Tuktoyaktuk or Bust!

The team strapped their 3 empty kayaks onto Titus’ boat, stored their gear in the center of the boat and stood up for the 2.5 hour boat ride to Button Point.  There was not anywhere to sit, so standing it was.  They did not know what to expect with regards to Titus’s boat but were very pleased to see it was a substantial-sized boat.  Certainly large enough to handle their boats, gear and 5 people.  Titus had his friend, Steve, come along for the ride.  Steve is another one of the super nice people they have run into along the way.

After departing from Pond Inlet, they experienced some rough water, at first.  They traveled along the shore of Pond Inlet until the water wasn’t quite as rough.  They saw their first Polar Bear, which was very “cool” and a harbor seal.  As they made their way across to Bylot Island, the water calmed down and the fog increased.  Bylot Island is exactly as they pictured.  Very lush and green.  Low cloud cover with snow-topped mountains.  Zero trash!!  They were dropped off at a cove on the south side of the island.  The water is very calm.

Arctic Cowboys Tukoyaktuk or Bust
Arctic Cowboys Tukoyaktuk or Bust

Once on the island, Titus brought out some Char sandwiches he had brought along for the team.  They were fantastic, as the team was starving.  There are 2 cabins near this cove.  (Rebekah calls them shacks).  West explained that he and Jeff stayed in worse places on the Volga River (Russia).  The team had to haul all of their gear up to the cabins because they didn’t want to leave it out…you know, bears!  Unfortunately, the cabins were quite a distance when you’re lugging around a bunch of expedition gear.  It took well over an hour to get this taken care of.  Learning to live together in close quarters will take some getting used to and adjusting but the entire team works very well together.  They didn’t all fall asleep until about 6:00 am so did not set an alarm.

They woke up about 11:00 am.  It is colder than expected but nothing another layer of clothes couldn’t fix.  The skies are overcast but the sun is starting to peek out.  Once they get moving, they will warm up quickly.  They had their first “tent—er, cabin” talk this morning.  Jeff and West had their standard oatmeal for breakfast along with tea and coffee while Rebekah was looking for something more substantial and had a Char sandwich for breakfast with tea.  They are moving around, albeit slowly, and will work to haul all of their gear back down to the boats, load up and leave.  They have to navigate about a 40% slope to get there.  The live feed on the website will show their progress once they get started in about 2-3 hours.

-Barbara Edington

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