Flashline-16 Daily Report 28-06-2024

 In Daily report

Author: Michael Andrews – Crew Logistics

The team awoke in Iqaluit, with today’s main priorities below:

  • Successfully travel from Iqaluit to Resolute Bay
  • Ensure all gear arrives in Resolute Bay
  • Present to the local community via an outreach presentation

We awoke later than expected, as our flight had been delayed – we later learned that the original flight crew got stuck in another city on Canadian North’s routes, and a backup crew had to be located. I realized this would be the last true sunrise for the next 10 days, as today we would fly above the Arctic Circle. The team met up at our AirBnB and proceeded to the airport, but we wanted to quickly stop by the Nunavut Arctic College for some local outreach.

We filed our science permit for this mission with the college’s research institute, and we were in luck – we were able to get a quick tour of their campus before heading to the airport. The college was very impressive! They had a library with a special collection that featured some invaluable expedition logs and journal from earlier Arctic missions. They also had unique course offerings like fur garment production, and Inukitut translation. We learned more about the community, that they have a booming age demographic under 35 and the community has grown almost 50% in the last 3 years.

We boarded an ATR42-300 for our flight and the environment below us simultaneously became more desolate and beautiful. Through openings in the cloud layer, we either saw mountainous snow-covered terrain or bodies of water covered in ice floes. We made a quick stop at Arctic Bay to stretch our legs and refuel. For Commander Cinelli, this was her first time landing on a dirt runway! Only about an hour later, we touched down at Resolute Bay.

We checked in to the ATCO inn, quickly had dinner, and prepared for our 7:30 PM presentation to the community. We had a small but diverse audience of biologists, Canadian contractors, and Resolute Bay locals. Science Officer Nicholson previewed some of our scientific objectives but mainly discussed the importance of learning from and building a relationship with the Nunavut community. We had some good dialogue, and there is now increased interest for more of the local community to attend our post-mission presentation on July 11th. We quickly tagged up as a crew for the following day’s plans and preparations for the final leg of our journey.

As a final thought, there were three big takeaways today. First, we all learned about many aspects of the Nunavut communities. Second, this mission became more real on each leg of the journey as the environments and cities became less like our respective homes. And finally, you could feel the team’s closeness increase as we began to share more experiences together.

Tomorrow: on to Devon Island… and to Mars!