Thanks to everyone for your messages over the last few days. Our launch date at the start of the week has been knocked back a little for a couple of reasons – firstly due to what we assumed was a minor airport-caused sniffle, but developing into full-blown respiratory infections for first Alex and Jamie soon after. Benno has miraculously side-stepped the biological onslaught. Secondly, our freight was nigh on destroyed by the carrier, so a half-day repack became three days of painstaking re-organisation and finding lost items. The weather has been stable at around -30 to -35 degrees and with a little wind, settling at around -40. It looks to be staying that way so it’s really only our frustration that has suffered from the delay.
It’s been vital for Jamie and me to recover fully, otherwise we’d be sure to take another health dive after the toil begins. We think we’re more or less there now and so, packed, we’re looking to move north soon. A final factor is that the snowfall here so far this winter has been huge. Even skidoo-powered hunters are returning with news of tough surfaces. This means that we have taken the decision to ship some of our supplies up the coast to pick up later in the journey. In the interests of full disclosure, this means that although we will travel man-powered (what some still refer to as unassisted or unsupported), our status with now be ‘with resupplies’.
The hiccup in preparations have allowed us to integrate into the community here in Qikiqtarjuaq and our heartfelt thanks go to Louis, the guesthouse host and enormously so to Chris, Glen and Halie from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who have taken us into their home and offered every help possible.
So, with a brief show of the northern lights, hour on hour of repacking and wistful looks towards the headland we want to aim for first, we’ll get going as soon as possible. We need to ensure we are all able to sleep fully the night without wheezing and major signs of illness and without any elevated temperature first though. Being impatient will only end in tears after all and we have time. The ice ahead appears to be ‘okay’. A couple of broken sections which we’ll avoid due to the bears that will congregate and the tough navigation they’ll cause. Stay tuned to Twitter, the tracker and the blog all! Cheers.