It is another foggy, rainy, cool day in Sachs Harbour. Good thing the plane snuck in yesterday as it didn’t even leave Inuvik today. Mack and I checked in with the RCMP to see what radio frequencies are monitored here. Discovered that they both know Mack’s son Adam and shared some training courses. We visited Lena Wolki, Kyle’s nanak (grandmother) who I stayed with when I first came here in 1998. Her mother was just a little girl when the CAE was here and is mentioned in a few of the CAE diaries. Tomorrow we will head out again to the Mary Sachs site and do some more searching and GPS work.
We just had a phone call from Captain Bob, and the news from the boat is not good. The Bernard Explorer is back in Alaska at Barter Island, just west of the Alaska-Yukon border. They had made it all the way to Pullen Island which is quite close to Tuktoyaktuk. However, the ice was so bad that even after getting that far, they had to go all the way back to avoid being trapped by ice. Even with all the talk of global warming and an ice-free Northwest Passage, now we are hearing that this may be the worst ice year for 10 years! Some things are just not predictable anymore.
So they are going to wait there, and see if the winds blow favourably in the next few days. Bob and Paul are hoping to do some CAE related work as they are near Collinson Point and can get back there and do some searching for the CAE house. Also they will visit Pipsuk’s grave. He was the last member of the CAE to die, when he drowned while tending a fish net in 1918.
Mack and I will go out to the Mary Sachs site tomorrow if the weather improves, otherwise will visit and interview more Elders. We will watch the wind and ice, keep checking the ice charts, and talk with John about heading north in two small boats if the Explorer can’t make it. Never a dull moment!