Aug 28, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer
Devon Island is known as the world's largest uninhabited island. In the morning, Zodiacs ferried guests ashore to Dundas Harbour, the site of an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost which was intermittently occupied from the 1920s to the 1950s. We inspected the derelict buildings and pondered the challenge that young, untested police officers faced when left by their supply ship to fend for themselves for a year or even more, if the ice prevented resupply the following summer.
The light maintained a soft Arctic glow throughout the morning, adding a hint of gold to landscape photography. There was time to look down at animal scat (musk ox, perhaps caribou), across the hillside to hopping Artic hare, and up to a snowy owl perched on a high ridge.
With guests back on board, National Geographic Explorer steamed on and then dropped anchor just in front of a glacier face in Croker Bay. Guests piled into Zodiacs for an even closer look. Motoring along the icy cliff of the glacier, or at times simply drifting with a silenced outboard, we observed other forms of life: a bearded seal on an ice floe; harp seals bouncing up and down with their porpoise-like swimming gait; and ringed seal, always on the lookout for polar bears.
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