Eastbound 1: Cambridge Bay - Resolute Bay
A quick summary of the possible destinations we will visit on our return eastbound leg 1 of the Northwest Passage up above the Arctic Circle.
CAMBRIDGE BAY, Victoria Island
Population 1,600. The Community Center hosts the annual Nunavut Arts Festival where sculpture, prints, and art by local artists are for sale. At the local high school crafts and local delicacies - narwhal muktuk (skin and fat), Muskox sliders, and Arctic char jerky, are for sale. The Visitor Center has a small museum that includes a ten-foot tall polar bear. The town is also home to the new Polar Knowledge facility that supports Arctic scientists. Across the bay is the wreck of Roald Amundsen’s ship Maud, secured to a barge and scheduled for its journey back to Norway in summer of 2017.
TODD ISLAND, King William Island
Heading east across Queen Maud Gulf you’ll visit Todd Island with a local Inuit guide, the site of remains and graves from the famed Franklin sailing expedition that ended in tragedy.
GJOA HAVEN, King William Island
Inuit community village elder Louie Kamaakak (whose great grandfather had contact with Franklin’s men) will describe Inuit oral history tradition and the Inuit perspective on a changing Arctic. We’ll learn about the histories of Amundsen, Ross, and Franklin at Gjoa Haven. (pronounced “Joe Haven”)
CONINGHAM BAY, Prince Edward Island
A known hotspot for polar bears which feast on beached Beluga whales, caught in the rocky shallows at low tide. (from boat only)
FORT ROSS, Bellot Strait, Somerset Island
The remnants of a Hudson Bay Company fur trading building and Inuit remains. Abundant food in Bellot Strait attracts numerous marine mammals such as narwhals, bearded seals, harp seals and polar bears.
CUNNINGHAM INLET, Somerset Island
Up to 2,000 Beluga whales congregate here to moult each year. We’ll also see polar bears (from boat only)
Location of Sir John Franklin’s last comfortable winter in 1845 before disappearing. Remains of ship HMS Braedalbane, three Franklin crew graves, building remains, and the Belcher monument.
RESOLUTE BAY, Cornwallis Island
This town is the midpoint of the Northwest Passage. With a population of about 300 it is the second most northerly community in Canada.
From late April to mid-August it enjoys 24-hours of daylight. Its airstrip provides the gateway for North Pole expeditions.