At Sea, Toward Baffin Island

Aug 23, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


It was another calm day at sea. By the time we reach our first Canadian landing, we will be fully rested, more learned, and ready to set foot on Baffin Island. We began the day with breakfast. I don’t think we write enough about breakfast: eggs to order, bowls of fruit, endless bacon, and fresh-baked everything. Afterward, many of us trekked to the lounge to begin a day of listening, learning, and discussing.

I gave the first presentation, speaking about my journalism project called Meet the North. It’s a collection of stories about modern culture from different Arctic nations, and my fieldwork has been sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 2015.

Next up, our archaeologist, Lynda Gullaston, spoke about interactions between Europeans and Inuit through history. She helped us think about how archaeology is studied and presented, and how it often favors a European perspective. She introduced photos of some carved Thule figures which confirm that Vikings and Thule people made contact.

Then lunch! Arctic briefings!

After an excellent teatime—with sandwiches, cookies, tarts, and cakes that aren’t written about enough—we heard stories from space. Yes, we had an astronaut on board. Kathy Sullivan entertained us with videos of famous astronauts eating M&Ms out of the air. In the process, she inspired us with her thoughts on the true nature of exploration.

Despite the fog, we felt land approaching as we headed into the passage between Baffin Island and Bylot Island with the plan to clear customs, then head out into the fjords and ice beyond.

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About the Author

Jennifer Kingsley

Naturalist

Jennifer Kingsley is a Canadian journalist, a National Geographic Explorer, and the Field Correspondent for Lindblad Expeditions. She has travelled extensively in the global Arctic and throughout the temperate rain forest of the Pacific Rim. After completing her biology degree, she worked in Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks before moving to British Columbia to specialize in grizzly bear ecology. Jennifer spent several seasons sailing among the whales, bears, and wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest. 

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