 August 2008 08:50
Hayley Hung writes: The last two days have been relatively quiet and uneventful. Everyone was disappointed as the ship was overcome by fog yesterday, making the expedition to Banks Island unfeasible. Everyone was trying to finish working on their last samples and pack away equipment. The crew lowered the tower on the front deck so that the meteorological equipment can be removed. Sylvia and I wrestled with the wires, nuts and bolts on the tower for several hours. The rough sea and rain made every step so much more difficult. With Stephanie Moore’s (Dalhousie University) help, we finally got all the wires off the tower but we were completely soaked by rain. There were still several wires that ran along the starboard side of the ship that should be removed. However,...
Sunday, 03 August 2008 10:33
Hayley Hung writes: Amanda and I finished working at the rosette the night before at 4 a.m. At around 9:30 am, I heard my name announced on the P.A. system saying that I was expected at the flight deck?! Rushing out of bed, I’ve got a call from Gary saying that the captain and he would like to scout out Banks Island for a possible excursion for the scientists to hike the highest point in the Western Arctic, Durham Heights (724 m), before ending the leg. Nurse, Ève Bolduc, and I were honoured to be invited to join them on the helicopter ride. Setting out at 10 am, the helicopter headed towards the rugged southern cliffs of Banks Island. The landscape was very dramatic with high-rising cliffs bordering plateaus carved out by rivers and dotted with ponds. Several herds of mu...
Sunday, 03 August 2008 01:51
I am traveling from Toronto to Ottawa and the train has just started moving. I'm passing a familiar skyline of the CN Tower, downtown, the Don Valley, and hopefully soon I'll see Lake Ontario on my right. I lived in Toronto for 5 years and though I haven't been back often, the scenery remains a home from home. Ottawa will be all new to me, and I'm glad to have grounded myself in the familiar for my first jet-lagged evening. I will be met by someone from Students On Ice at the train station, and presumably a handful of soon-to-be-friends also arriving on this route. (The heavens have opened, so much for my scenic train journey.) How do I feel? Excited, apprehensive, confident, intrigued, honoured, calm. I love th...
Saturday, 02 August 2008 13:41
Hayley Hung writes: The work schedule came out around midnight last night but did not last very long. The wind changed direction and it became unsafe to deploy the rosette. The nutrient rosette originally scheduled for 6:15 was cancelled. This is frustrating as the nutrient data are essential in performing correlations with other scientific data collected at a specific location. Unfortunately, we had to leave the region of Tuktoyaktuk without this data. I had a very good night of sleep though. Tony and Patrick filmed me taking an air sample at the bow. Everyone has started planning packing up. As this is the last leg of CFL and the ship will be used by the Inuit Health Survey, most of the laboratories, fridges and freezers have to be cleared out. There was a party o...
Thursday, 31 July 2008 19:57
Hayley Hung writes: We woke up to more “rock n’ rolling” this morning. I wonder why they use office chairs with wheels on the ship... I was literally sliding from one side of the room to the other while working on my computer. The wind finally subsided in the afternoon and the sun reappeared around dinner time (17:00)… the rapidly changing face of the Beaufort Sea! Now that the rosette is finally working, we are playing catch-up this evening. It is already 21:42 (Mountain time) and there is still no schedule as of what work is to be done tonight. I am waiting for the nutrient rosette to go down for Amanda’s water samples; hopefully, around midnight. If not, may be another night of endless waiting…At least, everyone is excited that finally some work can be d...
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