08/28/2005, Montreal Island, Nunavut (GPS 67 deg. 50 min. north, 95 deg. 59 min. west)
We paddled until we saw the expanse of the Arctic Ocean horizon line, felt the salt in the air and recognized the tidal changes. Chantrey Inlet of the Arctic Ocean has been a sure destination for us during the past two years. It was not always known how long it would take the five of us with our two green Bell canoes and our wannigan to arrive here, but on day 87, August 22, 2005, we hopped out of our boats for what we thought would be a quick lunch stop.
Our eyes turned north and we knew it was time. The tide was out and the golden sand was inviting us into the ocean for a final swim of celebration. Feelings of excitement, achievement, sadness and bittersweet memories filled my thoughts. Little did we know at the time that the next five days would provide us with ample time to begin processing the end. We called for a pick-up via motorboat from Gjoa Haven and began our Arctic wait. Wind and fog delayed our ride back as we filled each day with rousing games of hearts, tossing the Frisbee, walks, paddles, many hours of reading, and organizing. Our stomachs filled with the last remaining contents of our food packs, refried beans, potatoes and lentils (oh my), we are quite a happy bunch and easily entertained.
Yesterday we were picked up by Paul, Aaron and Bethany and rode away into the horizon. This morning we have all been sitting in our new friend's canvas mess tent, playing Uno with Bethany, six years old, while Aaron and Paul are checking the weather and hunting caribou that might be around. We wish them luck.
Now with our trip near the end, we have become more and more aware of how indebted we are to each of our sponsors so that we may have this amazing experience. There are a couple of sponsors we have not specifically thanked yet and we wanted to make sure we do so. To Chota Outdoor Gear, thanks for the Nunavut Marsh Boots, which helped us over the rough terrain and kept our feet very warm despite the cold Arctic . To Nalgene, we thank you for your extremely durable containers, which they helped us organize all of our food.
One last note to all of you that have been following us: we appreciate all of your support and we look forward to responding to your emails, but please don't stop yet. We will be in Gjoa Haven soon and have a flight out on September 1st and will update you again on our road show home. Upon our return home, we will make sure we post more pictures and let you know where and when we have slide show presentations planned. We hope to see you all there. Until then.
P.S. Happy birthday to my dad and to Meg's mom, Deb. We hope you had special days.
View Photos from All Three Resupplies CLICK HERE
UPDATE: See The Capital Times article posted on 08/30/05: Borealis Paddling Expedition: Adventure in the Arctic (First Page) Borealis Paddling Expedition: Adventure in the Arctic (Second Page)
ALSO, as of 08/30/05, the BPE is safely in Gjoa Haven.
Support the Borealis Campership Fund at Camp Manito-wish YMCA