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Captain's log: Long days

The short Arctic field season means taking advantage of every opportunity

  • Aug 24, 2014
  • 337 words
  • 2 minutes
Photo: courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada Expand Image

August 25, 2014, 20:00 Mountain Time
The morning greeted us with light fog, but it didn’t linger very long and only minimally affected operations slated for the day.

The first activity of the day saw the two Canadian Hydrographic Service launches Gannet and Kinglett deployed toward Requisite Channel for part one of their surveying day. After surveying for much of the day, both teams returned for supper, refueled the launches and ventured back out into Storis Passage. These can be long days for the launch teams, who are led by hydrographer Scott Youngblut and comprised of Canadian Hydrographic Service hydrographers and Coast Guard coxswains. And similar to great race teams, it also involves our engineers who inspect, fuel and maintain the launches to the highest standards. Since August 8, the Canadian Hydrographic Service launch teams aboard the Gannet and Kinglett, along with recent contributions directly from their multibeam installation on the Laurier, have line sounded over 2,150 kilometers and still counting. But Arctic field seasons are very short and sea conditions are variable so they must take advantage of every available opportunity to maximize survey coverage and expand the shipping corridors. Fantastic work so far!

The helicopter was airborne by mid-morning with Nunavut archeologist Douglas Stenton and archaeological anthropologist Robert Park from the University of Waterloo aboard. They surveyed the Adelaide Peninsula coastline from Smith Point to Grant Point, and the shores of five small islands immediately west of Grant Point. Besides the mystery of the Franklin expedition, there is significant Aboriginal history here as well, and Stenton and Park are extremely dedicated to documenting this vital part of Nunavut’s heritage.

The Laurier encountered some ice in Storis Passage in the early evening. The launches Gannet and Kinglett skirted safely around the ice to catch up with us, and managed to continue to survey all along their routes. It’s been a few years since we encountered ice in this area, reminding me that open water in this area at this time wasn’t always the norm. 


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