Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Last day :(

Yesterday was our last day of the trip. Even though it was our last it certainly did not have the least going on. The day started at an early 7 am to get ready for an 8'oclock check out of our hotel in Iqaluit. From there we walked to a research centre in Iqaluit for a tour. The building has a lab for sampling soil and water for contaminants. Then we met up with a group of students from the french school and had a tour of the territorial park in Iqaluit. The landscape was nice but many of us were tired from a late night when we went to a movie theatre together to watch"This is where I leave you". We had no time for lunch after the walk through the park and were quickly shuttled to the airport to catch our flight to Ottawa. We left Katlyn, a student from Baker lake NU, in Iqualuit as she had plans to meet family there. We then all chatted in the Ottawa airport and slowly said our goodbyes as the group members left. It was a very emotional moment leaving everyone behind. I really enjoyed getting to know all the kids on the trip and I had a great time with all of them. Then I flew from there to Calgary and then on to Kelowna where my Parents was there to meet me. I got home and in bed at 12 am local time but 3am my time and got ready for the next day when I had a full day of school.

This program was extremely fun and was something I am never going to forget. I will hopefully keep in contact with the friends I made on the boat and in Kugluktuk. The things I leaned and experienced are some that will not be able to be found anywhere else. Big thank you to Michelle Watts, the schools on board coordinator, without whom this trip would never have been possible.

-To no longer be continued… Jaxon!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Quick photos...

Just a quick photo of a great shot that Jean-Francois, a teacher from Whitehorse, took.
Zoomed in iceberg
Awesome sunset
Some landscapes

 The CTD Rosette
 Me and some machinery

Full group shot

Friday, 3 October 2014

Time is FLYING!

The last few days have been a blur but have been great! Two days ago we started hitting really rough water and we decided that we should pull into a fiord until the waves died down. We took this opportunity to sample. The first activity of the day was Piston coring, which is essentially dropping a tube into the ocean with a 2000-pound weight on the top to push it into the ground to collect a sample of the sediment layers. I was involved in a sample called box coring which is dropping a box into the ocean bottom and closing the bottom to get a large sample of the ground. Jeniffer White, from Inuvik Northwest Territories, was my partner in the box core. We pulled out amounts of sediment from the sample and then dumped it into a mesh and washed away all the dirt to reveal all the little critters that we’re living in the mud. While we were washing away the mud Jeniffer sprayed some water in her mouth and she said that science tasted salty. Laurence and Noemie led that activity. The second sampling was a horizontal net tow to collect zooplankton led by Jordan and Cyril. I was involved with this activity and after the nets came up we took the samples inside and sorted out Chaetognaths and then filtered the rest of the zooplankton into jars. That night I was up until 2:30am because it was our first full day of sampling and real science. The next morning we sampled again and I got to take part in a vertical net tow. Then we filtered more zooplankton. There were other samplings that had been done that included the CTD Rosette, which is a device that can measure many physical aspects of water at 24 different depths, the Hydrobios, which is a net that can open at different depths to catch depth specific organisms. The water was rough that evening and everyone passed out early feeling a little bit queasy. The next day was a little bit slow because we were in transit to the next location so we spent the day working on power points. We also had a conference call with our schools. I was one of the few students who didn’t have their school call in. Thanks dad. We all kind of hung out for the rest of the day. Today was another slow day but we had an awesome tour of the engine room. We haven’t had Internet for the past few days because we have hidden from the waves in some beautiful fiords. When the Internet is better I will upload some photos!

-To be continued… Jaxon!

Monday, 29 September 2014


I have to keep the pictures to a minimum but here is a couple of highlights!
 Some early morning ice
 A very friendly husky
 New friends at the heritage center
 Cool photo of the Amundsen
 Some mountains in the Bellot strait
 Me and some more ice
The boiyz
 Lonesome Titanic
Sun mountain combo

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Amundsen day 3-4

Day 3 was amazing! Yesterday night a few kids stayed up until 2:30 am so we could watch the boat hit ice and it was incredible! I have never seen so much ice, and in such large pieces. The coolest part of our late night adventure was that the wheelman, David, let a couple kids drive the boat… I GOT TO DRIVE AN ICEBREAKER! It was so cool and how many people in their life can say they have driven an icebreaker. It was great! After 5 hours of sleep we had a very interesting presentation from Jordan Grigor, a PhD student from Université Laval. His presentation was on Arctic marine ecosystems and arrow worms. I really enjoyed his presentation. We then had a great presentation from Masayo Ogi and Kensuke Komatsu on Arctic sea ice change and weather balloons. And Hannah is the most amazing person ever. It is now just a given that all our meals are great here. After our presentations we sewed mini gloves. A teacher and student, Beth and Alysha, led the activity from Cambridge Bay. Steve, from Dauphin MB, gave up after 5 minutes. The activity was interrupted by a fire drill. We then played werewolf as a group and it was hilariously fun.

