Cape Henry Kater

  • Cape Henry Kater
  • Nunavut
Inukshuk at Iipiutalik Point

The first official day of leg 8 was a full day at sea, where we got the opportunity to give and attend informative and engaging presentations, spot wildlife and admire the wonders of the Arctic Ocean. In the morning, leg 8 participants saw an enormous iceberg that left most of them speechless. We also spotted a polar bear, and a group of seals! We had a presentation in our Downie/Wenjack Legacy Room, where participants witnessed Jeannie, our Leg 8 expert and an Inuit Elder, light a qulliq. The qulliq is a traditional Inuit lamp that is carved from stone and provides light and heat, melts snow for water and uses dry heat to cook food. It’s fuelled by the oil from animal fat, such as seals or whales. Jeannie also spoke of Inuit traditions, and we had an emotional, open and thought-provoking discussion about Indigenous culture and reconciliation. In the afternoon, we listened to a presentation by David Gray, who spoke to us about the wonders of the Arctic. David was named one of Canada’s 100 Great Modern Explorers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. We also heard from Heather Moyse, two-time Olympic gold medallist and now a well known public speaker, who brought her two gold medals on the Canada C3 ship! Finally, we heard from Aluki Kotierk, the President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated. Aluki spoke of Inuit language and culture, collective healing and Inuit identity. We are grateful to have participants with such diverse areas of expertise, and we are looking forward to learning more from them. The day concluded with one of the more spectacular Arctic sunsets we have seen thus far, and we stayed out on the bow of the ship admiring it for hours, feeling the brisk cold of a Nunavut evening at sea, yet remaining grateful for the warmth that continues to radiate on the Canada C3 ship.