Looking out the port side of the ship, the rugged high landscape of the northeast coast of Baffin Island was visible in the morning’s mist. Even late in the summer the sun still brightens the sky before most people are awake. During the night National Geographic Explorer made its way across Baffin Bay.
Rain showers and low clouds occasionally draped the landscape but just before noon the skies had lifted as we anchored off the small community of Pond Inlet. This would be our first stop in Canada which means we were required to clear into the country. All of the official procedures were taken care of by the ship’s purser and officers. A rather quick process ensued, and when we had finished lunch we were ready to venture ashore.
Since Pond Inlet has no dock we transferred from the ship via Zodiac. A stiff wind was blowing but our staff drivers and others onshore quickly got us onto a sandy beach where we were organized into a couple of groups to visit the community. Local guides escorted part of the group around the village and proudly talked about the community and what it is like living in the high arctic of Nunavut. At the community recreation center we were treated to some of the traditional dancing and some amazing pastimes to occupy the long winter periods.
Eventually in the late afternoon everyone had retuned to the beach. The wind had dropped by that time and the lower in the sky sun light was projecting some lovely light onto the landscape. As we turned to set a course westward we watched as the small village returned to its summer’s activity and preparing for the fall and the long winter. This afternoon we had a wonderful opportunity to experience what life in the arctic entails for a few of the hardy people that call Nunavut home.