Northwest Passage fairly open this year

Two of the passengers on Roald Amundsen were on a voyage last year on Fram that had to turn back due to ice in the Northwest Passage. This year we found enough ice to prevent driving through the Bellot Strait as planned, but Amundsen’s 1903 route down through Peel Sound was passable, especially with the assistance of Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Terry Fox (thank you, Canadian taxpayers!).

We stopped at Beechey Island, the lonely site of some Franklin Expedition graves:

Then it was time to head south, following a Canadian cruise ship that was following the icebreaker.

Wildlife sightings so far: a few fin whales, five polar bear, perhaps 30 seals, many seabirds.

Weather today in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut: right around freezing with a 40-knot wind. Thanks to Bell Canada for the LTE service:

Regarding the proper term for the locals, one said “Eskimo is a Cree or Algonquin word meaning ‘eater of raw meat.’ That’s not who I am. Though of course I do love to eat raw meat.”