People & Culture

New Land Expedition: Waiting for the resupply plane

  • Apr 14, 2013
  • 530 words
  • 3 minutes
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The New Land 2013 expedition, following the route of Norwegian explorer Otto Sverdrup across Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, is into its third week. This blog was written by John Huston.

It was supposed to be a resupply day where a twin otter airplane chartered by us would land with our resupply, and then continue north to Eureka to drop the rest of our supplies there. But we had a white-out this morning, which means low clouds descended into our camp and we couldn’t see a darn thing all day. So we are sitting here hoping to get the resupply tomorrow.

We’re at the mouth of Troll Fjord (see map), which was first navigated by Otto Sverdrup back in 1901. And as far as we know, few — if any — people have navigated through Troll Fjord to the north, all the way to land and up, since then. So we’re kind of excited about that. It’s a steep, long fjord. We’re hopeful of some more wildlife, and we’ll be in there for, I don’t know, at least five or six days, most likely. It’s one of the kind of crux points of our expedition.

Today’s photo (top), or one of them, is of me and our queen. She is named Elle after Ellesmere Island. She is the friendliest Inuit dog you’ll ever meet. She and I have been skijor partners since the get-go, and most of that time up front leading the New Land 2013 train. Elle is the most natural lead dog that we have in the group, and we have one or two other candidates as well, but she’s done a good job. She is super friendly. Sometimes we take her off leash and she runs around camp or the trail and says hi to everybody, so it’s fun to have that kind of peppy, puppy-like presence. She’s three years old and she’s really good at rolling over, lying on her back, sticking her paws in the air requesting belly rubs and that sort of thing. I feel lucky to be skiing with Elle, but we’ll change it around as we move forward in the expedition.

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The expedition has encountered wildlife including musk oxen. (Photo courtesy of New Land 2013)

Yesterday we skied across Dahlman Fjord to the mouth of Troll Fjord. On the way, we came across a lone wolf, and we got some pretty good photographs and a lot of good video of it walking along the sea coastline — that was pretty awesome. And then we got to camp and we were greeted by a polar bear. It never really got closer than 250 yards (228.6 metres), but it did take some time to watch to make sure it didn’t get closer. So, so far our dreams of Ellesmere Island wildlife have been realized and we’re happy about that. Okay, hopefully we’ll see a plane pretty soon!

This blog was originally published on forwardendeavors.com. Read more blog posts from New Land 2013.

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