We arrived in Resolute last evening after a long day flying from Ottawa via Iqaluit and Arctic Bay. Our team is now complete, with the addition of Samson Simeone, an experienced guide, hunter, and carver here in Resolute. Weather permitting we will leave first thing tomorrow morning.
In Resolute we were welcomed by the very helpful staff of the Polar Continental Shelf Program. Today they fed us, lent us a vehicle, helped us with our gear, and have come up with a plan to fly us to northern Ellesmere Island on their way to Eureka to pick up another crew. This will get us into the field a day early and save both crews a lot of money – a win all around. It is hard to say enough good things about the dedicated people here – from the excellent cooks who provide three hot meals a day, to the logistics staff who upgraded some of our gear and were generous with time and advice.
One of Peary’s last stops before heading into the far north was Battle Harbour, Labrador.This was his last opportunity to send messages south, just like this is our last chance to use the internet and conventional means of communication with the outside world. It was also one of his last chances to acquire food and gear. At Hawkes Harbour, a little further north, he picked up whale meat for the dogs. Still further north he stopped to pick up dozens of pairs of kamiks (waterproof sealskin boots), which Bob Bartlett’s father William had purchased for them from women near his fishing station at Turnavik.
Peary, for whom excellent preparation was paramount, would have found the PCSP base here very interesting and would have approved of our upcoming journey by plane to Cape Sheridan. When Peary was there, he had no way to communicate with the outside world. We will be talking twice daily with PCSP over radios, and will have a satellite phone for emergencies. We will not have access to the internet, but thanks to the sat phone we will be able to call and leave electronic voice mail messages, which the museum’s intern, Hillary Hooke, will be posting to this blog, so stay tuned.