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Sachs Harbour and Mary Sachs. Tuesday August 13, 2013

posted August 14, 2013

This morning the sea was calm so John and I headed out to Mary Sachs to do some underwater video from the boat. Though calm, the swells were rolling in and the waves were crashing onto the beach when we arrived off Mary Sachs. We did several passes along the site, being careful not to get in too close and get beached by a wave. The water was clear at first, but began clouding up as the waves disturbed the sand. We didn’t see any artifacts but it was good to be able to see the bottom and know we were not likely missing anything. We had a close, but short look at a young bearded seal.

The wind and waves were rising so we came back to Sachs Harbour and did some more searching underwater below John Sr’s house. He had lost an anchor from the old schooner Cora there when mooring his boat. It was a good day to look, but we did not find it. In the harbour John spotted a small circular school of what looked like capelin, a minnow-like fish that seems to be moving north.

I spent the afternoon walking east of town and working at a site where a family lived before Sachs Harbour was established. I measured and photographed the site, then followed the coast for a while and did more water photography in the shallows. I found a fox skull buried in the mud that was almost entirely stained black from the mud. I have seen living blue foxes (a dark colour phase of Arctic or white fox), but this was the first black fox for me. I had another fox encounter that was either goulish cool or coolish goul. I found a fox carcass lying on the ocean bottom close to shore and it seemed almost intact, as if it was just sleeping underwater. It too was basically black, being in the summer fox colours of dark brown to black with lighter legs and tail.

Tonight I will get a start on packing. It doesn’t seem possible that I only have one full day left. I will get to Inuvik Thursday, to Edmonton Friday, and to Ottawa on Saturday.