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Herschel Island 2013: Arrival in Inuvik

(photo: B. Radosavljevic) The complete Herschel group arrived in Inuvik (back left George, Michael, Louise, Ute, Stefanie and front left Selena, Hugues, Isla, Juliane, Boris(photo: B. Radosavljevic) The complete Herschel group arrived in Inuvik (back left George, Michael, Louise, Ute, Stefanie and front left Selena, Hugues, Isla, Juliane, Boris
 
Friday, 28th of June 2013
 
After 36 hours and 5 flights, Inuvik, our final destination before Herschel Island, is within reach. All that stands between us are the last few minutes of sitting and waiting in a plane to start our exciting trip in Canada. We almost made it from Potsdam to Inuvik, a little tired of the long trip with an eight-hour jetlag, super excited to be back up in the Arctic.
 
Our first day of travels started sleep-deprived at 6 am in Potsdam. Before we boarded the plane, we had a birthday to celebrate: Ute´s! George had baked a tasty cheesecake, and it made for a merry goodbye just before checking in.
 
The highlight of the 9 hours flight from London to Edmonton was definitely Greenland. Gigantic icebergs floating in the crystal clear water, parts of the iceberg roots visible underneath the water surface.
 
(Photo: U. Bastian) The several km thick Greenland Ice Sheet as it reaches the east coast. (Photo: U. Bastian) The several km thick Greenland Ice Sheet as it reaches the east coast. The landscape carved by huge glaciers, split by sharp-rising Nunataks (mountain peaks looking out through the glacier surface), and deep crevasses. Flying across Canada we saw more of the wide prairie landscape, flattened by ice sheets a long time ago. Green farm land cut by angular roads, dotted with countless lakes, meandering river channels, ponds and parallel scratches, offering a patchy view of the original glaciated landscape.

In general the more north we get to Inuvik, the less people are with us on the plane, the more ponds, lakes and rivers are covering the landscape. The stop in Yellowknife brought back the smell of pine trees, and of course, the memory of mosquitos. The view of the Great Slave Lake, the breeze disturbing it´s great water, the sun glistening in the wave ripples, no wonder there is gold in this country.

Now that we are almost in Inuvik, we have to be ready to take care of a lot of things in just 6 days before heading to Herschel Island. Inuvik is our logistical base camp.
 
(Photo: U. Bastian) Angular roads in the Edmonton region with innumerable ponds lakes and meandering rivers.(Photo: U. Bastian) Angular roads in the Edmonton region with innumerable ponds lakes and meandering rivers.The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) and the National Park Office are our main cooperation partners there. We will receive our 900 kg of freight, which we had sent away three weeks ago.
 
The ARI is an excellent staging area for the expedition, allowing us to recharge our countless batteries for the field, re-shuffle some freight in the boxes, and store several hundred kilograms of food. We will also meet and coordinate with other scientists working in the Yukon Territories during the summer season.

All in all, the flight was not only useful to finally catch up some sleep after the last hectic weeks in Potsdam, we also used the time to plan our stay in Inuvik.
 
After all, questions like how many sandwiches everyone will eat during a long field day and how many toilet paper rolls are necessary, are quite important, as well. Now we are happy to get off the plane and get on with our work. 
 
To view more amazing pictures from Herschel Island, please access the gallery

Written by Stefanie, Boris and Juliane
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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