Day 4! Today was a little slower but still fun. I started my day by releasing a weather balloon with Hannah, from Saltspring BC, guided by the scientists Masayo and Kensuke, who had presented to us yesterday. I had woken up earlier to see the Bellot straight which was awesome! Then the group started the day with our 9 o’clock meeting and then had a presentation from Robbie, Bob, and Robert. The first part of the presentation was on Changing sea levels in the Canadian arctic. One thing I learned was that melting sea ice doesn’t affect sea levels but it’s the land ice that melts and causes run off, and several communities in the arctic have already lost buildings and land to the rising sea levels. The second part was a technician who does Piston core sampling, which is essentially a 2000-pound tool to get a 20-foot tube of sediment out of the seabed. Then that tube is analyzed in a lab to determine what is in the ground and how stable it is and can also determine how old the area is. We also had a formal dinner tonight, which was fun; I also got to try escargot!
The area we are in right now is beautiful and I will snag some pictures before bed. Also the Internet is very poor and I will try to get photos up tomorrow.

-To be continued… Jaxon!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Amundsen Days 1-2!

Due to Internet restrictions I have put two blog posts in one.

Amundsen day 1
Today we woke up 7:30 and had cereal and yogurt for breakfast. We were out at 8:30 and then walked around Kugluktuk, while walking we found an adorable husky that was very friendly and I fell in love with. At 10 we had a tour at a newly opened heritage center that cost 2.5 million to make.  It was an amazing tour with tons of traditional Inuit tools and clothing. I ended up buying a traditional Inuit tool called an ulu, which is a spherical type of knife. After that a group of us walked to the airport along the ocean. There we suited up in Immersion suits that were sealed suits that keep water out if you were to land in the water. I got to sit in the front of the helicopter and it was amazing. It felt like a ride at an amusement park. When we arrived on the ship we were given a brief tour and then helped deliver all our bags to our rooms. I was paired with a scientist, and I’ve had a lot of fun so far. For dinner we had mashed potatoes and asparagus quiche. We then just had a slow evening and went to bed early, even though we had switched to Montreal city time so we were two hours ahead.

Amundsen day 2
Waking up on the Amundsen is usually at 7 because breakfasts on board are from 7:30- 8:30. The other meal times are 11:30-12:30 for lunch, and dinner is from 5-6.  Today we had a safety briefing from Graham the 3rd Officer. He was really nice and showed us all the safety features of the boat. At one point during the presentation me and Ben (another participant) had to put on survival suits which was a rather difficult procedure. We then had an intro to climate change in the arctic from. Then went out and took group photos around the boat and hung around until dinner which was pasta with a cream sauce, which was amazing. All the food on board has been awesome. Tonight we are having a science meeting and then I will hopefully figure out the laundry system.

-To be continued… Jaxon!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Kugluktuk day 2 - Bloody Falls!

Bloody Falls was breathtaking! We woke up at 7 and had pancakes for breakfast. Then we packed up for Bloody Falls with the class we met yesterday and left on jet boats down the Copper Mine river. The boat ride was 30 minutes long and the scenery was beautiful. When we got there we set up a base camp and just started walking around. We started off in a group but slowly broke off from each other as we went along. When I was on my own I came to a little cliff face with a ledge on the side, when I looked out from the ledge, I could see a massive flat area that stretched out miles in front of me. It was a cool feeling being around an area that has no visible signs of humans for such a long distance. Bloody Falls got it name when a rival group of natives snuck across the river and massacred the other tribe killing men, women, and children. the only survivor was an old woman who witnessed it all from far away and then hopped in a kayak and hurried down river and told the story. When we were there we had hotdogs and a variety of other snacks for lunch along with tea and hot chocolate throughout the day. One boy my age named Vern showed me a perfect spot to lie down on my stomach and drink water right out of the river. One of the food items I was persuaded to try was Klik (which is the equivalent of Spam) on tea biscuits which the local kids enjoyed, I although did not find it as alluring as they did. We left at 2 and I had throughly enjoy the trip and the ride back to Kugluktuk. Dinner is being prepared as I write and tonight we have plans to watch a movie.
-To be continued... Jaxon!
Here are some photos of our trip to Bloody Falls.